Hadrian’s Library was created by Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 132 on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens.
The building followed a typical Roman Forum architectural style, having only one entrance with a propylon of Corinthian order, a high surrounding wall with protruding niches (oikoi, exedrae) at its long sides, an inner courtyard surrounded by columns and a decorative oblong pool in the middle. The library was on the eastern side where rolls of papyrus “books” were kept. Adjoining halls were used as reading rooms, and the corners served as lecture halls.
The Academy of Athens is Greece’s national academy, and the highest research establishment in the country. It was established in 1926, and operates under the supervision of the Ministry of Education. The Academy’s main building is one of the major landmarks of Athens.
An acropolis (from akros or akron, “highest”, “topmost”, “outermost” and polis, “city”) is a settlement, especially a citadel, built upon an area of elevated ground—frequently a hill with precipitous sides, chosen for purposes of defense.
The most famous example is the Acropolis of Athens, which, by reason of its historical associations and the several famous buildings erected upon it (most notably the Parthenon), is known without qualification as the Acropolis. Although originating in the mainland of Greece, use of the acropolis model quickly spread to Greek colonies such as the Dorian Lato on Crete during the Archaic Period.
The Acropolis is a site where perfection is commonplace. The sight of the Acropolis was like a revelation of the divine. “The whole world then appeared to me barbarian” said Ernest Renan in prayer on the Acropolis.
According to the historian Pedley, “the work…was carried out under the supervision of Phidias. In fact, Plutarch says that Phidias was in charge of the whole of Pericles’ scheme” (251). Hundreds of artisans, metal workers, craftspeople, painters, woodcarvers, and literally thousands of unskilled labourers worked on the Acropolis. Phidias created a gold and ivory statue of Athena which stood either in the Parthenon, known as the Temple of Athena Parthenos (‘Athena the Virgin’ in Greek), or in the centre of the Acropolis near the smaller temple of Athena. During the Panathenaic festival, celebrants would carry a new robe to the ancient wooden cult statue of Athena, housed in the Erechtheion.
The building has a pronaos, a cella housing cult images at the centre of the structure, and an opisthodomos. The alignment of the antae of the pronaos with the third flank columns of the peristyle is a design element unique middle of the 5th century BCE. There is also an inner Doric colonnade with five columns on the north and south side and three across the end (with the corner columns counting twice).
Many architects have been suggested, but without firm evidence one refers simply to ‘The Hephaisteion Master’. The temple is built of marble from the nearby Mt. Penteli, excepting the bottom step of the krepis or platform. The architectural sculpture is in both Pentelic and Parian marble.
The Temple of Hephaestus or Hephaisteion or earlier as the Theseion, is a well-preserved Greek temple, it remains standing largely as built.
Hephaestus was the patron god of metal working and craftsmanship.
After the battle of Plataea, the Greeks swore never to rebuild their sanctuaries destroyed by the Persians during their invasion of Greece, but to leave them in ruins, as a perpetual reminder of the war. The Athenians directed their funds towards rebuilding their economy and strengthening their influence in the Delian League.
The Agora was the heart of ancient Athens, the focus of political, commercial, administrative and social activity, the religious and cultural centre, and the seat of justice.
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