Magnificent Parthenon

The ancient Greeks kept to us magnificent architectural monuments, which deliver to the modern people the same aesthetic enjoying as well as their far ancestors. And among them the first place rightfully belongs to Parthenon.

A construction of Parthenon is connected to dramatic pages of the Ancient Greece history. In 480 BC the army of the Persians intruded in Greece. Hordes of the barbarians moved from the North and stayed near to the Fermopil gorge. The 300 Spartanian soldiers covering a withdrawal of the main troops blocked their path. As a result of betraying all of them were killed together with their leader, the king Leonid. The Persian army trapped and routed Athens.

But Greeks with honor maintained high-gravity trial by routing the Persian fleet and army. The victory of the Greeks over the Persians meant a celebration of principles of democracy and freedom; it resulted in a new fruitful impulse in the Greek art, to epoch of art of the high classics. In art works of this period the feelings of majesty and pleasure dominate. The forms of art works distinguished by a high harmony, plastics, humanism. The Athens temple of Parthenon, the magnificent construction of the Athenian Acropolis is implementation of these qualities.

During 15 years of Pericle government the temples, altars, sculptures unusual on beauty qre constructed in Athens. The outstanding Greek sculptor Fidij was the chief of all art works.

All second half of the 5th century BC at the Acropolis there was building the temples, altar and statue of Athens-Warrior. In 447 BC the work on the Athens temple of Parthenon began and it continued until 434 BC. For creation of harmonic composition on the "sacred hill" its builders increased the hill by building the powerful embankment. The modern researchers established, that the length of the hill before Parthenon, the lengths of the Athens temple and of the Acropolis segment behind of Parthenon are in proportion of the golden section. Thus, the golden proportion was used already at creation of composition of the temples on the "sacred hill".

By outcome of joint efforts of the architects, sculptures and all people of Ancient Greece was the creation of the goddess Athens temple, the "magnificent Parthenon" (Fig.1), which rightfully is considered as the greatest monument of the Ancient Greek architecture.

Parthenon
Figure 1. Parthenon.

The harmonic analysis of Parthenon was carried out by many researchers. And though these researches differ a little by approaches, but all they agreed in the main: Parthenon distinguishes itself by surprising grandeur and steep humanity of architectural and sculptural images and that the main cause of Parthenon's beauty is the exclusive harmony of its parts based on the golden section.

All people participated in building of Parthenon. White marble, cuprum, ivory, gold, black arbor, cypress were delivered to Athens from all country. There worked everywhere handicraftsmen: the skilled craftsmen of clay items, carpenters, coppersmiths, stonemasons, painters, and engravers. The expenses on the building of Parthenon were huge. The enemies of Pericle, governor of Athens, accused him in wastefulness and useless expenditure of the public revenues. Then Pericle at the public assembly asked to people a question: whether people find that is expended much. The answer was that it is a lot of. And then Pericle offered to attribute all costs on the building of Parthenon on his score and that he will write his name on the building of Parthenon. After these Pericle's words the people admired with majesty of his spirit and not wishing to succumb to him glory of such constructions cried, that he attributed all costs on the public score and spent nothing feeling sorry.

The legend was kept, how an aged donkey carried each day rocks for the building of Parthenon on Acropolis. When the donkey aged it was freed from responsibilities. But each morning the aged donkey went with all to Parthenon. And the Greeks said: " Look, even the aged donkey understood a significance that we create". And the people gave him the "pension" by undertaking to feed it for the public score up to the death.

Nickolai Vasutinski, the writer of the remarkable book "The Golden Proportion" (1990) devoted to the Parthenon the following verses:

Sacred hill and temple
Of Divine Athens,
Magnificent Parthenon,
By burying forgot ruins
To the Olympic Gods is directed.