Athena Nike

From Academic Kids

The Athena Nike was the earliest Ionic building to be built on the Acropolis around 427 BC. The temple was completed during the unrest of the Peloponnesian war. Made completely of marble, its small size was compensated for in its position, resting on a rocky outcrop, purposely positioned so the Athenian people could worship the goddess of victory in hope of prosperous outcomes in the war's endeavours. The decision to build Athena Nike was an expression of Athens's ambitions to be a world power as opposed to Persia. The frieze on the temple displays the decisive victory over the Persians at the battle of Plataea and a meeting between the gods Athena, Zeus and Poseidon. The battle helping Athenians reminisce the glory days of victory, hoping such previous outcomes will spur the Athenians on and raise morale. The meeting of the gods signifies Athenian religious beliefs and if the temple was to be worshipped their may have been hope of creating favour with the gods which would have been necessary to 5th Century Athenians during the current political climate. Once the temple was completed the Athenians added a protective parapet. The parapet displayed an expression of determination and hope for final victory. This was not the only piece of sculpture which depicts a sign the Athenians want to conclude the long battle with Sparta, in the cellar of the temple is a statue of Athena as Nike Apterus, the goddess without wings. Her wings may have been removed by the Athenians hoping she would remain in Athens for success over the Spartans.

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