Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome – The Parthenon

Among the beautiful buildings erected by Pericles was the Parthenon, a temple sacred to the goddess Athena. It has been called the most perfect of all the buildings ever erected in the world. It was built on the Acropolis, of white Pentelic marble that has turned a golden color from time, and was completed in 438 B.C. In construction, in sculptured decoration, and in color it embodied the best genius and skill of Athens at the height of her glory.

It stood for more than two thousand years and was used as a Greek temple, then as a Christian church, then as a Mohammedan mosque. Finally, in a war between Turkey and Venice in 1687, the Turks used it as a storehouse for powder. The powder was blown up by a bomb, and more than half the wonderful building was destroyed. The front, though much injured, is still standing and is the most beautiful object in Athens today.

Parthenon (par’the non). — Acropolis (a krop’o lis) a citadel, or fortified height, in a Greek city; often used, as in Athens, as a sacred precinct for temples and altars. — Pentelic (pen tel’ik): from Mount Pentelicus. — Lycabettus (lik a bet’us).