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The fifth century BCE in Athens was a time of great prosperity and culture Democracy became the new government In 449 BCE after years of war the unsuccessful Persians made peace and in 445 BCE the hostilities with Sparta Athens long time rival subsided The conclusion of warfare left Athens with unnecessary money from the Delian league Pericles General of Athens used this money to complete the rebuilding and beautification of Athens with Phidias as artistic supervisor The concrete symbol of this rebirth is the Parthenon a temple to Athena the patron Goddess of Athens Standing tall and proud on top of the Acropolis it was the largest temple of its kind on the Greek peninsula Construction began in 447 BCE and was finished shortly thereafter in 438 BCE Kebric p142-143 The sacred and the secular meet at the Parthenon symbolizing Athens piety and greatness The sheer size and quality of the Parthenon is a specific statement about how Athenians viewed themselves and how they wished to be viewed in fifth century BCE Greece The Parthenon stands as a symbol of the strength superiority and power of Athens and is in fact a form of propaganda All aspects of the Parthenon unite to serve as one clear message about the strength and power of 5th century BCE Athens Although in antiquity there was much debate over the lavishness of the Parthenon Pericles legitimized the luxury of the Parthenon by asserting his beliefs in the power of democracy The materials to be used are marble bronze ivory gold ebony and cypress woods the crafts required to work such materials are those of the carpenter molder bronzeworker mason and sculptor dyer worker in gold and ivory painter embroiderer metal-inlayer and the providers and transporters of these- merchants sailors and pilots
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