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Word Count: 955
In the 5th century BCE Athens was thriving At the time the Parthenon was built in the 440s and 430s BCE on the Acropolis at Athens Athens had more wealth and more subordinate allies than any other Greek city had ever had before With a bit of arrogance they decided to go through with an enormous building project despite the objections and embarrassment of a few The Parthenon was the largest temple built on the Acropolis the hill the building project took place on Some of the other buildings were the Propylaea the gateway the Pinakotheke the picture gallery the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheum a temple to gods associated with Athens However looking only at the Parthenon we can see what some of the values of the Athenians were and how they defined themselves as a city The Parthenon can tell us quite a bit about Athenian values From its high perch on the Athenian acropolis one of the views from the structure is of the sea which the Athenians must have valued being near the coast Its also shown that they value the sea on the west pediment of the Parthenon where Poseidon is offering Athens the sea in a contest It was important to Athenians that they felt they came from the earth This is evidenced by the presence of the Erechtheum The Erechtheum a small temple near the Parthenon was named after the hero Erechtheus Erechtheus was thought of as being the first king of Athens and was associated with being born from the earth Erechtheus being a hero leads to another value of the Athenians heroism Heroism is also shown on the Parthenon On the western metopes the Greeks are shown battling the Amazons Most likely there were scenes of the great hero Theseus defeating the warrior women Their reverence for heroes is also revealed on the west pediment where old Athenian heroes are shown watching the contest
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