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Intro In 479 BC the Athenian victory over the Persians in the battle of Plateia failed to quell fighting between the two sides Athens began supporting Egyptian revolts which were aimed at overthrowing the Persian rule and establishing a national dynasty In 459 BC the Athenians supported the revolt of the Libyan prince Inaros by sending him 200 warships and aiding him in taking the capital of Memphis Donald Kagan states In order to establish legitimacy Inaros liked himself with Nit a war goddess who supposedly stood by the king of Egypt during the time of battle 59 It is in this context that the Greeks identified Nit with the goddess of Athena Just as Nit brought victory to the Egyptian army Athena brought victory to the Greeks Lit Review The majority of scholars who have studied or followed the Temple of Athena Nike closely believe it to be a symbol of victory containing no multiple meanings Donald Kagan provides some early history to the Temple of Athena Nike and also includes his views on the downfall of Athens during Pericles reign John Pedley describes the temple as a dedication of wealth and prominence while Frederick Praegar believes the acropolis is also a symbol of military dominance RA McNeal and Catherine Kessling both suggest that the Temple of Athena Nike and components of the acropolis foreshadow Athenss downfall Mary Moore also takes this downfall motif into consideration Thesis In this paper I will examine how the Temple of Athena Nike was originally constructed to glorify Athens as a supreme power in the Mediterranean but later evolved into an icon that foreshadowed the downfall of Athens Evidence to support this claim will be gathered from later structural additions in the temple like the balustrade and joint dedications that were made to the goddess of Athena Body In order to understand the original meaning of the Temple of Athena Nike one must have some rudimentary
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