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The Parthenon 447-432BC was dedicated to Athena daughter of Zeus and she was therefore one of the major figures in the Greek Parthenon She was the goddess of wisdom learning the arts household crafts and was the patroness and protector of Athens Thus Greek society was focused towards a state of enlightenment as opposed to Persian barbaric darkness chaos and violence It symbolized a civilized world of beauty stability and harmony But the Parthenon statues could also stand for political power and imperial ambition It was built on the site of an earlier temple destroyed by the Persians Its location - it sits on the Acropolis - dominates Athens It draws the citizens eyes upwards automatically elevating him in body and spirit filling him with awe civic pride perhaps even fear of such an impressive monument of power and beauty This could so to speak make him tow the line uphold the status quo and remain an upright law-abiding citizen The sculptures of the Parthenon expressed great religious and mythic history and beliefs When the Athenian citizen of ancient Greece looked up to the entrance of Athenas temple he saw those Olympian gods with their beautiful bodies richly clothedtheir mythical personalities symbolized in their poses and attributes - figures from a living religion whose cults went back to the Bronze Age This was proof that the Athenian artists had not lost touch with their religious roots Their work was visible proof and reinforcement of a lasting legacy of a deep-seated culturalreligious heritage not only for Athenians but the rest of the world The influence of the Parthenon was vast because it stood as a symbol for civilization and rationality Its sculpture was highly public - the official manifestation of city and cult a statement of the ascendancy of Athens and the Athenians It was a beautiful powerful propaganda tool - we can see as clearly as any ancient viewer what
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