Pediments in Ancient Greek Architecture - Ancient Greece
Quatr.us answers questions
Upgrade /Log in
Options /Log out
Print
About
Africa
Egypt
Mesopotamia
Early Europe
Greece
Rome
China
India
Central Asia
Medieval
Islamic Empire
Native Americans
S./Central America
American History
Biology
Chemistry
Geology
Math
Physics
Weather
Food
Judaism
Christianity
Home

Pediment

greek temple with pediment
Greek temple with a pediment (Sicily)

The pediment is the triangular place under the roof of a Greek temple. Each temple has two, one on the front and one on the back. At first pediments were probably plain, but soon the Greeks began to decorate pediments with stone sculpture. One of the earliest pediments, on the temple of Artemis on the island of Corfu, has a scary Medusa on it.

pediment from corfu
Temple of Artemis, Corfu (ca. 580 BC)

Later Greek sculptors put whole scenes on pediments, usually one exciting part of a well-known myth. The Parthenon has the story of the birth of Athena on one side, and the story of Athena and Poseidon fighting to be the main god of Athens on the other side.

The tricky thing about pediments was what to put in the little angles of the triangle at the sides. On the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the sculptors have Medusa standing, then animals who are lower, and then teeny little people in the angles. On the Archaic temple at Aegina, the sculptors had fallen soldiers lie down in the angles.

Aegina
Temple of Aphaea at Aegina (Shows the Trojan War)

Triglyphs and Metopes
Fluted Columns
Doric Architecture
Ionic Architecture
Corinthian Architecture
More about Greek architecture
Ancient Greece
Quatr.us home


Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

Help support Quatr.us!

Quatr.us (formerly "History for Kids") is entirely supported by your generous donations and by our sponsors. Most donors give about $10. Can you give $10 today to keep this site running? Or give $50 to sponsor a page?

With Mother's Day coming up, remember the Mother Goddesses: Mut, Isis, Gaia, Hera, Demeter, Parvati, and the Corn Mother. And honor powerful mothers: Ankhesenpepi II, Agrippina, Wu Chao, Blanche of Castile, Catherine de' Medici, Hamida Banu and Nur Jahan, Nurbanu Sultan, Sofia Baffo, Xiaozhuang, Anne of Austria. A great Mother's Day story: Kleobis and Biton.