On the metopes, just under the roof, Phidias carved the battle between Lapiths (men) and centaurs (the Centauromachy), Greeks against Amazons (Amazonomachy), the gods against the giants (the Gigantomachy) and the sack of Troy.
All these stories show the greatness of the Greeks and of men and civilization in general, and how men and gods are able to beat anybody who fights them: giants, centaurs, Trojans, or women (Amazons are women).
All of these giants and the rest represent the forces of chaos, or nature, or barbarians – which were all the same to Greek men. They themselves represented order, law, and civilization, and everything else – including women – was chaos.
Learn by doing: build a model of the Parthenon in Lego or on Minecraft
More about the Parthenon’s frieze
Bibliography and further reading about the Parthenon:
A Greek Temple, by Fiona MacDonald, Mark Bergin (2002) (this is specifically about the Parthenon, not just any Greek temple)
Parthenon, by Lynn Curlee (2004). Easy reading. Lovely pictures.
The Athenian Acropolis: History, Mythology, and Archaeology from the Neolithic Era to the Present, by Jeffrey M. Hurwit (2000). This is not a children’s book, but it is pretty interesting reading. Hurwit is a archaeologist and art historian who works on the Athenian Acropolis.
Leave A Comment