Essay about The Parthenon: The Epitome of Greek Culture

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Most every great culture in history has something for which they are famous. The Mayan civilization has the calendar, the Romans have the Colosseum, and I would like to suggest that the epitome of Greek culture is the Parthenon. It reflects the ideas and religious beliefs of the Greeks and incorporates the architectural brilliance seen first with the Greek people. The frieze, the religious idea behind the building of the temple, and the attention to detail in the Parthenon shows a genius that can only be claimed by the Greeks.
First, the Parthenon frieze is an example of how unique the Parthenon is to the Greeks. The frieze is “[t]he most characteristic feature in the architecture and decoration of the temple” (Wikipedia contributors). It
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Also, this procession was something that the Greeks could relate to because they were used to taking part in it on a regular basis. “This was certainly a scene that every Athenian could relate to through personal experience, making thus the transition between earth and the divine a smooth one” (Sakoulas, “The Parthenon”). The frieze therefore with its revolutionary idea of bringing the divine and the mortal together and also the representation of the folding of the peplos which was made for Athena are all Greek ideas and thus represent Greek culture.
The second reason why the Parthenon belongs to the Greek culture is because the temple itself is “. . . a building whose familiar form has become virtually synonymous with the boldest triumphs and highest ambitions of the age of Pericles” (Green, 11). Since Pericles is a Greek figure and all of his triumphs were for the Greek people and well-being of the civilization, it is clear that the Parthenon can be strictly claimed by the Greeks. Also, the idea behind the building of this monument was to honor the goddess Athena (“Parthenon”). This is Greek simply because Athena was a goddess of the Greek culture. Other cultures had different names for their gods and goddesses and also had different ways of honoring those divine figures. Had the Parthenon been a Roman structure, it might have been to honor Hera or Diana. Had it been an Islamic structure, it might have been to honor