Athena’s Importance in the Art and Architecture of Ancient Greece
Kalinka Caldas Premawardhana
Prof. Nada Jecmenica
August 09, 2010
There are many aspects of classical Greek life. Two of the most important are art and religion. How are art and religion related in classical Greek life? To answer this question I will focus on the mythology of Athena, the goddess most important to the ancient Greeks. I will also focus on the inspiration that she gave to artists through painting, sculpture, and architecture. My argument is that the religious worship of Athena was done through art and architecture. Mythology was very important in the cultural life of Ancient Greece. The myths of gods and goddesses were part of the daily lives of the Greeks. One example of this is the representation of gods and goddesses through ritual and poetry. The poems of Homer described the legends of the gods and goddesses. According to Edith Hamilton, “Greek mythology begins with Homer, generally believed to be not earlier than a thousand years before Christ” (Hamilton, 14). The Greeks believed that the gods, heroes, and the natural world had life and that they could be punished by them. They considered their own culture to be sufficient to support their lives and ritual practices. The mythological figures were essential parts of the lives and beliefs of the ancient Greeks. One of the most important mythological figures was Athena, daughter of Zeus. Athena was born from her father’s head without a woman to give birth to her. She was the favorite child of Zeus, having his thrust. Athena was the goddess of wisdom, household arts, and crafts. She also was the protector of the community from outside enemies. Athena used a helmet that gave to her the appearance of a man, strong and intelligent because of her clothes. Because of this she became a symbol of war and intelligence. Athena was the guardian of the people. She was an adviser in war because of her close relationship...
Bibliography: Bremmer, Jan N. Greek Religion. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Hamilton, Edith. Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes. New York: New American Library, 1940.
Stebbins, Elinor. “Pallas Athena, Goddess of Wisdom.” 20 April 2010 <http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/papers/stebbinsathena/athena2.html>.
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