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Archaic Athena, Old Temple of Athena | by greekgeek
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Archaic Athena, Old Temple of Athena

Acropolis Museum, Athens. © 2005 E. Brundige.

Illustration for Ancient Greece Odyssey: A Traveller's Journal.


Striking (literally) monumental figure of the goddess Athena, archaic style, menacing a giant in an epic battle that once decorated the pediment (gable) of her old temple on the Acropolis, the one destroyed by rampaging Persians that the Parthenon replaced.


She's great, isn't she? That snaky fringe is her magical aegis, a supernatural mantle that struck fear into enemies. It's usually decorated with a Gorgonion, a head of Medusa.


All that we have left of the giant in front of her is a foot, but there's another collapsing behind her right shin. The battle of the Olympian gods defeating the brutish, uncivilized giants was a favorite motif on temple sculpture.


P.S. Do you enjoy Greek mythology? Check out the Goddess Athena Trivia Quiz! Includes more photos, my own and Creative Commons vase paintings, as well as a wealth of information on Athena myths and information.

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Taken on February 3, 2008