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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Temple of the Olympian Zeus

The Temple of the Olympian Zeus at the foot of the Athenian Acropolis is simply a very large Greek temple.  Built on the base of a 5th century Doric temple, this Corinthian remake designed by the Roman architect Cossutius in the 2nd century BCE seems to dwarf the Parthenon in the distance.  Even though it was not completed until the reign of Hadrian almost three centuries later, this temple is purely Greek peripteral: an enclosed cella surrounded by a wall of columns on all sides.  Since this temple was created over a large span of time, archeologists are unsure whether the 55 ft. 5 in. columns are purely Greek or Roman copies.  Even though these columns are all that remain of this colossal structure, its size and Corinthian decorations can still be admired today.

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