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Parthenon

feet, columns, blocks, inches, cella, temple, cramps, appear, sculptured and peristyle

PARTHENON, one of the finest temples of ancient Athens, dedicated to Minerva. It was of the Dune order, erected by letinas in the palmy days of Creek art, the sculptor being Phidias. It is situated about the middle of the •itidal, and is built altogether of admirable white marble ; the plan of it is above twice as long as it is broad, being 17 feet 9 inches long, and 98 feet 6 inches broad. It has an ascent on all sides of five steps. The peristyle consists of 4f pillars of the Doric order, chennelled, S whereof are dis tributed at each end of 17 on either side ; they are 42 feet high, and 171 feet in circumference, the interodumns mea suring 7 feet four inches.

The following particulars are extracted from Stuart : " Within the peristyle, at either end, there was an interior range of 6 columns of 51 feet in diameter, forming a vesti bule to the door of the cella or adytum, these vestibules were ascended by two steps from the peristyle.

"The cella, feet broad within, was divided into two unequal chambers, of which one was nearly 4-4 feet long, and the other about 97!,, feet long. The ceilings of the smaller chamber was supported by 4 columns, and of the larger by 16 columns ; the order of these interior columns is unknown, as all traces of their ornaments appear to have perished ; even their existence can be but conjectured by means of the construction of the pavement, and by a trace of one of the columns in either chamber.

" The existence of these internal columns is not, however, admitted by Wilkins, who made a very minute inspection of the building in 1801. The metopes were enriched with sculptures executed in high relief; the subject a series of combats between one or the Lapitine and the Centaurs; in the tympan of the pediments. were sculptured groups of a colossal size, many of the figures being perfect statues, wholly detached "road the tympanam, and sculptured all round. The circumstances attending the birth of Minerva. were repre sented over the one entrance, and also the between the goddess and Neptune tbr the honour of presiding over the atiliirs of the city ; for the Athenians, in choosing a tute lary diety, did not omit the opportunity of paying a compli ment to their national vanity. Behind the columns of both fronts, was another range of columns of lesser dimensions, advanced before the mitre of the pronaos and pastictun, con trary to the usual Greek practice, as the area of the promos and of the pastieum was elevated two steps above the peri sty le. The entablature or frieze of the inner range was con tinued along the side-walls of the temple, and enriched with sculptures executed in has relief; it was not broken by the insertion of triglyphs but in the epistylium, the guttm or drapo are introduced in the same manlier as when the usual insertion of triglyph s was made. This atlbrded an opportu nity for an uninterrupted representation of the grand pro cesion which took place at the celebration of the Panathe man festival.

The transverse walls terminating the pronaos and pasti cum, receded 12 feet behind the columns of the interior ranges, and doorways of ample width and height were left in them for the approaches to the cella. Stuart imagined

the Parthenon to have been of that description of temples called Ilypfethral, or those of which the cella was divided into three aisles. of which the two next time :side-walls were covered with a roof, and the middle aisle left open to the sky. The researches of recent travellers having thrown additional light on this subject, his opinion is no longer tenable, and the passage in \'itruvius, which was considered to allude to this temple, has been shown to he a corruption of tIlat t•xt. There were no columns in the cella of the temple. The roof was unquestionably of timber, :mil covered marble, sculptured so as to represent large tiles, after the mode observed in the temple of Jupiter at Olympia.

Some of the blocks of stone, of it Idyll the Parthenon is eompiised, are so closely fitted, that no separation is visible; and in some instances, where the adjoining fragments of two contiguous stones have broken off; they adhere almost as firmly as though they had never been disjoined ; this cohe sion is, however, only observable in the (•ra•/ joints, the separation between the horizontal beds of the blocks, is th• more conspicuous. The want of cement was moldy supplied by the liberal use of iron cramps ; in a block of four feet in length, three cramps are sometimes found connecting it with the next adjoining. One set of troops being used for con necting the stones of the same bed together, and the other fir connecting the superineurnbent courses; the first, which united both the end and at the sides, resembled the letter II, protracted so as to be from II to la inches in length. The were !dates of iron, 5 inches in depth. 3 in width, and of an inch thick. They arc usually inserted half their depth into the stones beneath the vertical joints of the next supe rior course, the other remaining to be received into a groove made across the common joint of the two blocks meeting above it. Holes of the same form, but of.greater dimen sions, were sunk for the recelition of the first sort of cramps, the space being filled around with melted lead lead . ; wac was also used in fixing the second sort, of cramps in the horizon tal courses, hut no means appear to have been employed for its introduction at the angles of two Mocks, whose vertical joint is immediately above them. The stories composing the shaft of each column, were held together by round pins of wood ; svirore sockets Of the same material were first sunk in the centre of two adjoining blocks, the of lower Course rev cited half' the pin, and the other half projected into the suekrt in upper stone. The pins which have been frond, appear to have shrunk very considerably; besides these, there were usually two metal plates of the kiod already nut 'Ahmed, inserted in those blocks composing the column, as in the other part of the building.