The 2nd century is the period from 101 to 200 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Common Era. It is considered part of epoch, or historical period. Early in the century, the Roman Empire attained its greatest expansion under the emperor Trajan, but after his death became defensive for the rest of its history. Much prosperity took place throughout the empire at this time, ruled as it were by the Five Good Emperors, a succession of well-received and able rulers; this period saw the removal of the Jews from Jerusalem during the reign of Hadrian after Bar Kokhba's revolt. The last quarter of the century saw the end of the period of peace and prosperity known as the Pax Romana at the death of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, last of the "Five Good Emperors", the ascension of Commodus. After Commodus was murdered in 192, a turbulent period known as the Year of the Five Emperors ensued, after the quick successive removals of Pertinax and Didius Julianus from power, had the general-turned-emperor Septimius Severus, founder of the Severan dynasty, pitted against rival claimants in the form of Pescennius Niger, whom his forces defeated at the Battle of Issus in 194, Clodius Albinus, whom he defeated at the Battle of Lugdunum in 197, granting him sole authority over the empire.
Although the Han Dynasty of China was cemented into power and extended its imperial influence into Central Asia during the first half of the century, by the second half there was widespread corruption and open rebellion. This set in motion its ultimate decline, in September 189, the Han general Dong Zhuo, after being summoned to the capital by He Jin to help quell the corrupt and powerful eunuch faction by serving as an intimidator to both them and the Empress Dowager, marched his army into Luoyang in light of He Jin's assassination and the subsequent slaughter of the eunuchs, taking over the capital and becoming the de facto head of the government, although warlords and government officials took against him in a campaign that, while failing to put him down, compelled Dong Zhuo to shift the seat of imperial power further west to Chang'an; as Dong Zhuo was killed in 192, the chaos in the wake of the collapse of centralized authority only continued, with various warlords attempting to vye for supremacy in order to establish or hold onto their authority within the decaying empire.
Meanwhile, Dong Zhuo's former followers Li Jue and Guo Si were left to squabble amongst themselves, while the emperor himself fled and returned to the ravaged city of Luoyang, but shortly thereafter, in 196, was given refuge by the warlord Cao Cao, who relocated him to the new capital city of Xu, from where Cao Cao could control the emperor. Cao Cao would only further exert his authority by defeating the powerful warlord Yuan Shao at the decisive Battle of Guandu in 200. AD 96 – 180: Five Good Emperors of Rome: Nerva, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. 100 - 200: The Grand Anicut an ancient dam is constructed by a Chola king. The Kingdom of Aksum emerges. 101 – 102, 105 – 106: The Dacian Wars. After two conflicts, Dacia is annexed as a Roman province. 114 – 116: A war with Parthia results in Armenia and Mesopotamia being temporarily annexed into the Roman Empire. 115 – 117: Kitos War, adjunct to the Jewish–Roman wars. 122 – 132: Hadrian's Wall across Northern England. 127 – 140: Kanishka, Kushan Ruler.
132 – 135: Bar Kokhba's revolt against Rome. 132: Chinese chronicles described the existence of diplomatic relations between Java and China. 140 – 180: Huvishka, Kushan ruler. 142 – 154: The Antonine Wall is built across central Scotland. 144: Marcion, rejected by Church of Rome, founds Marcionism. 161 – 166: Roman–Parthian War of 161–166. 165 – 180: The Antonine Plague in Rome. 166 – 180: Marcomannic Wars. 166 – 184: Disasters of the Partisan Prohibitions. 180 – 192: Commodus, Roman Emperor. 184 – 205: The Yellow Turban Rebellion of the Han Dynasty in China begins. 184 – 189: The Liang Province Rebellion breakouts in Northwest China. 189 – 220: The End of the Han dynasty. 190 – 191: Warlords across China launches a Campaign against Dong Zhuo. 193: Roman Year of the Five Emperors. 193 – 211: Septimius Severus, Roman Emperor. Herakleitos makes The Unswept Floor, mosaic variant of a 2nd-century BC painting by Sosos of Pergamon, it is now kept in Rome. C. 2nd or 3rd century – Standing Buddha, from Gandhara, is made.
Kushan period. It is now kept at Lahore. Antoninus Pius, Roman Emperor Cai Yong, Chinese scholar Commodus, Roman Emperor Dong Zhuo, Chinese general and warlord Hadrian, Roman Emperor Huvishka, Kushan Ruler Ignatius, third bishop of Antioch, author of letters Irenaeus, second bishop of Lyon, author of Against the Heresies Julia Domna, Empress of Rome Justin Martyr, Christian apologist Kanishka, Kushan ruler Karikala, King of the Chola dynasty who constructed the Grand Anicut dam for farmers in Tamilnadu Kong Rong, Chinese scholar Lü Bu, Chinese general and warlord Lucius Verus, Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor, philosopher Montanus, Christian heretic. Nagarjuna, founder of Madhyamaka Buddhism Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna. Rabbi Akiva, Head of the Jewish Sages Rabbi Yehuda haNasi, redactor of the Mishnah Septimius Severus, Roman Emperor Simon bar Kokhba, Jewish rebel leader Sun Ce, Chinese general and warlord Trajan, Roman Emperor Victor I, bishop of Rome. Vologases IV, Parthian ruler Vologases V, Parthian ruler Wang Yun, Chinese official Qiao Xuan, Chinese official Yuan Shao, Chinese warlord Yuan Shu, Chinese warlord Zhang Daoling, Chinese Taoist hermit.
Zhang Heng, Chinese statesman, inventor, astronomer and engineer. Zhang Jue, Chinese rebel leader Zhang Zhongjing, one of the most famous Chinese physicians during Han Dynasty. Achilles Tatius
The Hekatompedon or Hekatompedos known as Ur-Parthenon and H–Architektur, was an ancient Greek temple on the Acropolis of Athens built from limestone in the Archaic period, was placed in the position of the present Parthenon. The name of the temple was found in inscriptions and means “100 feet long”, although its length reached 46 m; the temple was built around 570–550 BC. It was demolished by the Athenians in 490 BC after the victory over the Persians at Marathon to build a larger temple known as the Older Parthenon; the latter was destroyed in 480 BC by the returning Persians in the Destruction of Athens, replaced by the present Parthenon. The existence of the Hekatompedon is witnessed by historical documents, its foundations have disappeared, but architectural and sculptural elements found in the southern part of the Mycenaean wall of Acropolis have been assigned by scholars to this temple. As with many other archaeological findings on the Acropolis, the initial descriptions of Hekatompedon in the late 19th century were based only on architectural and sculptural fragments.
In that context, Hekatompedon was known as H-Architektur in descriptions and cataloguing, next to other buildings such as A–, B–Architektur etc. The description of the temple as well as its presumed location have changed since the first descriptions by Wilhelm Dörpfeld. Dörpfeld had assigned all fragments to the neighbouring Old Temple of Athena that stood between the still standing Erechtheum and Parthenon. Theodor Wiegand hypothesized in 1904 that H–Architektur was a non-peripteros temple located on the site of the Old Temple of Athena, was in fact an earlier stage of the Old Temple, expanded with a peristasis. Moreover, he identified H–Architektur as the Hekatompedon mentioned in ancient inscriptions. However, in 1922 Ernst Buschor proposed that H–Architektur was located south, on the site of the still standing Parthenon and named it Ur-Parthenon, German for "original Parthenon". In 1936 Walter-Herwig Schuchhardt's extensive research on the surviving fragments and sculptures proved that the pediments of the temple must have been larger than earlier presumed.
As a result, he reconstructed a peripteros temple instead of the previous reconstructions that included a distyle or tristyle in antis temple. Further research by William Bell Dinsmoor, Immo Beyer, others, as well as historical correlations between the surviving fragments and the destruction of the Acropolis by the Persians in 480 BC have led to the current hypothesis that Hekatompedon was a hexastyle peripteral doric temple with a 46-metre long crepidoma and, located on the site of Parthenon. One of the pediments contained two lions tearing apart a bull in the centre, Herakles fights against Triton on the left and the Three-Bodied Daemon with the symbols of the three elements of nature in his hands on the right; the three bodies of the winged monster hold a wave, a flame and a bird and have intertwined snake tails, symbolizing the four natural elements, i.e. water, fire and earth, respectively. It represents either Typhon. Overall the meaning of the whole pediment is mysterious; some scholars believe that it means the dominance of the human wisdom over humidity: the lions are earth animals, whereas the bull represent humidity.
In addition, both Triton and Nereus were sea creatures defeated by Herakles on its way to the Hesperides garden, which earned him immortality. The East pediment known as the Lioness pediment, contained in the centre two symmetrically placed lions killing a calf and two snakes on the side corners; the meaning of this scene is again unknown. The lioness has both female and male details arising from the lack of knowledge of the Greek artists on these animals, which no longer populated Greece in the 6th century BC. Other surviving sculptures include four horses and two panthers carved in relief, both from metopes of the temple, a fragmentary gorgon from the central acroteryon; the style of the sculptures is typical of the early Archaic period. The overall narrative scenes of the pediments and metopes is half narrative, including human or semi-human figures, half animal, including animals placed in a symmetrical or repetitive fashion; this reminds of the illustrations of contemporary Greek pottery.
Humans were characterized by the archaic smile. The human and animal bodies are carved with lack of confidence, compared to the sculptures of the temple of Athena Polias constructed in the Acropolis, half a century later. New Acropolis Museum Stamatia Eleftheratou, Acropolis Museum, Acropolis Museum Editions, Athens 2014 The Hekatompedon at the website of the Acropolis Museum.
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus, a distinct city prior to its 5th century BC incorporation with Athens. A center for the arts and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, industrial, maritime and cultural life in Greece. In 2012, Athens was ranked the world's 39th richest city by purchasing power and the 67th most expensive in a UBS study. Athens is a global one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe.
It has a large financial sector, its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, the second largest in the world. While at the same time being the sixth busiest passenger port in Europe; the Municipality of Athens had a population of 664,046 within its administrative limits, a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 over an area of 412 km2. According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, with a population of 3.8 million people. Athens is the southernmost capital on the European mainland; the heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.
Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament and the so-called "architectural trilogy of Athens", consisting of the National Library of Greece, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Academy of Athens. Athens is home to several museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, 108 years it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of only a handful of cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once. In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural. In earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the singular form though, as Ἀθήνη, it was rendered in the plural on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι.
The root of the word is not of Greek or Indo-European origin, is a remnant of the Pre-Greek substrate of Attica. In antiquity, it was debated whether Athens took its name from its patron goddess Athena or Athena took her name from the city. Modern scholars now agree that the goddess takes her name from the city, because the ending -ene is common in names of locations, but rare for personal names. During the medieval period, the name of the city was rendered once again in the singular as Ἀθήνα. However, after the establishment of the modern Greek state, due to the conservatism of the written language, Ἀθῆναι became again the official name of the city and remained so until the abandonment of Katharevousa in the 1970s, when Ἀθήνα, Athína, became the official name. According to the ancient Athenian founding myth, the goddess of wisdom, competed against Poseidon, the god of the seas, for patronage of the yet-unnamed city. According to the account given by Pseudo-Apollodorus, Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring welled up.
In an alternative version of the myth from Vergil's Georgics, Poseidon instead gave the Athenians the first horse. In both versions, Athena offered the Athenians the first domesticated olive tree. Cecrops declared Athena the patron goddess of Athens. Different etymologies, now rejected, were proposed during the 19th century. Christian Lobeck proposed as the root of the name the word ἄθος or ἄνθος meaning "flower", to denote Athens as the "flowering city". Ludwig von Döderlein proposed the stem of the verb θάω, stem θη- to denote Athens as having fertile soil. In classical literature, the city was sometimes referred to as the City of the Violet Crown, first documented in Pindar's ἰοστέφανοι Ἀθᾶναι, or as τὸ κλεινὸν ἄστυ. In medieval texts, variant names include Setines and Astines, all derivations involving false splitting of p
Francesco Morosini was the Doge of Venice from 1688 to 1694, at the height of the Great Turkish War. He was a member of a famous noble Venetian family which produced several generals, he "dressed always in red from top to toe and never went into action without his cat beside him on the poop." Morosini first rose to prominence as Captain-General of the Venetian forces on Crete during the siege of Candia by the Ottoman Empire. He was forced to surrender the city, was accused of cowardice and treason on his return to Venice. In 1685, at the outbreak of the Morean War, Morosini took command of a fleet against the Ottomans. Over the next several years, he captured the Morea with the help of Otto Wilhelm Königsmarck, as well as Lefkada and parts of western Greece, he briefly captured Athens but was unable to hold it, attempted a failed siege of the former Venetian fortress of Negroponte. His fame reached such heights that he was given the victory title Peloponnesiacus, was the first Venetian citizen to have a bronze bust placed during his own lifetime in the Great Hall, with the inscription Francisco Morosini Peloponnesiaco, adhuc vivendi, Senatus.
During the siege of Athens in 1687 at the Morean War, his artillery turned the Parthenon from a functioning building to a simple ruin, he oversaw the looting of some of the surviving sculptures. The Parthenon was used as a powder magazine by the Ottomans when on September 26, 1687, Morosini's cannon scored a direct hit on the edifice. An attaché of the Swedish field commander General Otto Wilhelm Königsmarck wrote later: "How it dismayed His Excellency to destroy the beautiful temple which had existed three thousand years!". By contrast Morosini, the commander in chief of the operation, described it in his report to the Venetian government as a "fortunate shot"; when he conquered Acropolis in early 1688, Morosini tried to loot Athena's and Poseidon's horses and chariots from the west pediment of the Parthenon but the sculptures fell on the ground and smashed. This was the first documented attempt; the Ottoman Empire regained possession of the monument in the following year and having noticed the demand began to sell souvenirs to Westerners.
Morosini looted from the port of Piraeus the famous Piraeus Lion, on display at the Venetian Arsenal. In the summer of 1688, now having been proclaimed Doge of Venice, attacked Negropont but was unable to capture it and was forced to return to Venice when plague broke out among his troops, he embarked on a final campaign in 1693, but was again unsuccessful in taking Negropont, returned to Venice after sacking some minor coastal towns. After his death in 1694, a large marble arch was placed in his honor at the Doge's Palace, his cat, of which Morosini was notably fond, was embalmed and taken to the Museo Correr; the Scuola Navale Militare Francesco Morosini is named for him. The Ruggiero di Lauria-class ironclad Francesco Morosini, launched on 30 July 1885, completed in 1889, stricken in 1909, was named for him; the Francesco Caracciolo-class battleship Francesco Morosini, laid down in 1915 but scrapped in 1921 prior to launching, was named for him. Parthenon Elgin Marbles
Pericles was a prominent and influential Greek statesman and general of Athens during its golden age – the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. He was descended, through his mother, from the powerful and influential Alcmaeonid family. Pericles had such a profound influence on Athenian society that Thucydides, a contemporary historian, acclaimed him as "the first citizen of Athens". Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire, led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War; the period during which he led Athens from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the "Age of Pericles", though the period thus denoted can include times as early as the Persian Wars, or as late as the next century. Pericles promoted literature, he started an ambitious project. This project beautified and protected the city, exhibited its glory, gave work to the people. Pericles fostered Athenian democracy to such an extent that critics call him a populist. He, along with several members of his family, succumbed to the Plague of Athens in 429 BC, which weakened the city-state during a protracted conflict with Sparta.
Pericles was born c. 495 BC, in Greece. He was the son of the politician Xanthippus, though ostracized in 485–484 BC, returned to Athens to command the Athenian contingent in the Greek victory at Mycale just five years later. Pericles' mother, Agariste, a member of the powerful and controversial noble family of the Alcmaeonidae, her familial connections played a crucial role in helping start Xanthippus' political career. Agariste was the great-granddaughter of the tyrant of Sicyon and the niece of the Athenian reformer Cleisthenes. According to Herodotus and Plutarch, Agariste dreamed, a few nights before Pericles' birth, that she had borne a lion. Legends say that Philip II of Macedon had a similar dream before the birth of his son, Alexander the Great. One interpretation of the dream treats the lion as a traditional symbol of greatness, but the story may allude to the unusually large size of Pericles' skull, which became a popular target of contemporary comedians. Although Plutarch claims that this deformity was the reason that Pericles was always depicted wearing a helmet, this is not the case.
Pericles belonged to the tribe of Acamantis. His early years were quiet, his family's nobility and wealth allowed him to pursue his inclination toward education. He learned music from the masters of the time and he is considered to have been the first politician to attribute importance to philosophy, he enjoyed the company of the philosophers Protagoras, Zeno of Elea, Anaxagoras. Anaxagoras, in particular, influenced him greatly. Pericles' manner of thought and rhetorical charisma may have been in part products of Anaxagoras' emphasis on emotional calm in the face of trouble, skepticism about divine phenomena, his proverbial calmness and self-control are often regarded as products of Anaxagoras' influence. In the spring of 472 BC, Pericles presented The Persians of Aeschylus at the Greater Dionysia as a liturgy, demonstrating that he was one of the wealthier men of Athens. Simon Hornblower has argued that Pericles' selection of this play, which presents a nostalgic picture of Themistocles' famous victory at Salamis, shows that the young politician was supporting Themistocles against his political opponent Cimon, whose faction succeeded in having Themistocles ostracized shortly afterwards.
Plutarch says. If this was so, Pericles must have taken up a position of leadership by the early 460s BC – in his early or mid-thirties. Throughout these years he endeavored to protect his privacy and to present himself as a model for his fellow citizens. For example, he would avoid banquets, trying to be frugal. In 463 BC, Pericles was the leading prosecutor of Cimon, the leader of the conservative faction, accused of neglecting Athens' vital interests in Macedon. Although Cimon was acquitted, this confrontation proved that Pericles' major political opponent was vulnerable. Around 461 BC, the leadership of the democratic party decided it was time to take aim at the Areopagus, a traditional council controlled by the Athenian aristocracy, which had once been the most powerful body in the state; the leader of the party and mentor of Pericles, proposed a reduction of the Areopagus' powers. The Ecclesia adopted Ephialtes' proposal without opposition; this reform signaled the beginning of a new era of "radical democracy".
The democratic party became dominant in Athenian politics, Pericles seemed willing to follow a populist policy in order to cajole the public. According to Aristotle, Pericles' stance can be explained by the fact that his principal political opponent, was both rich and generous, was able to gain public favor by lavishly handing out portions of his sizable personal fortune; the historian Loren J. Samons II argues, that Pericles had enough resources to make a political mark by private means, had he so chosen. In 461 BC, Pericles achieved the politic
Athena Parthenos is a lost massive chryselephantine sculpture of the Greek goddess Athena, made by Phidias and his assistants and housed in the Parthenon in Athens. Despite the dynamic architectural characteristics of the Parthenon, the statue of Athena was designed to be the focal point, its epithet was an essential character of the goddess herself. A number of replicas and works inspired by it, both ancient and modern, have been made, it was the most renowned cult image of Athens, considered one of the greatest achievements of the most acclaimed sculptor of ancient Greece. Phidias began his work around 447 BC. Lachares removed the gold sheets in 296 BC to pay his troops, the bronze replacements for them were gilded thereafter. An account mentions it in Constantinople in the 10th century; the ancient historian Pausanias gave a description of the statue:... The statue is created with gold. On the middle of her helmet is likeness of the Sphinx... and on either side of the helmet are griffins in relief....
The statue of Athena is upright, with a tunic reaching to the feet, on her breast the head of Medusa is worked in ivory. She holds a statue of Victory, approx. Four cubits high, in the other hand a spear; this serpent would be Erichthonius. On the pedestal is the birth of Pandora in relief; the general appearance of the Athena Parthenos, although not its characteristics and quality, can be assessed from its image on coins from its reproductions as miniature sculptures, as votive objects, in representations on engraved gems. This statue is a depiction of Athena after winning a combat. With her left hand she supports a shield with carvings of an Athenian battle against the Amazons. On her right, rests the winged Goddess of victory Nike, her left knee is bent, her weight shifted to her right leg. Her peplos is cinched at the waist by a pair of serpents. Locks of hair trail onto the goddess's breastplate; the Nike on her outstretched right hand is winged. The exact position of Athena's spear omitted, is not determined, whether held in the crook of Athena's right arm or supported by one of the snakes in the aegis, as N. Leipen restores it, following the "Aspasios" gem.
The statue stood on a pedestal measuring 4 by 8 metres. The sculpture was assembled on a wooden core, covered with shaped bronze plates covered in turn with removable gold plates, save for the ivory surfaces of the goddess's face and arms. According to Ian Jenkins in The Parthenon and Its Sculpturees "Athena was portrayed as a warrior resting after successful combat. A figure of winged victory alighted on the palm of her outstretched right hand, while her left hand supported a round shield. A spear rested against her left shoulder; the goddess was draped in the simplest form of tunic, the peplos, her shoulders and chest hung with the aegis, the snake fringed, fish-scaled poncho, the gift of her father Zeus and had protective powers". A number of ancient reproductions of all or part of the statue have survived; the Varvakeion Athena, a 3rd-century CE Roman copy in marble is housed in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. This is considered the most faithful version; the Lenormant Athena, a small unfinished copy of the 1st century CE, is in the National Museum, Athens.
Another copy is in the Louvre. Another copy is in the Museo Nazionale Romano in Rome. A 3rd-century BC copy is housed in the National Museum of Serbia in Belgrade. A 3rd-century BC Roman marble reduced-scale copy of the statue's shield, from the Strangford Collection, is conserved at the British Museum. A modern copy by Alan LeQuire stands in the reproduction of the Parthenon in Tennessee. LeQuire, a Nashville native, was awarded the commission to produce the Parthenon's cult statue, his work was modeled on descriptions given of the original. The modern version took eight years to complete, was unveiled to the public on May 20, 1990; the Nashville Athena Parthenos is made of a composite of gypsum ground fiberglass. The head of Athena was assembled over an aluminum armature, the lower part was made in steel; the four ten-inch H beams rest on a concrete structure that extends through the Parthenon floor and basement down to bedrock, to support the great weight of the statue. LeQuire made each of the 180 cast gypsum panels used to create the statue light enough to be lifted by one person and attached to the steel armature.
Nashville's Athena stands 41 ft 10 in tall, making her the largest piece of indoor sculpture in the Western World. It stood in Nashville's Parthenon as a white statue for twelve years. In 2002, Parthenon volunteers gilded Athena under the supervision of master gilder Lou Reed; the gilding project took less than four months and makes the modern statue appear that much more like the way that Phidias' Athena Parthenos would have appeared during its time. The 23.75-karat gold leaf on Nashville's Athena Parthenos weighs a total of 8.5 pounds and is one-third the thickness of tissue paper. Bruno, Vincent J. ed. 1974. The Parthenon. New York: Norton. Cosmopoulos, Michael B. ed. 2004. The Parthenon and its sculptures. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press. Harris, Diane. 1995. The treasures of the Parthenon and Erechthei
The Acropolis Museum is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on the surrounding slopes, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece, it lies over the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens. The museum was founded in 2003, while the Organization of the Museum was established in 2008, it opened to the public on 20 June 2009. Nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres; the Organization for the Construction of the new museum is chaired by Aristotle University of Thessaloniki Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, Dimitrios Pandermalis. The first museum was on the Acropolis. However, successive excavations on the Acropolis uncovered many new artifacts which exceeded its original capacity. An additional motivation for the construction of a new museum was that in the past, when Greece made requests for the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the United Kingdom, which acquired the items in a controversial manner, it was suggested by some British officials that Greece had no suitable location where they could be displayed.
Creation of a gallery for the display of the Parthenon Marbles has been key to all recent proposals for the design of a new museum. The first architectural competition to design a new museum was held in 1976 and was limited to participants from Greece. Both the 1976 competition and one that followed it in 1979 failed to produce any results because the plots of land selected for the proposed constructions were deemed unsuitable. In 1989, a third competition for the design of the new Acropolis Museum was announced that would be international. A choice of three possible sites was provided; this competition was won by Manfredi Nicoletti and Lucio Passarelli. After delays throughout the 1990s, work on the construction of the museum based on this third design progressed to the stage of excavations for the foundations, but these were stopped due to sensitive archaeological remains on the site, leading to annulment of the competition in 1999. In retrospect, the location of the new museum was rather straightforward: the large lot of the unused "Camp Makrygianni" gendarmerie barracks, opposite the Theater of Dionysus.
The barracks were built on public land and a limited number of expropriations of surrounding private houses were needed to free up the necessary space. The main building of the old barracks, the neoclassical "Weiler Building", has been renovated and houses the Museum of the Center for the Acropolis Studies; the fourth competition had made no provision for the preservation of the ancient site. These were met to a degree only after local and international campaigners exposed this oversight and it became the final competition; the new plans were adjusted so that the building was elevated on pillars. Competition was open only to architectural practices by invitation and it was won by New York–based architect, Bernard Tschumi, in collaboration with the Greek architect Michael Photiadis. Excavation has revealed two layers of modest, private roadside houses and workshops, one from the early Byzantine era and another from the classical era. Once the layout and stratigraphy of the findings were established, suitable locations for the foundation pillars were identified.
These traverse the soil to the underlying bedrock and float on roller bearings able to withstand a Richter scale magnitude 10 earthquake. As construction work neared completion, the operation to move the historic artifacts the 280-meter distance from the Acropolis rock to the new museum started in October 2007, took four months, required the use of three tower cranes to move the sculptures across the distance without mishap. Greek officials expressed their hope that the new museum will help in the campaign for the return of the Parthenon Marbles; the museum is located by the southeastern slope of the Acropolis hill, on the ancient road that led up to the "sacred rock" in classical times. Set only 280 meters, away from the Parthenon, a mere 400 meters walking distance from it, the museum is the largest modern building erected so close to the ancient site, although many other buildings from the last 150 years are located closer to the Acropolis; the entrance to the building is on Dionysiou Areopagitou Street and directly adjacent to the Akropoli metro station the red line of the Athens Metro.
The design by Bernard Tschumi was selected as the winning project in the fourth competition. Tschumi's design revolves around three concepts: light, a tectonic and programmatic element. Together these characteristics "turn the constraints of the site into an architectural opportunity, offering a simple and precise museum" with the mathematical and conceptual clarity of ancient Greek buildings; the collections of the museum are exhibited on three levels while a fourth middle level houses the auxiliary spaces such as the museum shop, the café and the offices. On the first level of the museum there are the findings of the slopes of the Acropolis; the long and rectangular hall whose floor is sloping, resembles the ascension to the rock. The visitor is found at the large trapezoidal hall which accommodates the archaic findings. On the same floor there are the artifacts and sculptures from the other Acropolis buildings such as the Erechtheum, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Propylaea and findings from Roman and early Christian Athens.
Visitors are intended to see the latter during descent in order to keep the chronological order: they will first be directed to the top level, which display