Temple of Concordia, Agrigento
The Temple of Concordia is an ancient Greek temple in the Valle dei Templi in Agrigento on the south coast of Sicily, Italy. It is the largest and best-preserved Doric temple in Sicily and one of the best-preserved Greek temples in general of the Doric order; the temple was built c. 440–430 BC. The well-preserved peristasis of six by thirteen columns stands on a crepidoma of four steps The cella measures 28.36 m × 9.4 m. The columns are 6 m high and carved with harmonious entasis, it is constructed, like the nearby Temple of Juno, on a solid base designed to overcome the unevenness of the rocky terrain. It has been conventionally named after Concordia, the Roman goddess of harmony, for the Roman-era Latin inscription found nearby, unconnected with it. If still in use by the 4th-and 5th century, it would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire; the temple was converted into a Christian basilica in the 6th century dedicated to the apostles Peter and Paul by San Gregorio delle Rape, bishop of Agrigento and thus survived the destruction of pagan places of worship.
The spaces between the columns were filled with altering its Classical Greek form. The division between the cella, the main room where the cult statue would have stood in antiquity, the opisthodomos, an adjoining room, was destroyed, the walls of the cella were cut into a series of arches along the nave; the Christian refurbishments were removed during the restoration of 1785. According to another source, the Prince of Torremuzza transferred the altar elsewhere and began restoration of the classic building in 1788. According to authors of a 2007 article, it is "apart from the Parthenon, the best preserved Doric temple in the world." BibliographyBarone, P. M.. "Ground-penetrating radar investigations into the construction techniques of the Concordia Temple". Archaeological Prospection. 14: 47–59. Doi:10.1002/arp.300. Standish, Frank Hall; the shores of the Mediterranean. Edward Lumley. Pp. 132–133
The agora was a central public space in ancient Greek city-states. The literal meaning of the word is "gathering place" or "assembly"; the agora was the center of the athletic, artistic and political life of the city. The Ancient Agora of Athens is the best-known example. Early in Greek history, free-born citizens would gather in the agora for military duty or to hear statements of the ruling king or council; the agora served as a marketplace, where merchants kept stalls or shops to sell their goods amid colonnades. This attracted artisans. From these twin functions of the agora as a political and a commercial space came the two Greek verbs ἀγοράζω, agorázō, "I shop", ἀγορεύω, agoreúō, "I speak in public"; the term agoraphobia denotes a phobic condition in which the sufferer becomes anxious in environments that are unfamiliar–for instance, places where he or she perceives that they have little control. Such anxiety may be triggered by wide-open spaces, by crowds, or by some public situations, the psychological term derives from the agora as a large and open gathering place.
Agorism Platonic Academy Media related to Agoras at Wikimedia Commons Official Athenian agora excavations Agora in Athens: photos
Archaic Greece was the period in Greek history lasting from the eighth century BC to the second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC, following the Greek Dark Ages and succeeded by the Classical period. The period began with a massive increase in the Greek population and a series of significant changes which rendered the Greek world at the end of the eighth century unrecognisable compared to its beginning. According to Anthony Snodgrass, the Archaic period in ancient Greece was bounded by two revolutions in the Greek world, it began with a "structural revolution" which "drew the political map of the Greek world" and established the poleis, the distinctively Greek city-states, ended with the intellectual revolution of the Classical period. The Archaic period saw developments in Greek politics, international relations and culture, it laid the groundwork for the Classical period, both politically and culturally. It was in the Archaic period that the Greek alphabet developed, that the earliest surviving Greek literature was composed, that monumental sculpture and red-figure pottery began in Greece, that the hoplite became the core of Greek armies.
In Athens, the earliest institutions of the democracy were implemented under Solon, the reforms of Cleisthenes at the end of the Archaic period brought in Athenian democracy as it was during the Classical period. In Sparta, many of the institutions credited to the reforms of Lycurgus were introduced during the period, the region of Messenia was brought under Spartan control, helotage was introduced, the Peloponnesian League was founded, making Sparta a dominant power in Greece; the word "archaic" derives from the Greek word archaios, which means "old". It refers to the period in ancient Greek history before the Classical; the period is considered to have lasted from the beginning of the eighth century BC until the beginning of the fifth century BC, with the foundation of the Olympic Games in 776 BC and the Second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC forming notional start and end dates. The Archaic period was long considered to have been less important and interesting than the Classical period, was studied as a precursor to it.
More however, Archaic Greece has come to be studied for its own achievements. With this reassessment of the significance of the Archaic period, some scholars have objected to the term "archaic", due to its connotations in English of being primitive and outdated. No term, suggested to replace it has gained widespread currency and the term is still in use. Much of our evidence about the Classical period of ancient Greece comes from written histories, such as Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. By contrast, we have no such evidence from the Archaic period. We have written accounts of life in the period in the form of poetry, epigraphical evidence, including parts of law codes, inscriptions on votive offerings, epigrams inscribed on tombs. However, none of this evidence is in the quantity. What is lacking in written evidence, however, is made up for in the rich archaeological evidence from the Archaic Greek world. Indeed, where much of our knowledge of Classical Greek art comes from Roman copies, all of the surviving Archaic Greek art is original.
Other sources for the period are the traditions recorded by Greek writers such as Herodotus. However, these traditions are not part of any form of history. Indeed, Herodotus does not record any dates before 480 BC. Politically, the Archaic period saw the development of the polis as the predominant unit of political organisation. Many cities throughout Greece came under the rule of autocratic leaders, called "tyrants"; the period saw the development of law and systems of communal decision-making, with the earliest evidence for law codes and constitutional structures dating to the period. By the end of the Archaic period, both the Athenian and Spartan constitutions seem to have developed into their classical forms; the Archaic period saw significant urbanisation, the development of the concept of the polis as it was used in Classical Greece. By Solon's time, if not before, the word "polis" had acquired its classical meaning, though the emergence of the polis as a political community was still in progress at this point, the polis as an urban centre was a product of the eighth century.
However, the polis did not become the dominant form of socio-political organisation throughout Greece in the Archaic period, in the north and west of the country it did not become dominant until some way into the Classical period. The urbanisation process in Archaic Greece known as "synoecism" – the amalgamation of several small settlements into a single urban centre – took place in much of Greece in the eighth century BC. Both Athens and Argos, for instance, began to coalesce into single settlements around the end of that century. In some settlements, this physical unification was marked by the construction of defensive city walls, as was the case in Smyrna by the middle of the eighth century BC, Corinth by the middle of the seventh century BC, it seems that the evolution of the polis as a socio-political structure, rather than a geographical one, can be attributed to this urbanisation, as well as a significant population increase in the eighth century. These two factors created a need for a new form of political organisation, as the political systems in place at the beginning of the Archaic period became unworkable.
Though in the early part of the Classical period the city of Athens was both culturally and politically dominant, i
Temple of Olympian Zeus, Agrigento
The Temple of Olympian Zeus in Agrigento, Sicily was the largest Doric temple constructed, although it was never completed and now lies in ruins. It stands in the Valle dei Templi with a number of other major Greek temples; the history of the temple is unclear, but it was founded to commemorate the Battle of Himera, in which the Greek cities of Akragas and Syracuse defeated the Carthaginians under Hamilcar. According to the historian Diodorus Siculus, the temple was built using Carthaginian slave labour – defeated soldiers captured after the battle, it is otherwise little mentioned in ancient literature. The Greek historian Polybius mentions it in a 2nd-century BC description of Akragas, commenting that "the other temples and porticoes which adorn the city are of great magnificence, the temple of Olympian Zeus being unfinished but second it seems to none in Greece in design and dimensions."According to Diodorus, it remained unfinished due to the Carthaginian conquest of the city in 406 BC, with the Siege of Akragas.
The temple's roof was missing at this time. The temple was toppled by earthquakes and in the 18th century was quarried extensively to provide building materials for the modern towns of Agrigento and nearby Porto Empedocle. Today it survives only as a broad stone platform heaped with tumbled blocks of stone; the temple, whose structure is still under debate, measured 112.7 x 56.3 m at the stylobate, with a height of some 20 m. The whole construction was made of small stones blocks, which has led to uncertainty to the total size of the building. According to Diodorus, the columns' grooves could house a man; each stood on a five-stepped platform 4.5 m above the ground. The enclosure occupied a large basement with a five-step krepidoma; the front of the temple had seven semi-columns, an archaic feature that precluded the addition of a central door. The long sides had fourteen semi-columns. Unlike other temples of the time, the outer columns did not stand on their own as a freestanding peristyle but were engaged against a continuous curtain wall needed to support the immense weight of its entablature.
In between the columns were colossal atlases, stone figures standing some 7.5 m high. The figures appear to have alternated between bearded and clean-shaven figures, all nude and standing with their backs to the wall and hands stretched above their heads; the exact positioning of the atlases has been the subject of some archaeological debate, but it is believed that they stood on a recessed ledge on the upper part of the outer wall, bearing the weight of the upper portion of the temple on their upheld hands. One of the fallen atlases has been reassembled in the nearby archaeological museum and another can be seen on the ground among the ruins of the temple. Attempts to make a detailed reconstruction of the telamons' original appearance have been hampered by their poor condition; the atlases are an exceptionally unusual feature, may have been unique in their time. They have been interpreted by some as symbolising the Greek enslavement of the Carthaginian invaders, or have been attributed to Egyptian influences.
Joseph Rykwert comments that "the sheer size of the temple seems to confirm the reputed extravagance of the Akragans, their love of display." The presence of windows between the columns is not confirmed. The cell was formed by a wall connecting 12 pilasters on each long side, the angular ones enclosing the pronaos and the episthodomos; the entrance to the cella was provided by an unknown number of doors. The interior was inspired by Phoenician-Carthaginian architecture: it comprised an immense triple-aisled hall of pillars, the middle of, open to the sky; the roof was never completed, though the pediments had a full complement of marble sculptures. The eastern end, according to Diodorus Siculus' enthusiast description, displayed a Gigantomachy, while the western end depicted the fall of Troy, again symbolising the Greeks' triumph over their barbarian rivals. In front of the eastern façade is the pilastered basement of the huge high altar, measuring 54,50 x 17,50 m. Media related to Temple of Zeus at Wikimedia Commons List of Greco-Roman roofs The Temple of Zeus at Agrigento's Valley of the Temples
In architecture the capital or chapiter forms the topmost member of a column. It mediates between the column and the load thrusting down upon it, broadening the area of the column's supporting surface; the capital, projecting on each side as it rises to support the abacus, joins the square abacus and the circular shaft of the column. The capital may be convex, as in the Doric order; these form the three principal types. The Composite order, established in the 16th century on a hint from the Arch of Titus, adds Ionic volutes to Corinthian acanthus leaves. From the visible position it occupies in all colonnaded monumental buildings, the capital is selected for ornamentation; the treatment of its detail may be an indication of the building's date. The two earliest Egyptian capitals of importance are those based on the lotus and papyrus plants and these, with the palm tree capital, were the chief types employed by the Egyptians, until under the Ptolemies in the 3rd to 1st centuries BC, various other river plants were employed, the conventional lotus capital went through various modifications.
Many motifs of Egyptian ornamentation are symbolic, such as the scarab, or sacred beetle, the solar disk, the vulture. Other common motifs include palm leaves, the papyrus plant, the buds and flowers of the lotus; some of the most popular types of capitals were the Hathor, lotus and Egyptian composite. Most of the types are based on vegetal motifs. Capitals of some columns were painted in bright colors; some kind of volute capital is shown in the Assyrian bas-reliefs, but no Assyrian capital has been found. In the Achaemenid Persian capital the brackets are carved with two decorated back-to-back animals projecting right and left to support the architrave; the bull is the most common, but there are lions and griffins. The capital extends below for further than in most other styles, with decoration drawn from the many cultures that the Persian Empire conquered including Egypt and Lydia. There are double volutes at the top and, bottom of a long plain fluted section, square, although the shaft of the column is round, fluted.
The earliest Aegean capital is. Capitals of the second, concave type, include the richly carved examples of the columns flanking the Tomb of Agamemnon in Mycenae: they are carved with a chevron device, with a concave apophyge on which the buds of some flowers are sculpted; the orders, structural systems for organising component parts, played a crucial role in the Greeks' search for perfection of ratio and proportion. The Doric capital is the simplest of the five Classical orders: it consists of the abacus above an ovolo molding, with an astragal collar set below, it was developed in the lands occupied by the Dorians, one of the two principal divisions of the Greek race. It became the preferred style of the western colonies. In the Temple of Apollo, the echinus moulding has become a more definite form: this in the Parthenon reaches its culmination, where the convexity is at the top and bottom with a delicate uniting curve; the sloping side of the echinus becomes flatter in the examples, in the Colosseum at Rome forms a quarter round.
In versions where the frieze and other elements are simpler the same form of capital is described as being in the Tuscan order. Doric reached its peak in the mid-5th century BC, was one of the orders accepted by the Romans, its characteristics are masculinity and solidity. The Doric capital consists of a cushion-like convex moulding known as an echinus, a square slab termed an abacus. In the Ionic capital, spirally coiled volutes are inserted between the ovolo; this order appears to have been developed contemporaneously with the Doric, though it did not come into common usage and take its final shape until the mid-5th century BC. The style prevailed in Ionian lands, centred on the coast of Asia Aegean islands; the order's form was far less set with local variations persisting for many decades. In the Ionic capitals of the archaic Temple of Artemis at Ephesus the width of the abacus is twice that of its depth the earliest Ionic capital known was a bracket capital. A century in the temple on the Ilissus, the abacus has become square.
Acording to the Roman architect Vitruvius, the Ionic order's main characteristics were beauty and slenderness, derived from its basis on the proportion of a woman. The volutes of an Ionic capital rest on an echinus invariably carved with egg-and-dart. Above the scrolls was an abacus, more shallow than that in Doric examples, again ornamented with egg-and-dart, it has been suggested that the foliage of the Greek Corinthian capital was based on the Acanthus spinosus, that of the Roman on the Acanthus mollis. Not all architectural foliage is as realistic; the leaves are carved in two "ranks" or bands, like one leafy cup set within another. One of the most beautiful Corinthian capitals is t
Sicilia (Roman province)
Sicilia was the first province acquired by the Roman Republic. The western part of the island was brought under Roman control in 241 BC at the conclusion of the First Punic War with Carthage. A praetor was assigned to the island from c.227 BC. The Kingdom of Syracuse under Hieron II remained an independent ally of Rome until its defeat in 212 BC during the Second Punic War. Thereafter the province included the whole of the island of Sicily, the island of Malta, the smaller island groups. During the Roman Republic, the island was the main source of grain for the city of Rome. Extraction was heavy, provoking armed uprisings known as the Servile Wars in the second century BC. In the first century, the Roman governor, was famously prosecuted for his corruption by Cicero. In the civil wars which brought the Roman Republic to an end, Sicily was controlled by Sextus Pompey in opposition to the Second Triumvirate; when the island came under the control of Augustus in 36 BC, it was reorganised, with large Roman colonies being established in several major cities.
For most of the Imperial period, the province was a agrarian territory. As a result, it is mentioned in literary sources, but archaeology and epigraphy reveals several thriving cities, such as Lilybaeum and Panormus in the west, Syracuse and Catania in the east; these communities were organised in a similar way to other cities of the Roman Empire and were self-governing. Greek and Latin were the main languages of the island, but Punic and other languages were spoken. There were several Jewish communities on the island and from around AD 200 there is evidence of substantial Christian communities; the province fell under the control of the Vandal kingdom of North Africa shortly before the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in 476, but was soon returned to the Kingdom of Italy and passed to the Byzantines. Agathocles, tyrant of Syracuse from 317 and King of Sicily from 307 or 304 BC, died in 289 BC. A group of his Campanian mercenaries, called the Mamertines, were offered compensation in exchange for leaving the city.
They took control of Messina and exiling the citizens, taking their wives for themselves. In response to this, the Syracusan general Hiero, who had reorganised the mercenaries and was able to bring banditry under control in 269 BC, before advancing on Messina; the Carthaginians, always eager to prevent the excessive empowerment of a single force and to keep Sicily divided, offered aid to the Mamertines. Hiero had to return to Syracuse. Shortly thereafter, the Mamertines decided to expel the Carthaginian garrison and seek aid from the Romans instead. At Rome, there was a debate on the appropriateness of helping the Mamertines. Rome had intervened against Campanian mercenaries who had followed the Mamertines' example and taken control of Rhegium. Moreover, it seemed clear. According to the lost historian Philinus of Agrigentum, favourable to the Carthaginians, there was a treaty between Rome and Carthage which defined their respective spheres of influence and assigned Sicily to the Carthaginians.
This "Philinus Treaty" is known to us from Polybius. Polybius claims that the Romans were encouraged to intervene by economic motivations, on account of the wealth of Sicily in this period; the Senate gave the decision on whether or not to help the Mamertines to the popular assembly, which decided to send help. This was not a formal declaration of war against Carthage, but the intervention in Sicily sufficed as a casus belli and thus marked the beginning of the First Punic War; this was the first time. Hiero, allied with Carthage against the Mamertines, had to face the legions of Valerius Messalla; the Romans expelled the Syracusans and Carthaginains from Messina. In 263 BC, Hiero changed sides, making a peace treaty with the Romans in exchange for an indemnity of 100 talents, thus ensuring the maintenance of his power, he proved a loyal ally of the Romans until his death in 215 BC, providing aid, specially grain and siege weapons, to the Romans. This assistance was essential for the conquest of the Carthaginian base at Agrigentum in 262 BC.
Hiero's loyalty is reflected in the peace treaty imposed on the Carthaginians at the end of the war, in which they were forbidden to attack Hiero or his allies. It seems, that pro-Roman sentiment was not universal at Syracuse and that there was a group opposed to Hiero which favoured the Carthaginians. At the end of the First Punic War, Rome had conquered the majority of the island, except for Syracuse, which retained a broad autonomy. In addition to Syracuse, the kingdom of Hiero was granted a number of centres in the eastern part of the island, such as Akrai, Megara, Eloro and Tauromenium, also Morgantina and Camarina. In addition to the aforementioned Philinus, there were other accounts of the First Punic War written by authors opposed to Rome, such as Sosilus of Sparta; the work of Philinus was analysed and criticised by Polybius, while that of Sosilus was rejected by him as the "vulgar gossip of a barber's shop." A pro-Roman account was written by the historian Fabius Pictor, criticised by Polybius as well.
The resulting representation of the war in the ancient source material is partial: the motivations of the Mamertines are left opaque and by the time of Polybius (about a hundred years after the war be