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The Shadow of the ParthenonStudies in Ancient History and Literature$
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Peter Green

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520255074

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520255074.001.0001

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The Shadow of the Parthenon

The Shadow of the Parthenon

(p.11) The Shadow of the Parthenon
The Shadow of the Parthenon

Peter Green

University of California Press

This chapter describes the Parthenon as the most perfect expression of a partial attitude to life, a soaring rejection of the past on which it stood, the Acropolis that reached back in an unbroken cultural sequence to the Mycenaean era and beyond. The Parthenon is a triumph of civic planning, a palace-like home for a larger than life-size but quintessentially human goddess, a testament to imperial pride and ambition, a repository for wealth, a statement of secular faith in which the numinous had, and has, no part whatsoever. The chapter further describes the Parthenon as a tribute to mathematics: a morally neutral science, one of the few disciplines that can function by pure reason, which is why the Athenians were so passionately addicted to it, and showed such brilliance in the field of mathematical theory.

Keywords:   Parthenon, Acropolis, Mycenaean era, mathematics, neutral science, pure reason, Athenians

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