• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why is the Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae an interesting building?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Why is the Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae an interesting building? The Phigaleians built the temple sometime between the 450-420 BC. Pausanias says that it was constructed as a thanksgiving gift to Apollo, who was believed to have cured an outbreak of the plague that struck Greece during the years 429 - 427 BC at the time of the Peloponnesian war. The name Epikourios that usually follows the deity's name means the Helper or the Saviour. The temple is high up in the Arcadian Mountains on Mt Kotilion. Most of the columns and the architrave have survived because of the isolation of the temple. The temple was isolated and was thought lost until 1765 AD when the French archaeologist Bocher discovered it. Because of its isolation, not many travellers reached the temple before 1811. In 1811, an expedition managed to get to the temple. The expedition included the archaeologists C. R. Cockerell and Haller von Hallerstein. They discovered the frieze of the temple. Excavations continued into the next year and in 1814, the frieze and other fragments of the temple were sold in Zante. They were obtained on behalf of the British Government and are now in the British Museum in London. Pausanias says that the architect was Iktinos, who was one of the architects of the Parthenon and the most well known architect in the Greek world. ...read more.

Middle

Later columns had leaves creeping up the bell, alternating between low and high in effect creating two rows. This could be the prototype of Corinthian columns. The orientation of the temple is another interesting feature. The temple's main axis is North-South. Possible explanations for this particular orientation could be that it is facing Delos (believed to be the God's favourite place on Earth), or it is facing the land of the Hyperboreans, from where Apollo started his journey. The temple may not be totally dedicated to Apollo - other sources say that it was a memorial to the people who died during the plague. The temple is facing north because to face east would mean to face the rising sun. The rising sun symbolises a new beginning; a new beginning which the victims of the plague wouldn't see. Hades is said to be a dark place, which is the opposite of day light. The temple may have been built over another previous one that faced north due to the lay of the land. It is an unusual shape because it may have been built to house the shrines surrounding it, like the Erecthion. NB. The coloured circle shows where the cult statue would have been housed (in the Adyton) The Adyton was just an added room behind the Cella. ...read more.

Conclusion

could represent the upholders of order or the antidote of evil (i.e. the plague). Apollo is considered the god of order, healing, medicine, arts, archery, music and intellectual pursuit. Both versions of the stories have similar outcomes. The detail about Niobe being the Pelops' sister is significant because the chariot race with Pelops is depicted on the Parthenon. The temple of Apollo at Bassae is interesting because it has many stories and myths linked to it. There is a lot of speculation around it regarding the pediment, why they used the columns, the orientation, the adyton, the purpose of the temple, who built it (Iktinos or Libon of Elis), why the particular subjects were used for the frieze. The pediment, the Corinthian capital, the orientation, the subjects on the frieze, and the plague are all linked by a strange deathly connotation. The pediment could be about Niobe and the massacre of her children. The Corinthian capital was inspired, supposedly, by Acanthus leaves growing around a pot on a grave stone. The unusual orientation of the temple could suggest mourning for the dead of the plague. The frieze shows civilised man defeating barbarism - Herakles could represent Apollo and the Amazons could represent the plague. However, Apollo could be an invisible influence to the Greeks depicted. There is plenty of mystery and speculation surrounding the temple, which is what makes the temple incredibly interesting to study. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Hinduism section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Hinduism essays

  1. Architecture and decoration of the Parthenon.

    Another interesting fact about the Parthenon Another reason the Parthenon is so intriguing to architects is its use of optical distortion. The platform, stylobate, and entablature of the temple are all slightly curved.

  2. The novel, The Temple of Gold by William Goldman,

    When he is discharged, it seems that Ray has come to terms with everything. At the end of the novel, he visits Zock's grave and makes clear that he is able to deal with his grief in the right way, "And if that sounds like I haven't found the handle, Zock, it ought to.

  1. Did Gandhi's influence help to achieve Indian Independence quicker or did he hinder it?

    weaker races of the earth from the crushing heels of Western exploitation". One item in Gandhi's 'constructive program', the removal of untouchabilty, had a lasting effect on Hindu society and places Gandhi in the ranks of the great social reformers of modern times.

  2. To what extent were propaganda and national pride as important as religion in the ...

    For example, a typical Doric temple would often have columns that sit directly on top of the stylobate (the top step of the temple), without a base as in the Ionic order. Whilst the Parthenon encompasses many of the attributes of a classic Doric temple, it was assumed to be

  1. Describe a visit to a Hindu place of pilgrimage, explaining its importance to believers.

    In this queue you will definitely get hurt in some may. In this point you might get fed up and say 'What the hell man, do I have to come here?' THIEVES Pilgrimage is the best place for robbing or doing any dealings e.g.

  2. RE Coursework Section B - Hinduism

    For Brahmin boys it is very important to under go the sacred thread ceremony. This ceremony is to initiate the boy into Hinduism and his religious duty. It involves tying a thread of three strands around the boy whilst other small rituals are performed.

  1. Attacks on religious minotirties in Bangaladesh

    The houses were set ablaze. The group of miscreants led by Iuyas Mian of Balichiri village forcefully captured their lands. A case has been filed against them at the Kulaur police station. ( 2 ) 8th May, 2002, N. M. Jahangir Alam-A well known journalist of the newspaper Sambad which is published from Dhaka, was beaten up by Muslim fundamentalists.

  2. Handicap - the presenter of Top of the pops.

    Towards the end of this section of work we had a chance to perform a polished piece on the subject of handicap. This is the piece of work I have chosen to focus on. We were exploring the issue of someone who was young, successful, and had everything going for him or her and then lost it all.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work