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Temple of Zeus at Akragas, Agrigento, Sicily 500-460 B.C - Essay Example

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Temple of Zeus at Akragas Introduction As the sun sets each morning, it spreads its rays over the vast temples at Akragas, temples that spanned centuries. These temples and other architectural designs of the ancient have left the world to gaze with admiration…
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Temple of Zeus at Akragas, Agrigento, Sicily 500-460 B.C
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Download file to see previous pages In Agrigento, Sicily, one of the most ancient architectural designs stands there even today, attracting thousands of people from across the globe. Historically, the town is famous for its splendid assortment of more than seven Greek temples that dates back to the sixth and fifth centuries BC. Standing on the southern part of the city of Agrigento, these temples provide a classic example of a historical study about ancient architectural designs, and how they influences modern day architecture (Wilson 7). Many historians believe that the Greek colonialists are the ones who built the city of Akragas in 580 BC. These colonialists had travelled from far, precisely from Rhodes and settled in Sicily. Life during the colonial times was not any easy, as tyranny, persecutions and slavery took the orders of the day. However, these periods happened and democracy settled in slowly and the city dwellers, about 200,000 of them in the fifth century BC, embarked on a journey of developing their city. High-quality wine, olives, and horses decorated the beautiful city, and later on the most famous and beautiful temples stood elected. However, something astonishing happened in 406 BC. The Carthaginians invaded Akragas just barely eight months after the construction of the temples, and mutilated the temples. The Carthaginians ruled the city until 340 BC when Timoleon engaged the Carthage in war and finally defeated them. However, it is important to note that the city had lost its glory and magnificent scene, a scene that stands unrecovered even up to today. The change o one empire to another has not helped in the rebuilding of the temples. However, these temples still have a historical significance to modern day historians and architectural designers (Paton 74-94). In Italy, historians agree that the Olympian Zeus Temple is the prevalent Doric temple ever built and it has some historical significance. However, it is paramount to note that due to various reasons, the construction of these temple never ended. In fact, today, the temple of Zeus lies in ruins as the people responsible for its construction did not do much to compete it. Standing in the Valle dei Templi, other famous temples surround the temple of Zeus thus giving the later a sheer significance. Nonetheless, it is imperative to note that nobody recorded the exact history this temple, and therefore it is quite unclear. This does not however imply that there are no absolute facts about the temple of Zeus. In fact, one of its significance is the commemoration of war pitting Syracuse and Carthaginians (Battle of Himera 480 BC). As earlier noted the Carthaginians had taken control of the city and imposed their rule. Some historians such as Diodorus Siculus point out that the Carthaginians are the ones who built the temple by using slaves. Here, the slaves were mainly the captured enemies parading as soldiers but were now defeated and taken into captivity where they subjected them into hard work and labor (Wilson 48-61). The ancient literature does not say much about the temple of Zeus although many historians mention it in their writings. For example, Polybius, one of the Greek historians records in a memo that although the other temples surrounding the temple of Zeus looked complete and beautiful unlike the temple of Zeus, the later was completely odd in terms of appearance, design and dimensions. He goes on to say ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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