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Help from Above: The Temple of Apollo Epicurius in Bassae - Case Study Example

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This paper "Help from Above: The Temple of Apollo Epicurius in Bassae" discusses place much frequented by students and scholars of archaeology, architecture and classic studies: because this is the site of the Temple of Apollo Epicurius, the god and protector…
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Help from Above: The Temple of Apollo Epicurius in Bassae
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Download file to see previous pages Few tourists or casual travelers even know of the existence of this magnificent remnant of more glorious times. When they struggle up the steep slope, braving sharp winds and heavy going underfoot, chance arrivals are met by the sight of a large temporary tent, stretched and trembling in the wind. It houses one of the most wonderful of the World Heritage sites on earth. (UNESCO 1986) It houses the earthly home of Apollo.

The first Greek site to be inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1986, this remote place must have seemed very special to the builders of this modestly sized temple. It is not difficult to imagine them working: masons, carvers, carriers, and planners milling around in a very windy place on top of a mountain. All this activity took place sometime between 450 and 400 BCE, and the mountain was named Kotylion, 1 103 meters above sea level. When the Greek government applied for the site’s inclusion on the World Heritage list, the site was described as being ‘an outstanding example of a Hellenic votive sanctuary located in a rural setting.’ (UNESCO 1986)

But it houses a number of confounding items for the scholar: one of which is the oldest known example of a Corinthian column - the only one in the world of such a great age. (British Museum 2009) Strangely still, there are also examples of Doric and Ionic architecture in the same single building. These are mysterious archaeological details that no one has been able to explain. (Hayes 2009) The site has had some sort of temple on it since the Geometric times, and artifacts, mostly in the form of votive offerings, unearthed around and in the temple, date from the 7th century AD.

Worshippers came from far and wide to this windswept mountain-top temple - who did they come to revere? The ancient writer and geographer Pausanias (Habicht 1985) calls it the Temple of Apollo Epicurius, designed by the architect Iktinos, completed in about 425 BCE. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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