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be no doubt, as it was the name always given to the though at a later time, as we shall see presently, it
eastern chamber was called by the same name from
But it has been conjectured, that although all the
western return, which would have been hidden A. Peristylium. | D. Hecatompedon.
from the Pronaos by the statue, might have been B. Pronaos or Prodomus. 1 a. Statue of the Goddess. C. Opisthodomus or Pos- E. Parthenon, afterwards Corinthian, since the central column of the return of ticum.
the temple at Bassae seems to have been Corinthian.
(Penrose, p. 5.) good reason for believing that the Greeks used the If the preceding distribution of the other parts of word Opisthodomus to signify a corresponding hall the temple is correct, the Parthenon must have been in the back-front of a temple; and that as Pronuos, the western or smaller chamber of the cella. Judge or Prodomus, answered to the Latin anticum, so ing from the name alone, we should have naturally Opisthodomus was equivalent to the Latin posticum. concluded that the Parthenon was the chamber con(Το προ [του σηκου] πρόδομος, και το κάτοπιν taining the statue of the virgin goddess; but there ÖTLOBódonos, Pollux, i. 6; comp. év Tois apovdous appear to have been two reasons why this name was kal tois' onio odbiors, Diod. xiv. 41.) Lucian not given to the eastern chamber. First, the length (Herod. 1) describes Herodotus as reading his his of the latter naturally suggested the appropriation to tory to the assembled Greeks at Olympia from the it of the name of Hecatom pedon; and secondly, the Opisthodomus of the temple of Zeus. If we suppose eastern chamber occupied the ordinary position of Herodotus to have stood in the hall or ambulatory the adytum, containing the statue of the deity, and leading out of the back portico, the description is may therefore have been called from this circumintelligible, as the great crowd of auditors might stance the Virgin's-Chamber, though in reality it then have been assembled in the portico and on the was not the abode of the goddess. It appears, from steps below; and we can hardly imagine that Lucian the inscriptions already referred to, that the Parcould have conceived the Opisthodomus to be an thenon was used in the Peloponnesian war as the inner room, as some modern writers maintain. Other public treasury; for while we find in the Hecatompassages might be adduced to prove that the Opis- pedon such treasures as would serve for the purpose thodomus in the Greek temples ordinarily bore the of ornament, the Parthenon contained ballion, and a sense we have given to it (comp. Paus. v. 13. § 1, great many miscellaneous articles which we cannot 16. & 1); and we believe that the Opisthodomus of suppose to have been placed in the shrine alongside the Parthenon originally indicated the same part of the statue of the goddess. But we know from
later authorities that the treasury in the temple was the roof. This appears to have been done in two called Opisthodomus (Harpocrat., Suid., Etym. M., ways, either by windows or openings in the tiles of & v. 'Oniolódouos; Schol. ad Aristoph. Plut. 1193; the roof, or by leaving a large part of the latter open Böckh, Inscr. No. 76); and we may therefore con- to the sky. The former was the case in the temple clude, that as the Parthenon was the name of the of Eleusis. (Plut. Per. 13, órakov EevokAhS (KOwhole building, the western chamber ceased to be púpwoe: comp. Pollux, ii. 54, omaloy oi 'ATTIKOR called by this name, and acquired that of the Opiathy xepauída ekárovv, h Thv onny exev.) There sthodomus, which was originally the entrance to it. can be little doubt that the naos or eastern chamber It appears further from the words of one of the Schon of the Parthenon must have obtained its light in one liasts (ad Aristoph. l. c.), as well as from the ex- or other of these ways; but the testimony of Vitruisting remains of the temple, that the eastern and vius (üi. I) cannot be quoted in favour of the Parwestern chambers were separated by a wall, and thenon being hypaethral, as there are strong reasons that there was no direct communication between for believing the passage to be corrupt.* If the them. Hence we can the more easily understand Parthenon was really hypaetlural, we must place the the account of Plutarch, who relates that the Athe- opening to the sky between the statue and the eastnians, in order to pay the greatest honour to De ern door, since we cannot suppose that such an exmetrius Poliorcetes, lodged him in the Opisthodomus quisite work as the chryselephantine statue of Athens of the Parthenon as a guest of the goddess. (Plut. was not protected by a covered roof. Demetr. 23.)
Before quitting the Parthenon, there is one inter. In the centre of the pavement of the Hecatom- esting point connected with its construction, which pedon there is a place covered with Peiraic stone, and must not be passed over without notice. It has been not with marble, like the rest of the pavement. It discovered within the last few years, that in the Parhas been usually supposed that this was the foun- | thenon, and in some others of the purer specimens of dation on which the statue of the goddess rested; Grecian architecture, there is a systematic deviation but this has been denied by K. F. Hermann, who from ordinary rectilinear construction. Instead of maintains that there was an altar upon this spot. the straight lines in ordinary architecture, we find There can however be little doubt that the cominon various delicate curves in the Parthenon. It is obopinion is correct, since there is no other place in the served that “the most important curves in point of building to which we can assign the position of the extent, are those which forin the horizontal lines of statue. It could not have stood in the western | the building where they occur ; such as the edges of chamber, since this was separated by a wall from the steps, and the lines of the entablature, which are the eastern. It could not have stood at the western usually considered to be straight level lines, but in extremity of the eastern chamber, where Ussing the steps of the Parthenon, and some other of the places it, because this part of the chamber was occa best examples of Greek Doric are convex curves, pied by the western return of the interior columns lying in vertical plains ; the lines of the entablature (see ground-plan). Lastly, supposing the spot being also curves nearly parallel to the steps and in covered with Peiraic stone to represent an altar, the vertical plains." The existence of curves in Greek statue could not have stood between this spot and buildings is mentioned by Vitruvius (iii. 3), but the door of the temple. The only alternative left it was not until the year 1837, when mnch of the is placing the statue either upon the above-men rubbish which encumbered the stylobate of the Partioned spot, or else between it and the western return thenon had been removed by the operations carried of the interior coluinns, where there is scarcely suf on by the Greek government, that the curvature was ficient space left for it.
discovered by Mr. George Pennethorne, an English There has been a great controversy among mo- architect then at Athens. Subsequently the curves dern scholars as to whether any part of the roof of the eastern chamber of the Parthenon was hy * The words of Vitruvius in the usual editions paethral, or pierced with an opening to the sky. | are:-“ Hypaethros vero decastylos est in pronao et Most English writers, following Stuart, had arrived postico; reliqua omnia habet quae dipteros, sed interiåt a conclusion in the affirmative; but the discussion ore parte columnas in altitudine duplices, remotas a has been recently reopened in Germany, and it seems parietibus ad circuitionem ut portions peristyliorum. impossible to arrive at any definite conclusion opon | Medium autem sub divo est sine tecto. aditusque the subject. (Comp. K. F. Hermann, Die Hypäthral valvarum ex utrinque parte in pronao et postico. Tempel des Alterthums, 1844; Ross, Keine Hy-) Hujus autem exemplar Romae non est, sed Athenis päthral Tempel mehr, in his Hellenika, 1846, to octastylos et in templo Olympio." Now, as the which Bötticher replied in Der Hypäthral Tempel Parthenon was the only octastyle at Athens, it is auf Grund des Vitruvischen Zeugnisses, 1847.) supposed that Vitruvius referred to this temple as We know that, as a general rule, the Grecian an example of the Hypaethros, more especially as it temples had no windows in the walls; and conse- ( had one of the distinguishing characteristics of his quently the light was admitted either through some hypaethros, namely, an upper row of interior coopening in the roof, or through the door alone. The lumns, between which and the walls there was an latter appears to have been the case in smaller tem- ambulation like that of a peristyle. (Leake, p. 562.) ples, which could obtain sufficient light from the But it seems absurd to say " Hypaethros decastylos open door; but larger temples must necessarily have est," and then to give an octastyle at Athens as an been in comparative darkness, if they received light example. It has been conjectured with great probafrom no other quarter. And although the temple bility that the "octastylos" is an interpolation, and was the abode of the deity, and not a place of meet that the latter part of the passage onght to be read: ing, yet it is impossible to believe that the Greeks" Hujus autem exemplar Romae non est, sed Athenis left in comparative darkness the beautiful paintings in templo Olympio." Vitruvius would thus refer to and statues with which they decorated the interior | the great temple of Zeus Olympius at Athens, which of their temples. We have moreover express evi- we know was a complete example of the hypacthros dence that light was admitted into temples through of Vitruvius.