The Parthenon Essay

691 words - 3 pages

The Secrets of the Parthenon

As I watched the film Secrets of the Parthenon I continually found myself in awe of what was being unfolded in the video. The precision, pain-staking effort, and crazy thinking put into the building of the Parthenon blew my mind. Never would I have thought that the Parthenon, was asymmetrical because of how perfectly my eyes trick me. It was absolutely fascinating to learn that the Greeks created their building imperfect on purpose, in order to make the optical illusion of perfection. Also, the symbolism of the building to the Greeks was something of immense value and accomplishment to them. The video showed me just how amazing the minds, who were behind the building of the Parthenon, of Greek ancients were, as well as show just how much, the Parthenon means to the culture of Greece.
I was very much impressed by the precision of the building of the Parthenon, specifically: using optical illusions to make the building ...view middle of the document...

There are literally no straight lines in the building. The desire to have absolute perfection, brought forth a beautiful and amazingly crafted structure, which was also so perfectly crafted, that the marble sections fit together so beautifully, without big seems.
The ancient architects were so skilled in their trades, that they could model tons of marble to be mere 20th of millimeter in difference from each other. This fact is made even more amazing by the fact, that they didn't have any of the tools we can employ today. They used chisels and hammers and yet could bring about such precision, that when the drums stacked on top of each other to make columns were taken apart by the modern day architects, they found wood blocks that still retained the smell of the cedar used about one thousand, five hundred years ago. The drums, were so air tight, that the wood was preserved. That is amazing to me.
One other thing that struct me in the documentary, was just how much the Parthenon means to the people of Greece. To me, I see an amazing structure that has endured so much through time, but to the Greeks, it is a symbol. It is a symbol of the values and accomplishments of their culture. The values are shown by the care taken to create every block of marble to be within a 20th of a millimeter in size from the other blocks used. The accomplishment is shown by how quickly it was built, but also how so many men of different shapes and sizes came together to build a uniform structure. This was especially hard to do when the measurement for length was the cubit (the length of a man's forearm to fingertip). They recorded a standard length that all the men used in order to create the uniformity of the building.
It is truly remarkable how the Parthenon was built within eight years, and all the blocks of marble were shaped so carefully as to fit together perfectly. Then the optical illusions used to make the building look perfect also delight me because of the ingenuity employed. The Greeks were masters of art, and the Parthenon shows this art. Also, it shows the value and accomplishments the ancient culture brought to the world. The Parthenon truly is a symbol of beauty and ingenuity from the past.

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