acropolis



acropolis defined in 1939 year

acropolis - Acropolis (Gr. akros, topmost; polis, city);
acropolis - Greek hill stronghold- Applied originally to a site on the top of a rocky hill, the word came to mean the citadel itself, which gradually became a political and religious centre. Such strong-holds were Tiryns and Mycenae, Aerocorinthus and the Cad'mea of Thebes, but the term is specially applied to the acropolis of Athens, generally known as the acropolis. This is a long mass of rook 500 ft. above sea level, at its highest point, and precipitous except on its western side. The approach, called the Propylaea, is a wall of Pentelie marble, with five gateways.

During the Persian war its buildings were destroyed but rebuilt by Cimon, and in the age of Pericles it was adorned with splendid specimens of Athenian architecture: the Parthenon, or temple of the maiden goddess Athena, from which the Elgin Marbles, now in the British Museum, were brought to England by Lord Elgin in 1812; the Erechtheum, sacred to Poseidon, god of the sea, and to Ereehtheus, a mythical king of Athens; the temple of Nike Apteros or Wingless Victory; the Odeum, a hall for musical entertainments, built by Pericles; the theatre of Dionysus; and a temple of Asclepius (Aesculapius). The statues included the colossal Athena Promachos in bronze; the ivory-and-gold statue of Athena by Pheidias in the Parthenon, and six statues of maidens known as the Caryatides in the Erechtheum. See Athens.

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