Temple of Zeus
The ancient Greek culture was pivotal to the development of our world today: from democracy, philosophy, to art, as well as architecture - to name a few. One example of architecture that sticks out in the mind is the Greek temple. The Ancient Greeks used these temples to house the statues of their many deities and served as a place to store their offerings. A particularly noteworthy temple is the Temple of Zeus in Olympia.
The Temple of Zeus, also known as the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, Temple of Zeus Olympios, or the Olympieion, was the largest temple of Ancient Greece (Temple). The architect Libon of Elis built the temple sometime between 472 and 456 BCE, during the Early Classical cultural period (Marie). It was devoted to the Greek god Zeus, who is considered to be the “father of all gods and man”. The structure is a Doric peripteral temple of 6 by 13 columns on a crepidoma of three unequal steps; it measured as a whole 27.68 meters by 64.12 meters (Olympia). A Doric peripteral temple is one that has a rectangular floor plan with a series of low steps on every side and columns that surround the perimeter. Doric columns sit right on the foundation (no base) with vertical, fluted shafts, and are topped by smooth capitals that are flared at the top (Temple).
The city-state of Olympia was the center of the Ancient Greek’s religious worship, as well as the birthplace of the Olympic games. Believed to have begun in 776 BCE, these games demonstrated the physical prowess and the political strength of the participating Greek city-states. It is believed that the Olympic games were a big part of the religious rituals that revolved around Zeus. So it seems natural that the Ancient Greeks would make his temple the largest and most grandeur of the time (The Statue).
The decorations of the Temple of Zeus reflect the new spirit of the Greek in the aftermath of the Persian Wars. Among these decorations are the illustrations of the...