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                                              The Hekatompedon temple
Herakles fighting the sea serpent



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Τhe Hekatompedon Parthenon was an oldest temple of limestone, which it is said that was placed in the position of Parthenon. Peisistratus first systematically organized the worship of Athena, constructing or extending the Hekatompedos temple (or Dorpfeld's temple, named after the German archeologist who discovered it's foundations), a Doric building with 2 columns on each facade, length 32.80 meters (100 feet, as it's name says), from porous stone, covered with white marble powder. In the main temple was placed the statue -made of olive wood - of Athena Polias and in the megaron (or opisthodomos) the offers, the treasure, the equipment of the worship. There were coloured depictions on the metopes with scenes from the life of Heracles.

The materials that were used for the decorative parts of the Hekatompedon (metopes, friezes, etc.) were porous stone or gray stone from Hymettus, and later Pentelic marble or marble from Paros. The sons of Peisistratus, Hipparchus and Hippias, decided to add an external colonnade, in Hekatompedon, the peristasis, made of porous stone, but with friezes and metopes from marble.

The peripteral temple (temple with an external colonnade) had dominated in many other greek cities. The new metopes represented in the east a gigantomachy, with Athena in the center to defeat Enceladus, and to the west a theriomachy. The new Hekatompedos temple had 12 columns on it's side and 6 on the facades, and formed a rectangle of length 43.95 meters and 21.85 meters wide. Finally, the old gate of the Pelasgean wall turned to Propylaea, an area of 13.50 x 11 meters, with a square passage and with two Doric columns on each facade.

After the Peisistratids, in 510 BC, the Spartans came and beleaguered Hippias on the Acropolis, forcing him to capitulate. The democratic revolution that followed demolished the houses of tyrants, and let tear down the Pelasgian wall considered it as "damn." After 506 BC Cleisthenes decided to build a new temple of Athena Polias. Thus was born the draft of Parthenon. Since the demolition of Hekatompedon would be a sacrilege, they chose an area that was already sacred, but had not buildings, 25 meters south of Hekatompedon. There, were taken place celebrations in Panathenaea. They straightened the ground and designed the new Parthenon.




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