10" x 10"
48 pages, Color
The height of Greek civilization.
The Parthenon is a beautiful building—and much more. Every exquisite statue, every graceful column is an expression of a civilization whose values still speak to us today.
During a time when other countries were ruled by godlike emperors, ordinary Athenian citizens voted to build the Parthenon. During a time when monuments honored only the immortals, the Parthenon's statues depicted water carriers and farmers as well as gods and heroes.
The Parthenon tells the story of the rise of Athens—from the religion that nurtured it, through the wars that tested it, to the democracy that ennobled it, all culminating in the construction of the great temple on the Acropolis. To see the Parthenon is to see the height of Athenian culture, and the roots of our own.
"From the Wonders of the World Books series, this informative volume introduces the history of ancient Athens culminating in the building of the Parthenon… The well-researched and clearly written text discusses Athenian history and culture as well as the engineering techniques that made the building of the Parthenon possible, the artistic knowledge and sensibility that made the temple beautiful, and the human effort that made it an apt expression of the Greeks' democracy as well as their religious beliefs. The color illustrations include an excellent map of Greece, clear photos of artifacts and sculptures, and many clearly delineated, large-scale paintings depicting the scenes from the ancient Athens and the building of the Acropolis, including an impressive double-wide fold-out spread of the temple under construction and its surroundings."
"Perceptive as always, Mann not only examines the construction of the Parthenon in this new entry in her Wonders of the World series, she also discusses what decorating this glorious, no-expenses-spared, holy temple with statues not of gods but of mortals reveals about how Athenians regarded themselves. She actually begins at the beginning, with the birth of Athena from Zeus's forehead, then goes on to deliver a rousing account of the victories at Marathon and Salamis (the booty from which largely financed the grand construction), plus a glimpse of how the Athenians' radical method of government actually worked. Capped by an eye-filling, double gatefold cutaway, the clear illustrations provide easy-to-see views of the early Acropolis and of the Parthenon in various stages of construction. The author once again will leave readers buzzed about one of the great works of architecture, and more deeply aware of the ways in which it reflects its builders' beliefs and attitudes."
"This visually appealing introduction to the Parthenon also explores the intriguing historical and societal factors that played key roles in its creation. The first half sets the stage, describing the rise of Athens in clear and lively prose… An impressive four-page foldout spread conveys the majesty of the temple and identifies neatly labeled specific components. The illustrations are nicely complemented by black-and-white photographs of some of the temple's remaining sculptures. Descriptions of the architectural challenges presented by the project and of the final artistic accomplishments are very effective. Beyond the architectural information, the author conveys the wide-ranging significance of the building. The Parthenon was an integral part of the city's religion, culture, politics, and even finances, and bringing out these impacts provides readers with a strong feel for the golden age of Athens."
School Library Journal