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The Parthenon (Ancient Greek: Παρθενών) is a temple of the Greek goddess Athena whom the people of Athens considered their protector. It was built in the 5th century BC on the Athenian Acropolis.


Although the Parthenon is architecturally a temple and is usually called so, it is not really one in the conventional sense of the word. A small shrine has been excavated within the building, on the site of an older sanctuary probably dedicated to Athena Ergane, but the Parthenon never hosted the cult of Athena Polias, protector of Athens: the cult image which was bathed in the sea and to which was presented the peplos, was an olivewood xoanon, located at an older altar on the northern side of the Acropolis. Thus the Parthenon was essentially a treasury as well.

The colossal statue of Athena by Phidias was not related to any cult and never inspired any recorded religious fervour. It did not seem to have any priestess, altar nor cult name.

Includes CC-BY-SA content from Wikipedia's Parthenon article (authors)

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