Posts tagged Birth
The sculptural decoration of the great temple of Athena was eminently worthy of its architecture. Phidias made his name immortal by creating a work that will forever remain a model of Greek sculpture. The subjects, composition, everything was perfectly equal.
The Doric frieze carved in high relief above the exterior colonnade composed of metopes ninety-two: fourteen and thirty-two on each face on each side. Among the few remaining 28 are to be seen in thirteen east, north and one south, but all these are either misleading or so badly disfigured as to be unrecognizable. Fifteen metopes are in London (the others were lost in a shipwreck near Cape Malea is delivered in England) and one in Paris. Those in the east are battles between gods and giants, to the west, between the Athenians and Amazons, south of Lapiths and Centaurs, and the scene north of the siege of Troy.
The timpani in the gables, 28.65 m. in length and 3.45 m. in height, were filled with the best sculpture Phidias’. And on the east pediment represented the birth of Athena, and showed her dressed in full armor, flows from the head of Zeus. On the west pediment was represented the struggle between Athena and Poseidon for the possession of Attica. The two deities occupied the center of the pediment and were shown standing, separated from the olive tree symbolizes the victory of the virgin goddess. Of all these statues, for a total of fifty, almost nothing is left in situ. The vast majority was transported to London by Lord Elgin and are now exhibited in the British Museum, copies can be seen in the Acropolis Museum.
A continuous Ionic frieze 159.70 m. in length and 1 m in height, carved in bas-relief, ran along the top of the outer walls of the naos and represented the ritual procession of officials, high-born young men and women, Athenian citizens and foreign residents, and train animals killed during the Feast of the Greater Panathenaic, which is held every four years.
The start of the procession is shown in the southwest corner of the frieze with the celebrants move the files to double from west to east, those to the north, from the right, those in the south, from left to right, toward the ‘entrance on the east end of the temple, where the twelve Olympians preside over the ceremonial folding of the peplum of Athena. On the west frieze of the riders get ready for the ride. One of them, with the cloak to the wind makes it ready to ride horses, breeding, and another is shown fixing her sandal, while his assistant reins restless steed of his master, in a corner of the frieze, an official marshals groups of knights that can be seen to move under their own commanders.
With the exception of the three central figures, the western section of the frieze is still in situ, although in a very decomposed, a large part of that belonging to the sides of northern, southern and eastern Europe and the British Museum, while the rest, with the exception of eight pieces in the Louvre, is in the Acropolis Museum. The sight of this beautiful frieze in the days when it was topped by cornices richly painted under a coffered ceiling decorated with stars and flowers must have been overwhelming. The total number of figures depicted in the frieze is estimated at three hundred and fifty pedestrians and 125 knights, and no two figures are similar.
At the western end of the cell was a masterpiece of Phidias’, the cult statue of Athena Parthenos. The site is clearly seen in the dark oblong limestone in the center of which is a square hole. This has the main prop that supported the towering statue of the virgin goddess, built of gold and ivory on a wooden interior, including the pedestal had 12.80 m. high.
According to Pausanias, the Goddess stood, dressed in a tunic. Her face, hands and feet were of ivory, while the tunic, like armor and accessories, has been designed with removable gold plates, and may be removed in an emergency. To his left was his shield decorated with scenes of battle between Greeks and Amazons on the outside and the Giants and Gods on the inside. Under the shield was a gold serpent representing Erechtheion. On his chest bore the aegis with the Gorgon’s head, and his helmet was adorned with a sphinx between the winged horses, with the griffins in relief on both sides. In the palm of his outstretched hand to the right wearing a Victoria six feet tall wearing a golden crown, a spear in his left hand. Her sandals were decorated with a scene of fighting between the Lapiths and Centaurs, while the pedestal was represented the birth of Pandora.
E ‘was above all the embellishment of the head of the goddess that Phidias lavished all his skill and genius. To increase the brightness of the eyes, hair, and a helmet, took a variety of sparkling gems, whose beauty dazzled the eyes of the beholder. In the morning when the sun has invaded the sanctuary, bathing the statue in his bright rays, one could imagine living goddess Olympus had suddenly fallen, and now stood in front of one.
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As the birth of my first child rapidly approaches, I fear that travelling overseas will never be the same again. The days of packing a tooth brush and a change of clothes to disappear for the weekend are well and truly in the past. Even my partner has reluctantly packed away our little 2-man tent which has served us well since our student days. It’s maybe time for us to buy a sensible suitcase and leave the backpacks in the loft for a few years!
Parents often worry most about flying with young children- especially if it’s long-haul. Many parents recommend booking a night-time flight and getting little ones changed into their pyjamas. Tiny babies often find the ‘hum’ of the aircraft soothing and will sleep anyway. Take-offs and landings are often the most uncomfortable time especially for babies who find it difficult to equalise the pressure in their ears. It is often recommended that babies are fed, either from the breast or a bottle at this time, as the swallowing action will help relieve this pressure. Older children can be encouraged to drink from a carton with a straw with the same effect. Be sure to pack some favourite toys and treats such as snacks and puzzle books. Big toys or noisy computer games may disturb other passengers.
The long term, harmful effects of the sun on young skin have been well publicized in recent months. Experts estimate that children could be three times more likely than their grandparents to develop malignant melanoma in the future. It is therefore extremely important that children are protected from the effects of the sun’s radiation. Children under 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight wherever possible. Small collapsible beach tents/cabanas are available and can provide some well needed shade. Try and avoid sun exposure between 11am-3pm when the sun is at its highest and radiation is strongest. Use a good sun cream (at least factor 15) which filters both UVA and UVB radiation. Many products are available specifically for children. Be sure to reapply regularly, especially after swimming. UV suits can keep large areas of the body protected and are comfortably cool to wear. A wide-brimmed hat or a cap with a neck-flap is also recommended. Baseball caps often leave the ears and neck unprotected. The sun can also damage children’s eyes, causing long term retinal deterioration. Ensure they have good quality sunglasses which conform to British Standard 2724 or the continental equivalent.