Obsessed with perfection, the Greeks were verymathematically and aesthetically orientated in the construction of theirtemples. They used entasis to correct the optical illusion of concavity whichwould have resulted if the sides of the columns were straight and parallel. In both the Parthenon and Temple of Apollo, thereis an even number of columns at the front to give symmetry and balance to theentrance leading to the interior rooms. The Parthenon in Athens is the largestcompleted peripteral Doric temple in Greece, built completely of pentelicmarble1.The Parthenon consists of a rectangular floor, 69.
5 by 30.9m, surrounded by aseries of three low steps and a colonnade of fluted columns, 8 by 17, withsquare capitals. The statue of Athena was placed in the naos and theopisthodomos was utilised as a treasury. The form was further enriched by colour and bronzeaccessories found on the metopes and pediments2.The gilded metopes depicted Olympian gods fighting giants and Theseus leadingtroops to fight the Amazons, as well as a temple for worship and sacrifice itwas also an icon of power and strength. Similarlyto the Parthenon, the Hellenistic temple of Apollo at Didyma played asignificant role in religious and political life of ancient Miletus. Religiousfestivals, offerings and sacrifices were all orchestrated at the temple.However, the from and style of the building differs slightly to that ofParthenon.
Theoverall floor plan is notably bigger, 118 by 59m and stood on a seven-steppedcrepidoma rather than the three stepped one of the Parthonon. The colonnadealso consists of more columns, twenty-one along the sides with a decastylefaçade. Unlike the Parthenon, the temple of Apollo does not have anopisthodomos but it does have a pronaos, consisting of three rows of 4 columns3.The entrance to the cella is much more obscure than the Parthenon. Between thepronaos and the cella is a large wall with a small window allowing people toglance at the interior. In order to enter the cella, there are twobarrel-vaulted pathways either side of the pronaos.The Parthenon was purely constructed in the Doricorder; however, the Temple of Apollo has Ionic columns along the peristyle withtwo Corinthian columns in the east chamber. The passages end on the third stepof a large main staircase which then takes you down into the hypaethral cella.
The temple was not completed until Roman times, when they added a decoratedfrieze above the architrave4. Toachieve perfect form, both temples are oriented so there is an oblique view.This gives a much better three-dimensional view of the temple adding to itsaesthetic appearance. Location was vital, for example the Parthenon dominatesthe hill of the Acropolis at Athens5.
1 Parthenon,https://www.ancient.eu/parthenon/, 20/1/182 Parthenon, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/greece/athens/attractions/parthenon/a/poi-sig/1289715/359421,20/1/183 The temple of Apollo at Didyma,https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/629647.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3Aa227c53b2a878826201db6f9bfdb92f3,20/1/184 Temple of Apollo at Didyma, http://turkisharchaeonews.net/site/temple-apollo-didyma,20/1/185 Greek Architecture, University ofNottingham, Dr DidemEkici, 20.10.17