By P. M. Fraser
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Extra resources for Cities of Alexander the Great
Whether or not their quiet solemnity reflects the political atmosphere of their time or not, they almost certainly give us an indication of how some of the sculptors, who were trained during the heyday of the Parthenon, continued to earn their living when the funds that had supported them were increasingly devoted to the cost of the war. The youth and boy on the Cat Stele (cat. 30) seem to have stepped out of the frieze of the Parthenon, and it is not difficult to believe that the artist who carved them once worked on the temple.
Demos and Demokratia, marble relief. Agora Museum, Athens, 16524 The democratic ideals of the Periklean period left their mark on his great building and artistic program. Carrying out this program provided the population with employment and evoked the admiration of contemporaries and generations to come. The main buildings were the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, the Temple of Ares at Acharnai, the Temple of Nemesis at Rhamnous, the Temple of Hephaistos above the Athenian Agora, the Odeon on the south slope of the Acropolis, and first and foremost the sanctuaries of the Acropolis with its crowning glory, the Parthenon, a dedication to Athena Parthenos, goddess of wisdom, symbol of the new Athens.
Plutarch (Life of Perikles 12-13) records 39 that the Periklean building program "provided paid employment for virtually the entire city/' and there is no doubt that as a vast public works project it brought political benefits to Perikles. But there can also be little doubt that he sincerely wanted these monuments to serve as a tangible expression of his own vision of society. ), but it is virtually certain that, in some way or other, it was intended to be an image of the Athenian community as a political and social ideal.