The Parthenon Enigma

Presented by the Hall Center for the Humanities

Joan Breton Connelly, Archaeologist and NYU Professor of Classics & Art History

Built in the fifth century b.c., the Parthenon has been venerated for more than two millennia as the West’s ultimate paragon of beauty and proportion. Since the Enlightenment, it has also come to represent our political ideals, the lavish temple to the goddess Athena serving as the model for our most hallowed civic architecture. But how much do the values of those who built the Parthenon truly correspond with our own? And apart from the significance with which we have invested it, what exactly did this marvel of human hands mean to those who made it? Joan Breton Connelly is a classical archaeologist and Professor of Classics and Art History at New York University.  In 1996, she was awarded a MacArthur fellowship for her work in Greek art, myth, and religion.  A field archaeologist, Connelly has excavated throughout Greece, Kuwait, and Cyprus where, since 1990, she has directed the NYU Yeronisos Island Expedition.  She is an honorary citizen of Peyia Municipality, Cyprus.

 

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