"[Casts of the Parthenon frieze] were secured in 1906 by the University Librarian, Theodore W. Koch and were originally placed in the main reading room of the old library building. He first obtained three sections and, when they were so well received, later added more."

" The Parthenon had 524 feet of this sculptured frieze running in a continuous band around the outside of the temple. The subject of the frieze is the people of Athens celebrating the festival of the Panathenaia - their most joyful ceremony which marked Athena's birthday. The Athenians wound through the city in a procession and then ascended the Acropolis to offer sacrifices in Athena's sanctuary. According to D.E.L. Haynes in The Parthenon Frieze, ". . . 'in every fourth year, when the festival was celebrated with special splendor and known as the Great Panathenaia, the procession carried with it a robe, newly woven by chosen Athenian maidens and matrons, with which to drape Athena's ancient wooden image. The frieze shows us the Great Panathenaic Procession and the handing over of the robe in the presence of the gods.' There were two streams of the procession which converged on the East end (or front) of the temple. Youthful horsemen riding bareback (who must have been held in high esteem judging from the large space the calvary occupies in the frieze) are represented in the library corridor. [Also in the corridor] is a section of frieze showing girls dressed in long chitons, and carrying utensils for the sacrifices, jugs and libation-bowls, and incense-burners. Care was taken to insure that the correct relative position of the sections of the frieze was preserved. "
Anne Beaubien, University Library [1]

close window