The Temple of Bassai before the Earthquake (1953)

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Comments (5)

Atlas11 on October 1, 2008

'On the mount Cotylion is a village called Bassae and the temple of Apollo the Epicurean the temple itself made of marble as well as the roof. Of all the temples in Peloponnese, this is the first after the one in Tegea for the beauty of its marble and harmony. The name was made because Apollo gave help in a time of a contagious disease, the same way he received the surname Alexicakos by the Athenians, for turning away the disease from them. It happened at the time of the war between Peloponneseans and Athenians and no at other time. The evidence is that both surnames have the same meaning, and the fact that Ictinos, the architect of the temple at Phigalia, was a contemporary of Pericles, and built for the Athenians the called Parthenon.' From Pausanias' Description of Greece. Arcadia. Book 4:41(7-10).

RWFG on October 2, 2008

Atlas11, I am well familiar with Pausanias' travels in Arcadia. He was in search of the terrible cult of the female Black Trinity (Demeter, Despina-Persephone,and Hekate with a horse head. He groans that they were still (3rd cent AD) sacrificing young men to this Triad.

Pausanias visited Bassae 600(!) years after Iktinos. The temple had long been abandoned and its Apollo statue had been dragged to nouveaux-rich Megalopolis. He gets a few things mixed up. From l9th-cent archeology we know that the actual cult statue was a Corinthian column which stood at the southern end of the cella, the first in Greece. Apollo stood on its left, aside and looked through a door towards Mt. Lykaeos. - Have you been there? - The temple is made from gray local lime-stone not marble. It had a plaster finish. There was never a village on Mt. Kotilon, but one can still find the foundations of a small, older Aphrodite-Artemis temple up there. Phigaleia is a day's hike west. Pausanias is also in error with his explanation for the epithet Epikourios. Newer historical research has shown that there was a plague in Athens - twenty years after Iktinos, but it never reached Phigaleia. So the epikourios title appears at first curios. My explanation is that Appolo was supposed to heal (free) the Arcadians from the terrible plague of the Black Triad. All, of this only makes the beauty of the temple more exceptional: Only Iktinos could have built it. - When will they finish restoring it and get rid of the tent? Thank you! Best regards RWFG

Atlas11 on October 4, 2008

RWFG hi; Pausanias gives a very reliable account of the topography, structures and events within his grasp, when considering the conditions and means well over 1,800 years ago under which he took the responsibility to bring to posterity this monumental work. He always reports on the history and prevailing legends of the localities. I plan to visit the area and temple of Apollo. Greetings, Atlas11

irida on December 25, 2008

Bravo for the detaled information ! Today is under a tent without vital sun rays! Photos like this belong to glorious past! Now the Arhaeologists protect it from weather!!! It is built at the lap of Kotylio mountain to be protected by North Winds.They knew the Rules of "Wind and Water" or Chinese Feng-Shui!!!. The arhitect of Parthenon Iktinos inspired it, the 5th Centurt B.C.

It is continuing to inspire all new visitors despite its new uniform.

for accommodation at Peloponnese Irida Resort

A rare photo of a magnificent monument...

Thanks a lot for sharing

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on July 31, 2008
  • Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works
    by RWFG