Comparison of Temple of Olympian Zeus and temple of Hephaestus in Athens Essay

Ancient Greek temples are among the most magnificent works of art ever created by mankind. Their perfect style and beauty still inspires artists and architects. This paper is aimed to discuss, compare and contrast the Greek Temple of Olympian Zeus and temple of Hephaestus in Athens in terms of period, destination, materials, building techniques, etc. The Temple of Hephaestus b longs to classical period. It has been built in V century BC after liberation of Greece from Persian invasion.

In contrast, the Temple of Olympian Zeus is hard to be attributed to exact epoch.

Construction works started in VI BC in the classical period and have been completed only in II AD in the Roman period. These are religious buildings erected to worship respective Greek gods. The temple of Hephaestus is located in Athens at the former Agora and the temple of Zeus stands about 500 meters from Acropolis.

The temple of Hephaestus is angled with sides of 13.708 m north to south and 31.

776 m east to west, with six columns on the short east and west sides and thirteen columns along the longer north and south sides. The temple of Zeus is much larger with sides of 96 meters along its sides and 40 meters along its eastern and western faces and has 104 columns. Material for both buildings is marble. The difference between the styles of temples becomes obvious when looking at their columns.

The temple of Hephaestus has severe Doric columns and the temple of Zeus has florid Corinthian columns. Both of the buildings can be called classical examples of Greek architecture, subjected to all its usual rules in style and composition, which are usual for temples and public buildings in Ancient Greece.


1. Alexander Tzonis. Classical Greek Architecture. Flammarion, 2004 2. A. W. Lawrence. Greek Architecture (5th ed. ) Yale University Press, 1996

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