Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Philippeion - Ancient Olympia

The Ruins of the Philippeion

The Olympia site had great religious significance and was the location which Alexander's father Philip II chose to begin building a temple-like structure called the Philippeion as a votive offering to the gods after his victory at the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. Inside, located on semi-circular plinths, were placed gold and ivory statues of the Macedonian royal family including Alexander (materials usually reserved for the gods) in honour of the dynasty of Macedonian kings. The building was reportedly completed by Alexander.

The Philippeion was a circular structure of stone and marble which featured a colonnade of 18 Ionic columns around the porch or peristyle and an inner colonnade of 9 Corinthian half-columns around the wall and a roof of carved marble tiles and crowned with a bronze poppyhead.

So anyone honoring the statue of Zeus in his temple had only to walk a very short distance in order to also gaze upon the figure of Alexander.
Reconstruction of the Philippeion


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