Public spaces of protest in ancient cities, whether deliberately crafted or organically formed, can prove elusive, but the existence, appearance, and function of such spaces should not be ignored because of their relative invisibility. In Contested Space at the Entrance of the Athenian Acropolis, Jessica Paga looks to ancient Athens to demonstrate how such spaces were built and used, as well as their potential role in propagating the success of the world's first democracy. Concentrating on the archaeological record and the historical context surrounding the use and transformation of public spaces in Athens, Paga posits the entrance area to the Athenian Acropolis as a consciously elaborated site of dissent and unity for the burgeoning democratic polis in the late sixth and early fifth centuries BCE.

Moments of transition, unrest, and upheaval often leave marks on the landscapes and built environments of ancient cities. Destruction, dismantlement, and conflagration appear in the material record of antiquity as telltale signs that permit scholars to examine discrete points in time and consider the connections between the historical context and its physical traces. Such a pivotal moment occurred in ancient Athens when the polis became a democracy in the late sixth century BCE, a period of transition that was rarely peaceful and often contested.1 Here, at the very moment democracy came into being, it is possible to examine the intimate and intricate relationships among public space, political upheaval, and the emergence of democratic governance by paying attention to the deliberate choices visible in the archaeological record and the historical context surrounding their use and transformation over time.

It is my contention that in democratic Athens, physical public spaces and the buildings within them frequently functioned as arenas, both intentionally designed as such and otherwise, within which discussion and debate could occur, thus facilitating the practice of deliberative democracy.2 It was through various types of and opportunities for participation in the public sphere that the newly democratic citizens could come not only to recognize but also to engender their equality. Open spaces, in particular, were crucial for the success of the Athenian democracy because they could frequently function as arenas for the production of debate and action; examples include the central marketplace in the Agora, the hillside of the Pnyx, where the popular Assembly met, and the theatral, or viewing, areas that dotted the surrounding landscape of Attica.3 Open spaces also facilitate impromptu encounters, chance gatherings, and unplanned or unscripted interactions. The spontaneity of interaction facilitated by open spaces makes these areas unpredictable but at the same time allows them to be flexible and multipurpose.

In what follows, I consider the entrance area to the Acropolis as a space that was deliberately crafted by the early democracy to commemorate and serve as a site for dissent, protest, and, ultimately, triumph. The various elements of the entrance area are first described in detail; subsequently, the historical context of the late sixth and early fifth centuries is considered, with specific attention to the role of the entrance area in pivotal historic events connected to the early democracy; and finally, the entrance area is evaluated as a suitable site of protest and one that aided in the robust functionality of the nascent political regime.

The Entrance to the Acropolis

In ancient Athens, public space might take a variety of forms. In the Late Archaic period (roughly bracketed from the passage of the democratic reforms in 508/507 to the end of the Persian Wars in 480/479), such public spaces included the Agora (the marketplace and civic heart of the polis), the Old Bouleuterion (the council house for the Boule, or Council, of 500), the Pnyx (the area designated for meetings of the Ecclesia, the popular Assembly), the Theater of Dionysus (a space used by both the Council and the Assembly at certain times of the year, as well as for theatrical performance), and the Kerameikos (the state cemetery, where the war dead were buried), to name only a few.4 Several of these were deliberately created at this time to serve the needs of the nascent democracy and functioned as specific venues where political action occurred (the Old Bouleuterion and Pnyx). Some were initially created to serve other purposes but were adopted and adapted to political needs over time (the Theater of Dionysus). Still others might be considered more organic spaces, areas continuously used and frequented but endowed with a new resonance in the late sixth and early fifth centuries (the demosion sema, the burial area for the war dead, in the Kerameikos). The entrance to the Acropolis falls into this last category.

Since the Bronze Age, the principal entrance to the Acropolis was on the western side (Figure 1).5 This is one of the few areas where the steep bedrock crag is accessible, and it remained the sole point of entrance from the thirteenth century onward. In the Late Archaic period, more than seven hundred years later, most of the massive Cyclopean fortifications that had ringed the crest of the Acropolis since the Bronze Age were still in place, and it is likely that the original Bronze Age gate was also still functioning, in some form.6 During the late sixth and early fifth centuries, this gate was replaced in several phases and is generally known as the Old Propylon (3 in Figure 1). The gate was reached via a monumental stone ramp, measuring approximately 80–90 meters in length and 10–12 meters wide, built in polygonal masonry in the years around 570–560 (6 in Figure 1).7 To the south of the entrance stands the Nike bastion, a further remnant of the Bronze Age fortifications and home to the cult of Athena Nike (4 in Figure 1). These four elements—the Bronze Age fortifications, Old Propylon, ramp, and bastion with the sanctuary of Athena Nike—constitute the monumental components of the entrance to the Acropolis in the Late Archaic period.8 

Figure 1

Acropolis, Athens, plan, ca. 480 BCE: 1, Old Athena Temple and possible location of Bluebeard Temple (H-Architecture, Hekatompedon); 2, Old Parthenon; 3, Old Propylon (hypothetical plan); 4, Athena Nike bastion with small limestone temple; 5, forecourt entrance area; 6, ramp; 7, Building B (hypothetical plan and location); 8, pre-Mnesiklean cistern (hypothetical plan) (modified from John Travlos, Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens [London: Thames and Hudson, 1971], 61, fig. 71; courtesy of the Archaeological Society at Athens).

Figure 1

Acropolis, Athens, plan, ca. 480 BCE: 1, Old Athena Temple and possible location of Bluebeard Temple (H-Architecture, Hekatompedon); 2, Old Parthenon; 3, Old Propylon (hypothetical plan); 4, Athena Nike bastion with small limestone temple; 5, forecourt entrance area; 6, ramp; 7, Building B (hypothetical plan and location); 8, pre-Mnesiklean cistern (hypothetical plan) (modified from John Travlos, Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens [London: Thames and Hudson, 1971], 61, fig. 71; courtesy of the Archaeological Society at Athens).

Given the numerous and thorough studies of the entrance area that have accrued since the excavations of the late nineteenth century, I will not undertake a full review of the scholarship here. It is sufficient to note only two of the principal problems around which debates have arisen.9 First among them is the form and chronology of the Old Propylon, including its attendant forecourt. The second is the chronology of structures on the Nike bastion and their relationship to the entrance area. I will address each of these problems in turn.

Old Propylon

When the monumental ramp connecting the Panathenaic Way to the Acropolis was installed in the second quarter of the sixth century, some modifications to the original Bronze Age gate were likely made, although their scale and extent remain unclear. Depending on the size and disposition of the original gate, these changes may have been further necessary in order to facilitate the transportation of blocks up to the Acropolis for the construction of the monumental early sixth-century Bluebeard Temple.10 The first clear instance of modification of the gate, however, does not occur until the end of the sixth century, with the creation of what is referred to as the forecourt of the Old Propylon (Figure 2; 5 in Figure 1). At this time, a section of the west Bronze Age wall received a marble lining on its western face, near the southern extent where it abuts the Nike bastion. This lining consists of at least ten, but possibly up to eighteen originally, reused metope blocks—turned upside down, their crowning fascias chipped off, their overall height slightly reduced—repurposed to serve as both a protective revetment for the Cyclopean wall and a marble backdrop or dado for the newly created forecourt area.11 Three of these metopes can still be seen in situ to the east and south of the southwest wing of the Classical, or Mnesiklean, Propylaia (Figure 3). A small marble bench, only 29 centimeters high and 36 centimeters wide, which would have originally lined the entire forecourt, was placed in front of these metope blocks.12 The marble lining and bench included an integrated base at its northern extent, most likely for a perirrhanterion (lustral basin).13 Descending from the marble lining and bench were a series of five rock-cut steps with limestone fillers in places where the natural bedrock needed to be leveled.14 These three elements created an open area, bordered on the east and south by a marble dado and bench, with a stepped theatral area. This area had an original length (north–south) of at least 14.18 meters, a significant amount of space for an area as topographically limited as the western approach to the Acropolis.15 

Figure 2

Forecourt of the Old Propylon, restored, ca. 480 BCE (William B. Dinsmoor Jr., The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, vol. 1, The Predecessors [Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1980], plate 3; courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens).

Figure 2

Forecourt of the Old Propylon, restored, ca. 480 BCE (William B. Dinsmoor Jr., The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, vol. 1, The Predecessors [Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1980], plate 3; courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens).

Figure 3

Forecourt of the Old Propylon, reused metopes in situ, view to the east (author's photo).

Figure 3

Forecourt of the Old Propylon, reused metopes in situ, view to the east (author's photo).

I believe the date of this first phase can be established with a relative degree of certainty. The metopes that were used as marble lining against the Bronze Age wall came from the Bluebeard Temple, which was probably dismantled in the last decade of the sixth century (1 in Figure 1).16 The metopes, however, could have been loose debris on the Acropolis or kept in storage for several years before their reuse in the forecourt area, although their relatively undamaged condition would suggest that this was not the case. The terminus ante quem is the Persian destruction of 480/479, on the basis of the survival of the metope blocks, which would very probably have been damaged and subsequently reburied if they had still been lying in storage on the Acropolis. In addition, in the south extension of the forecourt, just to the east of the Nike bastion, three step blocks are secured to each other by means of two Z-clamps.17 The Z-clamp was once thought to be a transitional clamp, between the Archaic swallowtail and the Classical double-T, but it was also used alongside the double-T on occasion.18 Comparanda for the earliest use of Z-clamps include buildings that date to the first two decades of the fifth century.19 The marble lining of the forecourt should therefore be placed between 508/507 and 480, although I am inclined to place it more precisely in the years immediately following the completion of the Old Athena Temple in ca. 500.20 

At some point after the forecourt area was delineated, work began on an actual structure to replace the Bronze Age gate. This building, known as the Old Propylon, represents a construction phase distinct from the forecourt, and it was never completed (3 in Figure 1). The remains of this building are fleeting, and there is still debate regarding which elements are pre-Persian and which are post-Persian.21 Among the few elements that certainly belong to the Old Propylon are the southwest corner of the stylobate (topmost foundation course), two steps of Pentelic marble resting on limestone foundations, parts of the southwest interior wall and floor (although some of these remains might belong to the second phase of the building), and evidence for an anta (wall end with capital) and spur wall connected to the Bronze Age wall.22 The construction of this phase required the partial dismantlement of sections of the Bronze Age wall, as well as slight modifications to the marble lining of the forecourt.23 

The overall ground plan, elevation, and dimensions of the building remain unknown and can be restored only on a hypothetical basis, in part because the structure was unfinished at the time of its destruction by the Persians in 480 and in part because its remains are largely obfuscated by the Mnesiklean Propylaia (Figure 4).24 That it was intended to be colonnaded seems evident by the load-bearing krepidoma (foundations) and the presence of the anta, although the precise number of columns and their arrangement is speculative.25 The reconstructed width and length of the building are also problematic and rely on the evidence of scattered bedrock cuttings below the Mnesiklean Propylaia, as well as the original and/or modified design and extent of the western Bronze Age walls and gate.26 The orientation of the building is also contested, although it should be restored with a generally north-northeast axis, which would direct worshippers toward the Old Athena Temple, the principal cult building on the Acropolis.27 

Figure 4

Old Propylon, forecourt, and Athena Nike bastion, restored plan, ca. 480 BCE (William B. Dinsmoor Jr., The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, vol. 1, The Predecessors [Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1980], plate 16; courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens).

Figure 4

Old Propylon, forecourt, and Athena Nike bastion, restored plan, ca. 480 BCE (William B. Dinsmoor Jr., The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, vol. 1, The Predecessors [Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1980], plate 16; courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens).

If the forecourt can likely be dated to ca. 500, and the entire area was damaged by the Persians in 480, then there is a period of roughly twenty years during which construction of the Old Propylon could have begun. It may be possible to narrow that range. The building of the Old Propylon (both Dinsmoor Jr.'s phases I and II) certainly occurred after the forecourt was installed, which means it must postdate ca. 500. The forecourt and Old Propylon are unlikely to be components of a single plan, given the retrimmed metope just north of the in situ anta and the angled blocks of the krepidoma where they meet the steps of the forecourt. The decision to build the Old Parthenon occurred after the Battle of Marathon in 490, and construction of the massive podium would have started soon after.28 While this building activity was occurring, large quantities of stone would have to be transported up to the Acropolis, making contemporary construction on the gateway unlikely. The start of construction for the Old Propylon, therefore, should fall in the years soon after 500, and the project would have been halted around 490/489.29 

Sanctuary of Athena Nike

Just to the south and slightly west of the entrance area to the Acropolis stands the Bronze Age bastion on which the sanctuary of Athena Nike is located (4 in Figure 1). The original form of the bastion in the Bronze Age LH IIIB and IIIC periods is debated, with some arguing that it functioned as a freestanding tower and others suggesting that it was physically connected to the western Bronze Age fortification wall.30 Regardless of restoration, the primary means of access to the sanctuary of Athena Nike from the Archaic period on seems to have been from the entrance area of the Acropolis rather than from the upper sanctuary.31 

Around the same time that the ramp and Bluebeard Temple were built, ca. 570–560, the sanctuary of Athena Nike received its first monumentalization in the form of a limestone altar, dedicated by the otherwise unknown Patrokledes.32 It is possible that an enthroned cult statue of Athena Nike also existed at this time, supported by the limestone blocks (the so-called repository) that were later reused within the cella of the limestone temple.33 If there was a cult statue, we would naturally assume it was protected by and housed within a building. No remains of a built structure can be definitively associated with this altar, however, although Mark, following the hypothesis of Wiegand, has suggested that some of the remains of the A-architecture—one or two of the oikemata (small limestone structures) that stood on the Acropolis in the sixth century—could have functioned as an Early Archaic temple for Athena Nike.34 

The next phase of activity on the bastion is of more interest for the current study. At some point between the dedication of the altar by Patrokledes near the mid-sixth century and the construction of the marble tetrastyle amphiprostyle temple in the 420s, a small limestone temple, often referred to as a naïskos, was built on the bastion, accompanied by a new and larger altar (Figure 5; see Figure 4). The small temple is Π-shaped, open on the eastern end, and measures approximately 3.65 meters long and 2.47 meters wide. The interior space of the shrine is largely occupied by a limestone statue base or repository, possibly in secondary use.35 A large rectangular altar was placed opposite the temple, facing the eastern opening. The altar, which measures 1.25 meters long, 0.78 meters wide, and approximately 0.50 meters high, is crowned by an elegant cyma reversa molding, while a near identical molding decorates the base (Figures 6 and 7). Both temple and altar were contained within an irregular trapezoidal temenos (precinct) wall that ran around the edge of the bastion.

Figure 5

Nike bastion with small limestone temple and altar, Bronze Age wall, forecourt, Old Propylon, and Building B, combined state and restored plan, ca. 480 BCE; shaded trapezoid represents the approximate usable area for crowd gatherings (graphically modified from Demosthenes Giraud, Study for the Restoration of the Temple of Athena Nike, 2 vols. [Athens: Archaeological Society at Athens, 1994]; courtesy of the Archaeological Society at Athens).

Figure 5

Nike bastion with small limestone temple and altar, Bronze Age wall, forecourt, Old Propylon, and Building B, combined state and restored plan, ca. 480 BCE; shaded trapezoid represents the approximate usable area for crowd gatherings (graphically modified from Demosthenes Giraud, Study for the Restoration of the Temple of Athena Nike, 2 vols. [Athens: Archaeological Society at Athens, 1994]; courtesy of the Archaeological Society at Athens).

Figure 6

Limestone altar of Athena Nike, ca. 480 BCE (author's photo).

Figure 6

Limestone altar of Athena Nike, ca. 480 BCE (author's photo).

Figure 7

Limestone altar of Athena Nike, ca. 480 BCE (author's photo).

Figure 7

Limestone altar of Athena Nike, ca. 480 BCE (author's photo).

The most widely followed chronology devised by Mark would date the limestone temple and altar to the mid-fifth century, sometime in the 440s.36 The argument is as follows: this small temple, built after the Persian destruction of the Acropolis in 480, served the cult of Athena Nike prior to the construction of the temple stipulated in the inscription designated IG I3 35, the Nike Temple Decree.37 The dating of IG I3 35 has long been contested, with some dating it to the 440s and others to the 420s. The arguments for placing the decree in the 430s or 420s, and thus divorcing it from the limestone temple and associating it instead more directly with the construction of the marble temple, are, to my mind, the most convincing.38 

In addition to the controversial dating of the Nike Temple Decree, there is additional evidence for the date of the limestone temple. This includes the presence of a large, slightly trapezoidal block (1.24 × 0.64 × 0.58 meters) of Piraeus limestone that forms the underpinning for the southwest corner of the temple (Mark's block F2), the profiles of the cyma reversa moldings on the altar, the masonry technique employed for the temple and altar, and the masonry of the trapezoidal temenos wall or bastion crown.39 I will address each of these in turn.

As Mark notes, the block of Piraeus limestone (his block F2) is similar to the blocks used to construct the interior foundations of the Peisistratid Olympieion, the podium of the Old Parthenon, and the north and south walls of the Acropolis; to his list we can also add the Bluebeard Temple.40 Due to the size of the block, Mark rejects comparison to any structure except the south wall of the Acropolis, which was primarily constructed after the Persian destruction, although it is likely that some sections date to earlier in the fifth century.41 In addition to its size, Mark notes, the block has an oblique or “battered” face, a feature also seen on the visible portion of the south wall of the Acropolis.42 The size of the block, however, is not sufficient evidence to discount comparisons with earlier structures, such as the podium for the Old Parthenon, the blocks of which vary from 0.9 to 1.79 meters in length and 0.47 to 0.55 meters in height.43 The “batter” or trapezoidal shape of the block is also a weak dating element; as drawn by Mark, the batter could be a sign of reworking or general damage (such that the block was no longer acceptable for use in a more visible or structurally sensitive element but was good enough for the foundations of the small temple); even if intentional, the shape alone does not necessitate a connection with the south wall.44 The material, Piraeus limestone from the Akti peninsula, is the only element that provides any semblance of a terminus post quem, although even that is not firm: the Akti quarries were used during the Archaic period but saw their most intensive exploitation in the early fifth century. The construction of the Old Parthenon podium soon after 490 represents the first massive quarrying of Piraeus limestone on the Akti peninsula. Blocks intended for the podium would have littered the Acropolis during the early 480s, and it is not difficult to imagine a block of Piraeus limestone being repurposed or even quarried explicitly for use on the Nike bastion, although it remains unclear why the southwest corner of the temple required this type of stone when the rest of the structure was composed of Aeginetan limestone.45 In short, little about the block provides any positive dating parameters other than that it should probably postdate the intensive exploitation of the Piraeus quarries in the early fifth century, although even that is not certain.

The profiles of the cyma reversa moldings on the top and bottom of the altar are nearly identical (Figure 8; see Figures 6 and 7). Mark presents seven possible parallels, some closer than others.46 For the base molding, he suggests comparison with a Late Archaic statue base from Paros, the toichobate molding from the Classical Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, and the molded grille sills for the pronaos and opisthodomos of the Parthenon. The Parthenon comparison should be discarded outright: the projecting curve of the Nike altar base is far more rounded, the transition to the return is more vertical, and the return itself is not as scooped as the Parthenon example. Similarly, the comparison with the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion presents a return that is not scooped enough and an overall profile that is stretched horizontally to a greater degree than the altar. The Late Archaic statue base from Paros offers the best parallel, although Mark claims that this type was developed earlier in eastern Greece than on the mainland, which allows him to push the date for the altar molding back by several decades in comparison.47 

Figure 8

Profiles of molding comparanda for the limestone altar of Athena Nike: A–A1, altar base molding; B, altar crowning molding; C, base molding from a Late Archaic statue base on Paros; D, toichobate molding from the Classical Temple of Poseidon at Sounion; E, molded sill for the pronaos and opisthodomos grilles of the Parthenon; F, base molding from the Late Archaic altar of Aphrodite Ourania in the Agora (profiles A–E graphically modified from Ira S. Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike in Athens: Architectural Stages and Chronology [Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1993], fig. 13; courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens; profiles A1 and F graphically modified from Ione Mylonas Shear, “The Western Approach to the Athenian Akropolis,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 119 [1999], fig. 5).

Figure 8

Profiles of molding comparanda for the limestone altar of Athena Nike: A–A1, altar base molding; B, altar crowning molding; C, base molding from a Late Archaic statue base on Paros; D, toichobate molding from the Classical Temple of Poseidon at Sounion; E, molded sill for the pronaos and opisthodomos grilles of the Parthenon; F, base molding from the Late Archaic altar of Aphrodite Ourania in the Agora (profiles A–E graphically modified from Ira S. Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike in Athens: Architectural Stages and Chronology [Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1993], fig. 13; courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens; profiles A1 and F graphically modified from Ione Mylonas Shear, “The Western Approach to the Athenian Akropolis,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 119 [1999], fig. 5).

Mark also suggests that the base molding on the Altar of Aphrodite Ourania in the Agora might be a good comparison, although he distrusts the date provided by the excavator.48 Examination of the base molding from the Aphrodite Ourania altar does, in fact, reveal the closest match with the Athena Nike altar. There is little doubt about the chronology of the Aphrodite altar: the pottery recovered from the earliest layers associated with the altar contained no sherds later than the last decade of the sixth century, as did the lowest layers of fill within the base. Moreover, the marble finials of the altar were repaired in the fifth century, indicating that the altar was probably damaged by the Persians in 480. The date for the first phase of the Aphrodite altar, therefore, must be ca. 500.49 The moldings of the altar of Athena Nike should place this structure in the same period.

The masonry techniques employed on the limestone temple and altar include the use of the claw-tooth chisel and drafted margins (narrow recessed bands along the edges of blocks, used on the temple only) (Figures 9 and 10). Mark interprets both as evidence for a date closer to the mid-fifth century than the early fifth century.50 The claw, however, was employed on architectural and sculptural members on the Acropolis as early as ca. 570–560, and its presence here could be an indication that the interior surfaces of the wall were prepared for plaster.51 Drafted margins appear on the podium of the Old Parthenon, where they can be seen in courses 18–20, as well as in the last (post-Persian) phase of the Old Propylon.52 Neither of these criteria can be used to necessitate a post-480 date. Similarly, the trapezoidal masonry style of the rebuilt bastion crown is not a firm dating criterion. Mark argues that the trapezoidal masonry style was a development that began only in the second half of the fifth century and became widely used in the fourth century; its use in the sanctuary of Athena Nike would be the first instance of this style in Attica.53 While it is true that trapezoidal masonry does not appear widely in Attica until the end of the fifth century, it is notoriously difficult to date walls based on masonry styles alone, a practice that has come under scrutiny.54 There is also no physical evidence to connect the rebuilt bastion crown with this phase of the sanctuary's development.55 The trapezoidal masonry temenos wall surrounding the Nike bastion is a potentially misleading element in the overall elaboration of the sanctuary.

Figure 9

Claw-tooth chisel marks on the limestone Temple of Athena Nike (author's photo).

Figure 9

Claw-tooth chisel marks on the limestone Temple of Athena Nike (author's photo).

Figure 10

Drafted margin detail on the limestone Temple of Athena Nike (author's photo).

Figure 10

Drafted margin detail on the limestone Temple of Athena Nike (author's photo).

One final piece of evidence that may help date this phase of the Nike sanctuary is the terracotta figurines found within the limestone repository inside the temple.56 The figurines are of a type popular in the Late Archaic period and rarely seen in the mid-fifth century. They depict a woman with upturned arms wearing a polos; they are handmade and share similarities with figurines found in other areas of Athens and Attica. They imply a deposition date far earlier than the suggested 440–430 chronology for the limestone shrine.

As is clear from the above discussion, establishing a construction date for the limestone temple and altar of Athena Nike is difficult. Nevertheless, I find the evidence adduced for a date in the 440s inconclusive; further, the same evidence can be used to argue for a much earlier date, within the first quarter of the fifth century and perhaps before the Persian destruction of 480/479.57 Indeed, there is one further element that might lend credence to a pre-Persian date for the limestone temple and altar: the physical relationship between the bastion and the forecourt of the Old Propylon, which we have already seen dates to ca. 500 (Figure 11). Access to the sanctuary of Athena Nike was achieved only from the area of the forecourt: an opening in the bastion crown on the northeast side, perhaps closed with a gate or door, linked the two areas via a short staircase, perhaps of a single step.58 This physical connection between the two areas, present in some form since the Bronze Age, seems to have been planned as an integral part of the overall monumentalization of this area at this time. Together, the two areas created a somewhat sheltered space, perhaps for gathering prior to entering the sanctuary, for inspection of processions, or for pausing to catch one's breath after the steep climb.59 

Figure 11

Nike bastion with limestone temple and altar, Bronze Age wall, forecourt, and Old Propylon, restored, ca. 480 BCE (modified from Ira S. Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike in Athens: Architectural Stages and Chronology [Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1993], fig. 12, with additional elevations for the area surrounding the Nike bastion and ramp; courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens).

Figure 11

Nike bastion with limestone temple and altar, Bronze Age wall, forecourt, and Old Propylon, restored, ca. 480 BCE (modified from Ira S. Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike in Athens: Architectural Stages and Chronology [Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1993], fig. 12, with additional elevations for the area surrounding the Nike bastion and ramp; courtesy of the Trustees of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens).

Figure 12

Map of Attica showing major deme sites and border areas (map by author).

Figure 12

Map of Attica showing major deme sites and border areas (map by author).

Occupation, Siege, and Warfare in Late Archaic Athens

The last decade of the sixth century in Athens was a period of turmoil and upheaval. Following the assassination of Hipparchos in 514/513, the remaining Peisistratid son, Hippias, became a truly tyrannical tyrant. He put to death numerous citizens and sent many more into exile.60 He began to fortify the Mounychia in Piraeus as a new stronghold, and his overall oppression of the Athenians became worse than before.61 One of the families exiled was the Alkmaionidai, descendants of Megakles, who conspired both with and against Peisistratos during the latter's earlier attempts at the tyranny; this exile would prove to be the catalyst for the ultimate downfall of the Peisistratidai and liberation of the Athenians from the tyrants. The Alkmaionidai withdrew to Delphi, where they received the contract to rebuild the Temple of Apollo.62 It is here that the priestess of Apollo told the Spartans that before they could receive the prophecies of the god, they must first help liberate the Athenians and destroy the tyranny.63 

Due to this divine prompting, the Spartans marched on Athens, led by their king Kleomenes, in 511/510.64 The Spartan troops defeated the hired Thessalian cavalry and entered the city, besieging Hippias and his supporters on the Acropolis, where they had retreated.65 The Spartans also captured several Peisistratid children as they attempted to escape, and the seizure of the hostages broke the resistance of Hippias.66 He was given five days to leave Athens, and he eventually withdrew to Sigeion before finally ending up at the Persian court of Darius at some point during the first decade of the fifth century.67 

The Athenians were finally free of Hippias's oppression and the tyranny of the Peisistratidai, thanks to the help of the Spartans and the exiled Alkmaionidai in Delphi. After Hippias and his supporters left, all of the families previously exiled returned to Athens. The power void left by Hippias's removal, however, was soon filled with stasis, primarily between two men, Isagoras and Kleisthenes, an Alkmaeonid.68 In 508/507, Kleisthenes found himself losing and so attempted to win the support of the people, bringing them into his party.69 Once Kleisthenes had the support of the people, he began to implement a revolutionary series of reforms that would result in democracy. Isagoras, now finding himself on the losing side, sought Spartan assistance from the same king, Kleomenes, who had earlier helped the Athenians remove the Peisistratidai and end the tyranny.70 Prior to marching into Athens, Kleomenes first sent orders for the “Accursed” to be expelled from the city, a group that included the Alkmaionidai.71 Kleisthenes and seven hundred of his supporters withdrew from the city, but the Spartans came regardless.

Kleomenes and the Spartans first attempted to seize control of the newly established Council of 500 and transfer power to Isagoras and three hundred of his supporters.72 They were resisted, however, by the bouleutai (councilors), who drove them to the Acropolis and besieged them there. The bouleutai were joined by the multitude (συναθροισθέντος τοῦ πλήθους), and together they besieged Isagoras, his supporters, Kleomenes, and the Spartan troops.73 After three days, Kleomenes and the Spartans surrendered and were allowed to leave the city; Isagoras and his supporters were imprisoned and eventually killed.74 

After the Spartans left, Kleisthenes and the other exiled families returned to the city, and the reforms that had previously been passed began to be implemented in their entirety, including new divisions of the citizen population. The new political regime, however, was soon beset with more challenges. A quadripartite attack of Spartans, Corinthians, Boiotians, and Chalkidians threatened the western border of Attic territory in 506/505 (Figure 12).75 The Spartans and Corinthians marched on Eleusis to attack the southwestern edge of Attica, the Boiotians seized the outlying demes (villages) of Oinoe and Hysiae along the western border, and the Chalkidians were to attack Attica from another direction, presumably the northwestern border.76 This three-pronged attack was designed to exploit the presumed weaknesses of the early democratic state. Instead of achieving victory, however, the Spartans were forced to withdraw when the Corinthians decided not to help them establish a tyranny, while the Boiotians and Chalkidians were roundly defeated, imprisoned, and ransomed by the Athenians.77 

In celebration of this victory, the Athenians dedicated a bronze quadriga (four-horse chariot group) on the Acropolis to their patron goddess, as a tithe from the spoils, as well as the chains used to enslave the captured Boiotian and Chalkidian prisoners.78 The quadriga monument was destroyed in the Persian sack, but fragments of its inscription, as well as the inscription from the replacement monument, survive, and they emphasize the importance of this victory.79 The original monument, which is perhaps the earliest votive dedication made by the demos (the people), was erected on a base of gray Eleusinian limestone (Figure 13).80 The original location of this dedication is problematic, however. According to Herodotus, writing after the Persian destruction of the Acropolis, the chains were displayed against a wall that had been burned by the Persians, opposite “the megaron that faces west.”81 This has been interpreted to mean that the chains were hung on the western terrace wall supporting the Old Athena Temple, which was burned by the Persians. Herodotus reports the quadriga to be “on the left” as one passes through the Propylaia; it is unclear if this places the monument before the entrance gate or within the sanctuary proper.82 Pausanias, who saw the monument well over five hundred years after Herodotus, locates it near the Athena Promachos statue, which would place the quadriga inside the sanctuary near the chains.83 Both authors refer to the replacement monument, however, and it is unclear how far their remarks can be extended to the original.84 

Figure 13

Boiotian and Chalkidian monument base (IG I3 501, EM 6286), ca. 506/505 BCE (author's photo).

Figure 13

Boiotian and Chalkidian monument base (IG I3 501, EM 6286), ca. 506/505 BCE (author's photo).

Regardless of their original location, the inscription and statue emphasize the success of the Athenians over their enemies and monumentally proclaim the growing military supremacy of the new democracy. If they were erected in the general area of the entrance to the Acropolis, near the Athena Nike sanctuary, that would accord well with the overall message of triumph encapsulated in the monument and underscored throughout the entrance complex. To illuminate this point, I turn now to a final consideration of the entrance area of the Acropolis as a deliberately created space of contestation and triumph.

The Entrance of the Acropolis as a Site of Protest

Over the course of approximately thirty years, from the expulsion of the last tyrant, Hippias, by the Spartans in 511/510 to the Persian invasion of 480/479, the Acropolis bore witness to repeated occupations, sieges, and displays of violence.85 The first siege saw the Spartans holding the entrance area, preventing Hippias and his supporters from escaping or controlling the affairs of the Athenians. The next siege, just a few years later, presented a flipped perspective. The Spartans were now the besieged, and the entrance area was controlled by the newly empowered Athenian demos. At the close of this period, another occupation and siege occurred; this time, the Athenians who trusted that the “wooden walls” of the Pythia's oracle referred to the Acropolis were besieged there by the Persian invaders.86 

The two decades after the passage of the Kleisthenic reforms also witnessed a monumental elaboration of this entrance area. Parts of the Bronze Age fortifications were dismantled, and a forecourt was installed to frame the entrance and serve as a focal point for the large ramp. Plans were begun to create a new gate, the Old Propylon, the intended marble edifice juxtaposed with the remains of the Cyclopean masonry and creating an overall impression of strength, power, and divine protection. Nearby, the sanctuary of Athena Nike may have been embellished with a new temple and altar, forming a bookend with the Old Propylon and enclosing the space of the forecourt. Votive dedications like the Boiotian and Chalkidian monument may have populated the entrance area alongside the lustral basin installed in the forecourt. It is also possible that the Hekatompedon Decrees (IG I3 4A–B), documents that explicitly describe proper and improper activities within the sanctuary, were posted in this area.87 The pre-Mnesiklean cistern was also likely installed in this general area in the immediate post-Marathon period.88 Even in an unfinished state, these architectural changes indicate a deliberate attempt to craft a particular type of entrance area for Athens's most important sacred space.89 

The forecourt, as described above, makes the most of a constricted and awkward space and provides some idea of the area as it existed prior to ca. 500 (5 in Figure 1). When combined with a portion of the open space around the entrance, the extent of this polygonal area is approximately 200 square meters (as measured from the gray polygon in Figure 5). From a purely mathematical standpoint, this area is of sufficient size to hold one thousand people, based on a maximum crowd density calculation of five standing people per square meter.90 This calculation does not, however, take into account the varying slopes of the entrance area (see elevation points indicated in Figures 4 and 11) and the areas of rough or unworked bedrock, nor does it factor in the additional space offered by the larger extent of the ramp, space on the Nike bastion itself, possible interior space of the gateway and Building B, and other unworked areas of the Acropolis bedrock surrounding the entrance complex, which may or may not have provided suitable areas for gathering.91 Taking the steep elevation and surface conditions into account, however, the thousand-person capacity should be significantly lowered; adding in the space of the ramp and bastion, on the other hand, would raise it slightly. Although surely speaking in hyperbole, Herodotus would seem to confirm that a large number of people could be accommodated in the space when he says that the five hundred bouleutai besieged the Spartans in 508/507, and they were subsequently joined by the “rest of the Athenians” (Ἀθηναίων δὲ λοιποὶ).92 

While these measurements are based on the area as it appeared ca. 480, the extent of the entrance area prior to the construction of the forecourt and Old Propylon (and therefore during the siege of 508/507) was likely of a similar size, depending on how one chooses to restore the Bronze Age walls.93 The construction of the forecourt with its stepped theatral area emphasizes the possible use of this space for gatherings and provides a monumental articulation of the overall extent of the space.94 While it is impossible to provide a precise capacity number for the entrance area, we can reasonably estimate it to hold somewhere between three hundred and eight hundred individuals, a not insignificant capacity.95 

In terms of accessibility, the Acropolis sits at the heart of the ancient city, at the terminus of the Panathenaic Way (Figure 14). When the Agora was transferred from the old part of the city, somewhere to the east of the Acropolis, to its Classical location northwest of the Acropolis, the sanctuary of Athena was even more integrated into the overall plan of the astu (city center).96 The path of the Panathenaic Way passes directly through the Classical Agora, leading up to the western entrance of the Acropolis; previously, access to the Acropolis from the Old Agora required a more circuitous route. Once this new Agora location was established, likely in ca. 500, movement and communication between the central marketplace and political hub of the city and its most sacred area could be more rapid.97 

Figure 14

Map of ancient Athens (graphically modified from Charles Gates, Ancient Cities: The Archaeology of Urban Life in the Ancient Near East and Egypt, Greece, and Rome [New York: Routledge, 2011], fig. 14.1; reproduced by permission of Taylor & Francis Books UK).

Figure 14

Map of ancient Athens (graphically modified from Charles Gates, Ancient Cities: The Archaeology of Urban Life in the Ancient Near East and Egypt, Greece, and Rome [New York: Routledge, 2011], fig. 14.1; reproduced by permission of Taylor & Francis Books UK).

Both the size and the accessibility of the entrance area are related to the concept of visibility. The Acropolis itself is elevated above the rest of the city. The north side, in particular, is highly visible from the area of the Classical Agora. It is not by chance that the blackened remains of the entablature of the Old Athena Temple and unfinished column drums of the Old Parthenon, both damaged by the Persian barbarians, were so carefully rebuilt into this particular wall.98 From the new Agora, the Athenians who had survived the Persian attacks could, by lifting their gaze, see these emblems of survival and victory. Prior to the Persian destruction, the view from the new Agora would have included a glimpse of the Old Athena Temple as well as parts of the entrance area. During the siege of 508/507, people in the Agora would have been able to see and possibly hear the large crowd of the demos barring the entrance to the Acropolis. In the decades after this occupation and uprising, perhaps especially when the entrance area was undergoing embellishment, this view from the Agora would have been particularly charged.

Moreover, the built structures and dedications in the entrance area provide symbolic resonance to the repeated occupations over the thirty-year period from 511/510 to 480/479. The sanctuary of Athena Nike, especially if paired with the bronze quadriga monument commemorating the Athenian success against the Boiotians and Chalkidians, would have imbued the area with manifest symbols of the new democracy's martial prowess. The use of marble in the forecourt and Old Propylon, as well as the construction of so many structures and monuments in a short period, speaks to the financial resources of the polis. In addition, the preserved—and highlighted—Bronze Age fortification walls represent the strength of legendary Athens while serving as a mark of continuity in the divine favor bestowed on the polis by Athena. In many ways, the space itself became a symbol of Athenian resistance, perseverance, and success in the early fifth century.99 

Aristophanes's Lysistrata, produced in 411, helps to demonstrate both the symbolic and the practical function of the entrance area and illuminates several of the points made above. In the first choral ode, the old men discuss how they plan to besiege the women on the Acropolis and compare the women's occupation of the sanctuary with the failed attempt by Kleomenes in 508/507. The historical siege is explicitly described as a victory for the old men, who exclaim that the Spartan king surrendered to them, weaponless, starving, dirty, and unshaven: “Kleomenes himself was hurtled out in sore defeat. His stiff-backed Spartan pride was bent. Out, stripped of all his arms, he went: a pigmy cloak that would not stretch, to hide his rump (the draggled wretch), six sprouting years of beard, the spilth of six years’ filth.”100 

The chorus leader goes on to describe how he and the other men laid siege before the gate of the Acropolis: “That was a siege! Our men were ranged in lines of seventeen deep before the gates, and never left their posts there, even to sleep.”101 These events are recalled as a shining moment in the early history of the democracy, when the demos resisted and defeated the Spartans and their would-be puppet tyrant Isagoras, conquering the dual threats of tyranny and stasis. The act of besieging the women at the gate of the Acropolis reminds the men of the last time this act was performed, in the exact same location, despite the fact that it is extremely unlikely that any of the men involved in the historical siege of 508/507 would still be alive during the performance of the play. These comments demonstrate that when Lysistrata was produced in 411, these memories of besieging Kleomenes and Isagoras in 508/507, nearly one hundred years prior, were still living and retained in the minds of the citizen body, familiar enough to be used as satirical commentary during another historical conflict between the Athenians and the Spartans.102 

These passages highlight the overall size and capacity of the entrance area, as well as its practical function as a gateway, a structure able to be locked and blockaded. The remarks of the chorus also demonstrate that the entrance to the Acropolis was a place pregnant with memory. Despite the physical changes that took place between the siege of 508/507 and the performance of Lysistrata in 411, the men (and, by extension, the Athenian demos in the audience) still viewed the entrance area as a space of contestation and as a place that evoked these specific memories. For the Athenians visiting the Acropolis prior to the Persian destruction, when these events would still be exceedingly fresh in their minds, the connection between the gateway to the sanctuary and the successful besieging of Kleomenes and Isagoras would have been unmistakably pointed. The lustral basin in the forecourt and the Hekatompedon Decrees, if located here, further underscored the sanctity of the Acropolis and the sacrilege committed by the Spartans when they occupied it. The Athenians, in besieging them, can thus be seen to be acting as defenders of their new democracy as well as defenders of the sacred citadel of their patron goddess.

In this way, the embellishment and monumentalization of the entrance area can be understood as a direct response to the successful siege of 508/507. The Athenians had triumphed over a foreign force occupying their sacred citadel, affirming the strength of their new democracy and dismissing any doubts about their power and organizational capabilities. At the same time, by celebrating this event through the act of articulating a new space, the Athenians were able to rewrite the memory of the earlier siege, when it was the Spartans outside the gate, liberating the Athenians from the tyrants.103 

The entrance area of the Acropolis encapsulates the events of the late sixth and early fifth centuries, concretizing the multiple triumphs of the democracy. The military overtones are highlighted through the bronze quadriga dedication and the towering sanctuary of Athena Nike. The democratic ideals of accountability and visibility are written into the physical fabric of the space, with the prominent display of the Hekatompedon Decrees and the open, theatral forecourt. The use of new materials and construction of new built elements appear alongside the preservation of the city's Bronze Age past, a reminder of the historic role of the citadel in the continued defense and success of the city. The concepts of capacity, access, visibility, and potent symbolism are all embodied at the entranceway, and these concepts were in turn highlighted and even produced by the monumentalization of this space. Understanding this space as a site of occupation, siege, and protest allows us to consider its crucial role in the flourishing of the early democracy: it provided the Athenians with a physical arena for both conflict and unity, communal dissent and approval. The entrance to the Acropolis was not merely a gate to the sanctuary but a vibrant and dynamic space of memory and forgetting, where the Athenians laid claim to the heart of their polis and declared it, anew, as their own.

Notes

Notes
1.
My research on this topic was made possible by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Princeton University, the College of William & Mary, Washington University in St. Louis, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the First Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. Additional thanks go to Vassiliki Georgaka, who generously facilitated access inside the Athena Nike bastion.
 All dates are BCE unless otherwise indicated; all translations are my own unless otherwise noted.
2.
For a defense of the necessity of the physical public sphere in modern democratic states, see John R. Parkinson, Democracy and Public Space: The Physical Sites of Democratic Performance (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). For a brief overview of the term public sphere and its historical application, with particular attention to democratic societies, see Ian Ward, “Public Sphere,” in The Encyclopedia of Political Thought, ed. Michael T. Gibbons (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2014).
3.
On the role of empty urban spaces in enabling consensus building, see Monica L. Smith, “Empty Urban Spaces: Contentious Places for Consensus Building,” Archaeological Dialogues 15 (2008), 216–31. On the role of theatral areas in the functioning of Athenian democracy in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE, see Jessica Paga, “Deme Theaters in Attica and the Trittys System,” Hesperia 79 (2010), 351–84.
4.
On the buildings in the Agora and its general development over time, see John McK. Camp II, The Athenian Agora: Site Guide, 5th ed. (Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2010); on the Old Bouleuterion, see ibid., 60–63. On the first phase of the Pnyx dating to ca. 500, see Homer Thompson and Konstantine Kourouniotes, “The Pnyx in Athens,” Hesperia 1 (1932), 216; John Travlos, Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens (London: Thames and Hudson, 1971), 446; Greg R. Stanton and Peter J. Bicknell, “Voting in Tribal Groups in the Athenian Assembly,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 28 (1987), 73–76; Petros G. Calligas, “Archaeological Research on the Athenian Pnyx,” in The Pnyx in the History of Athens, ed. Björn Forsén and Greg R. Stanton (Helsinki: Foundation of the Finnish Institute at Athens, 1996), 3; John M. Camp, The Archaeology of Athens (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2001), 46. For a recent broad overview of the early phase of the Theater of Dionysus with reference to earlier bibliography, see Jessica Paga, “The Greek Theater,” in Blackwell's Companion to Greek Architecture, ed. Margaret M. Miles (Oxford: Blackwell, 2016), 361–63. On the creation, location, and overall importance of the demosion sema in the Kerameikos in the early fifth century, see Nathan Arrington, “Topographic Semantics: The Location of the Athenian Public Cemetery and Its Significance for the Nascent Democracy,” Hesperia 79 (2010), 499–539.
5.
An additional entrance existed during the LH IIIB period on the northern side, but it had a steep, difficult ascent and was blocked by the end of that period when the fortification wall was built around the entire brow of the Acropolis. On the Bronze Age Acropolis, see Spyros E. Iakovides, Late Helladic Citadels on Mainland Greece (Leiden: Brill, 1983), 73–90; Spyros E. Iakovides, The Mycenaean Acropolis of Athens (Athens: Archaeological Society at Athens, 2006), esp. 182–89, concerning the western entrance; James Wright, “The Mycenaean Entrance System at the West End of the Acropolis of Athens,” Hesperia 63 (1994), 323–60; Ione Mylonas Shear, “The Western Approach to the Athenian Akropolis,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 119 (1999), 86–127.
6.
It is possible that modifications were made to the Bronze Age gate around the time of the construction of the Bluebeard Temple and monumental ramp, ca. 570–560 (treated in more detail below). I. M. Shear, convincingly to my mind, argues that parts of the Bronze Age gate would have had to be dismantled in order to facilitate the transportation of blocks for the Bluebeard Temple up to the Acropolis. Shear, “The Western Approach,” 106.
7.
Eugene Vanderpool dates the ramp to the second quarter of the sixth century on the basis of pottery uncovered from a room in an Early Archaic house found underneath the ramp. Eugene Vanderpool, “The Date of the Pre-Persian City Wall of Athens,” in Phoros: Tribute to B. C. Meritt, ed. Donald W. Bradeen and Malcom F. McGregor (New York: J. J. Augustin, 1974), 157–59. The ramp has often been interpreted as part of the expansion of the Panathenaia, reorganized in 566/565. Ibid., 159; Jeffrey Hurwit, The Athenian Acropolis: History, Mythology, and Archaeology from the Neolithic Era to the Present (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 106; Camp, The Archaeology of Athens, 31–32. It is unknown if the ramp was stepped or paved, but Mary Hollinshead remarks that its “exceptional breadth” should certainly connect it with the Panathenaic Way. Mary Hollinshead, Shaping Ceremony: Monumental Steps and Greek Architecture (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2015), 38. The ramp should also be understood alongside the construction of the Bluebeard Temple in ca. 570–560, as emphasized by Shear, “The Western Approach,” 105–6. On the connections between the ramp, Bluebeard Temple, and reorganization of the Panathenaia, see Julia L. Shear, “Polis and Panathenaia” (PhD diss., University of Pennsylvania, 2001), 674–81.
8.
The small limestone oikema, Building B, may have been located in this area, although there is no direct physical evidence to place it here other than the fact that many of its fragments were reused in the Mnesiklean Propylaia (7 in Figure 1). It was constructed sometime in the third quarter of the sixth century and likely had a tristyle in antis plan with a width of 9.72 meters. For discussion of the small oikemata on the Acropolis, see Nancy Klein, “The Architecture of the Athenian Acropolis before Pericles,” in Cities Called Athens: Studies Honoring John McK. Camp II, ed. Kevin F. Daly and Lee Ann Riccardi (Lewisburg: Bucknell University Press, 2015), 137–63; Nancy Klein, “Architectural Repairs of the Small Limestone Buildings on the Athenian Acropolis in the Archaic Period,” in Autopsy in Athens: Recent Archaeological Research on Athens and Attica, ed. Margaret M. Miles (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2015), 1–8. If Building B truly was located here, extensive alterations to the Bronze Age wall—and possibly the Bronze Age gate—would have been required; these alterations would have preceded by approximately fifty years those related to renovations in the area to the north of the entrance gate documented by Tassos Tanoulas, “The Pre-Mnesiclean Cistern on the Athenian Acropolis,” Athenische Mitteilungen 107 (1992), 155–60.
9.
Regarding the Old Propylon, the following are the principal studies to be consulted: Wilhelm Dörpfeld, “Der alte Athena-Tempel auf der Akropolis zu Athen,” Athenische Mitteilungen 10 (1885), 275–77; Charles Heald Weller, “The Pre-Periclean Propylon,” American Journal of Archaeology 8 (1904), 35–70; Jens A. Bundgaard, Mnesicles: A Greek Architect at Work (Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1957); Jens A. Bundgaard, Parthenon and the Mycenaean City on the Heights (Copenhagen: National Museum of Denmark, 1976); Hans Eiteljorg, “New Finds Concerning the Entrance to the Acropolis,” Athens Annals of Archaeology 8 (1976), 94–95; William B. Dinsmoor Jr., The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, vol. 1, The Predecessors (Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies in Athens, 1980); R. A. Tomlinson, review of The Sanctuary of Athena Nike in Athens: Architectural Stages and Chronology, by Ira Mark, Journal of Hellenic Studies 115 (1995), 238; Tassos Tanoulas, “The Propylaia of the Acropolis at Athens since the Seventeenth Century: Their Decay and Restoration,” Jahrbuch des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts 102 (1987), 413–83; Tassos Tanoulas, “Τὰ Προπύλαια τῆς Ἀθηναικῆς Ἀκρόπολης,” Αρχαιολογικὸν Δελτίον 43 (1988), 19–21; Tassos Tanoulas, “Τὰ Προπύλαια τῆς Ἀθηναικῆς Ἀκρόπολις,” Αρχαιολογικὸν Δελτίον 44 (1989), 18; Jos de Waele, The Propylaia of the Akropolis in Athens: The Project of Mnesikles (Amsterdam: J. C. Gieban, 1990); Harrison Eiteljorg II, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis before Mnesicles (Boston: Archaeological Institute of America, 1993); Tassos Tanoulas, review of The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis before Mnesicles, by Harrison Eiteljorg II, American Journal of Archaeology 100 (1996), 188–89; Tassos Tanoulas, Τα Προπυλαια της Αθηναικης Ακροπολης κατα τον Μεσαιωνα, 2 vols. (Athens: Archaeological Society at Athens, 1997); Shear, “The Western Approach.” On the bastion and sanctuary of Athena Nike, see Petros Kavvadias, “Περὶ τοῦ ναοῦ τῆς Ἀπτέρου Νίκης κατ᾽ ἐπιγραφὴν ἐκ τῆς Ἀκροπόλεως,” ΑρχΕφ (1897), 173–94; Harold B. Mattingly, “The Athena Nike Temple Reconsidered,” American Journal of Archaeology 86 (1982), 381–85; Ira S. Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike in Athens: Architectural Stages and Chronology (Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1993); Demosthenes Giraud, Study for the Restoration of the Temple of Athena Nike, 2 vols. (Athens: Archaeological Society at Athens, 1994); Shear, “The Western Approach”; Harold B. Mattingly, “The Athena Nike Dossier: IG I3 35/36 and 64 A–B,” Classical Quarterly 50 (2000), 604–6; David W. J. Gill, “The Decision to Build the Temple of Athena Nike (‘IG’ I3 35),” Historia 51 (2001), 257–78.
10.
The Bluebeard Temple, sometimes referred to as the Hekatompedon or H-Architecture, was the first monumental stone temple on the Acropolis, built ca. 570–560. Its location on the Acropolis remains a highly contested issue in Athenian archaeology. For recent contrasting views, each with extensive earlier bibliography, see Jessica Paga, “The Claw-Tooth Chisel and the Hekatompedon Problem: Issues of Tool and Technique,” Athenische Mitteilungen 127 (2015), 175–93 (arguing for placement on the north side); and Elisavet Sioumpara, “Η νέα αναπαράσταση του ‘Εκατομπέδου’ Ναού με βάση τα διάσπαρτα πώρινα αρχιτεκτονικά μέλη της Ακρόπολης,” in Πρακτικά της 6ης Διεθνής Συνάντησης για την Αποκατάσταση των Μνημείων Ακροπόλεως [Proceedings of the Sixth International Meeting for the Restoration of the Acropolis Monuments, Athens 4–5 October 2013] (Athens, 2015), 249–69 (arguing for implied placement on the south side). I find the arguments for the north-side placement more persuasive, but I fully acknowledge the controversy. The location of this temple has ramifications for the dating of the forecourt of the Old Propylon, as discussed later in this essay.
11.
Dinsmoor Jr. restores eighteen metopes, whereas I. M. Shear notes ten. See Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 23; Shear, “The Western Approach,” 108. Eiteljorg does not specify how many metopes would have originally been used to line the wall. Eiteljorg, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis.
12.
Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 18, 21.
13.
This base is frequently referred to as the “tripod base,” but it is more likely for a perirrhanterion. For a full discussion of the block in question, including various theories about its original function, see ibid., 31–34. Hollinshead, following Dinsmoor and others, also notes that it could have supported a triple-bodied Hekataion. Hollinshead, Shaping Ceremony, 47.
14.
For a detailed description of these steps, see Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 19–21. Hollinshead notes that the steps are of varying heights and depths (risers and treads), indicating that they were used for both sitting and standing. Hollinshead, Shaping Ceremony, 47.
15.
Dinsmoor Jr. provides this measurement, and it is also measurable from the state plan (see Figure 5) and the restored plan (see Figure 11). Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 18.
16.
The identification of the marble slabs as metope blocks from the Bluebeard Temple was made by Theodore Wiegand. Theodore Wiegand, Die archaische Poros-Architektur der Akropolis zu Athen (Leipzig: Verlag von Th. G. Fisher, 1904), 110. Although the matter remains contested, as noted above, I believe that the Bluebeard Temple stood on the foundations identified by Dörpfeld, on the north side of the Acropolis near the Erechtheion; these foundations were subsequently reused for the Old Athena Temple, which dates to ca. 500. William A. P. Childs, “The Date of the Old Temple of Athena on the Athenian Acropolis,” in The Archaeology of Athens and Attica under the Democracy, ed. William D. E. Coulson et al. (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 1994), 1–6. This reuse would have necessitated the deliberate dismantlement of the earlier temple, the cult building for Athena Polias. It is unlikely that the Acropolis would be bereft of the principal temple to Athena Polias (and protective house for her cult statue) for any extensive amount of time; dismantlement of the Bluebeard Temple in 508/507 or shortly thereafter would therefore allow sufficient time for the construction of its successor by ca. 500 without too much of a gap between structures. The metopes would thus be reused in the forecourt sometime after ca. 508. The historical context and construction activity of the last decade of the sixth century, as treated below, supports this chronology. The other alternative, however—that the Bluebeard Temple stood on the south side of the Acropolis, below the Parthenon—also remains possible. In addition to Sioumpara, “Η νέα αναπαράσταση,” see also, with earlier bibliography, Manolis Korres, “Die Athena-Tempel auf der Akropolis,” in Kult und Kultbauten auf der Akropolis, ed. Wolfram Hoepfner (Berlin: Archäologisches Seminar der Freien Universität Berlin, 1997), 218–43; Manolis Korres, “Τοπογραφικά ζητήματα της Ακροπόλεως,” in Αρχαιολογία των Αθηνών Επιστημονικές—επιμορφωτικές διαλέξεις, ed. Maria Pantelidou Gofas et al. (Athens: Εθνικό Ίδρυμα Ερευνών “Επιστήμης Κοινωνία,” 1996), 84–94. This alternative hypothesis for the location of the Bluebeard Temple provides a terminus ante quem of 490 for the reuse of the metopes in the forecourt, when the Bluebeard Temple would have been dismantled to make way for the construction of the podium of the Old Parthenon. Note, however, that Korres argues that the Bluebeard Temple (Hekatompedon) would have remained standing while construction of the Old Parthenon began. Korres, “Die Athena-Tempel,” 241. Given the integrated nature of the metopes with the forecourt and the clear evidence for multiple, and distinct, construction phases in the entrance area, this second chronology would mean that all of the renovations of the entrance area—the forecourt and two phases of the Old Propylon—occurred in the span of ten years. The number of years would be even fewer if Korres is correct that the Bluebeard Temple, whose metopes were needed for the first phase in the entrance area, the construction of the forecourt, remained standing for some time during the construction of the Old Parthenon. At the same time, massive construction was also taking place for the Old Parthenon and, as demonstrated below, the Athena Nike bastion. Although it is possible, such an abbreviated timeline, not to mention the inherent problem of renovating the entrance area while simultaneously transporting huge quantities of large blocks for other building projects, would demand extensive organizational, administrative, and financial logistics.
17.
Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 21; the clamps can be seen on his state plan of the area (Plan A).
18.
Ibid., 27–28. The concurrent use of Z-clamps and double-T clamps can be observed on the Late Archaic Telesterion at Eleusis, which should be dated to ca. 500. On the clamps and date at Eleusis, see Jessica Paga, “The Monumental Definition of Attica in the Early Democratic Period,” in Miles, Autopsy in Athens, 111–12.
19.
Dinsmoor Jr. lists the Stoa Basileios, the Temple of Aphaia in Aegina, and the Marathon base associated with the Treasury of the Athenians at Delphi as the earliest examples; all of these structures have contested dates, but they can be generally placed in the first or early second quarter of the fifth century. Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 27–28. To these structures we can also add the Late Archaic Temple of Dionysus on the southern slope of the Acropolis, the Southeast Fountain House in the Agora, and the limestone Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, all of which date to the early fifth century. For the revised date of the Southeast Fountain House to ca. 480, see Jessica Paga, “The Southeast Fountain House in the Athenian Agora: A Reappraisal of Its Date and Historical Context,” Hesperia 84 (2015), 355–87; for the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, dated to ca. 490, see Jessica Paga and Margaret M. Miles, “The Archaic Temple of Poseidon at Sounion: New Discoveries,” Hesperia 85 (2016), 657–710. The presence of the Z-clamp cannot indicate a precise date; I adduce these examples only to demonstrate that it was a clamp type known in Athenian architecture in the first few decades of the fifth century but not seen earlier than ca. 500.
20.
The construction of the Old Athena Temple between 508/507 and ca. 500 would have required the transportation of large quantities of stone and other materials onto the Acropolis. It seems unlikely that the Athenians would have chosen this same moment to elaborate the gateway to the Acropolis with a delicate marble lining, benches, and steps. The more likely scenario would place the lining and development of the forecourt in the period immediately following the construction of the Old Athena Temple and before the construction of the Old Parthenon, so between 500 and 490. For a similar conclusion, see Shear, “The Western Approach,” 109. Dinsmoor Jr., in contrast, argues for a date of 489–488 for this phase, based on his belief that the metopes belonged to the “Hekatompedon” that he locates under the Old Parthenon; in his formulation, the metopes would thus not be available for reuse until after the Battle of Marathon. Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 28–30, 54. This is the implied dating for all scholars who follow the “south side” theory for the Bluebeard Temple; see notes 10 and 16 above. Eiteljorg dates the forecourt (his “lower court”) to 489–488, on similar grounds as Dinsmoor Jr. Eiteljorg, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis, 15–24.
21.
The most recent discussion of some of the problems and disagreements is Harrison Eiteljorg II, “Revisiting the Pre-Mnesiklean Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis,” American Journal of Archaeology 115 (2011), 641–45.
22.
Dinsmoor Jr. further subdivides these elements of the first phase into two phases: the stylobate and steps represent his phase I, followed shortly by the interior wall and anta as his phase II. Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 35–54. The anta and parastas wall currently in situ belong to the overall second phase of the Old Propylon.
23.
The setting of the anta required the trimming of the northernmost metope block of the lining. Ibid., 47.
24.
For some possible suggestions for restoration, see ibid., plate 5. These are supplemented by new suggestions in Eiteljorg, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis; and Shear, “The Western Approach.” A further complication to any restoration of the Old Propylon (in either its first or second phase) is the lack of elements of the superstructure. In his review of Eiteljorg's The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis before Mnesicles, Tanoulas indicates that parts of the superstructure exist, but there is no published description or record of them (189).
25.
The load-bearing capacity of the krepidoma is argued by Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 35. Compare Eiteljorg, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis, 23; Eiteljorg, “Revisiting the Pre-Mnesiklean Entrance,” 115.
26.
Stevens, Bundgaard, and Dinsmoor Jr. all restore the Old Propylon with a tetrastyle façade (Dinsmoor Jr.'s restored structure has a width of approximately 19.74 meters and a length of about 16.8 meters). Gorham Phillips Stevens, “Architectural Studies Concerning the Acropolis at Athens,” Hesperia 15 (1946), 73–106; Bundgaard, Mnesicles; Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis. Both Weller and Shear propose a narrower structure (Shear's proposed structure has a façade approximately 11 meters wide and 13.5 meters long). Weller, “The Pre-Periclean Propylon”; Shear, “The Western Approach.” Given the paucity of evidence, either proposed restoration could be possible. Shear, however, raises the important point that a propylon of the size posited by Dinsmoor Jr. would be without parallel in this period and would have nearly overshadowed the newly built Old Athena Temple (112). Eiteljorg restores the area as an upper and lower courtyard, retaining the Bronze Age gate but without any roofed structure (no articulated Old Propylon). Eiteljorg, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis; Eiteljorg, “Revisiting the Pre-Mnesiklean Entrance.” For a refutation of this hypothesis, see Tanoulas, review. The precise size and placement of Building B may also need to be taken into account (see note 8 above). In addition, the creation of a cistern to the northwest of the gate, possibly at the same time, would have required even further alterations to the Bronze Age wall. See Tanoulas, “The Pre-Mnesiclean Cistern,” 155–60. The changes to the wall convincingly proposed by Tanoulas mean that only the Old Propylon reconstructions of Stevens, Iakovides, Travlos, and Shear are possible (for references to plans, see note 24 above).
27.
The form of the Bronze Age gate and walls may have also dictated the orientation of the structure. Eiteljorg has his upper courtyard parallel with the Bronze Age gate, thus explaining its angle to the forecourt (his lower courtyard). Eiteljorg, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis. Tanoulas interprets this explanation, although not the double-courtyard restoration, favorably. See Tanoulas, review, 188.
28.
The identification of the Old Parthenon as a victory monument specifically for Marathon was articulated early on by William Bell Dinsmoor and explicated further in a subsequent publication in which he argued the date of post-490 in detail. William B. Dinsmoor, “The Date of the Older Parthenon,” American Journal of Archaeology 38 (1934), 408–48. Ceramic evidence confirms a date around 490, as does the stratigraphic and architectural evidence. On the ceramic evidence, see Botho Graef and Ernst Langlotz, Die Antiken Vasen von der Akropolis zu Athen (Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 1909–33), 2:II.75, plate 5, 2:II.636 (fr.), plates 50–51, 2:II.806, plate 72, 2:II.814d, plate 74; Dinsmoor, “The Date of the Older Parthenon,” 416–41; Andrew Stewart, “The Persian and Carthaginian Invasions of 480 B.C.E. and the Beginning of the Classical Style: Part 1, The Stratigraphy, Chronology, and Significance of the Acropolis Deposits,” American Journal of Archaeology 112 (2008), 394–95. On the stratigraphic and architectural evidence, see Paga, “The Claw-Tooth Chisel,” 187.
29.
This contradicts Dinsmoor Jr., who believes that the Old Propylon and Old Parthenon would have been built more or less simultaneously. Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 54. Such a hypothesis would mean that the construction of the forecourt (which Dinsmoor Jr. dates to 489/488; see note 20 above), as well as both phases of the Old Propylon, would have had to be compressed into the decade between Marathon and Salamis; such a short period for what may be three distinct phases of construction seems unlikely. Tomlinson also expresses reservations about this dating. See Tomlinson, review. I. M. Shear also dates the first phase of the Old Propylon between 500 and 490, noting the problems of concurrent construction on the Old Parthenon and Old Propylon. Shear, “The Western Approach,” 118.
30.
Several of the possible reconstructions of the bastion can be seen in Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, plate 1; to which should be added those of Eiteljorg, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis, fig. 29 (although he does not differ from Dinsmoor Jr. in this particular issue); and Shear, “The Western Approach,” 103, fig. 3. Shear and Travlos are among the only scholars who reconstruct the bastion as integrated with the Bronze Age wall, although this hypothesis strikes me as the more likely of the two, given other examples of Bronze Age defensive gates and towers. Shear, “The Western Approach”; Travlos, Pictorial Dictionary, 61, fig. 71, compare with 57, fig. 67. Mark follows Dinsmoor Jr.'s reconstruction of the bastion as a free-standing feature. Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 57, fig. 12. See also Wright, “The Mycenaean Entrance System.”
31.
The Classical stairway that connects the entrance area to the bastion is still partially visible along the northern side of the bastion.
32.
IG I3 596: τες Ἀθε̣[ναίας] || τες Νίκες || βομός || Πατροκ<λ>έδ̣[ες] || ἐποίεσεν (Patrokledes dedicated the altar of Athena Nike). The emendation with λ was made by Antony E. Raubitschek, Dedications from the Athenian Akropolis (Cambridge, Mass.: Archaeological Institute of America, 1949), 359, no. 329. Mark and Gill both restore the name as Patrokles. Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 33; Gill, “The Decision to Build the Temple of Athena Nike,” 259.
33.
Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 20–29 (base phases and chronology), 108–10 (for the attestation of an archaion agalma). Mark argues that the remains of the base can be dated to ca. 600–560 on the basis of tool marks. He also cites the use of poros (limestone) rather than marble as a factor more consistent with the early sixth century than later in the century. I am not convinced that either the tooling or the material constitutes a secure category for establishing the date of the base, particularly given the amount of later reworking, but it remains possible that a cult statue and accompanying shrine, made of either stone or ephemeral materials, were in place around this same time.
34.
Ibid., 34–35. In addition to the altar and possible temple, Mark dates the first rebuilding of the Bronze Age bastion crown to the second quarter of the sixth century. Ibid., 15–17. These features, taken as a whole, represent Mark's stage I. Building A (all permutations) was built ca. 560 and was dismantled and reused on the Acropolis after ca. 490. Klein, “The Architecture of the Athenian Acropolis,” 154. This could support Mark's hypothesis as well as the revised dating proposed herein (below): Building A (or some part of the members assigned to Building A) functioned as the Early Archaic cult building for Athena Nike and was dismantled and replaced ca. 490–480 by the limestone temple. Note, however, that Bernard Holtzmann points out the unlikeliness of this hypothesis, remarking that Building A, restored as distyle in antis, is larger than the subsequent limestone temple that replaced it. Bernard Holtzmann, L'Acropole d'Athènes: Monuments, cultes et histoire du sanctuaire d'Athèna Polias (Paris: Picard, 2003), 70 and n. 7.
35.
Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 52–53. This is the base discussed above, which Mark argues was first used as a statue base in the Early Archaic period and is here transformed into a repository for votive offerings. It is unclear in his reconstruction where the cult statue would now be displayed if this “base” was turned into a repository; the base/repository is located in the back (northwest) corner of the structure, at a slight angle to the surrounding walls.
36.
Ibid., 58–67.
37.
For IG I3 35, see Russell Meiggs and David Lewis, eds., A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions to the End of the Fifth Century B.C., rev. ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988), 44(40), EM 8116. See also Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 115–22 (the limestone naïskos is Mark's phase III).
38.
For a date in the 420s, see Mattingly, “The Athena Nike Temple Reconsidered”; Hurwit, The Athenian Acropolis, 160, 348n29; Mattingly, “The Athena Nike Dossier”; Gill, “The Decision to Build the Temple of Athena Nike.” For a date in the 440s, see Russell Meiggs, “The Dating of Fifth-Century Attic Inscriptions,” Journal of Hellenic Studies 86 (1966), 92; Meiggs and Lewis, Greek Historical Inscriptions, 109–10; Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 104–7; Tomlinson, review, 238.
39.
Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 17–19, 58–66. Mark claims that the block of Piraeus limestone “provides the project with a firm terminus post quem” (58), but I believe he misjudges that date by excluding nearly all building projects that included Piraeus limestone prior to the mid-fifth century.
40.
Ibid., 58–59. The use of this material in the Bluebeard Temple was recently confirmed by Sioumpara, “Η νέα αναπαράσταση.”
41.
On the different phases of the south wall, see Manolis Korres, “The Pedestals and the Akropolis South Wall,” in Attalos, Athens, and the Akropolis: The Pergamene “Little Barbarians” and Their Roman and Renaissance Legacy, ed. Andrew Stewart (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 274–78. Korres concludes that the earliest phase of the wall, composed of reused pieces of the Bluebeard Temple, could have predated the rest of it by up to thirty years (277). Although the precise date of the dismantlement of the Bluebeard Temple is contested (as discussed above), the reuse of the members does provide a rough terminus post quem for the south wall in the final years of the sixth century or the first two decades of the fifth. This dating, however, is based on the assumption that the disiecta membra of the Bluebeard Temple were reused immediately, like the metopes in the forecourt of the entrance area.
42.
Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 58n49.
43.
I obtained these dimensions by measuring along the west face of the podium, as well as by consulting drawings reproduced in Jens A. Bundgaard, The Excavation of the Athenian Acropolis 1882–1890: The Original Drawings, Edited from the Papers of Georg Kawerau (Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 1974), plates 114, 227.
44.
See drawings in Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, figs. 5, 6, 8. For a similar rebuttal of Mark's claims regarding this block, see Shear, “The Western Approach,” 122.
45.
For the provenance of the Aeginetan limestone blocks, see Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 42.
46.
For Mark's discussion and drawings of the altar profiles, as well as his seven parallels, see Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 59–60, 61, fig. 13. I. M. Shear also provides a drawing of the base molding of the Nike altar, but note that her profile is slightly different from Mark's (her base molding displays a slightly less pronounced double curve). Shear, “The Western Approach,” 123, fig. 5a. (Both profiles are reproduced in Figure 8, A, A1.)
47.
Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 60. There is no cited evidence for his claim that the eastern Greek moldings developed half a century earlier than those in Attica.
48.
“Although its dating has yet to be nailed down, the base molding on the recently excavated Altar of Aphrodite Ourania in the Athenian Agora offers a further important parallel.” Ibid., 60n57. It is unclear why Mark considers this dating to be uncertain: the altar was fully published by T. Leslie Shear Jr. in “The Athenian Agora: Excavations of 1980–1982,” Hesperia 53 (1984), 24–33; fig. 16 in that article shows a restored elevation of the altar, with the base molding of the altar prior to its damage by the Persians and subsequent repairs clearly articulated (see also the photos in plates 6–7). I. M. Shear presents a comparison of the Nike base molding and the Aphrodite altar base that clearly demonstrates their close similarities, as discussed above. Shear, “The Western Approach,” 123, fig. 5. For a more recent confirmation of the date of the altar as ca. 500, see Camp, The Athenian Agora, 102–3. (The Altar of Aphrodite molding is reproduced in Figure 8, F.)
49.
Shear, “The Athenian Agora,” 30. The base moldings for the Altar of Aphrodite Ourania can thus be taken as an indication that the profile of the cyma reversa of the Late Archaic statue base from Paros does not predate the evolution of the form in Attica.
50.
Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 50, 61–62.
51.
Paga, “The Claw-Tooth Chisel,” 197–98. There are traces of plaster on the euthynteria blocks, indicative of a plaster floor, and in some places the plaster covers the edge of the euthynteria and appears on the lower surfaces of the wall. Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 43. This suggests that the interior walls may have also been plastered.
52.
Mark prefers to compare the drafted margins with the north wall of the Acropolis, largely because it was constructed of similar Aeginetan limestone blocks. Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 61–62. He further argues that the naïskos, north wall, and Old Propylon are the first instances on the Acropolis of a departure from the typical drafted margins that surrounded three sides of the block. Ibid., 62 and n. 65. The variation in drafted margins within the courses of the podium for the Old Parthenon, however, demonstrates that the Athenians departed from the “typical” form of drafted margins by at least the 480s and cut margins on blocks where needed: the blocks of courses 18 and 19 display drafted margins along their upper edges only, while those of course 20 have drafted margins on the bottom and two vertical sides. This evidence indicates that there was no “typical” drafted margin in the first half of the fifth century on the Acropolis.
53.
Ibid., 18–19.
54.
On the problems of dating walls, see John McK. Camp II, “Walls and the Polis,” in Polis and Politics: Studies in Ancient Greek History, ed. Pernille Flensted-Jensen, Thomas H. Nielsen, and Lene Rubinstein (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2000), 41–57. Camp remarks that “more troublesome still is the fact that, though there seems to be some lines of development, a precise and reliable chronology of styles eludes us” (42).
55.
See Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 56.
56.
These figurines, once believed to be lost, are now on display in the new Acropolis Museum. The figurines are the subject of a doctoral thesis by Vassiliki Georgaka; for a brief note and a photo of the figurines in situ in the base, see Vassiliki D. Georgaka, “Archaic, Handmade, Terracotta Figurines from the Athenian Acropolis,” Newsletter of the Coroplastic Studies Interest Group 5 (2011), 12–13. Georgaka gives the date for terracotta figurines recovered from the Acropolis (including those from the Athena Nike repository) as the end of the seventh century to the beginning of the fifth century. Bundgaard notes that these figurine types extend into the fifth century and dates them and the limestone temple to the years immediately following the Persian destruction, whereas Mark argues that the figurines represent “survivals” from the Late Archaic period that were rededicated as part of a foundation deposit in the 440s. Bundgaard, Parthenon, 44–45; Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 66–67. While the figurines cannot provide a precise date, they do support the hypothesis that the small temple and base are earlier than the mid-fifth century.
57.
Travlos, in fact, argues for a more precise date between the Battle of Marathon in 490 and the Battle of Salamis in 480. Travlos, Pictorial Dictionary of Ancient Athens, 148. Stevens also postulates a pre-Persian date, remarking that “the exposed position of the poros [limestone] temple must have courted destruction at the hands of the Persians.” Gorham Phillips Stevens, “The Periclean Entrance Court of the Acropolis of Athens,” Hesperia 5 (1936), 446. I. M. Shear implies such a conclusion but does not state it outright. Shear, “The Western Approach,” 122–23.
58.
For a restored plan of what the relationship between the Nike bastion and forecourt might have looked like, see Mark, The Sanctuary of Athena Nike, 57, fig. 12. Gill suggests that the provision in IG I3 35 for a door (lines 6–7) could refer to closing this entrance between the forecourt and bastion. Gill, “The Decision to Build the Temple of Athena Nike,” 269. The vertical distance from the forecourt to the bastion is less than 1 meter.
59.
Eiteljorg remarks that the oblique arrangement of the steps on the southern side of the forecourt “suggests the need not only to provide direct access to the Nike precinct from the courtyard but also to respect portions of the sacred area.” Eiteljorg, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis, 18–19.
60.
Thuc. 659; AthPol 19.
61.
AthPol 19; Hdt. 5.55.
62.
Pindar, Pythian 7.10–11; Hdt. 5.63; AthPol 19.
63.
Hdt. 5.63; AthPol 19. Herodotus says that the Alkmaionidai bribed the Pythia to say these things to the Spartans, but this “bribe” could have been their decision to outfit the façade of the Temple of Apollo in costly marble, going above and beyond the agreements of the contract, rather than a separate bribe for the priestess herself.
64.
Hdt. 5.63. An earlier attempt had been made by the Spartan king Anchimolios, who came by sea and landed at Phaleron. His forces were driven out by hired Thessalian mercenaries, and Anchimolios himself was killed.
65.
Hdt. 5.64; AthPol 19.
66.
Hdt. 5.65; AthPol 19.
67.
Hdt. 5.65; Thuc. 6.59; AthPol 19.
68.
Hdt. 5.66–69.
69.
Hdt. 5.69: ὡς γὰρ δὴ τὸν Ἀθηναίων δῆμον πρότερον ἀπωσμένον τότε πάντων πρὸς τὴν ἑωυτοῦ μοῖραν προσεθήκατο (Thus he [Kleisthenes] took into his own party the Athenian demos [the citizen populace], who had previously been denied all rights). See also AthPol 20.
70.
Hdt. 5.70; AthPol 20. I follow the chronology proposed by Rhodes in his commentary to AthPol 20.2: Isagoras began to lose support and appealed for help from the Spartans because the reforms were passed by Kleisthenes. This is in contrast to the chronology that would put the passage of the reforms after the attempted coup by Isagoras. Peter J. Rhodes, A Commentary on the Aristotelian “Athenaion politeia” (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981).
71.
Hdt. 5.70–71. The “Accursed” were those Athenians who killed members of the Cylonian conspiracy while they were seeking asylum on the altars of the gods, an act of sacrilege.
72.
Hdt. 5.72; AthPol 20.
73.
AthPol 20; Hdt. 5.72. On the importance of this act by the demos, see Josiah Ober, The Athenian Revolution: Essays on Ancient Greek Democracy and Political Theory (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1996).
74.
Hdt. 5.72; AthPol 20.
75.
According to Herodotus, this attack was organized by Kleomenes to avenge the slight of 508/7 and install Isagoras as a puppet tyrant for the Spartans (5.73).
76.
Hdt. 5.74. A recently discovered kioniskos from Thebes presents a challenge to the traditional Herodotean treatment of these events: the inscription on the votive column lists Oinoe and Phyle as areas seized by the Boiotians but makes no mention (as preserved) of Hysiae, nor does Herodotus mention Phyle. Vassilis L. Aravantinos, “A New Inscribed Kioniskos from Thebes,” Annual of the British School at Athens 101 (2006), 369–77.
77.
Hdt. 5.75–77.
78.
Hdt. 5.77.
79.
For IG I3 501, see Meiggs and Lewis, Greek Historical Inscriptions, 15, EM 6286, LSAG 78. The full text of the epigram, as quoted by Herodotus (5.77), comes from the second base, where the two lines were reversed. The original base would have read: [δεσμõι ἐν ἀχνύεντι σιδερέοι ἔσβεσαν hύβ]ριν⋮/ παῖδε[ς Ἀθεναίον ἔργμασιν ἐμ πολέμου] / || [ἔθνεα Βοιοτõν καὶ Χαλκιδέον δαμάσ-αντες] / τõν hίππος δ̣[εκάτον Παλλάδι τάσδ᾽ ἔθεσαν] (In sorrowful iron chains they quenched their hubris, the sons of the Athenians in deeds of battle, conquering the races of the Boiotians and Chalkidians, these horses they dedicated as a tithe to Pallas Athena). The epigram, in its original form, was attributed to Simonides by Aristides, 28.64.
80.
Catherine Keesling emphasizes this point in The Votive Statues of the Athenian Acropolis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 53. The Old Athena Temple, completed in ca. 500, should also be considered an early votive offering made by the demos.
81.
Hdt. 5.77: Τὰς δὲ πέδας αὐτῶν, ἐν τῇσι ἐδεδέατο, ἀνεκρέμασαν ἐς τὴν ἀκρόπολιν, αἵ περ ἔτι καὶ ἐς ἐμὲ ἦσαν περιεοῦσαι, κρεμάμεναι ἐκ τειχέων περιπ-εφλευσμένων πυρὶ ὑπὸ τοῦ Μήδου, ἀντίον δὲ τοῦ μεγάρου τοῦ πρὸς ἑσπέρην τετραμμένου (The fetters, in which they [the prisoners] had been chained, they [the Athenians] hung up on the Acropolis, and even now in my day they remain there, hung against the wall blackened by fire by the Medes, opposite the shrine that faces west).
82.
Hdt. 5:77: τὸ δὲ ἀριστερῆς χειρὸς ἕστηκε πρῶτον ἐσιόντι ἐς τὰ προπύλαια τὰ ἐν τῇ ἀκροπόλι (This stands first on the left hand going into the Propylaia on the Acropolis).
83.
Paus. 1.28.2.
84.
For the debate regarding the original location, see Stevens, “The Periclean Entrance Court,” 506; Stevens, “Architectural Studies Concerning the Acropolis,” 81–82; Raubitschek, Dedications from the Athenian Akropolis, no. 173; Meiggs and Lewis, Greek Historical Inscriptions, no. 15; Keesling, The Votive Statues, 53–55. It is possible that the original monument was located outside the Old Propylon (Herodotus may be discussing the original monument in the location where he knew it to stand prior to 480) and the replacement was moved inside, next to the Athena Promachos statue; it is also possible that the replacement was originally located outside the Propylaia (and Herodotus would therefore be referring only to the replacement monument and not the original) and, at some point between Herodotus's account and Pausanias's visit to Athens, was moved inside the gates to the area of the Promachos. This second possibility is favored by Stevens, followed by Keesling. Stevens, “The Periclean Entrance Court,” 504–6; Stevens, “Architectural Studies Concerning the Acropolis,” 81–82; Keesling, The Votive Statues, 225n61. Meiggs and Lewis suggest that the original monument was set up near the Athena Promachos statue, and the replacement was moved outside the entrance but then moved back in at some point either during or after construction of the Mnesiklean Propylaia. Meiggs and Lewis, Greek Historical Inscriptions, 29.
85.
This abbreviated timeline of events on the Acropolis does not include the attempted coup by Cylon in the seventh century (Hdt. 5.71; Thuc. 1.126; Plutarch, Solon 12.1–3) and the possible use of the Acropolis (or its slopes) by Peisistratos during his first attempt at the tyranny (AthPol 14–15; Plutarch, Solon 30). Such events only add to the picture of the Acropolis described herein.
86.
Herodotus recounts the two oracles given to the Athenians and the differing opinions as to the meaning of the “wooden walls”—ships or Acropolis. Hdt. 71.40–43.
87.
The original location of the Hekatompedon Decrees is unknown, as they were found in fragments dispersed over much of the Acropolis during the excavations of the late nineteenth century; most of the fragments were found in the immense “poros” layer to the south and east of the Parthenon, with additional fragments recovered from the area around the Mnesiklean Propylaia, in the area of the old Museum, and in the “Ergane-Terrasse,” near the Chalkotheke. H. G. Lolling, “Ἐπιγραφαὶ ἐκ τῆς Ἀκροπόλεως,” Αρχαιολογικὸν Δελτίον (1890), 627. The decrees are carved on the same Hymettian marble metopes from the Bluebeard Temple as those reused to line the forecourt, but Dinsmoor Jr. notes that the sides of the metopes for the lining are worked differently, with chamfered edges, implying that the decrees were not installed in this way. Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, 25. Even if the decrees were not used as part of the lining, it remains possible that they were posted near the entrance area, as would be appropriate given the restrictions and rules detailed in their text.
88.
Tanoulas, “The Pre-Mnesiclean Cistern,” 160.
89.
In Parkinson's formulation, there are four main components that ensure successful protest sites in modern democratic states: size or capacity, access, visibility, and symbols. Parkinson, Democracy and Public Space, 146–72. In what follows, I apply these basic tenets to the entrance area of the Acropolis under the new democracy.
90.
Five people per square meter should be considered the absolute maximum density for a standing crowd; moving crowds (e.g., in lines) can sustain a higher density when calm. The introduction of a panic situation (emergency, evacuation, or the like) results in an increase in the “herding” tendency of crowds, which in turn results in higher densities of crowds. Marin Lujak and Sascha Ossowski, “Intelligent People Flow Coordination in Smart Spaces,” in Multi-agent Systems and Agreement Technologies, ed. Michael Rovatsos, George Vouros, and Vicente Julian (Switzerland: Springer, 2016), 36–38. The situation in Athens in 508/507 should be considered such a panic situation. Present-day sporting and performance venues in the United Kingdom advise an estimate of two people per square meter in a static environment to be “safe” and up to four per square meter in a moving crowd, although Still has demonstrated that these estimates are based on an average body size far larger than today's international average body size, and they are also based on crowds on a street rather than within a confined venue. G. Keith Still, “Crowd Dynamics” (PhD diss., University of Warwick, 2000), 31–44. Moreover, as Still emphasizes, people cluster, take shortcuts, move through areas not designated for that type of activity, and generally behave as dynamic human beings, not static models (54). This means that despite the changing elevation and unworked patches of bedrock in front of the Acropolis entrance, people (particularly under duress) will stand, sit, and walk on areas not conceived of for those purposes (this still happens at the Acropolis, as anyone who has visited the site in the height of the summer tourist season can attest).
91.
The distance from the preserved northwestern edge of the monumental ramp to the rear of the forecourt, which is nestled against the Bronze Age wall, thus providing a fairly accurate estimated east–west distance for the pre-500 extent of the area, is approximately 24 meters. If we use the seat indications in the Lykourgan Theater of Dionysus as estimates—the seats are 27 inches, or about 68.6 centimeters, wide, according to Arthur Pickard-Cambridge, The Theatre of Dionysus in Athens (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1946), 139—and presume an area of about 14 × 24 meters, the result allows for 489 seated people. We might also compare this to the Old Bouleuterion, which measured 23.3 × 23.8 meters (including the porch) and easily accommodated 500 bouleutai. Standing people, however, take up less room than seated people: following Mogens Hansen's proposed spacing of 0.4 square meters for a standing individual, the approximate area of the entrance space could hold around 840 standing people. Mogens Herman Hansen, “How Many Athenians Attended the Ecclesia?,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 17, no. 2 (1976), 130–31; Mogens Herman Hansen, “Reflections on the Number of Citizens Accommodated in the Assembly Place on the Pnyx,” in Forsén and Stanton, The Pnyx in the History of Athens, 25–28. Based on current crowd density studies, standing people take up even less room, approximately 0.2–0.3 square meters, as discussed above. I thank the anonymous reviewer for bringing crowd density problems to my attention.
92.
Hdt. 5.72.
93.
The articulation of the Mycenaean entrance as restored by Bundgaard, Dinsmoor Jr., Eiteljorg, and I. M. Shear creates a space roughly analogous to that of the forecourt. Bundgaard, Mnesicles; Bundgaard, Parthenon; Dinsmoor, The Propylaia to the Athenian Akropolis, plate 1; Eiteljorg, The Entrance to the Athenian Acropolis, fig. 29; Shear, “The Western Approach,” 101, fig. 2. Approximate measurements for the capacity of the area in 508/507, then, should be similar to the extent of the forecourt as constructed after 500. In both instances, the east–west measurement extends from the preserved edge of the monumental Archaic ramp to the rear of the forecourt, where it abuts the Bronze Age wall.
94.
The size of the entrance area is also important for the facilitation of face-to-face communication among Athenian citizens; physical presence is required in most instances to foster collective action and enact change. On the use of physical spaces to solve coordination problems and generate common knowledge, see Michael Suk-Young Chwe, Rational Ritual: Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001). For examples of the application of these issues to ancient Athenian democracy, see Josiah Ober, Democracy and Knowledge: Innovation and Learning in Classical Athens (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2001); Paga, “Deme Theaters”; David A. Teegarden, Death to Tyrants! Ancient Greek Democracy and the Struggle against Tyranny (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2014).
95.
Anyone who has visited the Acropolis in the summer knows how oppressive the entrance area can feel when even a few hundred visitors crowd in. During peak hours, entrance to the sanctuary is sometimes paused until the bottleneck of tourists accumulated in the Proplyaia and entrance area clears. Rough counts using Google images (aerial and panoramic) from the summer and fall of 2016 found approximately fifty to two hundred people at a time on the modern ramp, on the steps of the Propylaia, and sitting on bedrock outcrops along the path and Nike bastion; in all these images, there is still a significant amount of space around the figures, and traffic does not appear to be limited in any way.
96.
On the location of the Old Agora, see T. Leslie Shear Jr., “Ἰσονόμους τ᾽ Ἀθήνας ἐποιησάτην: The Agora and the Democracy,” in Coulson et al., The Archaeology of Athens and Attica, 225–48; John K. Papadopoulos, “The Original Kerameikos of Athens and the Siting of the Athenian Agora,” Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies 37, no. 2 (1996), 109–12; Noel Robertson, “The City Center of Archaic Athens,” Hesperia 67 (1998), 283–302; Ulf Kenzler, “Archaia Agora? Zur ursprünglichen Lage der Agora Athens,” Hephaistos 15 (1997), 113–36; John K. Papadopoulos, Ceramicus Redivivus: The Early Iron Age Potters’ Field in the Area of the Classical Athenian Agora (Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2003), 280–88; Peter Schmalz, “The Athenian Prytaneion Discovered?,” Hesperia 75 (2006), 33–81. (The approximate area of the Old Agora is indicated in Figure 14.)
97.
The precise “start date” of the Classical Agora is another contested issue in Athenian archaeology. The majority of scholars have placed the beginning of the Agora in the first quarter of the fifth century, prior to the Persian Wars, or even earlier in the sixth century. See, for example, Homer A. Thompson and R. E. Wycherley, The Agora of Athens: The History, Shape, and Uses of an Ancient City Center (Princeton, N.J.: American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 1972), 19, 25–26 (where the conversion of the area into the Agora is attributed to Solon); R. E. Wycherley, The Stones of Athens (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1978), 27–33; T. Leslie Shear Jr., “The Persian Destruction of Athens: Evidence from Agora Deposits,” Hesperia 62 (1993), 383–482; Shear, “Ἰσονόμους τ᾽Ἀθήνας ἐποιησάτην,” 228–45; John McK. Camp II, “Before Democracy: Alkmaionidai and Peisistratidai,” in Coulson et al., The Archaeology of Athens and Attica, 9–12. This theory has been challenged by Papadopoulos, who, building on the earlier hypotheses of Homer A. Thompson and Steven G. Miller, places the transformation from the Old to the Classical Agora in the post–Persian War period. See Papadopoulos, “The Original Kerameikos of Athens,” 125–26; Papadopoulos, Ceramicus Redivivus, 285–92, 295–97; Homer A. Thompson, “Athens Faces Adversity,” Hesperia 50 (1981), 345–46; Steven G. Miller, “Architecture as Evidence for the Identity of the Early Polis,” in Sources for the Ancient Greek City-State, ed. Mogens Herman Hansen (Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1995), 201–42; Steven G. Miller, “Old Metroon and Old Bouleuterion in the Classical Agora of Athens,” in Studies in the Ancient Greek Polis, ed. Mogens Herman Hansen and Kurt Raaflaub (Stuttgart: F. Steiner Verlag, 1995), 133–56. See also Samantha L. Martin-McAuliffe and John K. Papadopoulos, “Framing Victory: Salamis, the Athenian Acropolis, and the Agora,” JSAH 71, no. 3 (Sept. 2012), 344, 348–52.
98.
On the deliberately evocative placement of the ruins of these temples in the north wall (as opposed to a more “practical” interpretation of their reuse), see Rachel Kousser, “Destruction and Memory on the Athenian Acropolis,” Art Bulletin 91 (2009), 270–72.
99.
For a reading of the Classical Mnesiklean Propylaia in terms of symbolic resonance, particularly with the victory at Salamis, see Martin-McAuliffe and Papadopoulos, “Framing Victory,” 344, 348–52.
100.
Aristophanes, Lysistrata, trans. Jack Lindsay (New York: Hartsdale House, 1920), 273/4–280: ἐπεὶ οὐδὲ Κλεομένης, ὅς αὐτὴν κατέσχε πρῶτος, / ἀπῆλθεν ἀψάλακτος, ἀλλ᾽ὅμως Λακωνικὸν πνέων / ᾤχετο θὤπλα παραδοὺς ἐμοί, / σμικρὸν ἔχων πάνυ τριβώνιον, / πεινῶν ῥυπῶν ἀπαράτιλ- / τος, ἕξ ἐτῶν ἄλουτος.
101.
Ibid., 281–82: οὕτως ἐπολιόρκησ᾽ἐγὼ τὸν ἄνδρ᾽ἐκεῖνον ὠμῶς / ἐφ᾽ἑ πτακαίδεκ᾽ἀσπίδων πρὸς ταῖς πύλαις καθεύδων.
102.
For the date and historical circumstances of the play's production, see the introduction by Jeffrey Henderson in Aristophanes, Lysistrata, ed. Jeffrey Henderson (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1987), xv–xvi.
103.
The deliberate forgetting of the Spartan siege of Hippias in 511/510 can be viewed alongside the celebration of the Tyrannicides as the true defenders of democracy, both functioning as attempts by the Athenians to “whitewash” the regime shift that occurred at the end of the sixth century.