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PLAN OF THEHERAEUM (surveyed and draw...

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Originally appearing in Volume V02, Page 482 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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PLAN OF THEHERAEUM (surveyed and drawn by Edward L. Tilton). IV. East Building. VII. West Building. X. Lower Stoa. V. 5th-Century Temple. , VIII. North-West Building. XI. Phylakeion. VI. South Stoa. IX. Roman Building. A, B, C, D, E, F, Cisterns. one contemporary and rival of Pheidias, which was one of the most perfect works of sculpture in antiquity. Pausanias describes the temple and its contents (ii. 17), and in his time he still saw the ruins of the older burnt temple above the temple of Eupolemos. All these facts have been verified and illustrated by the excavations of the American Archaeological Institute and School of Athens, which were carried on from 1892 to x895. In 1854 A. R. Rhangabe made tentative excavations on this site, digging a trench along the north and east sides of the second temple, Of these excavations no trace was to be seen when those of 1892 were begun. The excavations have shown that the sanctuary, instead of consisting of but one temple with the ruins of the older one above it, contained at least eleven separate buildings, occupying an area of about 975 ft. by 325. On the uppermost terrace, defined by the great Cyclopean supporting wall, exactly as described by Pausanias, the excavations revealed a layer of ashes and charred wood, below which were found numerous objects of earliest date, together with the river-bed, we again have a huge stoa running round two sides some remains of the walls resting on a polygonal platform—all of a squaxe., which was no doubt connected with the functions of forming part of the earliest temple. Immediately adjoining this sanctuary as a health resort, especially for women, the goddess II. 16 t r I. Old Temple. II. Stoa. end facing the temple, is built upon elaborate supporting walls of good masonry. Below the second terrace at the south-west end a large and complicated building, with an open courtyard surrounded on three sides by a colonnade and with chambers opening out towards the north, may have served as a gymnasium or a sanatorium. It is of good early Greek architecture, earlier than the second temple. A curious, ruder building to the north of this and to the west of the second terrace is probably of much earlier date, perhaps of the Mycenaean period, and may have served as propylaea. Immediately below the second temple at the foot of the elevation on which this temple stands, towards the south, and thus facing the city of Argos, a splendid stoa or colonnade, to which large flights of steps lead, was erected about the time of the building of the second temple. It is a part of the great plan to give worthy access to the temple from the city of Argos. To the east of this large flights of steps lead up to the temple proper. At the western extremity of the whole site, immediately beside Hera presiding over and protecting married life and childbirth. Finally, the north of this western stoa there is an extensive house of Roman times also connected with baths. While the buildings give archaeological evidence for every period of Greek life and history from the pre-Mycenaean period down to Roman times, the topography itself shows that the Heraeum must have been constructed before Mycenae and without any regard to it. The foothills which it occupies form the western boundary to the Argive plain as it stretches down towards the sea in the Gulf of Nauplia. While it was thus probably chosen as the earliest site for a citadel facing the sea, its second period points towards Tiryns and Midea. It could not have been built as the sanctuary of Mycenae, which was placed farther up towards the north-west in the hills, and could not be seen from the Heraeum, its inhabitants again not being able to see their sanctuary. The west building, the traces of bridges and roads, show that at one time it did hold some relation to Mycenae; but this was long after its foundation or the building of the huge Cyclopean supporting wall which is coeval with the walls of Tiryns, these again being earlier than those of Mycenae. There are, moreover, traces of still more primitive walls, built of rude small stones placed one upon the other without mortar, which are in character earlier than those of Tiryns, and have their parallel in the lowest layers of Hissarlik. Bearing out the evidence of tradition as well as architecture, the numerous finds of individual objects in terra-cotta figurines, vases, bronzes, engraved stones, &c., point to organized civilized life on this site many generations before Mycenae was built, a fortiori before the life as depicted by Homer flourished—nay, before, as tradition has it, under Proetus the walls of Tiryns were erected. We are aided in forming some estimate of the chronological sequence preceding the Mycenaean age, as suggested by the finds of the Heraeum, in the new distribution which Dorpfeld has been led to make of the chronological stratification of Hissarlik. For the layer, which he now assigns to the Mycenaean period, is the sixth stratum from below. Now, as some of the remains at the Heraeum correspond to the two lowest layers of Hissarlik, the evidence of the Argive temple leads us far beyond the date assigned to the Mycenaean age, and at least into the second millennium B.C. (see also AEGEAN CIVILIZATION). As to its chronological relation to the Cretan sites—Cnossus, Phaestus, &c., and the "Minoan" civilization as determined by Dr A.Evans, see the discussion under CRETE. This sanctuary still holds a position of central importance as illustrating the art of the highest period in Greek history, namely, the art of the 5th century B.C. under the great sculptor Polyclitus. Though the excavations in the second temple have clearly revealed the outlines of the base upon which the great gold and ivory statue of Hera stood, it is needless to say that no trace of the statue itself has been found. From Pausanias we learn that " the image of Hera is seated and is of colossal size: it is made of gold and ivory, and is the work of Polyclitus." Based on the computations made by the architect of the American excavations, E. L. Tilton, on the ground of the height of the nave, the total height of the image, including the base and the top of the throne, would be about 26 ft., the seated figure of the goddess herself about 18 ft. It is probable that the face, neck, arms and feet were of ivory, while the rest of the figure was draped in gold. Like the Olympian Zeus of Pheidias, Hera was seated on an elaborately decorated throne, holding in her left hand the sceptre, surmounted in her case by the cuckoo (as that of Zeus had an eagle), and in her right, instead of an elaborate figure of Victory (such as the Athena Parthenos and the Olympian Zeus held), simply a pomegranate. The crown was adorned with figures of Graces and the Seasons. A Roman imperial coin of Antoninus Pius shows us on a reduced scale the general composition of the figure; while contemporary Argive coins of the 5th century give a fairly adequate rendering of the head. A further attempt has been made to identify the head in a beautiful marble bust in the British Museum hitherto known as Bacchus (Waldstein, Journal of Hellenic Studies, vol. xxi., 1901, pp. 30 seq.) ARGUMENT We also learn from Pausanias that the temple was decorated with." sculptures over the columns, representing some the birth of Zeus and the battle of the gods and giants, others the Trojan War and the taking of Ilium." It was formerly supposed that the phrase " over the columns " pointed to the existence of sculptured metopes, but no pedimental groups. Finds made in the excavations, however, have shown that the temple also had pedimental groups. Besides numerous fragments of nude and draped figures belonging to pedimental statues, a well-preserved and very beautiful head of a female divinity, probably Hera, as well as a draped female torso of excellent workmanship, both belonging to the pediments, have been discovered. Of the metopes also a great number of fragments have been found, together with two almost complete metopes, the one containing the torso of a nude warrior in perfect preservation, as well as ten well-preserved heads. These statues bear the same relation to the sculptor Polyclitus which the Parthenon marbles hold to Pheidias; and the excavations have thus yielded most important material for the illustration of the Argive art of Polyclitus in the 5th century B.C. See Waldstein, The Argive Heraeum (vol. i., Boston and New York, 1902; vol. ii., the Vases by J. C. Hoppin, the Bronzes by H. F. de Cosa, 1905) ; Excavations of the American School of Athens at the Heraion of Argos (1892); and numerous reports and articles in the American Archaeological Journal since 1892. (C. W. *)
End of Article: PLAN OF THEHERAEUM (surveyed and drawn by Edward L. Tilton)

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