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Mnemosyne and Lethe: Upcycling Spolia at the Athenian Acropolis in the 5th Century BCE

Author: Katrina Kuxhausen-DeRose

  • Mnemosyne and Lethe: Upcycling Spolia at the Athenian Acropolis in the 5th Century BCE

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    Mnemosyne and Lethe: Upcycling Spolia at the Athenian Acropolis in the 5th Century BCE

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Abstract

In 480 BCE, the Persian army looted, burned, and demolished the architecture and art of the Acropolis. Prior to this, the Acropolis had featured two monumental buildings, The Temple of Athena Polias and the Older Parthenon, both of which had been reduced to rubble. The Athenians soon began massive building programs that utilized parts of these two buildings to construct new aesthetically impactful structures, such as the Northern Acropolis Wall and the Parthenon. Now the question arises: how did they pick and choose which materials to reuse? How did they determine what legacy deserved to be remembered atop the hill? In order to infer the answer to these questions and uncover the role that the Athenian Acropolis played as a visible site of memory, this article focuses on the way that Grecian concepts of memory and forgetfulness interacted with specific cases of intentional architectural reuse to display their sentiments of victory and piety.

Keywords: memory, ancient history, ancient greece, acropolis, temple, spolia, upcycling, victory

How to Cite:

Kuxhausen-DeRose, K., (2022) “Mnemosyne and Lethe: Upcycling Spolia at the Athenian Acropolis in the 5th Century BCE”, Footnotes: A Journal of History 5, 27-42.

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Published on
16 Mar 2022
Peer Reviewed