Here are 5 facts that I didn't know about Ancient Greece:
- The columns in the Parthenon are not equally spaced or perfectly straight. The architects used optical refinements to compensate how our eyes view the structure from the hillside.
- Inside the Parthenon was a huge sculpture of Athena created by Phidias. Records describe it as being made from gold and ivory, reaching forty feet tall. It was occasionally taken outside the building for festivities!
- Although we see the statues as plain marble or brass, they would have been colourfully painted. Copper inlays were used on the lips and nipples, silver as eyelashes and glass inlaid for eyes.
- A statue of Aphrodite of Cnidus by Praxiteles is thought to be the very first life-size nude female sculpture in Greek culture. Her coy posture, concealing her groin with her hand, created an image of a the female nude that was to continue for centuries in Western art.
- The word 'barbarian' comes from Ancient Greek. To Greek ears anyone who didn't speak the same language apparently made a bar, bar sound (probably like our blah, blah today) and was therefore given the term a barbarian!