THE OLYMPIEION AT ATHENS.
The time from the expulsion of the tyrants to the reign of Antio-
chos IV. (510-175 B.C.) is a blank in the history of the Olympieion.
Its very size was its curse. While Athens was being adorned by the
most perfect works of art, and temples were springing up on every
side, it lay there as Hippias left it, with no prospect of completion.
It was the fate of the temple of Zeus to be a monument, not of the
liberty of Athens, but of her slavery and degradation. Begun by a
tyrant, it had to wait for its completion until Athens was subject and
degraded, and looked for favors, not to the energy and self-sacri-
fice of her citizens, but to the good-will of foreign princes. In
175 B.C., about 350 years after the temple was begun, Antiochos
Epiphanes came to the throne of Syria. He seems to have had a
true love for Hellenic culture and art, for he not only won the grati-
tude of Rhodes, Kyzikos, Delos, Tegea, Megalopolis (cf. Hertzberg,
I. 177), and, more than all, of Athens, by his generosity, but he
adorned his own capital, Antioch, with copies of the Greek master-
pieces, among which was the great Athena of Pheidias (cf. Michaelis,
Parthenon, pp. 42 and 282, 27). To Athens he was especially
munificent; but what chiefly marks his activity here is his renewal
of the work upon the unfinished Olympieion. This is attested by so
many independent witnesses, representing different periods, that
there can be no manner of doubt about the great significance of his
work. The most explicit information is obtained from Vitruvius
(VII. praef. 15), who, after speaking of the work of Peisistratos as
quoted above, continues as follows : Itaque circiter annis quadrin-
gentis* post Antiochus rex cum in id opus inpensam esset pollicitus,
cellae magnitudinem et columnarum circa dipteron conlocationem,
epistyliorumque et ceterorum ornamentorum ad symmetriam distri-
butionem magna sollertia scientiaque summa civis Romanus Cossutius
nobiliter est architectatus. Id autem opus non modo vulgo sed etiam
paucis a magnificentia nominatur. Again (17): In asty vero Olympium
in amplo modulorum comparatu Corinthiis symmetriis et proportioni-
bus, uti supra scriptum est, architectandum Cossutius suscepisse me-
grounds, refers the wall of the peribolos also to this period. On the other hand,
Stark (Joe. cit.*) attributes this wall to the time of Augustus. The opinion of
Semper has naturally greater weight.
* Quadringentis is an emendation of Meursius for ducentis, which the Mss.
give ; and it seems a certain one.