Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens — 1.1882-1883

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INTRODUCTORY NOTE.

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So much has been written upon the Erechtheion that I have
hesitated to swell the list of writers upon the subject. I hope, how-
ever, that my article may be of some slight service to those who wish
to understand the arrangement of this remarkable building. I take
pleasure in expressing my thanks for kind suggestions to Dr. Wilhelm
Dorpfeld, of the Imperial German Archaeological Institute at Athens,
and Mr. Francis H. Bacon, of the American Expedition to Assos.
There are some questions relating to the Erechtheion which can be
settled, if at all, only after more complete and careful excavations
than have yet been made. It is greatly to be desired that this task
should be undertaken soon by some one of the Archaeological Insti-
tutes in Athens.

The Erechtheion was the most venerated temple of Athens, con-
taining the sacred olive of Athena (Paus., I. 27, 2), the well of
Poseidon (Pans., I. 26, 5), and the ancient statue of Athena, which
was said to have fallen from heaven (Paus., I. 26, 6 ; Corpus Inscript.
Graec, No. 160). No fixed date can be given for either the begin-
ning or the completion of the present edifice. The older temple
was burnt by the Persians in 480 b.c. (Herod., VIII. 53 and 55 ;
Paus., I. 27, 2). When the Athenians returned to their ruined city,
it is highly probable that one of their first undertakings was to rebuild
the sacred structure in some way; but no definite record of the
erection of any such building remains. But Herodotus (VIII. 55)
says of the Acropolis of Athens, ecru iv rfj aKpo-n-oXi Tavry 'Epe^^e'os
tov yrjyevios Xeyo/mevov etvai vrj6<s, which seems to mean that when He-
rodotus wrote, in the early part of the Peloponnesian war, a building
called the temple of Erechtheus stood on the Acropolis. The in-
scription in C. I. G., 160, and C. I. A., I. 323, bears the date of the
archonship of Diodes (Olymp. 92,4; 408 b.c.); and that in C. I. A.,
I. 324, dates from Olymp. 93, 1 ; 407 b.c. At this time the temple
was clearly approaching completion. Xenophon {Helien., I. 6, 1)
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