Barrows, Samuel J.
The isles and shrines of Greece — Boston, 1898

Page: 89
DOI Page: Citation link:
License: Public Domain Mark Use / Order
1 cm


Athens is the centre of Greece, the Acropolis is
the centre of Athens, and the Parthenon is the centre
of the Acropolis,— I do not mean measured by the
surveyor's chain, but by the highest standards of
human interest. Unless a man is an irreclaimable
Philistine, the Acropolis is the first thing he hastens
to see in Athens, and the last thing he sees when he
takes his leave. And of the temples which crown it,
the Parthenon in all its shattered glory is supreme.

No visitor who has not been side-tracked in pro-
vincialism or ignorance comes to the Parthenon with-
out prepossessions. He has seen it pictured in books
and photographs or modelled in wood and stone. He
has heard it proclaimed as an adorable sanctuary of
religion and art. He knows just what he ought to
see and just how he ought to feel when he sees it.
If he is an American, he recalls not without amuse-
ment the remarkable zeal with which wooden temples
of the Doric order were propagated in his own land,
and applied to every sort of structure, whether town-
hall, church, schoolhouse, or private dwelling, with-
out the slightest regard to utility or fitness. Perhaps
he has an unjust grudge against the Parthenon as
the mother of all these insignificant and solemn cari-
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