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The Temple of Athena Polias at Priene

a Pleiades place resource

Creators: Jackson N Miller, Anastasia Kokiousis Copyright © The Contributors. Sharing and remixing permitted under terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (cc-by).
Last modified Mar 10, 2021 10:04 PM History
The temple of Athena at Priene, designed by the architect Pytheos, is an especially good example of the Late Classical form of the Ionic order.

37.6593017578, 27.2964992523



The Temple of Athena, built in the mid-4th century BC of gray-blue marble, is the largest and oldest monument at Priene. By the second century BC, It housed a sacred statue of Athena; later, it was adapted to serve the cult of the Roman Emperor, and finally transformed into a church. The temple was built in the Ionic order by the architect Pytheos, and was dedicated by Alexander the Great, who paid for part or all of its construction, in 334 BC. A marble inscription, now found in the British museum, which said: “King Alexander dedicated the temple to Athena Polias.” Pytheos followed a rigorous system of proportions, and some architectural graffiti found on the blocks of the temple may be planning sketches. The temple stood on a platform above a high terrace wall with a stoa behind it; it had 6 columns on the facade, 10 on each of the sides, and a rear porch. The ceiling of the peristyle featured coffers carved with elaborate mythological scenes.  


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Jackson N Miller, Anastasia Kokiousis, Jeffrey Becker, and Adam Rabinowitz, 'The Temple of Athena Polias at Priene: a Pleiades place resource', Pleiades: A Gazetteer of Past Places, 2021 <> [accessed: 08 December 2023]

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