David Stuttard


Parthenon, Power and Politics on the Acropolis traces the extraordinary story of the events which led to the construction of the Parthenon and of the people who inspired it.

The Parthenon is one of the world’s most iconic buildings. Today it symbolizes Greece. In fifth-century BC Athens it was the proud embodiment of the power not only of that city’s empire, but of the politicians who had commissioned it, the artists who had created it and the citizens who had fought to build the society which it would come to represent. Built on the rocky acropolis of Athens in the aftermathof the devastating Persian invasion (480-479 BC), the Parthenon was part temple to Athene, part war memorial, part treasure trove of some of the most outstanding art of its age.

This book tells the dramatic story of the conception and creation of the Parthenon. Setting it against a turbulent historical background and rooting it firmly in the real and mythological landscape of Athens, the book considers the Parthenon’s place in the social and religious world of ancient Greece and the wider ancient world, as well as the subsequent history of the building.

Populated by Athens’ most memorable characters and beautifully illustrated with evocative site photography, details from the Parthenon sculptures and other related artworks from the superb collection of the British Museum, this book explores the Parthenon as the spiritual heart of a network of commanding buildings, used by Pericles and his successors to promote the power of Athens as the leader of the Greek world.

The British Museum Press

ISBN 978-0-7141-2284-7 First published 2013

Reviews include

A pleasure to read. Stuttard writes in a very engaging style, and parts of his text read like a historical novel. Dramatic events like the murder of Hipparchus and the inauguration of the Parthenon are played out before our eyes with sights, sounds and smells. This is the strength of the book and an approach that makes it stand out among the many works treating the subject. I would very much recommend it for a prospective visitor to Athens wishing to understand not only how the ancient remains of the acropolis once looked, but how and by whom they were created and used. ... Parthenon: Power and Politics on the Acropolis merits a large general audience Jenny Wallensten, Director of the Swedish. Institute at Athens, Time and Mind

An atmospheric account of Europe’s greatest classical structure, built by Pericles in a mere 15 years after the Persians levelled Athens. The Independent