Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



The Erechtheion, the temple dedicated to Athena Polias on the Athenian Acropolis, was an extraordinary structure. The temple was situated on three different levels and had at least six cults worshipped in the complex. Little is known about the interior of the building or the purpose each room served, but the Ionic frieze that would have adorned the temple is the avenue in which this thesis will explore. The Ionic frieze is believed to be the sole figural decoration on the Erechtheion other than the Porch of the Karyatids, and there is no evidence of pedimental sculpture or statuary akroteria adorning the roof of the building. However, the only extant remains of the frieze are mere fragments of figures and groups of figures. My thesis will explore the possible interpretations of the frieze by first examining the political climate in which the temple and its frieze were created. The myths associated with the gods and heroes included in the sanctuary of the Erechtheion will be considered in my analysis. Lastly, the Erechtheion’s frieze will be regarded in relationship to other fifth century buildings and sculpture in order to determine the frieze’s content and context.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Walsh, Justin