The Treasures of the Parthenon and Erechtheion

The Treasures of the Parthenon and Erechtheion

The Treasures of the Parthenon and Erechtheion

The Treasures of the Parthenon and Erechtheion


The Parthenon and the Erechtheion, two of the best-known monuments of ancient Athens, were once filled with countless priceless treasures, from furniture and musical instruments to jewelry of gold, silver, and bronze. This unique volume presents for the first time the only evidence we have for this massive collection of ancient objets d'art--the annually inscribed inventories by Athenian officials. The author provides the first ever translations of these inscriptions, and comes to some important and exciting conclusions about the life and religion of ancient Athens.


The aim of this study is to present in the most accessible way the evidence for the treasures kept inside the Parthenon and the Erechtheion between 434 and 295 BC. The largest body of evidence consists of the marble fragments of the annual inventories of the treasurers of Athena. The discussion in Parts I and VII are meant to frame the catalogue, which is subdivided into the Opisthodomos, the Proneos, the Parthenon, the Hekatompedon, and the Erechtheion (Archaios Neos). The catalogue gives the references for each item or object kept inside the temples as treasures, either to the inscription in IG or to its first publication elsewhere. Some new readings have been included, but I have tried to avoid lengthy epigraphical discussions: it is the contents of the lists that interest us here. I have had the privilege of studying these inscriptions in the Epigraphical Museum in Athens (1987-90) and the British Museum (1988), and plan to publish the new readings as a separate work.

I must thank Mrs Dina Peppas-Delmouzou for the courtesy of studying these stones in the Epigraphical Museum, and Mr B. F. Cook and Mr Ian Jenkins for the same courtesy in the British Museum. I am happy to acknowledge funding for this work from the United States Fulbright Scholarship Program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Princeton University, and California State University, Fresno. Several graduate students helped me prepare the manuscript for publication: M. Byers, K. Lawler, D. Ligon, J. Reyes, and D. Richert. My thanks also go to the staff at the Inter-library loan desk of Madden Library, and at the Oxford University Press.

I am grateful to several scholars who have shown their faith in me and interest in my work: Antony E. Raubitschek, Jody Maxmin, T. Leslie Shear, Jr., the late David M. Lewis, and John Boardman, who persuaded me to write this book and knew I could do it. To my husband, Eric H. Cline, I give thanks for proofreading, moral support, and encouragement in all that I do.

D. H. University of Cincinnati May 1995 . . .

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