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Bassae


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In SW Arcadia, the site of one of the best‐preserved Greek temples. It was dedicated to Apollo the Helper (Epikourios). It dates to the latter part of the 5th cent. bc with an interruption due to Spartan occupation of the area during the Peloponnesian War. The greater part of the temple is in the local limestone, with carved decoration applied in marble. The orientation, followed also by its predecessor, was towards the north instead of the east, and the early sunlight, instead of entering through the main doorway, was admitted to the adytum through an opening in the eastern side‐wall. Ten engaged Ionic columns decorated the side walls of the cella internally, with a single central Corinthian column—one of the earliest of its kind, and one of the most beautiful (see orders)—between the cella and the adytum. The sculptured frieze is now in the British Museum. Apollo with the epithet Epikourios may be regarded as the protector of Arcadians serving as mercenaries.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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