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Olympiēum


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The temple of Zeus Olympios at Athens; begun by Pisistratus, but abandoned after the latter's death, and the expulsion of his son, Hippias 1, and not resumed until the Seleucid Antiochus IV Epiphanes employed the Roman architect Cossutius to continue the work. It was completed for Hadrian. The Pisistratean building was planned as a Doric temple. Cossutius changed the order to Corinthian, but in general seems to have adhered to the original plan. The Corinthian columns were 16.89 m. (53⅓ ft.) in height. The capitals are carved from two blocks of marble. Vitruvius says the temple was open‐roofed, which may have been true in its unfinished state at that time. It would have been roofed when completed by Hadrian to contain a gold and ivory cult‐statue. Hadrian is certainly responsible for the impressive buttressed boundary wall, decorated with Corinthian columns on its interior, and with a gateway of Hymettan marble on its northern side.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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