Friday, February 16, 2018

The Historic Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion in Greece

Scott G. Sink is a Birmingham, Alabama-based insurance executive who guides a team of 60 property & casualty insurance professionals at McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc. With a passion for travel, Scott G. Sink has visited locations such as Istanbul, Rome, and Athens with his family. 

In addition to the Acropolis and its adjoining museum, Athens offers a number of nearby historic sites, including Delphi and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion. Situated 45 miles south of the capital, the 5th century BC temple sits poised at a vantage point above the Aegean Sea. It was traditionally visited by seamen and coastal inhabitants in the hopes of appeasing the much feared god of the sea through worship and animal sacrifice. 

The architect Ictinus (or Iktinos) oversaw construction of a building with 16 massive Doric columns. These marble columns were gently tapered and fuller at the base than at the top, creating a sense of height and elegance. Fifteen of the columns remain standing to this day, with the remaining one housed at the British Museum in London. 

The hexastyle temple also featured a frieze that portrayed the classical myth Theseus and the Battle of Centaurs. Of the numerous original marble sculptures, the remnants are now largely exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. One piece of later vandalism is also extant: the poet Lord Byron’s name is carved on the base of a column, dating from his 1810 tour of Europe.