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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Parthenon, East Frieze

Slabs 4 to 7.
The east side of the Parthenon frieze is its culmination, where the processions on the other sides converge. At the centre sit the gods seated in two groups, facing each approaching stream of participants.

In the centre of the east frieze the chief priestess is shown with two attendants carrying stools on their heads, while another priest unfolds the garment to be placed on the cult statue of Athena, the culmination of the ceremony.

The east frieze is the only one to show female figures, some of which are the goddesses. Each seated deity is shown with its own characterising attributes. For example, messenger god Hermes has his travelling hat on his knee, Hera wears her head veil, the lame Hephaistos uses a crutch, and Zeus sits in the most elaborate chair

Pentelic marble
Location of Original: 

London British Museum 324, & Paris, Louvre 738


Purchased in 1884 from Brucciani


Lippold: Griechische Plastik, 150-, pl. 53
Smith: Catalogue of British Museum Sculpture I (1892), 155-
Smith, AH: Sculpture of the Parthenon, 52-, pls. 32-9
Jenkins, I: Annual of the British School at Athens 1990, 85-114, esp.105
Casson: Catalogue of the Acropolis Museum Athens II, 104
Richter: Sculpture & Sculptors of the Greeks (1950), fig.489
Jenkins, I: The Parthenon Sculptures in the British Museum (2007), 105-125
Fröhner: Notice de la Sculpture Antique du Musée Nationale du Louvre (1878), 152-

c.442-438 BCE
Pheidias (and workshop of)

Removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin, and by Choiseul-Gouffier in 1787

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