The Parthenon

Justinian’s edict in 529 A.D. marked the beginning of the conversion of ancient temples to Christian churches. It was then that the Parthenon, the biggest temple of classical Athens, was converted into a Christian church. The veneration of the pagan Virgin gave its place to the Christian Virgin Mary, Theotokos, and the church was named after her (Panagia Athiniotissa). This took place in the middle of the 6th century with certain architectural alterations such as the addition of an apse in the east. Moreover, the entrance was moved to the western side of the church. Three gates opened in the wall that separated the church from the opisthodomos converted it into a narthex of the Christian church. Thus, the Parthenon was converted into a three-aisled basilica with a prestige spreading through Greece and the entire empire, since it was a veneration place. This was also the church where Basil II celebrated his victory against the Bulgars.

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The Byzantine Legacy
Created by David Hendrix Copyright 2016