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Temple of Zeus Olympios, Agrigento

The temple of Zeus Olympios at Agrigento, ancient Akragas: the largest Doric temple ever built, although never finished, and constructed in 480 BC to celebrate the city-state's victory over Carthage at the battle of Himera.

Archaeological Development


Gods/Heroes

Zeus Olympios was worshipped at the site. The epithet Olympios emphasized Zeus's kingship over the other Hellenic gods, and additionally made reference to the Panhellenic festival of Zeus at Olympia.

Ritual Activity;

Sacrifice-
Nothing is currently known about sacrificial practises at the temple.
Dedications-
There are no extant dedications from the site.
Festivals-
Nothing is currently known about festivals celebrated at the site.
Other-

Rules and Regulations

None have been found.

Other Activities

specify activities, known dates, and ancient sources.

Historical Significance

Polybius singles out the temple in his description of Akragas: "The other temples and porticoes which adorn the city are of great magnificence, the temple of Olympian Zeus being unfinished but second it seems to none in Greece in design and dimensions".[1]

Who used the site, and where did they come from? 

Polybius states that the colonists of Akragas originally came from Rhodes; the city was founded by the Rhodians, and accordingly on the city's summit stood the temple of Zeus Atabyrius, the same epithet as Zeus bore in Rhodes.[2]

Select Site Bibliography

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Footnotes

[1] Polybius, The Histories 9.27.9.
[2] Polybius, The Histories 9.27.8.

List of Illustrations

[1]http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Agrigento-TempleB-Plan-bjs.png

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Location

Agrigento, Province of Agrigento, Sicily

http://pleiades.stoa.org/places/462086

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Site Plan

Temple of Zeus Olympios, Agrigento plan.

Figure. 1: The temple plan.

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