TEMPLE ON A HILL: The Building of the Parthenon (Things to Make and Do) by Anne Rockwell

TEMPLE ON A HILL: The Building of the Parthenon (Things to Make and Do)

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If somehow Anne Rockwell's books could enter a child's consciousness subliminally, how enriched he would be by her clear, clean projection of a structure, and the circumstances of its building, as the essence of a civilization--the Renaissance in Filippo's Dome, the Middle Ages in Glass, Stones and Crown, and now Classical--idealizing, democratic--Greece. But such a book must be read, read thoroughly, and absorbed, and although this has stronger story elements--in the pivotal role of prophecy and miracles, in the personalities of Themistocles and Pericles, in the very enormity of events--than its predecessors, there are residual impediments: it not only looks young but reads young (Themistocles ""was a great man but he had a very bad fault""); although history is effectively distilled and dramatized, architectural information is comprehensive and detailed--down to the stereobates, the two lower foundations of a temple. Moreover, the rapid-fire introduction of new terms does not face the illustration thereof and does not include any key to the pronunciation of the uniquely Greek words (e.g. opisthodomos and echinus, triglyphs and metopes). Similarly difficult--because of the syntax and vocabulary--are the two long excerpts from Thucydides. It's a sound and stimulating book--assuming there exists a suitable reader.

Publisher: Atheneum