Talk:Parthenon

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Connelly's book[edit]

I think the recently added statement "In a recent book, the archaeologist Joan Breton Connelly has argued that this 'biggest, most technically astonishing, ornately decorated, and aesthetically compelling temple ever known' was designed to commemorate a human sacrifice" distorts what Connelly says. Uninformed people reading that statement may assume that Connelly is arguing that the Parthenon commemorates an actual, specific incident of human sacrifice. In fact, what she is suggesting is that the building commemorates a myth of a human sacrifice. Whether the myth has any basis in a real life incident is of course something that can't be determined, and Connelly certainly doesn't argue or assume that it does: indeed she says on p.142 of her book that there is not a single credibly attested instance of the sacrifice of a maiden in historic Greece, and that the evidence for actual human sacrifice in pre-historic Greece is "problematic, inconclusive, and slight." I suggest changing the wording to make it clear that Connelly is not supposing an actual event. (BTW I don't know why references show up under this comment but I didn't put them there.) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.139.210.170 (talk) 18:10, 28 July 2014 (UTC)

I've fixed the references, they are from earlier discussions.  Unician   06:44, 29 July 2014 (UTC)
I've amended this paragraph (without having first checked the talk page) as follows:

In a recent book, the archaeologist Joan Breton Connelly has controversially argued that this "biggest, most technically astonishing, ornately decorated, and aesthetically compelling temple ever known" was designed to commemorate a human sacrifice.<ref>Joan Breton Connelly, ''The Parthenon Enigma'', New York, Knopf, 2014</ref><ref>Daniel Mendelsohn, Deep Frieze, ''The New Yorker'', 14 April 2014</ref>

Before, the two references were strangely conjoined with a comma. I removed "page 35" as the DM article is online (where it has no page number) nor is it clear to me that the page number belongs to the book (another possibility). I also added the word 'controversially' which is in Mendelsohn. The DM reference is not a good one for encyclopedic purposes: in that piece he's often not speaking directly, but posturing instead as a highbrow unreliable narrator, through a satirical lens of presumptuous future-history. My sense is that this article would be better off without this paragraph in its current state. — MaxEnt 10:48, 26 August 2014 (UTC)
I've added a brief revision which I think clarifies what Connely is actually saying. I tend to agree though that the whole paragraph isn't really necessary: there are all kinds of theories about the Parthenon, and I don't see why special emphasis should be given to this one.