Temple of Athena (Paestum)

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Temple of Athena (Paestum)
Paestum BW 2013-05-17 13-58-28.jpg
Temple of Athena at Paestum (so-called "Temple of Ceres")
Temple of Athena (Paestum) is located in Italy
Temple of Athena (Paestum)
Location within Italy
General information
LocationPaestum, Campania
Construction startedca. 510 B.C.
Completedca. 500 B.C.
Technical details

The Temple of Athena or Temple of Ceres (c. 500 BC) is a Greek temple found at Paestum, built near the so-called Basilica which is much larger than it.[1] It has a high pediment and a Doric frieze, made up of large blocks of limestone. The structure is simpler than the two temples of Hera nearby (the so-called Temple of Neptune and the Basilica): there is a pronaos and naos, but no adyton or opisthodomos (treasure room behind the naos).

One of the two surviving capitals from the pronaos

The inside of the wide pronaos contained six columns in the ionic style (four frontal and two on each side), of which the bases and two capitals remain.[2] These capitals, like those of the Basilica, burst from an ornate collar. This seems to be the first example of two architectural orders co-existing in a single building.[3]

Traditionally, the temple was attributed to Ceres, but as a result of the recovery of numerous statuettes in terracotta depicting Athena, it is now thought to have been dedicated to this deity.

If still in use by the 4th-and 5th century, it would have been closed during the persecution of pagans in the late Roman Empire.


  • Bianchi Bandinelli, Ranuccio; Paribeni, Enrico (1986). L'Arte dell'antichità classica. Grecia. Torino: UTET. p. 55.
  • Richter, Gisela Marie Augusta (1969). L'arte greca. Torino: Einaudi. p. 23.


  1. ^ Doreen Yarwood (June 2010). A Chronology of Western Architecture. Courier Corporation. pp. 8–. ISBN 978-0-486-47648-3.
  2. ^ M. Wilson Jones; Eugene Dwyer; Sergio L. Sanabria; Margaret Lyttleton; Nicola Coldstream (1 April 2016). Architectural Orders: (Grove Art Essentials). Oxford University Press. pp. 24–. ISBN 978-0-19-029793-0.
  3. ^ Bianchi Bandinelli, 1986

Coordinates: 40°25′28″N 15°00′19″E / 40.4245°N 15.0054°E / 40.4245; 15.0054