The sculptural decor of the great temple of Athena was incomparably worthy of its design. Pheidias made his name never-ceasing μετακομίσεις βόρεια προάστια  by creating a job that will permanently continue to be a version of Greek sculpture. The subjects, the structure, everything was of matchless excellence.

The Doric frieze statued in high relief above the outer pillars included ninety-two metopes: fourteen on each front and thirty-two on each side. Of the few that remain twenty-eight are to be seen on the east, thirteen on the north as well as one on the south, yet all these are either badly weather-beaten approximately defaced as to be unrecognizable. Fifteen metopes remain in London (others were lost in a shipwreck near Cape Maleas while being carried to England) and one in Paris. Those on the eastern represent fights in between Gods and Giants; on the west in between Athenians and Amazons; on the south between Centaurs and Lapithae, and also on the north scenes from the Siege of Troy.

The tympana in the pediments, 28.65 m. in length by 3.45 m. in height, were filled with Pheidias’ finest sculpture. That on the eastern pediment represented the Birth of Athena and also revealed her dressed in full shield, springing forth from the head of Zeus. On the western pediment was stood for the Competition in between Athena and also Poseidon for the belongings of Attica. Both divinities occupied the center of the pediment and were revealed standing, divided by the olive tree representing the victory of the Virgin Goddess. Of all these statues, completing fifty, nearly nothing continues to be sitting. The vast bulk was moved to London by lord Elgin as well as are currently displayed in the British Museum; duplicates might be seen in the Gallery of the Acropolis.

A constant Ionic frieze 159.70 m. in length as well as 1 m. in height, sculpted in low relief, ran along the top of the outer wall surfaces of the naos and stood for the ritual procession of officials, high born young people and maidens, Athenian residents as well as resident aliens, and also trains of sacrificial pets during the banquet of the Greater Panathenaea, held every four years.

The beginning of the procession is shown in the south west angle of the frieze with the celebrants moving in dual documents from west to eastern; those on the north from the right, those on the south from left to right, towards the entrance at the eastern end of the temple, where the twelve Gods of Olympus preside over the ritualistic folding of Athena’s peplos. On the west section of the frieze knights are shown preparing for the cavalcade. Among them with his chlamys streaming in the wind makes ready to mount his raising steed; one more is revealed attaching his shoe while his attendant bridles his master’s restive horse; behind-the-scenes of the frieze, an official marshals the teams of cavalrymen that are seen relocating off under their leaders.

With the exception of the three central figures, the western area of the frieze is still in situ, though in a very decomposed state; a wonderful part of that belonging to the north, southerly and eastern sides is in the British Gallery, while the remainder, with the exception of 8 items in the Louvre, remains in the Museum of the Castle. The view of this stupendous frieze in the days when it was surmounted by richly painted mouldings under a coffered ceiling garnished with stars and also flowers must have been overwhelming. The complete number of figures represented in the frieze is estimated at three hundred and fifty pedestrians and also one hundred as well as twenty-five riders, and no 2 figures are alike.

At the western end of the cella stood Pheidias’ masterpiece; the cult-statue of Athena Parthenos. The site is clearly seen in the oblong of dark tinted limestone in the center of which is a square opening. This held the main prop that supported the imposing statue of the virgin siren, constructed of gold and also cream color over an internal wooden structure; including the pedestal it stood 12.80 m. high.

According to Pausanias, the siren was standing, clad in a peplos. Her face, hands as well as feet were of ivory, while the peplos like the shield and also accessories, was constructed of removable gold plates, as well as could be gotten rid of in an emergency situation. On her left was her guard decorated with scenes from the battles in between Greeks and Amazons on the outer side and Giants and also Gods on the inner. Under the shield was a gold snake representing Erechtheus. On her breast she put on the aegis with the Hag’s head, and her headgear was adorned by a sphinx between winged horses, with lions in alleviation on either side. In the hand of her prolonged right-hand man she lugged a six-foot high Victory wearing a crown of gold; in her left a spear. Her shoes were enhanced with a scene from the battle between the Lapithae and the Centaurs, while on the pedestal was depicted the Birth of Pandora.