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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site

 
Figure of a river-god from the west pediment of the Parthenon

Large Image

On loan

Object details

Length: 156cm

Museum number

1816,0610.99

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Figure of a river-god from the west pediment of the Parthenon

The Acropolis, Athens, Greece, about 438-432 BC

Possibly the river Ilissos

The central feature of the west pediment of the Parthenon was the colossal statues of Athena and Poseidon in contest for Athens and the land of Attica (the country around the city).

The reclining figures in the corners of the triangular composition perhaps represent the rivers of Attica. This figure, from the left-hand corner, is thought to personify the river Ilissos, by comparison with figures on the east pediment of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia; the Greek historian Pausanias names them as the local rivers there.

The naked youth's languid form is well adapted to the raking angle of the pediment that framed him. He appears as if caught in the action of raising himself onto a rock. A piece of drapery hangs wet and clinging to his left arm.

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Figure of a river-god from the west pediment of the Parthenon

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