Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Fine Arts

Committee Chair

Gigante, Linda Maria

Author's Keywords

Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Greece


Temple of Zeus (Olympia, Greece); Sculpture, Greek--Greece; Olympia (Greece : Ancient sanctuary)


Built during the Early Classical period, the Temple of Zeus at Olympia and its sculptural program presented many new ideas in Greek society. I will argue that the Temple, in particular its metopes depicting the twelve Labors of Herakles, exemplified the humanization of the Greek hero and illustrated the increasingly personal nature of Greek religion following the Persian War. I will first discuss the history of Olympia and the Altis, especially in relation to the celebration of the Olympic Games. I will then describe the Temple of Zeus and its sculptural program. The sculptures, in particular the metopes, will be considered in the larger context of the important developments in Greek religion following the victories over the Persians. I will argue that the metopes should be considered as one of the first architectural forms which connect man and gods in a personal, human way.