top of page

Foucart, Paul M., Élatée : la ville, le temple d'Athéna Cranaia / par Pierre Paris. ... Paris, Pierre, 1859-1931.

Paris, P., Alate La Ville Le Temple d'Athena Cranaia, Paris 1892

Paris, P., 1883 Excavations at Elatea, BCH, 7, p. 518.

Paris, P., 1887b, Excavations of Elatea. Inscriptions of the temple of Athena Cranaia, BCH, 11, p. 318-346.

P. Paris, Elatea the City, The Temple of Athena Cranaia, Paris, Ernest Thorin, 1891, pl. VI.

Woodward, Robert J., "An Architectural Investigation into the Relationship between Doric Temple Architecture and Identity in the Archaic and Classical Periods." 2012, Doctoral thesis.

DoricOrdertemplate2 copy.jpg

Elateia  Athena Cranaia  500-475  BC

Paul Foucart estimated the column height at 4.4 meters according to the illustration in his book (Élatée : la ville, le temple d'Athéna Cranaia), and then again by Pierre Paris in his excavation report of 1883, but this would make the column entirely too short for any temple which conformed to the stylalistic norm for that time period, even though the temple is relatively small. Statistically, the column height should be about 5.231 meters.

The remains of the Doric style temple of Athena Cranaia (500 to 475 BC) sits on a hill about 4km north-east of Elatea and measures 28 metres by 12 meters across the stylobate. The temple was in antes with 13 by 6 columns, and orientated north-south. Clay figurines representing goddesses and inscriptions found during the excavation support the identification of the building with Athena Cranaia.

  The sanctuary was excavated by the French Archaeological School in 1886 by Pierre Paris, who compared the temple of Athena Cranaia to that of the Hephaisteion in Athens. His assumption was based on both buildings having roughly the same size and configuration. It should be noted that both Paul Foucart and Pierre Paris who conducted the initial excavations of the temple have reconstructed it with a much lower and heavier appearance than one would expect from a Doric temple of this date; the columns being estimated at only 4.40 m, while those of Theseion were 5.70m and spaced further apart. It should be noted that the excavation methods used by Pierre Paris have been roundly criticized by some in the archaeological community. The poorly trained workers and Pierre Paris' lack of experience have sullied some of his results.   Pausania (10.34.7) visited the temple of Athena Cranaia on his journeys, going out of his way to visit the sanctuary.

Temple_Athena_Cranaia_halfres (1).jpg

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 34. 7 :
"About twenty stades away from Elateia [in Phokis] is a sanctuary of Athena surnamed Kranaies. The road to it slopes upwards, but so gentle is the ascent that it causes no fatigue--in fact one scarcely notices it. At the end of the road is a hill which, though for the most part precipitous, is neither very large nor very high. On this hill the sanctuary has been built, with porticoes and dwellings through them, where live those whose duty it is to wait on the goddess, chief of whom is the priest. They choose the priest from boys who have not yet reached the age of puberty, taking care beforehand that his term of office shall run out before puberty arrives. The office lasts for five successive years, during which the priest boards with the goddess, and bathes in tubs after the ancient manner. This image too was made by the sons of Polykles. It is armed as for battle, and on the shield is wrought in relief a copy of what at Athens is wrought on the shield of her whom the Athenians call ‘Parthenos’ (the Virgin)."

bottom of page