March 16, 2010

The Acropolis and the Parthenon

Tags: History, Podcasts

Available on iTunes and OU Podcasts

This Open University series focusses on the Acropolis in Athens, with special attention paid to its most famous structure, the Parthenon. This is not a series of recorded lectures, instead it is more like a documentary - and would be viewed by Open University students as part of their course. It consists of 6 short videos ranging from around 2 and a half to 6 minutes in length. The whole series combined is under half an hour, so it is just an introduction. The podcasts are well produced, easy to understand. The video is clear and consists mainly of views of the Acropolis in its current form (no CG recreations). There are two versions available: an iPod version recorded in 320x176 ranging in size from 13-32MB and a larger 640x360 version ranging from 26-68MB. Transcripts are also present.

The first video introduces the site through the route of the Panathenaia, the most important festival in ancient Athens. The following podcast shows some of the buildings on the Acropolis other than the Parthenon. Then the next three podcasts detail the Parthenon and its art (metopes, frieze and pediments) much of which now resides in the British Museum in London. The final video concerns how to visualise ancient buildings from conventional plans (here is the Parthenon’s plan) - an incongruous but interesting addition.

A professional-level, short, video introduction to the Acropolis and Parthenon.