The Sanctuary of Athena at Sounion

by Barbara A. Barletta

Ancient Art and Architecture in Context 4
360 pp, 247 col and b/w figs, 2 tables
9.5" x 11.5"
Cloth, ISBN: 978-0-87661-967-4
Publication Date: Dec 2017
Status: Active

Retail Price $75


The Temple of Athena at Sounion has long been recognized as one of the most unusual buildings in the architectural history of Greece. Its plan, with columns uniquely on the front and only one side, is unparalleled in the Greek world. Excavations of the temple and other buildings there, however, were complicated by the fact that many architectural pieces from the site had been reused in a Roman temple in the Athenian Agora. Here, Barletta provides a fascinating examination of the early excavations at Sounion, the debate over who was worshipped at the so-called Small Temple within the sanctuary, the varied architectural influences on the Temple of Athena, and the later use of its architectural pieces in the Athenian Agora. Building on unpublished work by William B. Dinsmoor Jr. and Homer A. Thompson, this study represents the first comprehensive view of the temple and its sanctuary.

About the Author: Barbara A. Barletta (1952-2015) was a Professor of Art and Art History at the University of Florida.

"Lavishly illustrated with both color and black-and-white photos as well as numerous line drawings, this volume deserves a spot on the bookshelf of every scholar interested in Athenian and Cycladic architecture, the Ionic order, and Roman architectural reuse. . . . Ultimately, this book stands as a brilliant testament to the meticulous scholarship and memory of its three authors." Jessica Paga, AJA 123.3 (2019)

"The brilliantly written and lavishly illustrated book of Barletta goes far beyond a collection, documentation and presentation of all relevant archaeological objects from the sanctuary. It presents, therefore, the most complete and comprehensive publication of the sanctuary." Hans Lohmann, Journal of Greek Archaeology 5 (2020)

"[...] the book under review adds significantly to the story of Classical Greek architecture, as well as to the diversity and complexity of ancient sanctuaries and cult activities. The book is exceedingly well-illustrated, with both original drawings made by Dinsmoor and many additional photographs provided for comparison or to illustrate certain points. All in all, the result is a beautifully produced tribute to the author's own career as a specialist in Ionic architecture and to two great figures of the past remembered for their contributions to the archaeology of Athens and Attica." Tyler Jo Smith, CJ-Online 2020.08.02