Temple of Athena Nike  by: Callicrates

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  • Nike means "victory" in Greek, and Athena was worshiped in this form, as goddess of victory in war and wisdom, on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Her temple was the earliest fully ionic temple on the Acropolis, compensated by its prominent position on a steep bastion at the south west corner of the Acropolis to the right of the entrance (propylaea). There the citizens worshipped the goddess in hope of a prosperous outcome in the long war fought on land and sea against the Spartans and their allies. The Temple of Athena Nike was an expression of Athens' ambition to be the leading Greek city state in the Peloponnese. The Temple sits within the sanctuary of Athena Nike, atop a bastion on the south flank of the great stair to the Athenian Acropolis. In contrast to the Acropolis proper, a walled sanctuary entered through the Propylaia, the Nike Sanctuary was open, entered from the Propylaia's southwest wing and from a narrow stair on the north. The sheer walls of its bastion were protected on the north, west, and south by a parapet, the famed "Nike Parapet", named for its frieze of Nikai celebrating victory and sacrificing to their patroness, Athena.
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