Mythology in Selinunte’s metopes

Selinunte, now in the municipality of Castelvetrano, was probably founded in 657 BC by people from Megara Hyblaea. Once the westernmost Greek colony in Sicily, it stands today as Europe’s biggest archaeological park.

The city’s urban layout started developing in the early decades of the 6th century. It was monumentalized between 560 and 460 BC, with some smaller temples being built even on a hill not far from its sacred area.

Beautiful metopes – stone and marble tiles with bas-relief carvings, typically used by Greek architects in Doric friezes – decorated various big and small temples within the acropolis. Some were created by the local school of sculptors, which formed over a century, and represent characters and events of classic Greek mythology.

Currently displayed in Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum, you can find Perseus and Heracles, Kore and Demeter, the Delphic triad and Europe on the bull – all represented on these incredible works of ancient art.

Photos via:
http://www.atlantedellarteitaliana.it

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Athena and Enceladus (5th century, Temple E)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Pair of figures (6th century, Temple Y)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Hercules and the Amazon (5th century, Temple E)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Heracles and the Amazon, detail

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Heracles and the Amazon, detail

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Heracles and the Amazon, detail

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Heracles and the Amazon, detail

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Demeter, Kore and Hecate (6th century, Temple Y)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Europe on the Bull (6th century, Temple Y)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Gigantomachy, detail (6th century, Temple F)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Hierogamy, detail (5th century, Temple E)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Hierogamy, detail (5th century, Temple E)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Perseus kills the Gorgon (6th century, Temple C)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Perseus kills the Gorgon, detail

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Apollo's Quadriga (5th century, Temple E)

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Apollo's Quadriga

Metope di Selinunte, Museo archeologico regionale “Antonino Salinas” di Palermo - Selinunte Metopes, Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum

Winged Sphynx (6th century, Temple Y)

Mythology in Selinunte’s metopes

Palermo’s “Antonino Salinas” Regional Archaeological Museum
Via Bara all'Olivella, 24
+39 091 6116807
+39 091 6110740

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