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Title: Wilhelm Dörpfeld and the Persian Destruction of the Acropolis
Journal: BABESCH
Volume: 97    Date: 2022   
Pages: 169-194
DOI: 10.2143/BAB.97.0.3290539

Abstract :
Wilhelm Dörpfeld (1853-1940) was during his lifetime, and is still today, considered one of the greatest classical archaeologists of all time. His contribution to the present understanding of the Acropolis of Athens consists mainly of three theories on architecture and objects attacked by the Persians in 480 BCE: the Archaios Neos, the Older Parthenon, and the Perserschutt. Despite some controversy, these theories have over the years become paradigmatic. The present article aims to explain the general acceptance of the paradigm of Persian destruction and seeks reasons in Dörpfeld’s prevailing esteem as a meticulous scientist and in the philhellenic narrative of Greek rebirth which the paradigm rendered tangible.

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