In literacy we have been looking at balanced arguments and relating it to our topic on the Ancient Greeks. We held a debate on whether the Parthenon should be built or not and followed this up by writing our own balanced arguments.
Here are some of our balanced arguments:
Is it necessary to build the Parthenon?
Since the citizens of Athens defeated the Persians, many people have started to think of ways to celebrate their triumph. One of these ideas was to build a big temple for the goddess Athena, who is believed to have helped the Athenians win the war. This temple and statue would be to thank her for the gift of our victory. Our great leader, Pericles, backed up this idea, and decided to put our gift of money towards the building of the temple. However, some other citizens disagreed with this idea, and wanted our money to go towards funds for the city, such as weapons. One lord in Particular, Thucydides, supported this idea.
The first reason that the assembly gave was that Athena would be pleased; she deserves a gift for helping them win the war, and the temple and statue would be the perfect gift for their goddess. Also, no-one can deny the fact that they should have enough money to pay for the temple to be built; there will be a lot of money left over to put towards other things. Finally, it is unlikely that the Persians will attack again, so if they put the money towards weapons, they would be a waste of money because we won’t need to use them.
However, Athena can also be known as the goddess of simplicity, so she would just be happy with a smaller, simpler memorial. She would also be pleased because they have recognised her as goddess of simplicity. Secondly, they can never be sure if the Persians will attack again. They have a reputation for being tough and don’t like being beaten. Now Athens have defeated them, they have the perfect reason to seek revenge. They need the money for defences, and weapons, and not spend it on something that certainly won’t help them defeat the Persians or other attacking tribes once and for all. As well as that, Athena is also known and goddess of the battle and goddess of resources: she would be pleased if they put the money to good use, and would be proud of them for concentrating on defeating the Persians.
To conclude, I think that we shouldn’t build the Parthenon because it’s a waste of money. The money, after all, was given with clear instructions: to use it on building houses and forging weapons, not building a large, unnecessary temple out of expensive materials such as gold and ivory. But, although I am thoroughly against the building of the Parthenon, if it became vital for it to be built, maybe the architects could build it with less expensive materials, such as marble and bronze, so Athens would still have enough money for essentials: houses and weapons.
By: Lois CA Causwell Boyle
Greek name for the argument: Melissa Nikos, citizen of Athens.
Should the Parthenon be built?
The Acropolis, a building which was very grand and beautiful destroyed in the war with the Persians. But was it grand enough to be rebuilt as the Parthenon. Pericles thinks think’s it’s a very good idea but Thucydides does not. This has caused and argument. We have to discuss it and find out if we will build it or not.
Since the temple will provide lots of jobs, I think it’s a very good idea. Then people can get jobs and earn money to live well. No one can deny Athena herself will be pleased. Athena gave us olive trees, which we can use for eating the olives, washing and so on. Athena will be very thankful if we built the Parthenon. Athens can look smart again. The war ruined all the nice and beautiful things around Athens. We need something which can stand out from all the rest. Egypt has got the pyramids and lots of other countries have things. Greece has got the statues of all the gods and goddesses but we need something big and bold.
Although there are many good reasons to build it the people also have some bad ones too. The money should be spent on other things, like the war or families which are having trouble with money. Some people fear that if we don’t protect our self then the war will be very hard and many people will get injured. Also some families with young children might not enough money and we could give them a small donation to live a nice life. As well as that, the building will be a complete waste of money, it at least could be a bite smaller or less expensive materials on it. We got given the money not for a temple for us to live well and be happy. Others think that we should keep the money in treasury just in case the Persians come back when we are not expecting it.
Personally I think that we should not build the Parthenon because the money should be spent on the war. Although many people are religious, there are other places which just aren’t as big but can do the same thing. The temple will cost lots of gold, and all on another worshipping temple. If the Persians come back, we will not be ready and lose. The temple will be a waste of money. We got the money for the war, or anything that will help the people live well and be happy.
By Harriet Davy
Should we build the Parthenon?
After we defeated the Persians, many citizens of Athens believed that Athena helped in the war, and it is thanks to her that they won it. So someone suggested that we should build a sacred temple in her honour. The only way to get enough money to build the Parthenon, is to use the money the citizens put aside to for new weapons and armour. A lot of people agree with this idea, while others disagree. So, should we build the Parthenon?
“Athena will be pleased, as we are planning to build a great golden statue of her, covered in precious stones, in the middle of the temple. We owe her this much, for her precious gift and she also helped us defeat the Persians. So, I think we should build the Parthenon.” – Phillipus, citizen of Athens.
Athena means a lot to the people, and deserves this much and maybe more!! If it hadn’t been for Athena, Athens would have lost everything. Also, Athena gave us the gift of olive trees, which we use for cooking.
“We’ve got the money, so why not put it to good use? Anyway, Athens was once abandoned, we should do something to remember what Athens sacrificed.” – Cilissa, citizen of Athens.
Athens would certainly look smart again, if the people were to build an impressive temple, such as the Parthenon. The citizens want to recognise what the people abandoned.
Citizens want to build the Parthenon, while others argue about it. After all, the people of Athens gave this money for more serious causes, not to decorate our city!
“And what if the Persians strike again? We won’t have near enough of money to buy new weapons, or armour! And Athena most certainly won’t help us this time. And supposing we do build the Parthenon, and the Persians do come back, it’s for sure that they will attempt to destroy the temple! As we would have used all our money on the Parthenon, we won’t have any left to defend it. I think it is a very bad idea to build this great temple.” – Thucydides, citizen of Athens
Some citizens became and outraged when they found out that the money they gave was (probably) going to be used on an extra decoration on their city – and here is a point of view of one of them –
“Athens is already beautiful, our city doesn’t need extra decoration. After all, Athena is goddess of simplicity and intelligence. She doesn’t need a great big statue covered in rubies to please her!!” – Melissa, citizen of Athens
Many people believe that our goddess won’t want a statue made out of gold, or precious stones, and that building the Parthenon will just be a waste of money.
To conclude, I think that the Parthenon shouldn’t be built, as there is a chance that the Persians might strike again, also, the money should be used for new houses, weapons or armour.
Phyrra Nikos, citizen of Athens.