The Great Altar of Zeus is a masterpiece of ancient Greek art and architecture. It was commissioned by King Eumenes II during the Hellenistic period, and is considered one of the most impressive surviving examples of this style. The altar is characterized by a massive marble frieze that stretches 370 feet, depicting the Gigantomachy from Greek mythology. The artists who created this artwork utilized exaggeration in musculature, emotion, and movement to create stunning relief sculpture.
The Altar of Zeus stood on a large terrace measuring over 100 feet long and wide, which makes it the largest known Greek altar. It was originally located in Pergamon’s sacred precinct on an acropolis until it was completely rebuilt at Berlin’s Pergamon Museum in 1959. This monumental work of art serves as an example of how Hellenistic art merged elements from different cultures.
The Hellenistic period spanned from the death of Alexander the Great to Rome’s victory at Actium in 30 BCE. During this period, Greece became subject to foreign hegemony under first Macedonia then Romans after 146 BCE. Nevertheless, Hellenistic culture and art continued to thrive despite these political changes resulting in magnificent works such as The Great Altar Of Zeus carving its place into history books as an icon for all time.