The various approaches to the citadel on the northern side - the rock-cut flight of steps north-east of the Erechtheum, the stairs leading to the well Clepsydra, and the intermediate passage supposed to have furnished access to the Persians - are all to be attributed to the primitive epoch.
According to DBrpfeld, this was the " old temple " of Athena Polias, frequently mentioned in literature and inscriptions, in which was housed the most holy image (oavov) of the goddess which fell from heaven; it was burnt, but not completely destroyed, during the Persian War, and some of its external decorations were afterwards built into the north wall of the Acropolis; it was subsequently restored, he thinks, with or without its colonnade - in the former case a portion of the peristyle must have been removed when the Erechtheum was built so as to make room for the porch of the maidens; the building was set on fire in 406 B.C. (Xen.
Frazer maintains the hitherto current theory that the earlier temple of Athena and Erechtheus was on the site of the Erechtheum; that the Erechtheum inherited the name apXa ios veclis from its predecessor, and that the " opisthodomos " in which the treasures were kept was the west chamber of the Parthenon; Furtwangler and Milchh6fer hold the strange view that the " opisthodomos " was a separate building at the east end of the Acropolis, while Penrose thinks the building discovered by Dorpfeld was possibly the Cecropeum.
The removal of the ancient temple was undoubtedly intended when the Erechtheum was built, but superstition and popular feeling may have prevented its demolition and the removal of the, 6avov to the new edifice.
The Parthenon, the Erechtheum, the " Theseum " and other temples were converted into Christian churches and were thus preserved throughout the middle ages.
The Propylaea served as the residence of the Turkish commandant and the Erechtheum as his harem.
Athens again fell into the hands of the Turks in 1826, who bombarded and took the Acropolis in the following year; the Erechtheum suffered greatly, and the monument of Thrasyllus was destroyed.
In Athens it was doubtless in use for literary as well as for other purposes as early as the 5th century B.C. An inscription relating to the rebuilding of the Erechtheum in 407 B.C. records the purchase of two papyrus rolls, to be used for the fair copy of the rough accounts.
The Tholos lay to the south-west of the temple of Asclepius; it must, when perfect, have been one of the most beautiful buildings in Greece; the exquisite carving of its mouldings is only equalled by that of the Erechtheum at Athens.
The Athenian hero Erechtheus (Erichthonius), originally an earth-god, is her foster-son, with whom she was honoured in the Erechtheum on the Acropolis.
(6) The Plynteria and Callynteria, at which her ancient image and peplus in the Erechtheum and the temple itself were cleaned, with a procession in which bunches of figs (frequently used in lustrations) were carried.
ERECHTHEUM, a temple (commonly called after Erechtheus, to whom a portion of it was dedicated) on the acropolis at Athens, unique in plan, and in its execution the most refined example of the Ionic order.
The peculiar plan of the Erechtheum has given rise to much speculation.
The contents of the Erechtheum are described by Pausanias.
The Erechtheum was damaged by a fire, soon after its completion, in 406 B.C., but was repaired early in the following century.
Since 1900 the project of rebuilding the Erechtheum as far as possible with the original blocks has again been undertaken.
See Stuart, Antiquities of Athens; Inwood, The Erechtheum; H.
P. Stevens, "The East Wall of the Erechtheum," in American Journ.
19 Athene (" the Athenian one ") was primarily the guardian spirit of Athens, and at the Erechtheum her sacred serpent (apparently known to the 3rd century A.D.), was fed monthly with honeycakes; when, during the Persian War, it left the food untouched it was taken as a sign that the protectors had forsaken the city20 At Lebadeia in the shrine of Trophonios (to whom serpents were sacred) offerings of honey cakes were made to an oracular serpent.
An altar was retained for the service of one particular god, except where through local tradition two or more deities had become intimately associated, as in the case of the altar at Olympia to Artemis and Alpheus jointly, or that of Poseidon and Erechtheus in the Erechtheum at Athens.
Erechtheum Cyclopaean 6th.