Semiotics of the Parthenon as a Pillar of Modern Democracy

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Safet Ahmeti
Bujar Hoxha


How does the Parthenon stand for democracy and why? What is it that makes the Greek
pillars so appealing to modern democracies? Is it for the Golden Ratio as a system of
rational/harmonious/human proportions, and if so, is Democracy a civilizational Golden Ratio
or just an eye/mind spectacle/manipulation? To interpret the iconography of the Parthenon
related to modern democracies a metaphor of translation will be applied, concerning the multiple
transpositions the building has evolved through. This, in particular, refers to an architecture
work of art as a “symptom which expresses itself in a countless variety of other symptoms”
(Panofsky) related to broader cultural contexts. Further “translation” will take place in the double
movement of purification and contamination, specificity and hybridity, among semiotic and
iconological analysis – the word and image dialectic.

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How to Cite
Ahmeti, S., & Hoxha, B. (2021). Semiotics of the Parthenon as a Pillar of Modern Democracy. Humanities Bulletin, 4(1), 133–146. Retrieved from