Pediment of the Gigantomachy
This pedimental composition decorated the ancient temple of Athena Polias, the foundations of which lie south of the Erechtheion. Four figures, one of them representing Athena, have been restored from the many preserved fragments. The goddess is shown in full stride, as she overcomes the Giant Engelados, of whom only one leg is preserved. She raises her aegis (goat-skin cape) with her left arm and holds a spear in her right hand. To the right, another Giant, falls to the ground, while at the corners of the composition two Giants gaze downward, ready to attack. This pediment has been connected to the refurbishment of Athena's temple by the sons of the tyrant Peisistratos (525 BC), though some believe it is related to the establishment of Athenian democracy (510-500 BC). This is the first pedimental composition that was sculpted in the round, rather than in relief as in earlier pediments, and thus holds an important place in the history of architectural sculpture. It is attributed to an Athenian sculptor, possibly Endois or Antenor.