This construction was designed to be harmonically ordered so that it reflected the harmony of life. Beyond this type of geometric design comes the combination of practical and aesthetic qualities as the Acropolis (which literally means "high city") was placed on the highest spot in Athens so that its people could retreat there in the case of invasion from the outside. It was a place of both literal and metaphoric sanctuary.
Much of the design of the Acropolis is massive in nature, but there are also smaller buildings which may be seen as a form of decoration. For example, there is the Temple to Nike Athena (the Athena of Victory) which commemorates a vital victory over the Persians. It is small in size, but perfect in proportion, as if the Greeks were attempting to show that it is the quality, in geometric perfection, that is more important than its size.
The various works of art which once existed in the Acropolis, few of which are still there in their original form, show that the Acropolis was designed as a kind of living history of the mythology of Greece. For example, the porch of the maidens commemorates the mythological contest between Athena and Poseidon over who would be the patron of the new city that had sprung up there.
It is perhaps a suitable commentary upon the difficulties involved with keeping the Classical Humanist ideals alive that much of the surviving works of ar