Should we build the Parthenon? Balanced Arguments

In literacy we have been looking at balanced arguments and relating it to our topic on the Ancient Greeks. We held a debate on whether the Parthenon should be built or not and followed this up by writing our own balanced arguments. Each argument should introduce the subject, outline in detail the cases for and against the proposal, and conclude by stating the author’s preference. We were also looking to include several technical features including passive sentences, subordinating and coordinating conjunctions, conditionals and personal pronouns in the final paragraph.

Here’s Sam L’s balanced argument:

Should the Parthenon be built in Athens?


Following the victory over the Persians, Athenians are debating what to do with their money. Pericles has stated that Athens should have a temple, others (like Thucydides) say they should put money to good use by building defences.

Pericles has stated that Athens should build a Parthenon. Many argue that if they go ahead with the building, then goddess Athene will be honoured and would surely protect Athens from any further attacks. No one can deny that building a temple would provide jobs for citizens. It is their contention that they must build a Parthenon to show everyone how rich and powerful Athens is. The city can be smart again: no one can deny that the Acropolis has been a pile of rubble for years. Building the Parthenon will cost millions. However, the money will only go to other citizens because the city of Athens will be paying them to build, so throughout Athens the wealth will be spread evenly.

Athens was abandoned in 480BC at the time of the Battle of Salamis so that the rest of Greece could be saved. Pericles believes that Athens ought to do something to recognise what they sacrificed. Building a Parthenon would make Athens look proud and victorious. At the moment the closest thing to a temple is a pile of rubble that is the Acropolis. Pericles and his supporters (the pro- Parthenon lobby) ask if that is the sort of image that Athens wants to have. Furthermore, although it could be destroyed, it’s unlikely that the Persians will attack because they have been defeated more than once.

The people against building the Parthenon, led by Thucydides, would say that using the money to decorate the city is just like a woman covering herself in precious stones. Furthermore, it is not right to spend millions on a building. Thucydides argues that the money should be spent on things that Athens needs like defences. How can they be sure the Persians won’t strike again? After all, they are pretty sore about being beaten.

Additionally, Thucydides believes that building the Parthenon would be a waste of money if only to see it knocked down by the Persians. Before Athens build it they ought to talk to their friends in other parts of Greece; they could help the Athenians decide. Thucydides argues that Athens should keep the money in the treasury just in case. Personally, I believe the Parthenon shouldn’t be built as it’s a complete waste of money. If we spend millions on this temple, then we will look pretty stupid if the Persians come and knock it down. Thucydides is right, we should either spend it on something we need or keep it just in case.



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