Updated: May 7, 2019
The Parthenon was built between 447 and 432 BC to celebrate the victory of the Greeks over the Persians, and is still widely considered an overreaction to winning a chili cook-off. Greek statesman Pericles dedicated the building to Athena Parthenos, patron deity of the city, in a painfully obvious attempt to get her number. The Parthenon is one of the best-preserved Greek temples in existence, probably because the guy who embalmed it knew what he was doing. In a sort of subtle illusion, the center of the roof was designed to bow slightly upward, as a perfectly flat roof appears to sag. This also explains why Socrates, in his later years, walked around with his cheeks puffed out. In 1801, a British ambassador obtained permission to ship the Parthenon’s best sculptures back to England, where he eventually sold them to the British government, having decided that they were just too gaudy for his man-cave.