Brady Kiesling: Aiming at the Gods: A Different Angle on Greek Temple Orientation
Astronomical explanations for ancient temple orientations need not blunt our
curiosity regarding possible social and political calculations underlying Greek
temple construction. A “down to earth” look at axial orientation may enrich our
understanding of the circumstances in which temples were vowed. One cluster
of alignments may be connected to the role of Apollo and Artemis as plague
gods. Other alignments hint at parallels with the Roman habit of vowing
temples to local divinities before key battles.