Pediments of the Parthenon, Athens

Look at pictures of the east and west pediments of the Parthenon. Describe the design of each pediment: the event depicted and how. How has the artist coped with the shape of the pediment?   What characteristics of 'High Classical Style' are apparent in the carvings of the Parthenon pediments?
The east pediment of the Parthenon depicts the birth of the goddess Athena from the head of her father Zeus after Hephaistos struck him with an axe. The centrepiece was destroyed but the best clue of what it might have looked like comes from a relief carving of a Roman altar. Here Zeus is seated on his throne while his armed and fully grown daughter Athena, newly released from her father’s head, strides out into the world looking back as she does so. The missing scene probably included Hera too. The other sculptures which have survived are of other gods witnessing this amazing event, and of horses drawing the chariots of the sun (Helios) far left and moon (Selene) far right.
The timing of the scene, Athena‘s birth at dawn, is illustrated well in the corners of the pediment. The pediment floor represents the horizon. Very little is shown of the charioteers but the horses’ heads in the left corner represent the rising sun and those in the right corner the setting of the moon. The horses of the sun are depicted with full of energy, in contrast to the horses of the moon that appear tired and panting. These figures are on the small side but provide cohesion to the storyline because not all were meant to be seen in its entirety because parts were obscured by the imagined horizon. Next to them were reclining figures, perhaps the nude figure of Dionysus on the left and the clothed figure of Aphrodite on the right. Here a balance of opposites is achieved with both figures life-size and fitting the slope of the pediment well. Next to the reclining figures are the seated goddesses, perfectly balanced, in three-quarter views who begin to turn to the front and the taller seated figures...