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Phigalia (fĭgāˈlēə) [key], ancient city of Greece, in SW Arcadia (now Arkadhía). It gives its name to the Phigalian Marbles, a frieze c.100 ft (30 m) long and 2 ft (61 cm) high, in high relief, representing battles between the Lapithae, a legendary people from Thessaly, and the Centaurs and between the Amazons and the Greeks. The frieze, dating from c.420 B.C., was originally on the walls of a temple of Apollo at Bassae, near Phigalia. Since 1814 it has been in the British Museum. The geographer Pausanias names Ictinus as the architect of the temple.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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