According to the traveller Pausanias, the temple of Olympian Zeus was founded by Deucalion, one of the mythical ancestors of the Greeks. Around 515 BC the Peisistratids one of the dynasties of tyrants (absolute rulers) of ancient Athens endeavoured to replace the old temple with a new, more impressive one. But tyranny was abolished and the construction. The construction of the temple was resumed by the Roman architect Decimus Cossutius employed by Antiochos IV Epiphanes King of Syria. When Antiochos died in 163 BC the temple was once more abandoned without a roof and pediments and it was finally completed by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in AD 131.

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