We learned in the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento that the Temple of Olympian Zeus there was extremely unique in Sicily and the larger Greek world. Of the Doric order, the temple itself would have been enormous if completed, measuring fourteen columns long by seven columns wide. This would have made it the largest Doric temple ever built. The monstrous monument likely commemorated the victory of Akragas (Agrigento) over Carthage in the battle of Himera (~480 BC), which definitely would have been a great accomplishment for the comparatively small city and its allies. Returning to the details of the temple itself, the odd width in columns would have been extremely uncommon since it would have caused there to be two separate entrances. Additionally, unlike any other temple we saw on the trip, the columns were (supposed to be) engaged with a wall, presumably what would have formed the entrance or entrances in a more natural way.
We also learned about the telamones, or giants, which would have been extremely unusual features on a Greek temple. Other than in the case of caryatid columns, figures were not known to be incorporated into the temple façade in such a way. And for those of us who had read any of the Iliad, we immediately recognized the root τελαμων, -οντος in the name of Ajax’s father, the hero Telamon (Τελαμων). Professor Boyd explained that τελαμων means “bearing” or “enduring,” which helps to characterize Telamon and his lineage, especially Ajax, who is extremely strong (enduring) and nearly a giant himself. Ajax’s patronymic actually helps to define his character.