Excavations for Bernard Tschumi's new Acropolis Museum are causing alarm in some quarters, so it is an apt time to publish The Parthenon (Profile Books, £15) - an entertaining, yet scholarly, history by Mary Beard.
Not that the temple's renown is quite so universal as one imagines.
Beard quotes an exchange between a journalist and US basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.
'Did you visit the Parthenon during your trip to Greece?' asked the former. 'I can't really remember the names of the clubs we went to, '' said O'Neal.