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One
of the most influential invention of the greek architecture was the three
classical orders, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The Greek builders invented them
with Doric order being the simplest and oldest but most distinctive out of the
three, as it marks the period of the transition from the use of wood to marble
and limestone.

 

Doric
order’s name was taken from the invaders who were known as the Achaeans or
Dorians. These invaders pushed the original inhabitants to the remotest regions
such as the refuge of the islands, themselves became the Athenians and the
people who lived in most of other cities in Greece mainland. Due to the fact
that they were nomadic herdsmen, they personified gods from different forms of
nature as male characters and their main concerns was to pacify the gods
therefore the nature and appearance of doric order is quite masculine with power
and heaviness reflected upon the shorter and lack of base columns. This style
was used among Greek builders during the Archaic period, and was still the
predominant order for temples through 
the early fifth century. It is the style which occurs frequently in
Greek mainlands.

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On
the other hand, Ionic order comes from the Ionians, the natives of the land who
fled to islands. They were agriculturists and their religion was to express
their gratitude to gods for the fertility and growth. Therefore, in contrary,
their gods were personified as female figures. Idea which derived from
fertility has added the hint of mystery to the goddesses they worship and more
mystical in comparison to the Dorians. Furthermore, their worship was through devotion.

This leads to a more extensive elements of sensuality and emotionalism than the
Dorians have. As Dorians` religions appeared to have aggressive and
unexplainable gestures, Ionians` mythology took its focus on human aspects.

This is also reflected upon in the Ionic order, the columns were more slender,
more attentive to decorations leading to finer details. as they tried to
express the femininity. This style was used for temples from the 600 B.C.E. and
popular in Asia Minor regions and islands.

 

The
last of the three orders was Corinthian, an invention during an incident when
Kallimachos came across a tomb with acanthus plant grown around the basket of
offerings during the visit to Corinth. This order was first developed and
appeared towards the end of the classical period, commonly used during
Hellenistic and later in Roman periods.

 

The
three orders share similar layout structures, such as a cornice, frieze, architrave,
capital, a column, a stylobate and stereobate. However, the three orders differ
in details of their components. Both Doric and Ionic orders have a pediment, a
sloped roof, with Doric order having an acroterion and Ionic order having a
raking cornice whereas Corinthian has a flat roof.

 

In
the entablature, all orders have a cornice but dentils are found only in
Corinthian. Doric order has a more distinctive entablature than the other two
orders. At the frieze of Doric order, triglyph and metope could be found
whereas in Ionic and Corinthian orders, the frieze have continuous ornament
with carved figures. Ionic order’s frieze is one of its important features as
it is carved with relief sculptures arranged in a continuous pattern around the
building. Doric order’s frieze is separated by the regula from the architrave
which does not found in other orders.

 

Following
up is the architrave, all three orders have lined architrave apart from Doric
which can have a smooth architrave as well. The three orders have a rectangular
abacus but Corinthian order’s abacus contains concave sides. The three orders
are all quite different in their capitals, Doric order has a convex echinus
where Ionic order has two opposed volutes in the echinus resting on a band of
palm leaf ornament and between the volutes is an egg and dart carved oval
decoration. Corinthian order possess a further decorative capital than the two,
a bell shaped echinus decorated with acanthus leaves, thus spirals, palmettes
and pair of small volutes at all the corners, hence is the reason why
Corinthian is considered as the most elegant and decorative order of the three.

 

Doric
and Corinthian order have a necking which is absent in the Ionic order and the
column ratio of the Doric order is lower than the other two orders which made
it appear to be shorter and heavier. Doric orders columns also consists of Doric
drums and are about five times its diameter, Ionic`s are nine times its lower
diameter and Corinthian`s columns are ten times its diameter. The presence of
base in the other two orders adds to their slenderness whereas Doric order’s
columns sit directly into the stylobate which further adds to its heavy
appearance. 

 

One
of the well known classical Greek temple is the Parthenon, a Doric peripteral
temple situated in Athens. It was a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, it
held a ritual which is the celebration of Athena`s birthday in Hekatombaion,
took place every four years, called the Panathenaic festival. Events such as
scarifices, equestrian contest, musical and athletics took place during this
time. The key feature were presentation of prizes from the games and the
embroidered, new robes to be presented to the wooden statue of Athena in the
Erechthion on acropolis, deposited at the alter and scarifices. This ceremony
ran across the city all the way to the temple via the Panathenaic way.

 

The
site which the Parthenon is situated is the Acropolis rock, it has been a site
for temples long before the Parthenon was ordered to be built. The Acropolis
rock is seated at the heart of Athens, the settlements built on it was due to
the security feature of this location. Due to its geographical features, the
Acropolis rock formed an área which was quite impregnable with only one route
through the cliffs, yet still within convenient access to the sea. It was
visible from all directions and overlook the whole city, it was also used for
defensive purposes periodically. Later years, affected by the political
elements then it was establised to become a site for the temple. Even though
the temple merely was used for worship, the topography of the Acropolis rock
marked it as a special location therefore any architectural buildings must be
carefully considered to be placed in a position to fully experience the
benefits of the land and further enhance the home of gods.

 

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