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9.11.2020

THE ARCHITECTURAL STYLES OF ANCIENT GREECE

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Architectural tradition and design could connect different cultures in time and space - and this certainly applies to the heritage of architectural forms, created by the ancient Greeks. The architecture of ancient Greece and its various styles have left their classic imprint on most buildings of later eras. The ancient Greek view of aesthetics and simplicity, clean lines, proportions, perspective, and the search for harmony would continue to influence the architects of Rome and later dominate the Renaissance.

The architecture of ancient Greece has five trends - Dorian, Ionian, Corinthian, Tuscan, and composite. Greek architects created the first three styles and have a strong influence on the other two. The architectural currents differ in their order - structure, arrangement. Orders are constructive systems for the vertical organization of the architectural components in a temple, for example, the column, the trunk, the capital, and the entablature (the upper part of the temple lies on the columns). At the same time, the interiors and plans of the Greek temples are not directly related to the orders relating only to the vertical elevation. They vary according to the size of the building and religious preferences.

During the classical era, Greek architecture was ruled by three main orders for the construction of buildings: Dorian, Ionian, and Corinthian, and they are most easily recognized by the type of columns used.

The Dorian style

The Dorian style was preferred in mainland Greece and the western colonies of Sicily and southern Italy, known together as Magna Grecia (Greater Greece). It is characterized by the Dorian column - it has no base, with touched grooves at the sharp edge, at the top with a simple capital composed of a round cushion with a curvilinear convex profile (echin) and a square plate (abacus). The entablature lies in the capital and is composed of three horizontal elements - architrave, frieze, and cornice. One of the most characteristic features of the Dorian order is its frieze with triglyphs and metopes. Triglyphs are vertical rectangular tiles built above each column and each intercolumn. Metopes are square panels between triglyphs, usually richly decorated.

The Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess of the city of Athens, is known as the largest Dorian Greek temple built during Pericles (447-432 BC).

The Ionian style

The Ionian style developed in parallel with the Dorian style but reached its final form at the end of the 4th century BC. - Temple of Athena Polyada in Priena. It was widespread in the Ionian lands - the shores of Asia Minor and the Aegean Islands. The interesting thing here is that the Ionic column is always placed on a base (the part between the trunk and the epitome). The Attic base, perfected in Attica, was widely used in the 6th and 5th centuries BC. It is composed of two toruses - convex curvilinear profiles connected by a concave element called a scotia. The most emblematic element in this order is the capital, consisting of two interconnected spirals (volutes), supporting a significantly lighter entablature.

In the Ionic column, the flutes are separated from each other by flat bands (called listel/ listellos), most often 24 flutes, deeper than the Dorian.

One of the most famous Ionian-style temples is the Erechtheion, located on the north side of the Acropolis in Athens. The temple was built between 421 and 407 BC. and is known for its distinctive construction, supported by six female figures - the caryatids.

The Corinthian style

The Corinthian order was developed last. With the exception of the capital, all components of the order were borrowed from the Ionic style. According to Vitruvius, the Corinthian capital was invented by the Athenian sculptor and master of metal products Kalimah. It resembles a basket with acanthus leaves overgrown around it. In its finished form, the Corinthian capital has two rows of eight acanthus leaves.

Unlike the Dorian and Ionian orders, the Corinthian order was not a constructive but purely decorative system.

The Temple of Zeus in Athens is in Corinthian style, and its construction lasted more than 7 centuries. Today survived only 15 of 104 Corinthian columns.

Unfortunately for the ancient Greek architectural heritage, we can judge only by the remaining temples and ruins of public buildings. No written documents have reached us besides De Architectura by the Roman architect Vitruvius, dedicated to Emperor Augustus. In it he writes: "The Greek architecture targets the order, arrangement and eurhythmy." Eurythmy is the philosophy behind the even arrangement of the elements in the composition. A principle that is still followed today.

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