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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 out of the three, it is also the
most distinctive 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, later
known as the Dorians. This population is the origin of Athenians and people
living in most of other city states in the mainland of Greece. These invaders
pushed the original inhabitants to the remotest regions such as the refuge of
the islands. Due to the fact that these invaders 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 such as the shorter and Doric drums in the
columns. This style was popular among greek builders during the Archaic period,
starting from the late seventh century and was still the predominant order for
temples through  the early fifth century.

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It is the style which occurs frequently in Greek mainlands.

 

On
the other hand, Ionic order comes from the Ionians, the natives of the land who
fled to coastal islands. They were primarily agriculturists and their religion
was to express their gratitude to gods for the fertility and growth they bring
to the Ionians. Therefore, in contrary, their gods were personified as female
figures. The religion 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 not placation, instead of
devotion. This leads to a more extensive elements of sensuality and
emotionalism than the Dorians have. As Dorians` religions contained more
aspects of more aggressive and unexplainable gestures, Ionians` mythology took
its focus on human aspects. This is also reflected upon the Ionic order as they
tried to express the femininity, the columns were more slender, more attentive
to decorations leading to finer details. This style was used for temples from
the 600 B.C.E. This style was popular in regions in Greeks in Asia Minor and
islands.

 

The
last of the three orders was Corinthian, an invention during an incident when
Kallimachos of Athens came across a tomb with acanthus plant grown around the
basket of offerings during the visit to Corinth. This order was first
developed in the late 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 and they all have 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 of the three orders, all orders have a cornice but dentils are
found only in Corinthian order. 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 carved with
relief sculptures arranged in a continuous pattern around the building is also
one of its most important features. 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. At the abacus, where the capital
connects with the shaft, the three orders have a rectangular abacus but
Corinthian order’s abacus has concave sides due to the decorative capital. The
three orders are all quite different in their capitals, Doric order has a
convex echinus in its capital where Ionic order has two opposed volutes in the
echinus rested upon 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, it has 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. Moving onto the lower parts of the orders,

 

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 rather than more slender and elegant like
the others. Doric orders columns also consists of Doric drums and are four to
eight 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 adds further 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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