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Classical Greece (800 BC - 323 BC)

Origins --- Belief System --- Political Situation --- Greek Architecture

The Greek Orders ------Treasury at Delphi___Acropolis

Doric --- Parthenon --- Temple of Hephaestus --- Segesta
Ionic ---- Erectheum _--Ionic Capital_--Athena Nike______
Corinthian --Temple of Zeus --Corinthian Capital-_______

Theatres_---Delfi ----Epidaurus --- - Segesta ---- Syracusa
Temples -------Temple of Apollo
Gymnasia _____- Olympia _____- Delphi
Propylea - - Epidaurus

Origins

The art and architecture of Ancient Greece provides the basis for the European Classical tradition. The styles and "vocabulary" of the Greek period have been emulated for 2500 years, and can be found in any subsequent architectural style that incorporates the word "Classical".

Like the other five building centers (see Ancient), Greece began as a series of small city states that grew over the ages on the various mountains and islands on the south end of the Balkan peninsula, at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea. The people of these city states were generally in conflict with one another and with the invaders from the Fertile Crescent (Persia), Africa and the North.

The Golden Age of Greece was the culmination of the various cultural traditions, the catalyst of which was the supremacy of Athens in 800 BC. After centuries of conflict, Athens emerged as the central power, uniting the other city states into a country victorious against the Persians. While not nearly as dominating as the Romans, the Greek Empire expanded across the Mediterranean. The Greeks built cities in many desirable locations where the natural landscape provided a good location for temples and theatres, most notably in Sicily at Syracuse and Segesta and in Turkey at Ephesus. With a centralized government and relatively stable society, builders and artists had the time and the resources to translate their traditionally wooden structures into stone.

Building practices and technological advancements were intermittently shared among the centers and the resulting mixture is what we now know as Greek architecture. The apex of Greek art and architecture was the Classical Era (650 - 431 BC) which started with the flowering of Athens and ended with the Peloponnesian war. The work produced during these years set a standard in art and architecture that all subsequent societies are measured by.

The Greek tribes were once again united under the rule of Alexander the Great (325 BC), who mixed the Greek culture with that of the Persians and a succession of other cultures as he brought his empire to the east and back. By 146 BC, Greece was part of the Roman Empire.

Belief System

Greek mythology provides a rich insight into the mind set of the time. The Greeks developed a hierarchy of Gods who were almost caricatures of men and women, with all the flaws and shortcomings of humans, but with the power to influence things beyond human control. Zeus was the father figure, Hercules the strong man, Athena the beautiful woman and provider, Dionysus the God of wine. Most of the natural world was under the control of Gods in a loosely knit divine committee. There were Gods in charge of the sun, the moon, the rains, the winds, and all the natural elements. The stories that developed around these Gods are rich in intrigue and are such acute psychological studies that, like Shakespeare, they are timeless, and the object of intense study centuries after their time in history. The website developed by Carlos Parada is one of the better ones on this subject.

http://homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/AboutGML.htm

Political Situation

Persia and Egypt were huge dynasties ruled by dictators who were seen by the people, and possibly by themselves, as Gods. In contrast, the leaders in Greece were chosen by the people. The triumph of democracy over tyranny created a dramatic change not only in the way people conducted their lives, but also in the way they perceived themselves within the universe. The Greeks were the first people in the Western world to play with the idea of man as an individual. Consequently the Gods that the Greeks paid homage to were formed in the image of man. Man was the measure of all things and the Gods were similarly fashioned.

The rulers of Athens and of the individual city states all paid homage to the Gods, but the society was run as a democracy. Independent thought was encouraged, which lead to great progress in the liberal arts. Philosophers from the great age of Greece include Plato (427 - 347 BC), Aristotle (384-322 BC) , Socrates (470-399 BC) and Herodotus (484-425 BC). Sophocles (496-406 BC) was perhaps the most famous dramatist.

Greek Architecture

Greek architecture as we know it dates from the fifth century BC when Pericles, a powerful statesman in Athens, decided to rebuild the Acropolis (480 BC). The original buildings had been destroyed by the Persians shortly before this date.

Greek architecture is designed to fit into the landscape and was intended to exist in harmony with nature. The temples, built to honour the Gods, are situated on prominent hilltops so that they can be viewed by the people below in all their magnificence. The theatres are built in natural dells that are often far from the city center, but provide beautiful views of the sea. Great care was taken in the proportions of the buildings which were worked out mathematically to provide the most elegant and fitting shapes. The buildings were meant to be appreciated from the outside almost as if they were sculptures in and of themselves.

Fittingly, it was mostly sculptors who were put in charge of the buildings. Phidias was the sculptor put in charge of overseeing the building program. Mnesikles, Ictinus, and Callicrates built the Parthenon in 430 BC. Mnesikles was the architect of the Propylea.

Greek sculpture is intrinsically linked to architecture, most of what remains was found either adorning the temples and large public buildings or well placed within them. The most important change was the development of the human form from the stiff, caricatured images found on Egyptian decoration and Persian reliefs into the lifelike, self aware individuals found in the sculptures of 5th century BC Athens. The idea of the individual, as represented in these sculptures, standing tall and independent, not part of a hierarchical grouping, is a corner stone of Western thought.

 

The Greek Orders

Greek architecture won the battle of time by one major innovation; the translation of wooden forms into stone. The results have been called a kind of livable abstract sculpture.

Architecture can be divided into two basic categories, trabeated and arcuated, beamed or arched. Greek architecture is trabeated. Roman is arcuated.

The column and architrave (post and lintel) system of Greek architecture may well have been inspired by earlier Egyptian or Persian architecture, but the

Greeks perfected the design and proportions of three styles that are so well known to us that they are called the Greek Orders: the Doric, the Ionic and the Corinthian . These orders were used so widely and so brilliantly on the Acropolis, the theatres, Olympia, and the many outlying temples and agoras across the Greek world that they were copied by the Romans, the Renaissance masters and many subsequent ages. Indeed the beauty and harmony of the proportions of the Greek style so profoundly influenced the development of Western Architecture that Greece must be identified as the source of the Western tradition.

Athenian Treasury, Delphi 510 BC

The Athenian Treasury at Delphi is identified as one of the earliest complete Greek structures. Its proportions are perfect. Temples and treasuries are described by the number of columns they have. This is a Distyle building because it has two columns. It demonstrates the typical symmetrical Doric temple pattern. Note that it was completed many decades before the buildings of the Acropolis.

The Doric order has baseless columns with large abacuses and small echinuses. Atop these are triglyphs and metopes. This forms the basis of the Doric style as seen below.

Delphi triglyph Pediment echinus cornice Architrave

Acropolis

An acropolis is a group of buildings constructed on the top of a high hill or mountain. Because they provide a means of defense, there are many acropolises in Greece and other countries. The acropolis in Athens is so important, however, that it has become the Acropolis.

The buildings of the Acropolis, largely constructed during the time of Pericles, form the basis of the great age of Greek Architecture which became the basis for Classical Architecture. The Acropolis was conceived as a place where the Gods could walk with man. The first buildings on it were Doric.

Acropolis

Origins of Doric Order

Most scholars agree that the Greek Temple design was originally derived from wood or wood and clay brick.

The front "columns" could have been made from tied reeds or wood. The tops would have been tied together to produce the echinus form. This was seen 1000 years earlier in the Minoan culture.

The top of the echinus would have been covered by a large square piece of wood to even any irregularities, this became the abacus. Along the top of this, acting as a lintel, would be a long piece of wood or possibly two smaller pieces, which became the architrave. Above this, running perpendicular, were cross beams, the ends of which were held in place by wooden pegs, which were translated into guttae. The cross beams were translated into three vertical lines known as triglyphs.

Parthenon

Doric Order

The Doric Order is the earliest and simplest of the Greek Orders. It originated in timber and was translated into stone, as seen above, during the 6th century BC. Greek columns, like their Mesopotamian counterparts, began either as bundles of reeds tied together at the top, or tapered tree trunks. The abacus and echinus were developed to translate the load of the entablature onto the shaft of the column. The fluting on the column represents the vertical reeds or tree trunks wrapped together.

The architrave is the lintel of the structure. The joints occur over the middle of the capital. These were originally made of wood but were translated , over the centuries, into stone.

Above this are the cross beams running perpendicular to the lintel and carrying the roof load. These are translated into triglyphs. Between the triglyphs square pieces of ceramic tile were added to keep out the rain and drafts. As well as birds or rodents. These are called metopes.

Doric Order

Parthenon 447 - 432 BC

The Parthenon is perhaps the most famous building done in the Doric style. It was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the virgin Athena, one of the three major Greek virgin Goddesses. Ictinus and Callicrates were the architects, Phidias was the major sculptor.

The Acropolis is a free grouping of buildings, not on any rectangular grid. The Parthenon was the largest of the buildings on the Acropolis and it housed the statue of Athena.

Parthenon architrave Doric Pediment Metope Cornice

Parthenon

The Parthenon has been the subject of meticulous study, particularly concerning the mathematical secrets of its perfection. There are few if any straight lines. Every surface is carved, tapered or hollowed to provide a more aesthetically pleasing form. Columns are all inclined inwards to create a feeling of strength and stability. Steps and entablature both slightly curved. The building was meant to be seen from a distance, and this curving of the surfaces, called entasis, was meant to correct a visual "sagging" that would occur if they were straight.

Parthenon entablature Doric Abacus colonade

Parthenon

This was a temple to Athena for 900 years, a Christian church for 1,000 years, and a Muslim mosque for 200 years. Then in 1687 a Venetian bomb ignited a Turkish munitions dump inside the structure which destroyed much of the sculpture.

Architecturally, it is the culmination of all of the other discoveries with regard to grace and form. Seen from a distance, the columns would seem to curve inward if the architects had not added entasis. Entasis is a mathematical calculation of ' swell' at the midpoint of the shaft of the column that counteracts this optical illusion.

Parthenon Shaft

Parthenon

The sculpture for the pediments and friezes of the Parthenon were removed by Lord Elgin in the 19th century and housed in London. Now known as the Elgin Marbles, these sculptures are on display in the British Museum. Oddly enough, many scholars and most Greeks think they should be returned.

The pediment on the east end of the Parthenon, now in London, illustrates the birth of Athena. The west end of the Parthenon - shown here - illustrates Athena's struggle with Poseidon for patronage of the city.

The sculptures on this building alone were the work of literally hundreds of workmen and artisans.

Parthenon pediment triglyph abacus shaft flute frieze

Parthenon

Within the naos ( the major room) was a 12.8 m (42') high statue of Athena made of gold and ivory. The statue was vibrantly coloured, adorned with gold and ivory, and stood in a pool of water holding a burning torch. The statue of Athena was visible to ships approaching Athens across the Mediterranean.

Where the sculpture of Athena was unrestrained, the Parthenon itself was very restrained and controlled.

The buildings were not created with super human force as in Egypt. There were no strange, supernatural shapes as in the temples in India. The Parthenon is the home of Humanity. Calm, ordered, sure of itself. The reliefs and decoration are of humans and Gods in human form. The Gods are the same size as the Humans and inter- act with them on a Human scale. The bas reliefs of the Ancient civilizations all had the Gods and Emperors at a much larger scale.

Parthenon

Parthenon

The metopes in the Parthenon illustrate the Greek mythological battles: Amazons and Athenians, Greek Gods and Giants, and battles against Centaurs, half man -half horse. These metopes can also be found in London.

The Doric order style and proportions were taken largely from the Parthenon. The Romans adapted the Doric order and modified it for their own purposes, adding a base, more acanthus leaves, and a variety of metope designs including aegicrane (ram -skull) and bucrane (ox-skull) forms.

Parthenon frieze Metope echinus fluting frieze architrave metope

Parthenon

This is the cella of the Parthenon. It illustrates the ashlar surface and the rougher wall composition. Constructed of stone and rubble, the walls would have been faced with fine marble in an ashlar finish.

http://www.goddess-athena.org/Museum/Temples/ Parthenon/index.htm

Parthenon

Column Construction

All Greek columns are held together by a series of "keys". The top section of each block is hollowed out in the middle according to a certain design, generally square, and the bottom of the block on top of it is carved with a square in the exact spot to fit into these grooves and provide a seamless column. The skill and craftsmanship involved in this process is obvious.

Parthenon

Temple of Hephaestus 449 BC

This is the most intact of the Doric Temples in Greece with 36 columns and a frieze on the eastern side depicting nine of the 12 labours of Hiraklion.

The site of the Temple of Hephaestus, below the Acropolis, was built up with housing and commerce over the centuries. In the 20th century when the excavations of this and the Agora of Athens were uncovered, there were 400 modern buildings in and around it.

Temple of Hephaestus Pediment Entablature Doric

Temple of Hephaestus 449 BC

Greek temples are made to be viewed from the outside. They are all situated in beautiful surroundings with gardens and promenades along the sides.

The Doric was the first Greek Order used. The distance between the columns is relatively small, perhaps 2 of the columns base diameters between each column.

The columns themselves are also quite short for their width. The diameter of the column is perhaps 1/10 of the height of the column.

These proportions would change in the later Ionic and Corinthian styles. The Romans, as well, would adjust the proportions and add bases to the Doric. You can always distinguish a true Classical Greek Doric column by the relative height /width ratio and the fact that it has no base.

Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus 449 BC

The metopes on the Temple of Hephaestus are also remarkably intact. There are 12 remaining metopes representing the trials of Herakles. The triglyphs are almost exclusively intact. The architrave, as in most Doric temples, is unadorned.

Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus 449 BC

On the west side of the temple, on the opishodomos of the cella, there is an Ionic style frieze which is still largely intact. The scene is a battle between Centaurs and Lapiths.

Temple of Hephaestus

Segesta

Where the Temple of Hephaestus is close to the Acropolis, the Temple in segesta (not attributed to any particular God that we are aware of) is on the far north of the Island of Sicily, some 1000 kilometers away from Athens. The Parthenon is a hexastyle temple (eight columns) while the Temple of Hephaestus and the Segesta Temple are both hexastyle (six columns). The columns on this Temple are much shorter than those on Hephaestus, having a 1/8 ratio as opposed to a 1/10 ratio.

Segesta

Segesta

All of the interior rooms in the Temple of Diana have been removed leaving only the columns, the entablatures, and the tympanae. Currently the visitor is free to walk through the interior space and admire the harmony of the proportions as well as the beauty of the surrounding countryside, something not found on many other temples and Greek sites.

The temple is on top of a small hill between several much larger hills, one of which was used as a theatre.

The people in Segesta in the 5th century BC were a mixture of Elymian and Ionic.

Segesta

Segesta

The triglyphs are generally intact but no other sculpture can be found. Scholars maintain that the temple was, in fact, never completed. No roof was ever placed on top of this columnar base.

Sicily was similar to mainland Greece in that the various city states were constantly warring with one another. Alliances would be formed, raids would be attempted, and men would be lost in the process.

This Temple of Diana dates from the late 5th century BC. The Peloponnesian wars and other conflicts after 420 BC prevented this temple from being completed.

Segesta

Segesta

Like the roof and sculpture, the columns have been left unfinished. All of the blocks are in place with the echinus, the abacus and the entablature, but they are still rough. The fluting has not been added and the surface was never filed or polished.

The temple is remote, so it makes sense that it has not been dismembered for residential building materials, but there is also a tradition that it is an important site for the local Cosa Nostra. That force could also be responsible for it being in such good shape.

Segesta

Ionic order

The Ionic temple was usually found in the areas settled by Greeks who had fled from the Dorians, either on the islands apart from the mainland or in Asia Minor.

The columns are much more refined than the Doric with fluting scalloped on the top and bottom of the shaft. The flutes of the shaft are separated by a small flat surface, where the Doric are pointed.

The Ionic capital has volutes which can be seen as the horns of a ram or a scroll rolled up at either end. This capital is often used during the Golden Age for buildings set aside for scholars, such as the Erectheum, the scroll is often assumed to be a rolled parchment.

The column is set upon a base composed of alternating concave fillets and convex toruses.

The architrave is no longer adorned with tryglyphs and metopes but has a continuous decoration complimenting the sculpture on the pediment and frieze.

 

Ionic Order

Erectheum

To the north of the Parthenon is the little temple of the Erectheum which played a larger part in the ritual of the Acropolis than the much larger Parthenon. The temple was dedicated to Athena and Poseidon-Erectheus and it housed many of the sacred relics of the city including a sacred wooden relic belonging to Athena and said to have fallen from the sky. On the temple were marks created by Poseidon's trident and within was a sea salt well also made by Poseidon.

Erectheum

Erectheum

The Erectheum was the home of a sacred snake who represented the spirit of an ancient Greek King Cecrops I who had the body of a man from the waist up but the tail of a serpent from the waist down. The health of this snake was essential for the well being of Athens, so it was fed honey-cakes by a servant of Athena's.

This interior view shows the structure of the temple. Stone columns support the lintels and rough stone masonry is the filler between these columns.

Erectheum

Erectheum

The south elevation of the Erectheum has a small porch called the Porch of the Maidens. The maidens are called caryatids.

 

 

 

Erectheum

Erectheum - Caryatids

There is much speculation about the origins of the caryatids, but most sources agree that they were made to honour the women of Karyae, a town in the Peloponnese, conquered by the Greeks.

Caryatids became a staple element in Classical architecture, both ancient and Renaissance.

Erectheum

Erectheum - Caryatids

This detail of the Porch of the Maidens illustrates one of the key points of Greek sculpture; the human element. Each maiden wears the same robe, but the facial expressions, the contraposto pose, even the quality of the hair is individual. The maidens all have different personalities.

Sadly the maidens are all missing their noses. Somewhere in the world there must be a huge storage area with literally hundreds of perfect ancient noses.

Erectheum

Erectheum

The Erectheum has three porches plus an attached colonnade all in the Ionic Order. The architects had to manipulate the columns to fit the site because it is built on solid rock and also on a slope. The columns are on two levels on the side where the hill falls away and half height on the adjacent façade. Because they are more slender than the imposing Doric, this works.

The Greek Doric column has no base. Bases were a refinement that came with the Ionic style.

Erectheum

Capital from Delphi

This capital from Delphi shows the characteristics of the Ionic capital. Across the top is an ornate abacus where a band of egg and dart is visible. Under this are two volutes, partly broken over time.

Between the volutes is an area referred to as an echinus, like the Doric echinuses. It is decorated with an interlaced guilloche leaf pattern.

The shaft of the column shows another band of decoration which could be the hypotrychelium. The flat edge of the fluting under this band is called an arris. The top and bottom ends of the fluting are scalloped.

Erectheum

Ionic Capitals

The acropolis is currently being restored and cleaned. Scattered around the acropolis are small piles of capitals and bases such as these which have fallen from the columns over the years.

This upside down column shows the geometry of the volute and the egg and dart patterning of the echinus. In the background are other columns seen from the side.

Erectheum

Temple of Nike Apteros or Athena Nike 427 BCE

This is dedicated to the "Wingless Victory". It was taken apart by the Turks in 1687, then reconstructed in 1836.

This was one of many small temples that circled the Acropolis.

 

AthenaNike

Temple of Nike Apteros or Athena Nike

This detail shows the progression of the Ionic capital. The Ionic capital was not appropriate for corners, so this canted angle volute system was used.

Templeof Nike

Corinthian Order

The Corinthian order is the last of the Greek orders and is not found on the Acropolis. The capital is in the shape of an upturned bell decorated with symmetrical acanthus leaves. The Cornice is much more ornate than in the Ionic Order being decorated with egg-and-dart, acanthus and modillions instead of the dentils.

This capital was most popular with the Romans and Renaissance architects as well as twentieth century Deco and Art Nouveau architects who stylized the leaves.

There is no Corinthian architecture on the acropolis. Most of the Corinthian done in Athens was constructed by the Romans. There is Corinthian Order in Olympia and also in Bassae, but no where else.

Corinthian Order

Temple of Zeus 175 BC

There is very little Corinthian Order in ancient Greece. This temple in Athens follows the Greek Corinthian style, but was actually built by the Romans.

Propylea

Temple of Zeus

 

Propylea

Capital from Acropolis

There are no volutes on this early capital, only acanthus leaves and palm. This one is from the base of the Acropolis, beside the caves used to honor Zeus and Apollo.

 

Propylea

Capital from Athens

This capital found beside the theatre at the bottom of the Acropolis shows the more advanced Corinthian capital. It is still largely decorated with acanthus leaves, but there are fairly large volutes as well across the top.

 

Propylea

Capital from Temple of Zeus Athens

This capital from the Acropolis Museum shows the later ornate Roman style of Corinthian capital. The abacus is ornamented by a rosette. The bottom layers of the capital itself have the traditional acanthus pattern, and the top has a set of double volutes made to look like unfurling vine leaves.

The capital is from the Temple of Zeus in Athens.

Propylea

 

Theatres

As a result of their democratic lifestyle, the Greeks developed many new building types. The stoa, a covered promenade, provided a continuous colonnade that linked many small shops and workshops with a lintel and regularized columns giving unity of design.

Assembly halls, town halls, gymnasia and stadiums were also invented by the Greeks. The most important structure, however, for the continuing influence of Greek philosophy was the theatre.

Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripedes and Aristophanes laid down the pattern for Western theatre on these outdoor stages. The 21st Century terminology of the theatre : the proscenium, skena, even the vomitorium are all derived from the Greeks. When not being used to present Greek plays, the theatres were used for various Dionysian rituals and other pagan festivals.

Pericles was one man who advised the Athenians not to try to expand their empire too much. While there are temples and theatres scattered across the Mediterranean from Italy to Turkey, the diffusion of central government and military miscalculations were causes for the downfall of the Greek world.

Delphi Theatre

Delphi is situated high in the hills 175 kilometers outside Athens. In these hills lived the oracles, people who could see into the future and advise people, both important political figures and commoners, of their fate. It was here that King Laius was warned that he would one day kill his own son, Oedipus, and that this son would marry his wife, the boy's natural mother.

The theatre here is set beautifully into a natural dell which overlooks the valley, and the city of Delphi. The Treasury is visible in the background.

Epidaurus

Delphi Theatre

The theatre held some 1600 people. Most of these would arrive from neighboring villages and stay fro a few days to see the theatre, make offerings at the temple, visit with friends, and sell their goods at the market. The auditorium for races was above the theatre on a flat plain.

Note that the front row of seats, reserved for the aristocracy, are curved and have back rests while the main seating area does not.

The Romans took the Delfi plan and expanded it.

Epidaurus

Acropolis Theatre

At the base of the Acropolis on the south side is a theatre built into the side of the hill. The Romans made many changes to the theatre, particularly the stage, when they occupied Athens in 183 BC, but the original placement of the theatre remained intact. It is nestled into the side of the hill, easily accessible to the main population of Athens who lived beneath the Acropolis.

 

Epidaurus

Epidauros

Epidaurus

Epidauros

Epidaurus

Epidauros Seating

 

Epidaurus

Epidauros

 

Epidaurus

Epidauros

 

Epidauros

Epidauros

Seating

Segesta Italy

This is the only example of a north facing theatre from the 5th century BC. The natural dell with the panoramic view is the accepted reason.

The theatre is built on the highest hill in the area. The Temple of Diana in Segesta is on another hilltop slightly further down.

 

Seating

Segesta Italy

The Greeks built their theatres and temples on top of hills with the express purpose of taking advantage of the natural lay of the land.

These hilltop locations were rarely incorporated into the city itself which was located near a source of water and/or a trade route. It took some effort both to take the building materials up to the site and also to take them away. Perhaps for this reason the Greek theatres are more intact today than the Roman.

Seating

Syracuse Italy

This theatre in Syracuse is at the southern tip of Sicily. The theatre is built into a natural dell above the city and overlooking the city and beyond it the sea. The Temple of Apollo in Syracuse is about two kilometers away on the island of ??? where the first Greek town was built.

The theatre was built by Dionysius I but was greatly modified by the Romans. Behind the seating is a series of caves, once inhabited. Statues of gods were found inside the caves.

Seating

Syracusa Italy

The seating was greatly modified by the Romans who also added arched entrances that opened up onto the stage. These are called vomitoriums, a name still used in theatre design today.

Both the Greeks and the Romans made use of water ducts under the floor of the stage to carry rainwater away from the stage itself thus preventing erosion.

Seating

Temples

Greek temples are generally Doric, but Corinthian and Ionic temples can be found. Most of the temples, some 95 percent, are built with the porch or entrance in the east. The ceremonies of the Greeks were held outside the temple. The temple was intended to house the cult statue, and the statue and the God it represented were meant to be happy there.

For feast days, people would arrive from the far reaches of the area to eat and sleep out of doors for the two or three days that surrounded the feast day. Consequently the feast days were generally in the summer months when people could afford the time, it not being spring planting or harvest, and it was comfortable enough to stay outside.

The orientation of the temples varies form due east to several degrees either side of due east. This could be because the temple was made to line up exactly to the 'east' of the actual feast day.

Christian churches and cathedrals were aligned using the same processes that the Greeks used. In most European churches, 95 percent, the altar is in the east. Christian ceremonies take place inside. The major focus of the ceremony in the area of the altar. This is placed in the east to provide early morning light for the service.

The sun, the moon and the stars helped to align the early religious buildings from Stonehenge to the Parthenon to Chartres cathedral.

Temple of Apollo Syracusa Italy

This is the most ancient pagan cult site in Sicily dating from early 6th century BC. The plan is hexastyle with 17 columns on the aisles.

The columns are Doric. The intercolumnation indicates an early age: the distance between each column is barely one column diameter.

 

Epidaurus

Temple of Apollo Syracusa Italy

Like many pagan temples, this temple was subsequently used as a Byzantine church, an Arab mosque, a Norman church and finally a Spanish prison. The arch doorway behind the colonnade most likely dates from the Byzantine period.

 

 

Epidaurus

Gymnasia

As man was the measure of all things and the base of all proportion, man's body had to be in pretty good shape. Consequently, there was a huge emphasis on physical fitness and strength. The

Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripedes and Aristophanes laid down the pattern for Western theatre on these outdoor stages. The 21st Century terminology of the theatre : the proscenium, skena, even the vomitorium are all derived from the Greeks. When not being used to present Greek plays, the theatres were used for various Dionysian rituals and other pagan festivals.

Olympia

Greeks had the technology to create arches, but did not exploit them as a building detail.

Olympia

Olympia - East Gym

 

 

Olympia

Olympia - Gym

 

 

 

 

Olympia

Olympia - Colonnade

 

Doric Columns

Olympia - South Stadium

 

Olympia

Olympia

 

Olympia

Delphi

 

Olympia

Delphi

 

Olympia

Zeus

This figure of Zeus, made from clay and later caste in bronze, shows the power of the human form and the autonomy that the Greeks allowed for their Gods and for themselves.

 

Zeus

AR173

Greece Extra Reading and Films

Books

Boorstin, Danial, The Creators , New York, Random House, 1992

Hawkins, Gerald, Stonehenge Decoded, Garden City, N.Y., Doubleday, 1965

Rutherford, Edward, Sarum, The Novel of England, New York, Ivy Books, 1987

Tarnas, Richard, Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View, Toronto, Penguin, 1987

Wright, Ronald, A Short History of Progress, Toronto, House of Anansi Press, 2004

 

Films

Alexander -

Stargate -

 

 

Railing Railing Clock Mullion Entrance Tower Buttress Balustrade Parapet Overhang Signage Cantilevered Marquee Rotunda Bay Window Window Surround Band Band Bay Window Door Surround Window Surround Bay Window 12 over 12 Sash Windows Band Signage Parapet Sill Port Hole Window Port Hole Window Banding Banding Port Hole Window banding Sash Window Parapet Railing Door Surround Roundel Vitrolite Display Window Jamb Sash Windows Banding Door Surround Band Tower Muntin Band Sill Signage Parapet Mullion Frontispiece Parapet Band Balustrade Parapet Chimney Shutter Ziggurat Abacus Shaft Lintel Abacus Capital Lintel lintel Base colums Abacus Capital Shaft bas relief crest Abacus Base rubble stone walls Hypostyle Terrace Abacus Echinus Shaft entablature decorative banding or frieze Triglyph Guttae architrave triglyph abacus echinus Guttae Guttae Triglyph Triglyph metope Cornice metope Triglyph Guttae Architrave Echinus Shaft Column Echinus Echinus Echinus Echinus architrave cornice flute Abacus Abacus Medtope Medtope Medtope Triglyph Triglyph Triglyph Triglyph Cornice Medtope Architrave Abacus Fluting Fluting Fluting Guttae Guttae Guttae Guttae Triglyph Triglyph Triglyph Triglyph Triglyph Guttae Fluting Pediment Entablature Stylobate dentil Volute egg and dart architrave cornice freize flute Ionic caryatid architrave dentils abacus caryatid architrave cornice egg and dart abacus