Architecture Essay Research Paper Greek Architecture and

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Architecture Essay, Research Paper Greek Architecture and the Parthenon Architecture according to Encarta 99 is the art or science of designing and constructing buildings. There are many different types of architecture, but they all eventually trace back to the Greeks and Romans. The Greek s roots lie in the Aegean civilization; nevertheless its particular characteristics have made it one of the most established influences in Western architecture. One of the most important and famous examples of Greek architecture is the Parthenon located on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Greek architecture is usually broken up into four different periods: the Geometric and Orientalizing periods (c. 1100 BC to 650 BC), the Archaic period (c. 660 BC to 475 BC), the Classical period (c. 475

BC to 323 BC) and the Hellenistic period (c. 323 BC to 31 BC). Architecture of the Geometric and Orientalizing periods had more of a simple structure customarily made of mud brick and rubble. The plan of temples during this period was similar to that of the houses which evolved from circular to horseshoe like shapes and eventually rectangular. They were generally built on an east-west axis with an entrance and a columned porch at one end. In rectangular temples, the two side walls projected beyond the front wall to form a porch. In the rooms, a single row of wooden columns along the main axis supported the wooden beams of the gable roof. This style was later replaced with two rows of columns because it shadowed the image of divinity. During the Archaic period Greek society grew

not only geographically, but also economically. This expansion led to the development of formal architecture and the use of marble and limestone. In the 7th century the Greeks started to build stone temples after the Egyptians, but in their own distinctive style. The temples were rectangular and stood on a low, stepped terrace in an enclosure, which was where their rituals took place. The smaller temples had a two-columned front porch occasionally with a portico in front of it. The large temples had front and back porches and sometimes it wold have a six-columned portico in front of each porch or else it would be surrounded by a colonnade. This colonnade was supported by a lintel under the roof. At this period architects developed two orders or styles of columns called Doric and

Ionic. The Doric type columns are shorter and thicker. They had no bases and their capitals were made up of a square slab over a round cushion shape. These capitals were extremely heavy and spaced quite close in order to support the masonry. Their weight was distributed by the tapered and fluted shaft. Over every column vertical triglyphs were carved and between them were the metopes, which were painted at first, but later they were filled with painted reliefs. The Doric order predominated on mainland Greece and later spread to Western colonies. Columns in the Ionic style were derived from the cities on the islands and the coasts of Asia Minor. However, Asia Minor was exposed more to Egyptian and Asian influences rather than Greek. Therefore it featured capitals with spiral

volutes, a more narrow shaft with fairly dissimilar fluting and an intricate and curvilinear base. The Classical period consists of three parts, the earlier period, the middle period and the late period. The Early Classical period began after the Persian invasion and Greek victory, which stimulated much activity in architecture due to the large amount of destruction. Athens, the dominant political and economic power was especially effected. Most of the temples were in the Doric style, but drifting away from the heavy proportions of the Archaic Doric style. The Middle Classical period emerged during the 5th century BC. Architects began refining their work in order to counteract the obvious distortions of perspective. The temple terrace was now curved upwards in the center, the