Classical Greek and Roman Ancient Civilization and Architecture

Topics: Ancient Rome, Doric order, Corinthian order Pages: 8 (2434 words) Published: September 24, 2010
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From the rise of ancient Greece until the fall of the Roman Empire, great buildings were constructed according to precise rules. The Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius, who lived during first century BC, believed that builders should use mathematical principles when constructing temples. "For without symmetry and proportion no temple can have a regular plan," Vitruvius wrote in his famous treatise De Architectura. (www.historyguide/ There is a comparison that can be made between building structures developed in the classical Greek and Ancient Roman civilizations and its majestic buildings and roads. Classical, Roman and Gothic architecture owe their structures to these civilizations and mostly all is reflected nowadays on the modern building styles.

The first inhabitants of the Greek peninsula, who are believed to be Neolithic, built very primitive and basic structures. The houses were mainly built with a circular, oval, apsidal, or rectangular shape. The rectangular house was mostly square, but some were oblong, and had the entrance at one of the short ends. They used mud bricks and stones in the mud with reeds or brush to help build the house. Most of the houses had one room, there were very rarely two.

The next group of settlers was the Minoan architects. Their towns were mostly residential with little or no temples and public places. Unlike earlier people, their houses were private and had many rooms. However, to separate rooms, they would use only pillars. Thus, the house was very open. The stairways were a very prominent feature for these massive homes. This began a whole new era for the Greeks dealing with architecture.

During the Classical Greek architecture period, it was made up of three different orders that are most commonly seen in their temples. These three

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orders were the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The orders are also known for their columns style. The Corinthian order was not used as widely as the Doric of Ionic. The reason being is that the Corinthian order was fancier than the others, and had a lot more detail. (

The Doric column (700 BC-323 BC: Greek) was first developed in Greece and it was used for great temples, including the famous Parthenon in Athens. Simple Ionic columns were used for smaller temples and building interiors. It was 323 BC-146 BC called the Hellenistic period when Greece was at the height of its power in Europe and Asia, the empire built elaborate temples and secular buildings with Ionic and Corinthian columns. The Hellenistic period ended with conquests by the Roman Empire. Classical columns are built according to the Classic Orders of Architecture as recorded in the late 1500's by the Renaissance architect, Vignola. The classical column designs are:

From Ancient Greece

However, prior to the creation of the great marble temples of the 5th cent. BC, there were undoubtedly evolutionary stages in which walls were made of sun-dried bricks and roofs, columns, and uprights of wood. The Heraeum at Olympia, considered one of the most ancient temples yet discovered, represents such a stage; in its later alterations (7th cent. BC), it is illustrative of the beginnings of the Doric temple of stone.

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The most basic order for their temples would be the Doric order. Doric architecture was known for being used by the Spartans. It all starts with some wood shafts, which latter was replaced by stone. On the top of the shaft, were circular pads with a square block of wood over it. The vertical columns were used to support the beams called architraves. . (

In order to form the ceiling, other beams were laid across the building with their ends on these architraves. On the end of these beams, they could be channeled to make a triglyph. On the top of a triglyph there would be another beam which would be placed for the overhanging rafters. These...

Cited: www.ancientgreece/athens
www.Gothicart andarchitecture.
"baroque." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. 21 Jul. 2010
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