Greek Architecture Essay

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The Historical Investigation - Year 11 Ancient History Greek Architecture Identify the two main architectural systems (orders) of early Greek Architecture and its impact on society today, including examples of each order and their characteristics. The architecture of ancient Greece is represented by buildings in the cities of mainland Greece, the Aegean islands, southern Italy and Sicily, and the Ionian Coast of Turkey. Architecture, defined as a building executed to an aesthetically considered design, was extinct in Greece from the end of the Mycenaean period (about 1200 BC) to the 7th century BC. Greek life was dominated by religion and so it is not surprising that the temples of ancient Greece were the biggest and most beautiful. They also had a political purpose as they were often built to celebrate civic power and pride, or offer thanksgiving to the patron god of a city for success in war. Ionic Doric The earliest monumental buildings in Greek architecture were the temples. Since these were solidly built and carefully maintained, they had to be replaced only if destroyed. There were two main orders of early Greek architecture, the Doric and the Ionic, and their lasting example tended to make Greek architecture conservative toward changes in design or in building technology. The Doric style, which originated around 400 BCE brought rise to a whole new type of building technique and style, and was used in mainland Greece and spread to the Greek colonies in Italy. The earliest columns had a heavy, bulging profile, and their capitals were broad and low. During the archaic period, limestone became the standard building material for foundations, steps, walls, columns, and Doric entablature (the upper section of a classical building, resting on the columns). Buildings such as the famous Temple of Aphaia on Aegina illustrate the dramatic influence of the
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