During the Classical Greek
architecture period, it was made up of three different orders that are most commonly seen
in their temples. These three 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
details. Thus, information dealing with this order is very limited, and some is not worth
putting up. This type of style is usually the one that most modern people like best. In
addition, the Corinthian style also uses entasis to make the shafts look straight. The
capitals have flowers and leaves below a small scroll. Furthermore, the shafts have flutes
and the base is like that of the Ionian. Finally, unlike the Doric and Ionian cornices
which are at a slant, the Corinthian are flat.
The most basic order for their temples would be the Doric order. Doric
architecture was used by the Spartans. It all started 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 type of beams were referred as to a mutules. The finishing
touches for the roof had to have a flat gables called pediments. The gutter ran along the
top of the pediments and ended at a lion's mouth. This acted like a drain. The materials
that were used for the roofs were thatch and the terra-cotta and marble. They had no base
and had approximately 20 sides. This style works well horizontally on buildings which is
why it was so good with the long rectangular buildings of the Greek. Doric temples were
similar to those of the Ionic order in lay out and design.
1. Levy, Kate, [Online] Available
http://chs-web.neb.net/usr/katelevy/greek/greek.html, July 23, 1997
The final order would be the Ionic order. Their columns were more
slender and taller than those of the Doric order. Their height were eight to nine meters
high, instead of four to five. The columns had a molded base which was placed under them
and then sculpted figures on the lower part of the shaft were added. At the top of these
shafts were rectangular blocks of stone. The stones were carved in the shape of hair
or other wave and line shapes. The special feature of this column was the entasis which is
a little bulge in the column which renders the column appeared to be straight even from a
distance. As for the bases, they were large and looked like a set of stacked rings. The
Ionic capitals consisted of scrolls on top of the shaft. Finally, the Ionic style is a
little more decorative than that of the Doric order.
2. Scranton, Robert L., Greek Architecture, George Braziller