Ancient Greek Architecture Lesson
The Ancient Greeks, especially Athenians, were blessed with close marble quarries. In comparison, the Romans had to go great distances to bring marble into their capital of Rome. The marble was very strong and could hold very large loads of weight. Because of this the Greeks were able to build beautiful temples and buildings which are copied or imitated even to present day. The architecture of the temples took three major forms; the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. All three styles can be quickly identified by the top of the columns. The Doric columns are a circular ring under a square piece of marble which supports the cross beam. The Ionic column tops appear to have two scrolls on either side of the column right below the cross beam. The Corinthian is an out growth of the Ionic. It takes the simple scroll look of the Ionic and dresses it up in much more ornamental designs. The Corinthian style also differs in that the temple is set up in a circle. In comparison the Doric and Ionic are in shapes of squares and rectangles. The following pictures show the clear distinctions between the styles.