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Doric, Ionic and Corinthian

Essay Prompt: Define and describe the three architectural orders of ancient Greece noting when and where they were used and how they reflected the changes in Greece from the Archaic through the Hellenistic Period.

Ancient Greece has brought about many methods of art that we see in our everyday lives. Many artists today even try to mimic artists in ancient Greece, but often fail to do so. One of the most important aspects to come out of Greek art is the architecture, most notable the three architectural orders of ancient Greece, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian.

Each components of this order has a system of inter dependable parts whose proportions are based upon mathematical ratios. The basic components of all three orders are the column and entablature. Although most people do not know this order, they see it in their everyday lives. The history behind this order may take a lifetime to fully understand.

The Doric order has shafts that composed of drums seated on top of a stylobate.

The shafts do not have bases in the Doric order like they do in the others. At the top of the shaft lies an echinus and abacus respectively and the combination of shafts, echinus and abacus make up a column. At the top of each column lies an entablature and at the top of each entablature lies a pediment. The Doric order was mainly used in Greek and Rome and was the earliest of the three orders.

The Doric order came about in a definite form in 7th century B.

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C, but it was not widely used until the 19th century during the Greek Revival which was an architectural movement that took place between the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century. There are many buildings that use the doric order, but the most famous example is the Parthenon. Overall the Doric order in ancient Greece has been used for many centuries now and it has led to the creation of buildings such as the Parthenon. The Ionic order has a shaft that lies on top of a base and unlike the Doric order its shafts are not composed of drums. At the top of the shaft lies a capital and the combination of a base, shaft and capital make up a column of the ionic order. The column of an ionic order is approximately nine times the diameter of its base.

Above the column lies a architrave, frieze, cornice and pediment respectively. The Ionic order came about in 6th century B.C in Ionia. The use of the Ionic order was most prominent during the Archaic Period (750-480 BCE). Many ancient Greek buildings have used the Ionic order, but the most famous one is the Temple of Diana in Ephesus. The Parthenon has elements of the ionic order, but it conforms mainly to the Doric order. Ultimately, the Ionic order is a historic creation and its structure is still used in many buildings today.

The Corinthian order is a variation of the ionic order and was originally created for interiors, bit it was eventually used in exteriors as well. The Corinthian order has all the basic components of the Ionic order, but it does not have a pediment. The pediment is removed completely while the capital is composed of an astragal, leaf, acanthus, rosette and volute. Arriving in full development at the middle of 4th century B.C, the Corinthian order was not used too often by the Greeks. The Greeks mainly just used the Corinthian order for the interior. The oldest known Corinthian temple is the Temple of Apollo Epicurius. Although the Corinthian order was not used as prominently as the Doric or Ionic it is still an important order and has helped create many ancient Greek buildings.

The Doric, Ionic and Corinthian order were important features to come out of Greek architecture and many buildings today use these orders. The basic components of these orders were a column and entablature, but each of the three orders had specific characteristics that set them apart from the others. The creation of these orders has led to the many great Greek buildings such as the Parthenon. These orders were important elements to come out of Greek art and will probably be used for centuries to come.

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Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. (2016, May 28). Retrieved from

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