Ancient Greek and
Roman Architecture
Architectural History
ACT 322
Doris Kemp
Topics
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Acropolis
Corinthian Order
Corinthian Order Architecture
Later Greek Architecture
Civic Architecture
City Planning
Ancient Greece:
Acropolis
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Athenian Acropolis
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Located in modern day
Athens
Means “City on the
height”
Destroyed in 480 B.C. and
rebuilt in 450 B.C. under
the democratic statesman,
Pericles
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Acropolis
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Athenian Acropolis
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Site planning was very important
Every structure was built with the others in mind
 The goal was to create a larger single complex consisting
of multiple structures
 The human participants in Greek architecture were of
utmost importance
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Acropolis was designed to control the movements of people
from one location to another
Grand avenues provided fluent movement through the complex
Ancient Greece:
Acropolis
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Corinthian Order
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Corinthian Order
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The third major Classical Greek order
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Has been seen as an independent order since the time of the Roman
historian, Vitruvius
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Features
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Actually considered a variant of the Ionic Order by many modern
architectural historians
Richness of ornamentation and more freedom of expression by
designers
Alexander the Great
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Had enormous influence on this style after he united Greece and
built many new cities
Ancient Greece:
Corinthian Architecture
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Temple of Athena Alea
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Located at Tegea
Considered an ideal
Corinthian structure
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Corinthian Architecture
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Bassae
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The only Corinthian
structure still standing
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Corinthian Architecture
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Tholos
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Means round temple
The two most important
tholos appear at Delphi
and Epidaurus
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Corinthian Architecture
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Temple of Zeus
Olympius
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Located in Athens
c. 170 B.C.
The first structure that
bore a Corinthian
reflection in mainstream
society
Dwarfed the Parthenon
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Later Greek Architecture
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Hellenistic Greece began after the death of
Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.
Several important structures were built during
this time
Temple of Apollo at Didyma
 Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
 Altar of Zeus at Pergamum
 Sanctuary of Asclepius
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Ancient Greece:
Later Greek Architecture
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Temple of Apollo at
Didyma
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c. 300 B.C.
Actually completed by the
Romans
Considered one of the
most imaginative Greek
shrines
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Later Greek Architecture
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Mausoleum at
Halicarnassus
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One of the Seven
Wonders of the Ancient
World
Built for the King
Mausolus by his wife
Featured a pyramid-like
roof that many scholars
believe was influenced by
the pyramids of Egypt
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Later Greek Architecture
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Later Greek Architecture
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Altar of Zeus at
Pergamon
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Featured an Ionic like
theme
Has been partly
reconstructed in the State
Museum, Berlin,
Germany
Features a mural along its
base depicting a battle of
the Gods and the Titans
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Later Greek Architecture
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Sanctuary of Asclepius on the Island of Kos
Tribute to the god of medicine
 Sickly people came to be healed by the waters of a
natural spring located within the structure
 Had a much grander scale than the Altar of Zeus
 Documented a profound change in Greek
architecture from past structures
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Ancient Greece:
Later Greek Architecture
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Civic Architecture
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Agora
Located in Athens near the Acropolis
 An ancient “mall”
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Combination marketplace and civic center
Key structures
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Stoa of Zeus
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One of Socrates favorite meeting places
Stoa of Attalus II
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Grandest stoa in the Agora
Believed to have housed one of the three branches of Greek
government
Ancient Greece:
Civic Architecture
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Civic Architecture
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Civic Architecture
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Theatre at Epidaurus
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The most famous Greek
theatre
Recognized for its
amazing acoustics
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A pin dropped at the
center of the theatre can
be heard in the farthest
seats
Set against a beautiful
Greek landscape
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Civic Architecture
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
Civic Architecture
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Stadiums
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Most famous are located
in Olympia and Athens
Used for athletic events
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A key part of Greek life
Served as the locations for
the Greek Olympics
Photo: www.ancient-greece.org
Ancient Greece:
City Planning
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Greek architecture was mostly focused on public
buildings
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They were not as concerned with the afterlife and
private palaces such as the Egyptians
City planning was based upon the inhabitants
and the terrain
Ancient Greece:
City Planning
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Hippodamus
Famous Greek intellectual who devised a five step
plan to city planning
 Five step plan
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City was cut by several main streets crossing at right
angles
 The resulting rectangles were subdivided into blocks
 The blocks were further subdivided into house plots
 Public buildings were placed accordingly to avoid
congestion
 The plan of the city was based on the particular terrain
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Ancient Greece:
City Planning
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Examples of planned Greek cities
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Miletus
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The first planned Greek city
Priene
Prominent Hippodamian scheme
 Constructed on a hillside
 Prime example of a Greek urban scheme
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Ancient Greece:
City Planning
Photo: Sullivan
Ancient Greece:
City Planning
Photo: Sullivan
References
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Sullivan, Mary; http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/
http://www.brynmawr.edu/Acads/Cities/wld/wdpt1.html
Trachtenburg/Hyman; Architecture: From Prehistory to
Postmodernity
Wodehouse/Moffett; A History of Western Architecture
Ancient Greek and
Roman Architecture
Architectural History
ACT 322
Doris Kemp
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Ancient Greece: Civil and Later Greek Architecture