Greek Art And Architecture

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Greek Art and Architecture of 3000 to 1500 B.C.E

Greek Art and Architecture of 3000 to 1500 B.C.E


Architecture, the practice of building design and its resulting products; customary usage refers only to those designs and structures that are culturally significant. Architecture is to building as literature is to the printed word. Vitruvius, a 1st-century BC Roman, wrote encyclopedically about architecture, and the English poet Sir Henry Wotton was quoting him in his charmingly phrased dictum: Well building hath three conditions: Commoditie, Firmenes, and Delight. More prosaically, one would say today that architecture must satisfy its intended uses, must be technically sound, and must convey aesthetic meaning. But the best buildings are often so well constructed that they outlast their original use. They then survive not only as beautiful objects, but as documents of the history of cultures, achievements in architecture that testify to the nature of the society that produced them. These achievements are never wholly the work of individuals. Architecture is a social art (Jocelyn, 1934).


The architecture of ancient Greece is represented by buildings in the sanctuaries and cities of mainland Greece, the Aegean islands, southern Italy and Sicily, and the Ionian coast of Turkey. Monumental Greek architecture began in the archaic period, flourished through the classical and Hellenistic periods, and saw the first of many revivals during the Roman Empire. The roots of Greek architecture lie in the tradition of local Bronze Age house and palaces. The following paper will cover the basic forms of Greek architecture.

One of the many types of Greek building structures was Sacred Architecture. The Greeks conceived of their gods in human form, as anthropomorphic representations of the forces and elements of the natural world. These gods and goddesses were worshipped with sacrifices made at an outdoor altar. At many sanctuaries, the altar was much older than the temple, and some sanctuaries had only an altar. The temple designed simply is a shelter or home for the cult statue and as a storehouse for offerings. This shelter consisted of a cella (back wall), a pronaos (columned porch), an opisthodomus (enclosure), an antae (bronze grills securing the porches), and a colonnade that provided shelter for visitors (Jocelyn, 1934).

The earliest monumental buildings in Greek architecture were the temples (Lyes, 1999). Since these were solidly built and carefully maintained, they had to be replaced only if destroyed. The architectural orders, Doric on the mainland and Ionic in the eastern Aegean, were developed in the archaic temples, and their lasting example tended to make Greek architecture conservative toward changes in design or in building technology.


?Greek art is a very important in the upper paleolithic period. Art objects and artifacts are important sources of information about civilization prior to written history. The number of artworks lost because of their impermanence can only be imagined, since many were created by using organic materials subject to destruction by fire, flood, and decay. By comparison, objects made from metal or stone are more likely to survive The Aegean basin was a ...
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