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Greek Architecture

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Greek Architecture: History and Mechanics

Throughout history, there have been several significant architectural movements. The last, and perhaps most enduring movement is that of Classic Greece. Although for centuries, the architecture of ancient Greece has been admired, mimicked, and replicated, its beginnings are somewhat surprising to one unfamiliar with the history of the region. It is important to understand the history and mechanics of Classic Greek architecture in order to fully appreciate its form, function, and beauty. “Ancient Greek architects strove for the precision and excellence of workmanship that are the hallmarks of Greek art in general. The formulas they invented as early as the sixth century B.C. have influenced the architecture of the past two millennia” (metmuseum.org).
“The first inhabitants of the Greek peninsula, who are believed to be Neolithic, built very primitive and basic structures. The houses were mainly built with a circular, oval, apsidal, or rectangular shape… They used mud bricks and stones in the mud with reeds or brush to help build the house. Most of the houses had one room, there were very rarely two” (thinkquest.org). These simple homes are the primary foundation for the Grecian style of architecture. Though Neolithic in nature, the first Architects laid the basic foundations for all architecture to follow in Greece and the rest of the world. The shapes of these early homes carry through all the way from the Ionic to the Corinthian order.
“The next group of settlers were the Minoan architects. Their towns were mostly residential with little or no temples and public places. Unlike earlier people, their houses were private and had many rooms…to separate rooms, they would use only pillars” (thinkquest.org). These new people introduced several different aspects to the foundation of Grecian architecture, namely, the openness of the houses and rooms. It is this culture, which is mostly accredited with introducing the mechanics of the ancient Grecian forms of architecture.
“The first advanced culture in Greece, and indeed in all of Europe, was created by a people referred to today as the Minoans. Their civilization flourished from about 2200 to 1450 B.C. on Crete, the large island located about one hundred miles southeast of the Gree...

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...on. It is important to understand the history and mechanics of Greek architecture in order to fully appreciate it. The ancient Greeks were very well known for their beautiful temples. They were able to devise several different ways to create beautiful buildings and implement those designs. The ancient Greeks set the architectural foundations for the rest of the world with their three orders. The three styles, or orders, are the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The three distinctive styles are referred to as orders because they display proportionate, ordered, and coordinated parts. The Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian orders serve a functional purpose, as well as lend so much beauty to structures. “All the world’s culture culminated in Greece, and Greece in Athens, all Athens in its Acropolis, all the Acropolis in the Parthenon” (Nardo, 61).

Works Cited
“Architecture in Ancient Greece.” Ancient Greece. 11 October 2004. .
Greek Architecture. 11 October 2004. .
Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Architecture in Ancient Greece.” 12 October 2004. .
Nardo, Don. Ancient Greece. California: Lucent Books, 1994.
Time Life Books, eds. Greece: Temples, Tombs, & Treasures. Virginia: Time Life, 1994.
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