Summary #1: The Introduction of Temples and Foreign Influence, and the role of the Architect
Upon the end of the Dark Ages, the Hellenic civilization began to form, introducing temples as the main architectural focus of that era (Lawrence, 58). Despite forming after the Hellenic period, temples were influenced by a variety of factors, including the home plans of the Dark Ages (58). Temples served as a home for deities, a structure for them to visit, rather than what we would normally think of as a house of worship (58). Furthermore, alongside the focus on temples, the role of an architect was thoroughly introduced as Coulton distinguished Greek architects from modern-day architects. By his definition, architects of the Greek civilization played a more active role in the building of their design, focusing on the minute details that would not fall under the responsibilities of a modern-day architect (Coulton, 15).
As Lawrence details the occurrences of the Dark Age, one begins to appreciate the introduction of temples in ancient-Greek society, as it represents a new beginning. It is interesting to read that “in the Bronze Age, there had been no temples” (Lawrence, 61). It is further impressive to have an introduction of an era that was capable of producing such a magnitude of impressive architecture following a rapid decline of knowledge. Although not a temple, Lefkandi in Euboia requires mentioning in this summary due to its impressive size (62). As Lawrence explains, the architectural form of this building is closely associated with buildings in later Greek times, due to the similarity of later temples based on its shape and features (62). Alongside the introduction of temples, the Orders were ...
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...sed by the Egyptians, including pulleys and winches (48). Coulton believes that one of the most important similarities between Greek and Egyptian techniques of style surrounding “the finishing process” for the walls of their monuments (49).
The first selection of reading for this Greek Architecture class helped introduce the theme of this unit: “the Fundamentals”, as it introduced Hellenic civilization and its focus on temples, discussed the influences from various cultures and era’s, while detailing the fundamental role of the architect. These basics will help explain many aspects of Greek Architecture down the line, as the topics of this course become more detailed and more elaborate. Lawrence and Coulton have an impressive amount of knowledge regarding the topic, and their points of view allow for a diverse interpretation of the work we will be studying.
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