Architecture as a product of culture, history, science, technology, economics, society, religion, and state




A journey through five thousand years of architecture and urban planning in the Western world



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Each generation writes its autobiography in the buildings it creates.

Louis Mumford

Thursday, July 14, 2011


                                                            ANCIENT GREEK
                                          Historical background
      Since the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were destroyed in about 1200 BCE, until 700 BCE, there was a period known as "dark period". Various waves of nomads invaded Greece.
Around 1100 BCE, Doric tribes from the north came armed with iron and spread southward toward the west coast. Some believe that they destroyed the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures. The city of Knossos, which was not fortified, fell to the hands of other nomadic tribes. During the period between 1100 to 700 BCE there was in Mycenae a period of civil war that weakened the country and allowed the takeover of foreign tribes. The script had disappeared and so did all the other indications of culture, which reappeared in the seventh century BCE.
        There are different hypotheses about the origin of the Greek people. The Greeks, who are also known as Hellenes saw themselves as descendants of a legendary hero named Helen. Only the Romans called them graeci, hence the word Greek in English. The Greeks lived in Hellas, which applies to any place where the Hellens lived.
In the history of ancient Greece, we distinguish three periods: Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic.
         The Archaic period dates to the years 700-450 BCE. During this period, the Greeks developed new political forms. A political unit called "Polis" - city-state was formed. These city-states were small and independent, and were surrounded by villages. The topography of Greece, which is characterized by bays and mountain ranges was the cause of this development.
        These city-states were ruled by tyrants, despotic rulers who were called by the Greeks "tyrannos" – a form of government that existed in Ionic cities in Asia Minor and the islands. The tyrants rise was a direct result of the increased power of the people. In fact, paradoxically, they were the first fighters for democracy. who limited the nobles and paid attention to public works, building institutions of government and temples.
         The tendency toward democratic rule was strengthened when the famous Athenian legislator Solon (640-559 BCE) proclaimed a new constitution promoting the rights of every person in the state. Thus, the tyrants constituted a transitional stage between the rule of an oligarchy (rule of a few who were actually the aristocracy) and democratic government.
        Many tyrants extended their rule beyond the boundaries of Greece. In 650 BCE, began colonization of the southern regions - Italy and Sicily, a region later called "Greater Greece" (Magna Graecia). In the colonies were built cities together with magnificent temples.
        The competition among tyrants to win the public's sympathy brought cultivation of music, literature and art including architecture.
The Classical period beginning in 500 BCE, during the tyrants rule, when their burden over the peoples of Greece was removed and Athens became a democracy, and ending with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE.
          In 490 BCE the Persian king Darius invaded Greece and was defeated by the Greek city of Marathon. Ten years later his son tried to invade Greece with large armed forces and navy which took over Athens and destroyed the temples on the Acropolis.
        In 479 BCE, the Greeks defeated the Persians in land and sea. Following the victory, the Athenians created with their allies a league of nations for mutual protection called the "Delian league". According to the agreement of the League, the rich cities in the League had to pay a fixed annual tax to Athens in order to finance the maintenance of its fleet. the funds were deposited on the island of Delos, where the pact was signed, hence its name.
        As long as the Greek cities in Asia feared vengeance of the king of Persia, they continued to participate in the defense league, which included the Greek islands. After years without any military attack by the Persians, Athens began to treat the cities of the league as its subjects and became an empire. The wealth accumulated for protection from the Persians was invested in construction enterprises (such as the construction of the Acropolis), drama, art and crafts.
         The leader whose name is linked with these art enterprises, more than anyone else, was Pericles, who placed himself at the head of a party siding with the rights of the people. After acquiring the trust of the citizens, he was elected head of state, and ruled it from 460 BCE until he was removed from power in 430 BCE. A short time later he died.
          Pericles was the son of an aristocratic family, a wealthy man with an impressive rhetorical skill, which excited crowds. A short while after his coming to power a war broke out between Athens and Sparta. Although during the first 15 years of his leadership there were consecutive wars with Sparta, Athens reached political and cultural heights; Democratic government was introduced and masterpieces of Greek architecture were built.
         Pericles surrounded himself with philosophers and sculptors, including Phidias. During this period were written the tragedies of Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripides, and were developed conventions of tragedy and comedy. Likewise were founded the philosophical schools of Socrates and Plato.
        Athenian aristocrats, including Pericles himself, demonstrated their power by financing artistic festivals for the civilians. These events and construction of public buildings were part of the process of democratization.
         The population of Athens during the rule of Pericles was about 100,000. Population growth was due to the ease with which Athenian citizenship could be obtained during the thirty years after the war with the Persians. Thus, a population of 80,000 was added to Athens, and a cheap labor contributed to the city's prosperity.
         In 431 BCE the Peloponnesian War broke out, a war between Athens and its Delian League against Sparta and its Peloponnesian League, which lasted until 404 BCE. Sparta announced its intention to release the oppression of Athens, which turned the Delian League, from a defense force against the Persians, to an Athenian Empire.
         Other than war, there was another factor hitting the daily life in Athens - an epidemic that hit it between the years 429 - 426 / 7 BCE and led to the deaths of about a third of its residents. Some believe that it caused the death of Pericles.
         During the war, construction in the Acropolis slowed, and some of the buildings were completed at that time. In 404 BCE the construction was suspended when Athens fell to the Spartans, who captured it and placed a series of tyrants instead of the democratic government.
         The Hellenistic Period - this period began with the division of the Hellenistic empire of Alexander the Great after his death in 323 BCE, and ended with the rise of the Roman Empire under Augustus in 31 BCE.
         The Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and the defeat of Athens have paved the way for Philip the Macedonian to unite Greece. Alexander the Great, his son, who was given a Greek education by Aristotle, began in 334 BCE a series of campaigns in the east. In 323 BCE, he died in Babylon at the age of 38, leaving behind an empire that stretched from the Middle East to the Hindu Valley (Pakistan today) including even Egypt. After his death, his heirs fought each other. Egypt was ruled as an independent kingdom by the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty, and Asia was ruled by the Seleucids.
        The Greek conquests and victories have created a cosmopolitan culture called Hellenistic. A fusion of ideas, religions and arts from west and east was created. The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (the Pyramids in Egypt, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, Statue of Zeus at Olympia, Mausoleum in Halicarnassus and the Colossus of Rhodes) who won a special appreciation in the Hellenistic period, reflect well the cosmopolitan approach of Hellenism.
         The great triumphs of Alexander the Great put an end to the independence of the city-states in Greece. The cosmopolitan approach is reflected in the new cities which were built by the Greek army, such as Pergamon in Anatolia, Antioch in Syria and Alexandria in Egypt. These cities, which were cosmopolitan in character, encouraged a merger between the Greek culture and the East, or in other words, distancing from Athenian tradition and coming closer to Asian influences. The center of power moved from Athens and Sparta to Asia Minor, and the Greek tradition itself was lost.
        Kingdoms and dynasties ruled the great empire through a branched administration dominating many areas: tax collection, law, provision of water and grains and the like. This was a period of universalism and individualism. The world has expanded and its inhabitants spoke one common language - Greek.
         The Openness of the Hellenistic culture found its expression in education, which was deployed on more extensive areas than before, and within the reach of a larger population.
Greek was the fashionable language among scholars. Philosophical arguments were popular among the educated. Libraries with collections of unprecedented scale became centers of research. The largest and most important library was in Alexandria. It was founded in 308 BCE and included at one point 700,000 books. There were also large libraries in Antioch, Pergamon and Rhodes.
        The expansion of the world's borders brought the expansion of trade. Subsequently, merchants and the upper classes became rich and their conditions of life improved. However, the growth and prosperity were the lot of the rich; the poor became poorer.
As for religion, the universalism during the Hellenistic period was expressed by freedom of worship and the merge of gods from different cultures. The Egyptian goddess Isis became the most universal among the goddesses. She was perceived as ruling heaven and earth, the sea around the world and the underworld, and deciding the fate of humans - their life and death. The Greek god Dionysus and the Egyptian god Serapis (who is Osiris, the god of the dead) were also most important.

         The Perception of the World by the Greek Philosophers
         During the classical period, the Greeks believed that everything, the human body and the cosmos, is controlled by a rational order. This approach constituted the basis of the conventional perception in the Western world today. The need to find or impose order is characteristic of all philosophical or artistic expression of classical Greece. Perhaps it was a response to the historical experience that the Greeks went through, after their separation from the Mycenaean world.
         The state of mind of the Greeks, who were in fear of chaos, influenced the creation of two important artistic principles. One principle is the reduction of forms to their components. The enormous diversity of human figures, animals and plants is less confusing when reduced to a limited number of geometric shapes.          
        The second principle derived from the same approach is the search for typical shapes expressing the essence of things. This principle explains why the variety of topics in ancient Greek painting and sculpture is limited and the selection of types of buildings in Greek architecture is limited as well.
         The belief in the order of the cosmos is expressed in the writings of Aristotle. According to him, the initial elements of beauty are: taxis, which expresses order and hierarchy, symmetry (syn – shared: meter - measurement), which reflects an accurate reflection of the two parts of the object; and horismenon (literally the border), which means removing the human being from chaos through rational experience, intelligent analysis and dealing with setting limits.
The basic assumption was that the cosmos was created as a harmonious entity, and that man himself is an echo of this divine harmony. Pythagoras found an expression to this order in numbers. He found an exact connection between numerical harmony and arithmetic proportions, seeing everything in numerical concepts. He was convinced that the divine principles of the cosmos, though intangible, can be expressed in numerical relations.
        The Greeks perceived the world as "mystical." Science, philosophy, art and politics were integrated together.
The philosophers thought that the world is made up of four elements: water, air, earth and fire. Plato saw in these components containing geometric shaped atoms and described them in his Timaeus. According to him, the element of earth has cubic atoms, the element of air has a shape of octahedron (a polyhedron with eight faces), the element of water has icosahedron (a polyhedron with 20 triangular faces) shaped atoms. The element of fire has tetrahedron (a pyramid with four triangular faces). The sky or the cosmos were associated according to his theory with dodecahedron (a polyhedron with 12 pentagonal faces). Later philosophers associated the dodecahedron with the fifth element - the ether, the compound of which heaven is made. In each of these polyhedral bodies, all faces are equal and in each face all the sides are equal. In addition, each of these geometric bodies can be placed within a sphere so that all vertices touch the sphere.
        The Greeks strived to reach a delicate balance between intellect and emotion, between the rational and the irrational. In classical Greek society was expressed a desire to balance the pressure on the individual to merge with society, and were emphasized the ideas of moderation, restraint and avoiding exaggeration. The Greeks were greatly affected by the known sayings of the Oracle of Delphi: "Know thyself" (meaning "know your limitations" and "by no means do not exaggerate.")
         During the Hellenistic period, ideas of striving to balance in a rational world, which was perceived as static, were abandoned in favor of dealing with extreme sensational situations perceived as dynamic. At that time there were two schools of philosophy: stoic and epicurean, We can see the connection between them and the changes in art and architecture in the transition from the classical to the Hellenistic period.
        Similar to the Chinese daoist (or Taoist) theory, according to the stoic philosophy, taught by Zeno (335-263 BCE), man should live a simple life, to connect to his internal nature and live happily. Like the daoists, the stoic philosophers too believed that the world is made up of opposites (such as yin and yang), and that one should accept the reality over which there is no control. According to their approach, the cosmos is a unified entirety that has no empty space, but beyond it the space is infinite.
         The stoics, who were very interested in human nature, thought that the goal of man is to live in harmony with himself and nature. They perceived happiness as a product of life and acceptance of nature, rather than as a result of human will.
         The epicurean school was founded by Epicurus (340-270 BCE), who taught that one should only rely on his senses. Culmination of happiness, according to him, is life of peace, tranquility and pleasure without emotional upheavals. He believed that one should analyze the root of grief and anxiety and replace it with immediate pleasure and happiness. According to his perception, emotional storms come after peace and relaxation. Pain and pleasure complement each other, as matter and space complement each other. He was especially interested in extreme conditions of pain and pleasure.
Epicurus strived to remove the fear from the gods, stressing that natural phenomena like earthquakes and lightning do not depend on the will of the gods. He believed that we can learn about the world through the senses.
         Referring to man, both philosophical schools, the stoic and the epicurean, saw him as an individual entity with its own character. This view is reflected in the Hellenistic art, which abandons the search for idealistic presentation, and focuses on the nature of the individual. Turbulent dynamic figures replace the frozen figures that characterized the classical Greek art.
          In architecture, it seems that buildings which were built in the classic period, were built according to formulas which had been replaced in the Hellenistic period by buildings having individual character. The ideal of moderation, which characterized the classical period, was abandoned in favor of the Hellenistic extremism and exaggeration reflected in the construction of monumental temples. The static nature of classical Greek architecture was replaced by dynamic architecture with dynamic ornaments.

         Proportions in Ancient Greek Architecture
         In ancient Greece, which laid the foundations for geometry, as we know it today, proportions, were the paramount issue in the various arts, including architecture. Sometimes they had a mystical significance.
        According to the Greek conception, proportions in architecture, sculpture and painting reflected the cosmic order. The aspiration was to reach the eternal rules of proportions by the balance between the vertical and the horizontal, between supporting and supported architectural organs, and among different parts in the same architectural organ.
         Vitruvius, in his book On Architecture in Ten Books, shows the proportions among the various organs in the body. According to him, the length of man's face, from chin to the edge of the forehead and the roots of the hair, equals one-tenth his height. Likewise, the length of an open palm to the tip of the middle finger, is one-tenth of a person's overall height. The foot length equals one-sixth the height of the body. In the same way, there are similar proportions between other organs.
         Vitruvius goes on to note that just as there must be a balance between human organs, there must be a balance between the parts of the temple and its entirety.
         Describing the proportions of the human body, Vitruvius refers to the canon (in Greek: Kanôn) of Polycleitus of Argos and to other writings that drew inspiration from him. The word canon is probably associated with the statue of Polycleitus (probably from the third quarter of the fifth century BCE), who presented the theoretical system presenting the implementation of the ideal human body proportions.
         In the fourth century BCE, Lysippus (fourth century BCE) the sculptor changed the canon of proportions, for example, by determining the ratio between the height of man and his foot as about 1:7 instead of 1: 6). Lysippus was one of the last sculptors emphasizing the approach applying harmonic mathematical proportions called symmetria, which differs from the approach of change in proportion based on intuitive visual harmony called eurythmia.
         Vitruvius describes (Book Three, chapter, 3 [1] ) the perfection of the human body's proportions by showing the relations between human body and a circle shape, and the human body and a square shape. A man lying on his back and his hands outstretched, his fingers and feet draw a circle whose center is the navel. So, a man whose hands are stretched wide, the distance between his feet and the top of his head, equals his outstretched arms like a perfect square. This person represented in the eyes of Vitruvius the harmonious relationship between man and nature, based on the assumption that the cosmos is harmonious, and the human body echoes that harmony.
         The Greeks often used the golden ratio, which was found as a mathematical reference in the writings of Theano, student and wife of Pythagoras, published under Pythagoras' name. Theano worked in several areas (physics, medicine and psychology of children, astronomy and mathematics), but her theory of the golden rectangle (in which the ratio between the length and breadth is the golden ratio) is considered her most significant contribution. In the School of Pythagoras there were many learned women who published their work under the name of Pythagoras.
        The associates and followers of Pythagoras, who founded a secret fraternal order - the Pythagoreans, saw in the golden ratio, which was their sign, a symbol of health. Unfortunately, very little of their mathematical texts has survived.
        The Greek letter ф (phi), the first letter of the Greek sculptor's name Phidias, who implemented the golden ratio in his sculptures, is commonly used to note the golden ratio.
        Architects built temples according to ideal human proportions (ratio of various organs in the human body) and according to human dimensions. Greek measurements were based on the size of one foot (30.8 cm). Vitruvius explains in his book On Architecture in Ten books that the proportions of columns are based on the proportions of the human body as a model of strength and beauty.
         In a structure where each architectural organ refers to another according to a key of proportion, doubling the height of the columns means doubling their thickness, and the distance between the columns. Thus, the height of the column, its thickness, and the distance between the columns grow in the same proportion. Increasing the proportions would be made so that the beauty of the building would be kept. In the system of proportions presented by Vitruvius, the height of the entablature is independent of the proportions system.

           Construction Methods
         The aspiration of the Greeks was to refine the external form of the building and they did not pay great attention to technological improvements. Their construction method was based on post and beam (columns supporting a flat surface). Columns that were placed in rows usually supported an entablature (a beam over the columns, consisting of three horizontal layers: architrave at the bottom, frieze in the middle, and cornice at the top). Each kind of column corresponds to an entablature of its kind.
         During the Hellenistic period techniques of arch construction developed and the use of barrel vault and keystone were implemented. We find arches and vaults in Macedonian burial chambers, underground passages, fortifications, and even a gate. A single example of an arch is found in the market gate in Priene. The Romans used these techniques later on.
         In ancient Greece there was no clear distinction between building design and construction practice. Before the start of construction, it was decided only on the general lines, and planning and design continued during construction. Vitruvius wrote that the architect had to draw a ground plan, side section and perspective to show the building that he was about to build.
         Architectural drawings and drawing equipment have survived from the Hellenistic period, but during the period preceding the Hellenistic period, nor ground plans neither technical drawing tools are mentioned in the literature of this period.

         Construction Materials
         The Greeks used clay before they started to use stone in monumental construction. Cheap walls built of mud bricks or field stones strengthened with wood appeared in early period. In the classical period they were used in small structures. As in most ancient civilizations, in Greece, construction in stone was intended for religious and public buildings only.
        After abandoning the construction of temples in wood, the Greeks began to build the temples in coarse stones and raw bricks, and roofed the structure with clay tiles, which provided good protection against rain.
        Until the Hellenistic period, stones were placed together without cement. Stone blocks were polished, and iron clamps bound them together. To hide the joints between the blocks the columns and walls were lined with stucco (smooth coating made of powder of stone or sand), made of marble powder or shredded limestone that were polished. Later, stucco coating was used for structures built in marble.
        The wealth during the classical period enabled the use of expensive materials. Wood was replaced by marble, a material that was more expensive to hew and transport to the construction site. The advantage of the marble is that it does not require plaster coating. Another advantage is its strength, making it possible to build thin, tall and refined columns.
       The best marble came from the island of Paros. Rougher marble called Pentelic was hewn from Pentelicus mountain near Athens.
Pliny the elder wrote in his History Naturalis, that the art of cutting thin marble slabs was probably invented in Caria. In his opinion, the first place where this kind of slabs were used was the palace in Halicarnassus, in southwest Asia Minor. The white walls of the palace were decorated with marble from the island of Marmara.
During the Hellenistic period there has been a progress in terms of building windows. Various materials were used for designing windows: oiled canvas, sheep's leather, mica, which is a type of mineral, horns of animals, and thin plaster. In the houses of the rich these materials were abandoned in favor of a glass that was clear enough for this purpose. This glass was from Phoenicia. Its artisans learned from the Egyptians the glasswork and greatly improved it. They managed to blow glass and improve its quality.
          Colors created by mixing gold powder pigment with hot wax were used for painting the temples and highlight important elements in architecture. Likewise, sculptures were painted. The dominant colors were: red, blue, yellow-green, and black (which, actually, is not a color). The use of gold was scarce.
        Vitruvius, in his book On Architecture in Ten Books (Book VII, Chapters VII - XIV, lists the different colors used by Greek architecture. He presents the various colors according to the way that they were produced.
             The Greek religion
         During the invasions of the Hindu – Europeans to Greece, in the second millennium BCE, the Hindu-European culture merged with Aegean and the Greek culture was born, including the Greek religion.
         The ancient Greek religion was pagan and polytheistic. Its pantheon included many gods and supernatural creatures that were originally human personification of natural forces and phenomena.
         Unlike Jews, Christians and Muslims, the ancient Greeks did not have one major text or sacred writings as a source of authority. There were mythological stories written as literary works since the seventh century BCE. Greek mythology included a large selection of stories describing the exploits of the gods. Although the Greeks criticized the pettiness of the gods, they worshiped them because they believed that they determined their fate on earth.
        There were various versions of stories of the gods, but gradually unity was formed. The marriage of Zeus (the sun god of the Hindu European occupiers) with his sister Hera (fertility goddess of the conquered Aegean islands) symbolized the merger between the two peoples and united the both religions.
         Except Zeus, the Greek sky god, who was placed at the top of the hierarchy of the gods, the Greeks also borrowed from the Hindu European invaders the goddess of the earth Demeter, and Hestia, the goddess of fire. Rhea was Minoan, Athena was Mycenaean, and Hermes was from the Aegean islands. Apollo came from Ionia, Aphrodite from Cyprus, while Dionisos and Ares from Thrace (a region in the Balkan region, currently in Greece and partly in Turkey).
        According to the ancient Greek creation stories, at the beginning there was neither land, nor sea nor air, but chaos dominated by the god Chaos and his wife Nyx (literally in Greek: night), who were the first gods. Their only son Erebos, (literally in Greek: darkness) removed his father and married his mother. They gave birth to Ether (literally in Greek: Atmosphere) and Hemera (literally in Greek: a day.)
         Like these gods, many other gods who were their descendants were personifications. Eros was the love god, Pontus the sea god, and Gaea the earth goddess. Gaea was surrounded by Pontus on all sides. In her center was Mount Olympus, the highest in the world. The sky gods, who were called Olympic (to distinguish them from the earth and sea gods) lived on Mount Olympus. Uranus, the sky god and Gaea gave birth to the Titans and Cronos, the time god who removed his father. The daughters of Cronos and his wife Rhea were: Hestia, Demeter and Hera, and their sons were: Hades, Poseidon and Zeus.
The Greek gods were seen as natural forces, rather than as knowing everything and being everywhere. The fate goddesses, who also dominated human life, limited their power. They were powerful and sometimes intervened in the lives of people, disguised as people or animals .
        The supremacy of each of them was reflected in his field. For example, Aphrodite is the power of love and lust, Zeus - the power of lightning and monarchy, and Ares - the power of war. However, the gods are human in nature – they are angry, they hate, love, and steal from each other. Unlike humans, they are immortal, and always remain young and beautiful..
         Between man and the gods there was an agreement whereby a person must not deviate from the domain dictated to him by the gods. Being too proud, too ambitious and even too rich, can cause the revenge of the gods.
         The gods are the source of all good and evil. They cause earthquakes, famine and defeat or victory. In order to thank them for their help, and to get their blessing for the future, people prayed to them, gave them offerings and built temples for them. Public rituals were designed to ensure that the city would be protected from epidemics, enemy attacks, and other hazards.
          Fortune telling has been an integral part of religion. The Greeks had expected to get answers to questions about their future from the gods in the Oracle. Their questions were answered by mediating priests.
          The residents worshiped the gods also in their homes. Before the doors facing the street and in many courtyards there was a conical stone pillar erected for Apollo, who was also the god of streets and ways. Apollo's role as the streets god was to follow the entrances to houses and exits from them, to bring in the good and take out the bad.
         An altar was placed in the courtyard for Zeus Herkeios, in his role as patron god of family ties. Hestia was worshiped next to the fire. Each room had its own god: bedroom god, kitchen god, warehouse god, etc.
         The Greek religion has changed and developed all the time because the Greeks respected other peoples' gods. They added them to their own pantheon or identified them with existing ones. This was especially true during the Hellenistic period, then the boundaries were expanded and new beliefs from the East followed by new forms of worship penetrated the Greek world.
          Each city or city-state worshiped a patron god of its own. Athens worshiped Athena and Argos worshiped Hera. Likewise, any occupation or field of art had its own god. Demeter, for example, was the goddess of agriculture.
         As for death, the Greeks believed that the dead are in Hades, the place of the dead, which had nothing to do with reward or penalty

                   The Greek Temple
          Life in ancient Greece was largely controlled by religion, so it is not surprising that the most significant building in Greek architecture was the temple.
          The temple was built to serve the god to whom it was devoted. It was the way of communities to honor their gods. Citizens were proud in the temples with which they expressed the power of their city and the gratitude of the city to the patron god who brought them success in war. The priests of the temples, who were almost the exclusive representatives of the community, had extensive powers, but the Greeks did not need them as intermediaries between them and the gods.
         The temple stood out in the city, being located in a high place. Its basic characteristics can be found in the seventh century BCE and may have already been in the eighth century BCE. The same level of attention has been devoted to each of its sides.
The front of the temple was not significant and important as it was later in the Roman temple. Its magnificence was based on the reliefs that were already substantial during the construction plan. They were designed to beautify the building and tell the story of the god to whom the temple was dedicated, and whose statue was found inside.
The external impression that the temple created was important because the worship was held outside, under the sky. Animals were sacrificed on the altar of the gods, usually placed in front of the temple's eastern front. Here also were held prayer ceremonies in honor of the god or the goddess. The statue of the god, who "looked" through the door on the east side of the temple could follow the ceremonies.
         The Temple itself was a kind of additional gift to the god. It was perceived as the home of the god though in fact Mount Olympus was his residence. Usually the entire temple was dedicated to one god, and rarely one temple was built for several gods.
         As a closed place of worship, with believers gathering outside, the temple was a windowless building. In most temples light penetrated the naos (holy room where the statue of the god stood) only through the door, but sometimes there was an opening in the roof that served as a source of additional lighting. The naos was usually lit by candles or torches.
         About the oldest temples we can learn from clay models that have survived. Initially the temple was built of mud bricks and wood. In the frieze of the entablature were triglyphs (sets of three vertical channels) and metopes (the space between any two Triglyphs) appeared alternately on the frieze.
         On the metopes are seen mythological scenes which were designed in wood. The tryglyphs were placed in three possible places: just above the center of every column, just above the center of the space between the columns, or in the corners of the frieze, without leaving unnecessary space.
         The structure of the temple is a direct passage from wood to stone construction. Construction shapes in stone impressively imitated the construction of the accurate shapes built in wood . For this reason, sometimes ancient Greek architecture was called "carpentry in marble."
        In fact, few temples from the archaic period were built entirely of marble. Some were built of limestone coated with stucco. Since the fifth century BCE building in terra cotta and wood was accurately replaced by stone building. Sometimes the temple was not roofed, and remained open to the sky. Ceilings, which were built, were treated in decorative way, using cassetones - square panels usually retreating into the ceiling in repeating pattern, imitating wood construction. The ceiling was built in wood covered with terra cotta or marble. The statues that adorned the temples were painted.
         The Greek temple began as a simple structure designed to protect the statue dedicated to the god for whom it was built, from weather and birds' harms. For this purpose there was no need for magnificent building but for one room - the naos, (literally in Greek: the god's room), where the god's statue would stand, and a pronaos (pro, literally in Greek before), a stoa (a roofed structure supported by columns) shaped anteroom leading to it, with two columns in the front. This type of temple was called temple in antis. This was the simplest type of temple.

        From this temple developed the prostylos - Temple with a row of columns in its front, usually four. 
         Over time, more attention has been devoted to the beautification and refinement of the temple. Since the Greeks strove for balance, they added a stoa behind the simple temple structure to create symmetry. The stoa behind the naos - opisthodomus (literally in Greek: a back room) served as a treasury, where the offerings and gifts submitted to the god were stored and sometimes it served to keep the city treasury.
         When surrounded by walls, this type of temple was called amphiprostylos. (Literally in Greek: amphi - on both sides, pro - before, stylos - column).

         The Greeks believed that the temple looked prettier when ornamented symmetrically on all sides. An economic boom in the eighth century BCE has enabled the builders to enrich the basic design and add an array of columns that surrounded the naos and both stoas.
         Columns surrounding the four sides of the temple are called peripteron (literally in Greek: peri - around; pteron - avenue of columns) and such a temple is called peripteral temple. The number of columns along the side of the temple range from 11 to 18, but the number of columns in the front was usually only six. The ratio between the front columns and the columns on the sides was generally X: X +1, ie, 6:13, 8:17 and so on.
         The size of the temple depended on the financial budget. Particularly rich cities built double peristyle temple. This type of temple is called dipteral temple (di, literally in Greek: two). The temple as a decorative structure surrounded by columns, served the statue of the god inside the temple.
        Vitruvius divided the temples into peripteral temples with six columns in the front, and dipteral temples with eight columns in the front. He described temples with ten columns in the front as temples whose naos was unroofed. Leaving the naos without a roof was easier for the builders who did not have to deal with the problem of roofing.
An example of a temple that has ten columns in the front with unroofed naos, is the temple of Apollo in Didyma) (Turkey) built in 300 BCE.

         After a period of attempts in architecture the peripteral temple has become the most common and remained more or less the regular pattern, with variations in details and proportions. The goal of the the architect was to refine proportions and care for detail rather than plan fancy layouts. Planning and designing the aesthetic effect was more important than the functional one.
          Some see in the peripteral temple design a symbolic meaning. The columns surrounding the temple are seen as representing a military tactic that was customary in the Greek army called "phalanx". According to this tactic the soldiers would prepare an organized line, shoulder to shoulder, with long swords and large shields. Dense masses of troops would move slowly, forming a solid wall with their bodies. Thus, they defended themselves.
Just as the phalanx defined the border between two city-states so did the columns of the temple symbolize the boundary of the temple. Just as the phalanx defended the city, so did the columns protect the temple. The comparison between columns and phalanx is strengthened when it is understood that the columns in ancient Greece are associated with the human figure in terms of its proportions design.
        The Greeks paid much attention to the refinement of the column itself (or as it is called "an optical correction"), so that the eye of the beholder would be pleased at the sight of the column at a certain distance.
        Since the archaic period a convex can be seen at the center of the column. This construction technique called entasis has already been customary in Egyptian architecture. The entasis provides a sense of flexibility by creating a circular line. This is in contrast to perfectly straight column, which creates a sense of toughness.       Perhaps using the entasis intended to create an organic look to the column, so that it looks like a muscle responding to heavy weight.
The entasis may have been used to emphasize the rounded and three-dimensional shape of the column. Designing the columns in a straight line would have created a silhouette conveying a sense of flatness.
It seems that as time passed the use of entasis has evolved and reached a peak of refinement in the Erechteum in the Acropolis in Athens, where it is not seen at first sight.

          Besides using entasis, there was a tendency to create some more refinements like curving stylobate (the surface on which stand the columns of the temple, the upper step) and entablature.(see chapter on the Parthenon below). Without this optical correction, the stylobate and the architrave would have been perceived by the viewer from a certain distance as concave.
The use of refinements is associated with the linear perspective which Vitruvius attributes to the fifth century BCE in Athens. During the late sixth century BCE, Greek artists began to explore the perspective shortening of statues. This is an effect where an object seems shorter than it is in reality. This effect increases as the distance from the object increases. This approach to perspective appears in inscriptions on the walls of buildings, whose upper lines are larger than the lower ones so that from a certain distance the upper and the lower lines would look as if they were the same size.
         Because of the high cost of the refinements, their popularity was short-lived. The donors of later temples thought that they had no justification. Although they appear in the Greek temples after the fifth century BCE, they have never been wholly adopted. Entasis refinement was the only one used in later architecture.
         The columns of the temple were placed on the stylobate, the top of the three steps leading to the temple. Columns supported the sloping roof by bearing the pediments (or gables - triangular-shaped walls whose legs bear the roof of the building) placed in the front of the temple and in its back.
         The structure of the gable placed in front of the temple pose a problem for the sculptors, resembling the problem, which the painters of pitchers had to face. The artist had to create a composition matching the shape of the gable i.e. triangular format, and found creative solutions to this problem. The important figure in the scene was usually presented as standing in the center of the gable, while the minor characters were reclining at the edges.
                        The Greek Orders
                   Doric, Ionic and Corinthian
         The Greek monumental art is based on the column. The relation between its diameter and height left its mark on the entire building. The side section of the Greek temple is described in terms of the basis, shaft, and capital of the column and the entablature. The relations among these elements are called "order". There are three orders: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian, each with its own unique features.
         The three orders share some features. They all include stairs, stylobate, and grooved column with vertical channels. Some say that the channels were designed to conceal the joints between the drums (stone blocks that make up the column), and to convey a light, thin and tall look. The joints between the drums are completely hidden by stucco. The fine grooves were etched when the construction was almost complete, when there was no danger of damage in the construction process.
         A unique phenomenon that enabled avoiding drums in columns was using six meter monolithic columns, as was done in the temple of Apollo in Corinth. The use of monolithic columns lasted a short time because of the difficulty quarrying such columns.

        The channels in the columns convey a sense of powerfulness when the rays of sun fall on them and create a dramatic effect of light and shadow. The grooves also emphasize the curved nature of the column.
        Other organs on the column, which is growing narrower upwards, are its capital and base. The capital consists of two elements: the lower is the echinus, which varies according to order, and the top is the abacus, a thick square slab whose thickness and edges also change according to the order. The Abacus supports the entablature – the superstructure placed between the columns and roof.
         The entablature is composed of three horizontal sections visually separated from each other by moldings and bands. The lower section is the architrave, which carries most of the weight is placed directly over the columns, the middle section - the frieze, usually decorated, and the upper section - the cornice which sticks out.
Already in an early stage in the history of Greek architecture, the choice of an order was associated with geographical area. The Doric order, which is the earliest, was in use in mainland Greece and its western colonies in southern Italy. The Ionic order was used in the cities of the Cycladic islands and the seashores of Asia Minor (modern Turkey and the Greek islands).
The Corinthian order was invented in the fifth century BCE, and was developed later on by the Romans, who often used it. Afterward, the attitude changed, and choosing the order depended on context, conventions, and taste.

                   The Doric Order
         The Doric order is the simplest of all. The Doric column grows baseless from the stylobate. The echinus in its capital looks like a pillow. The early Doric capital had a parallel already in the Bronze Age.
         The continuing use of the Doric order since the eighth century BCE symbolized for the Greeks their heroic past. Above the Mycenaean Lion Gate stands between two lions a column, similar to the earliest Doric column.
         The Doric columns are becoming narrower upwards, similar to the Egyptian pillars. The height of the Doric column is determined in relation to its diameter (the height equals six times the column's largest diameter, which is that of the lower drum) and in relation to the distance between the columns, rather than the length of the colonnade. The number of grooves in most early Doric columns is 16, which is also their number on the columns of ancient Egyptian temples.
        The Doric entablature is relatively simple in form. Its frieze is divided into triglyphs and metopes, which are often decorated with reliefs. The trygliphs are placed above taenia - flat strip, thin and protruding, under which are decorations in the form of drops called gutae, which are part of the top edge of the architrave. The upper ends of each trygliph are crowned with protruding thin bar (mutule). These stripes are part of the cornice which is also decorated with gutae.

                          The Ionic order
         The Ionic order, which developed in Asia Minor, is delicate and ornamental, with Asian influences. The Ionic column consists of a base (as opposed to the Doric column which is baseless), shaft and capital. The echinus of the Ionic column is shaped like two spirals or volutes similar to those of ram's horn, and has a thin abacus.
The column's height equals eight to ten times the lower drum's diameter. The builders of Ionic temples were less strict than those who built the Doric temples. They decorated the frieze with reliefs running along it without metopes.
         The Ionic architrave is characterized by a flat horizontal protruding bars (fascia). The cornice is decorated at the bottom with dentils.
         Rarely, the Ionic columns were replaced by caryatids (statues of female figures used as supporting columns), which are not found in the Doric temples. The most spectacular Ionic temples were in Miletus. Other remarkable Ionic temples were the Erechteum in the Acropolis and a few small temples in Athens, such as the temple of Athena Nike or parts of Doric buildings such as the Propylaea (monumental gate) and the Parthenon.

                        The Corinthian Order
          From the Doric and Ionic orders, which evolved side by side, a third order, purely decorative, developed - the Corinthian order. The Greeks used it as a variation of the Ionic order at the end of the fifth century BCE and during the fourth century BCE.
Like the fine Ionic column, the Corinthian column grows from the base and is thin and tall, but is more decorated than the Ionic column. Its abacus is angular and the echinus looks like an overturned bell decorated with acanthus leaves.
         In the Corinthian entablature, the cornice is decorated with kind of supports called modillions that have a scroll shape or S shape. The frieze in its upper part is decorated with repetitive patterns such as egg and dart.

         Vitruvius ascribes the invention of the Corinthian capital to Callimachus, who was active at the end of the fifth century BCE, and was inspired by a young girl's grave, on which stood a basket of offerings and acanthus leaves growing around it.
        The Corinthian order reached a peak of development in the middle of the fourth century BCE, but its use in Greece was small. The oldest example of Corinthian capital is found in the temple of Apollo in Bassae. Corinthian columns also appear in the monument of Lysicrates from Athens. The columns with acanthus leaves in capitals had a precedent in Egyptians columns whose capitals were decorated with plants.
        Vitruvius wrote in the first century BCE that the Doric column was based on the proportions of the body of man, the Ionic column was based on the body of a woman, and the Corinthian column was based on the body of a girl.
Ground plans of Greek temples do not relate directly to the orders. The temples vary by size in accordance with local preferences.

           Caryatids and Atlants
         Besides the three types of columns (Doric, Ionic and Corinthian) in ancient Greece was another way to support the ceiling, by sculptures that acted as supporting columns. Such a support in the form of a statue of a woman is called "caryatid", and a support in the form of a statue of man is called "atlant."
         The use of statues of men as supporting the ceiling has been known in ancient Egypt, and can be seen in the temple of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel. In Greece, caryatids and atlants as part of the structure, were not often used in the architecture of the temples.
Vitruvius writes in his book "Ten Books on Architecture" that the architect is required to have knowledge of history and that he should explain the background of the decorations that he designs. As an example, he cites the caryatid, to which he writes the following explanation:
        Karya, the city in the Peloponnese, united with the Persians against Greece, and later, after Greece won the battle, it declared war on Karya. Following this war, Karya was captured, its men were killed, and women became slaves. These women were deprived of the right to wear their long robes and were kept away from other features indicative of their being married women. Likewise, they were ordered to refrain from walking in the procession of victory and were required to look like prisoners. This was intended to testify to the shame that their country brought on its inhabitants. The architects of the period integrated statues of these women in public buildings showing them carrying burdens so that the crime and punishment of Karya will be memorized forever.
Regarding the atlants, the male version of the caryatids, Vitruvius also displays a historical background:
        After the Spartans defeated the Persian troops, being few against many, they celebrated the victory with their loot and booty. With the Money received for the booty they built the Persian stoa (apparently, the agora of Sparta), to testify to the excellence and bravery of the citizens and their victory, to the generations to come.
Vitruvius writes that the figures of prisoners of war were dressed like barbarians, supporting the roof and humiliated, as is fitting for them. Thus, enemies will be afraid of their courage (of the Spartans). When the Spartans will look at them, this will be an example of heroism and glory, and they will be ready to defend their independence.
The existence of caryatids in Greek architecture is known of since the sixth century BCE. They appeared sporadically in architecture throughout the Hellenistic period and as decorations to furniture and bronze mirrors supporters. The caryatids of the type found in the Erechteum, were apparently called in ancient Greece korai (literally in Greek: girls, virgins).

        Temples and Monuments in the Archaic Period
Until the mid-eighth century BCE The Greeks had no monumental architecture. Construction activity grew in size and intensity when the Doric order developed. Before the construction in marble, walls were built of mud-brick, and roofs, columns and ceilings were built of wood.
         Egypt has provided the initial stimulus that prompted the Greek monumental construction process. Architecture technique during the archaic period, at the end of the seventh century BCE and the early sixth century BCE, was very similar to the Egyptian architecture.
The earliest Doric column reminds of pillars in Egypt and Mycenae in the pillow shaped capitals and the fluted columns that grow baseless from the floor. There was probably a long period of Egyptian culture, when the Greeks regarded Egypt as a source of information and ideas in architecture, as they saw it as an inspiration in other areas.
Image - Chapel of Anubis in Deir el Bahri

          A temple surrounded by columns, which served as a source of inspiration for the peripteral Greek temple is the temple built on the island of Elephantine by Amenhotep III.
Egyptian architecture's impact on Greek architecture can be seen in the temple of Hera in Olympia and the Temple Artemis in Corcyra, built in 590 BCE. In the temple of Hera in Olympia, which is one of the oldest discovered, the upper parts (destroyed) were made of wood and mud bricks, while the lower parts were made of stone.
This temple is an example of the beginning of construction in stone. It is also an example of a large temple in the front of which were nine columns instead of the customary six columns, and 18 side columns instead of the customary 13.

         Architecture progressed significantly during the period of the tyrants, who carried out large construction projects, such as building ports, aqueducts and temples. Most ancient Greek temples were built during this era. Cities, including public institutions, were built in sun-dried bricks. The temples that were built of sun-dried bricks were rebuilt in stone.
         In the sixth century BCE, many temples were built in Sicily and southern Italy. Some of them still stand intact. The impact of Egyptian architecture is seen in the massive stone construction, the colonnades, which constituted a major element in temples, capitals of columns and columns fluting. Inspired by the Egyptians, the pillars of the temples were rough-looking and stiff.
In the seventh century BCE there was at least one peripteral temple, the temple of Hera in Samos. This temple has Doric pillars reminiscent of the typical Egyptian columns and types of Mycenaean columns with cushion-shaped capitals and fluted baseless columns.

         The Temple of Hera in Paestum
         A temple whose remains has been well preserved from the mid-sixth century BCE is Hera I temple (called "Basilica"), in Paestum. Paestum was a Greek colony in southern Italy located south of Naples, which is known as Poseidonia.
It is a Dorie temple located near Hera II temple (previously believed to be the temple of Poseidon), which was built about a century after it. The Temple of Hera I looked short and spacious. This is a monumental temple with nine columns in the front and 18 on each side. The relation between the front and the side is 1:2. For the construction of the temple served local stone coated with stucco because marble was rare in this region of Italy. Today there is no trace of the stucco.

         From the division of its naos into two wings by a colonnade and from the heavy nature of its columns, we can conclude that this was an early Doric temple. The ratio between the height of the columns and their breadth creates a squat and wide appearance, and the capitals seem squashed under the weight of the entablature. A Bulky and massive appearance is typical of temples from the Archaic. period.
         With the passage of time the proportions of the temples changed. The columns became taller and thinner and their general appearance became lighter and more harmonious. The entasis, the slight convex swelling of the shaft of the column, is very evident in Hera I temple creating a massive look of "muscles" that was present in Egyptian architecture. This feature would be gradually refined until it would reach its peak of refinement in the classical period.

         The Treasury of Siphnos
         Already at this early stage, alongside the use of heavy-looking coarse columns, there is an evidence of building caryatids. This evidence in found in the treasury of Siphnos (525 BCE), a structure which was built in the compound of Apollo's temple at Delphi by the residents of the Greek island of Siphnos. From the original building itself only few remains have been left and according to them the temple has been restored.
         The treasury was built of marble and was small. In front of the temple stood two caryatids and next to each of them a pilaster in the corner. Both caryatids are kore type statues (kore, literally in Greek: virgin), which were customary sculptures during this period. They stand on pedestals and magnificent capitals are placed between their heads and the entablature. On the frieze of the entablature is described the war between the Greeks and the Trojans (on the left is depicted the conference of the gods during the Trojan War).
The entablature seems too big a burden on the heads and bodies of the caryatids. This problem would be solved in the classical period in the Erechteum on the Acropolis. On the pediment is depicted the struggle between Apollo and Heracles on the tripod of Delphi (three-legged stand awarded as a prize to the winner at sports or theater).

Image - The treasury of Siphnos

         Temples and Monuments of the Classical Period
         Since 500 BCE the archaic characteristics of the Doric temple have disappeared. The builders reached harmonious proportions, which were expressed in the temple of Hephaestus in Athens (465 BCE), the Parthenon (448-432 BC) and Propylaea (437 BCE). As statues had undergone a metamorphosis from the heavy crude look to the more refined, so did architectural structures, which became more refined.

         The Acropolis of Athens
         The Acropolis of Athens represents the perfection of ancient Greek architecture. The word "Acropolis" (literally in Greek: acro-high, polis -city or city-state) means "the highest place in the city." The defensive nature of the Acropolis in Athens, which was really high and elevated above the environment, made it the center of settlement since the Bronze Age. It was the seat of kings and princes for centuries.
         During the Mycenaean period, a temple surrounded by a massive wall (parts of which remain today) had stood on the acropolis. This wall was built with cyclopean stones irregular in shape, without cement. On the slopes of the Acropolis and on the valley below developed a settlement which grew into a town.
In the fifth century BCE, began the construction of the temples on the Acropolis on the ruins of the temples demolished in the Persian invasion. After a period fraught with wars and struggles, a desire for harmony and beauty awakened, and found its expression in works of art.
         The man who contributed most to express this desire in the field of architecture was Pericles (495-429 BCE), the statesman, who organized the construction operations at the Acropolis. To finance the building of temples, Pericles suggested to use the funds of the Delian League.
        The aristocrats resented such use of the funds which were intended for war, and complained about the city being covered with gold and about excessive decoration. They compared the city with its precious sculptures and temples worth millions, to a lustful woman, who adds precious stones to her dress.
Pericles rejected these statements by stating that there was enough money to finance the army, so that the money left for buildings would give Athens an eternal respect and create jobs.
The temples on the Acropolis are arranged on east-west axis. From the western entrance of the compound of temples, one can see the temple of Athena Nike from the south. To its east is found the Parthenon, and to the north of the Parthenon is found the Erechteum.
This site was the focus of the festival which took place in Athens in honor of the goddess Athena – the patron goddess of Athens weaving. In 566 BCE, began a tradition of festivals called "Panathenaic". Every year, during the day that was considered Athena's birthday, the festival would be held, where music and poetry contests, and horse racing would take place.
The festival would culminate on the last day, then the citizens of Athens would gather in the marketplace and parade with the peplos, a tunic embroidered by the maidens of Athens for the goddess Athena. This procession celebrated once in four years, was large and very colorful.
        As a center of ritual ceremonies and festivals, and as the place for whose construction were invested most of the city's economic resources for the community, the Acropolis testifies to the democratic character of the government.
The democratic character is also reflected in the flexible organization of an array of buildings on the site, although it's a result of constraints such as soil structure and the presence of previous temples.
         Comparing the layout of the Acropolis to the rigid symmetry found in the Forum of Trajan in Rome, proves that the nature of power is reflected in the layout of buildings.

         The Acropolis temples were first built in marble rather than in limestone, which was the common building material at that time. Athens, fortunately, is blessed with mount Pentelicon, a good source of marble.
         The Greek biographer Plutarch (Plutarchus) (46-119 CE) wrote about 500 years after the construction of the Acropolis that the works of Pericles were particularly admirable, and that . despite the hasty construction it would be beautiful and would survive for a long time. According to him, a kind of strength and freshness guards them from the ravages of time.
         Modernist architect Erich Mendelsohn (1887-1953) was similarly impressed when he visited Athens. He was very excited and announced the Parthenon 'modern', because good architecture always stands the test of time.

                   The Propylaea
         The Propylaea (literally in Greek before the gates, pro – before; pylaion - gate), the monumental gate of the Acropolis, is the gateway through which the the Panathenaic procession passed on its way to the Parthenon.
        The construction of the Propylaea began in 437 BCE, immediately after the completion of the building of the Parthenon, and lasted five years. The architect was Mnesicles. This gate was greater than the gate which was destroyed by the Persians. It consisted of three main parts: a wide staircase leading to the central gate and two side rooms. In front of each of them was a stoa. The main entrance was shaped like a temple with two fronts, each containing six columns supporting a pediment. Between the two central pillars on both fronts were four pairs of columns, forming an open corridor. All this structure was made of white marble which now looks brown following a prolonged oxidation process.
For building the Propylaea, a technique of iron reinforcement was used in order to ensure the durability of the building. The gable structure above the marble ceiling is supported by rows of beams on Ionic architraves.

         The columns of the Propylaea are an example of the classical Doric style at its peak. Compared to the columns in the archaic temples, they are more refined and their proportions are harmonious.
However, the Propylaea breaks the accepted rules of the Doric order, according to which there was a fixed distance between the columns. Here, between the two central columns, the architect created a larger space, which is larger than the space between the other columns (a space in the size of triglyph and metope) to allow the entrance of the carriages of the festive processions.
        The facade of the Propylaea is symmetrical, but its side rooms are asymmetrical. One room is the northwestern room or the pinacoteque (gallery or storage space for pictures), square-shaped with an entrance hall and back room. The second room is short, open to the west and leads to the temple of Athena Nike. In these rooms, the participants in the Panathenaic procession could rest facing the artworks, after climbing the Acropolis and before reaching the sacred buildings.
         In addition to these buildings Mnesikles meant to build two more rooms from the northeast and southeast. He managed to do the preparatory work, but these plans have never been completed. Financial problems that have arisen because of the Peloponnesian war stopped the construction.

                 Temple of Athena Nike
         The temple of Athena Nike (literally in Greek victorious) is a small temple of the amphi-prostylus Ionic style. It was built of pentelic marble. To the east and the west of the square naos were stoas each with four monolithic columns towering to a height exceeding four meters. The total area of its stylobate is 8.27 m 5.64 x m. To its east is an altar of which a little has survived.
The temple was built according to the plan the architect Kalikrates in 427-424 BCE. Temple of Athena Nike is unusual in that it was built in its entirety in the Ionian order. Before its construction the Ionian order was rarely used, like for example in the treasury of Delphi.

         On the eastern side of the temple is a frieze showing the meeting of the gods, and on the three other sides scenes of battles are presented. A defensive wall made of marble with reliefs depicting victories (nike) protected the edge of the Acropolis, where the temple was built.
        We can refer to the use of the Ionic order at the heart of Doric Athens in the temple of Athena Nike, as a political statement reflecting the control of the Athenians in the city-states by adopting their aesthetic heritage.
         The Temple was restored in the 1830's, after being completely destroyed during the Ottoman occupation in 1687. The Turks then used its stones to build a military fortress beside the Propylaea. In the 1930s the temple was destroyed again to solve structural problems, and was rebuilt in 1940. In 1998, the frieze of the temple was transferred to the Acropolis Museum and the temple itself was destroyed and rebuilt again to replace the concrete floor which was consumed as a result of previous reconstructions.

         The Parthenon
         Of all the buildings on the Acropolis the Parthenon (literally in Greek: the house of the virgin; parthenos-virgin) (448-432 BCE) was the first built and the largest. In its construction was fulfilled the desire to reach a peak of power, beauty, harmony and refinement.
The builders of the Parthenon were the architects Iktinos and Kalikrates. Phidias (490-430 BCE), a good friend of Pericles and one of the greatest sculptors of all times, was the commissioner of art works.
         It is known that Phidias designed the statue of Athena that stood in the temple, but it is unclear what his contribution to the rest of the temple was. Artists, some of them slaves were brought from Athens and abroad, to participate in the construction.
The Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena, patron goddess of Athens and many other cities, who, according to the Greek mythology was a virgin, smart, resourceful and ruthless.

         The Parthenon dominates the Acropolis by its powerful looks. It was built on the foundations of a temple, which was destroyed by the Persians, and is slightly shorter and wider than its predecessor. This is a peripteral Doric temple with some Ionic characteristics. Combining Doric elements, which were customary in the temples in mainland Greece and in the colonies in southern Italy with Ionic elements, which were common in Asia Minor was designed to reflect the general Pan-Hellenic rule of Athens.
       The Parthenon is almost the only temple built of Pentelic marble, except for parts that were built of wood, such as doors and door frames. Tiles were made of marble rather than clay, although it was customary to use clay
         In the front of the Parthenon are eight columns instead of the usual six, but the harmonious relations between the number of columns in the front and the number of those on the side (X: 2X +1, is kept. On each side there are 17 columns (including that in the corner). Each column has 20 grooves.
         The Parthenon stones were laid one on the top of the other without mortar; the drums had been put together from their centers by strings and pins. After being carefully joint, experts polished the columns.
         In building the Parthenon, special attention was paid to proportions. The dominant ratio in the temple is 9:4. This is the ratio between length and width of the temple. The width is slightly smaller than half the length (of 69.5 meters in length and 30.9 meters in width). This is also the ratio of the space between the columns and their height. Such accuracy in design is unprecedented.
The ratio between the diameter of the outer columns (1.9 meters) and their height (10.4 meters) is approximately 1:5.5. the diameter of the corner columns is slightly larger, to enable ending the frieze with a triglyph, according to the general rules.
         The Temple is divided into pronaos, with six columns, naos and opisthodomos. The entrance to the naos was from the east. In the naos stood a colossal statue (12 m in height including the base) of Athena Parthenos to whom the temple was devoted. Phidias, who was considered the greatest classic sculptor, sculpted this statue, which was one of the most admired statues in antiquity.
Many references to the statue are found in the writings of ancient writers, including the writings of Pliny. The body of the statue of Athena, which was supported by wooden beams, was made of wood, metal and plaster, and was covered with gold and ivory.
According to the written descriptions she held a small statue of the goddess of victory in her right hand, and a long spear was leaning on her left hand which held a shield. Her hat was decorated with a sphinx flanked by two winged horses.
Phidias was particularly interested in a wide naos to enable the presentation of the great statue of Athena, whose cost was nearly double the amount of the total cost of the temple itself. Instead of setting two columns only from both sides of the naos, Phidias set columns also behind the statue and thus formed a shape of frame (without its lower part), where the statue was placed.
         These Doric columns have been built on two levels. Thus, the naos itself has become very high, and the giant statue of Athena could be put into it. The design of the Doric naos was completed with a small back room that included four Ionic columns in its center. These columns are taller and thinner than the Doric columns, and take up less space. Here was probably saved the treasure of the Delian League. Researchers believe that there were no windows in the temple, neither in the naos nor in the inner room. Daylight penetrated only when the doors opened.
         The optical adjustments called "refinements" reached their peak of elegance in the Parthenon. The horizontal lines of the stylobate and entablature curved slightly upward to a point at the center. Some believe that the curve in the stylobate is designed to facilitate the drainage of water or to emphasize the center of the building. This curve was also designed to create an optical correction, which if not implemented, the stylobate would have seemed concave in its center.
The columns tend slightly inward. Researchers have calculated that if we continue the axis line of each column, all these axis lines will meet a kilometer above the temple.
        The space between the columns is not consistent, but tapering   towards the corners of the temple. The diameter of the columns too is not consistent: the columns in the corner have a larger diameter than the other columns.
         Entasis was used in designing the columns but finely. The deviation from straight line was slight. In the Parthenon there is almost no contour, which is a straight line. The slight deviations from straight line make it difficult to become aware of it at first sight.

         The Parthenon was painted and sculptures were integrated into the architecture, forming an integral part of the temple. In the earliest temples there were statues, but only in the front. The Parthenon was the first temple to include metopes with reliefs that surrounded it throughout its entire circumference. Phidias was in charge of the sculptural decoration in the temple, but it is not known whether he took part in sculpting them.
92 metopes were carved on the exterior of the Parthenon. The metopes on the eastern side of the temple depict the war between the gods and the giants. On the northern side is depicted the Trojan War, on the western side - the war between the Athenians and Amazons, and on the southern side - the war between the Lapites and the centaurs.
         The Parthenon has two pediments. On the eastern one is described the birth of Athena, and on the western - the competition between Athena and Poseidon.
The figures on the gables represent the style of Phidias. It is not known if this was his work but there is no doubt that his spirit is there. The statues of the gables are now in the British Museum in London and the Acropolis museum in Athens.
        In the Ionic frieze is described the Panathenaic procession in low relief above the walls of the naos along the outer walls of the naos, which are the internal walls of the temple. This is unusual and uncharacteristic of Greek temples. Architectural decorations usually appeared on the exterior of the temple.
On the western part of the frieze are depicted the preparations for the Panathenaic procession. Beyond the northwestern corner the procession looks under way: coaches, animals for sacrifices, , figures carrying baskets, olive branches, trays for cakes, and musicians with flutes and liras.
        On the eastern front are twelve seated gods - six from each side of the central scene, which features two girls carrying cushioned chairs and get ready to submit them to the woman and the priest. The latter gets from a girl a peplos woven for the goddess by selected girls.
       The temple's statues were high, under the ceiling of the outer colonnade, so it was hard to see them though an attempt was made to highlight the characters with color. Their aim was apparently to glorify the goddess, the city and the festival, rather than to be appreciated by the human eye.
Over the years the Parthenon went through many changes: it was a Greek temple, a Christian church and Turkish mosque (built in the naos). In the seventh century it probably became a church dedicated to Mary, Mother of Jesus.
         In 1687 ct the Venetians sieged the Acropolis. Their bombs ignited the gunpowder kept by the Turks in the Parthenon and caused a huge explosion. The whole center of the Parthenon was destroyed, but its edges survived. The temple, which, was preserved well by then, became a ruin. Later, the Turks built a mosque in the rubble of the Parthenon.
        Lord Elgin, who served as a British ambassador to Turkey in 1801, took some of tne statues that survived the explosion in the Parthenon (with the consent of the Ottoman government, which was not at all interested in the treasures of art), and sold them to the British Museum in London, where they remain to this day.
The Parthenon restoration work began in the 1830s , when the Greeks took over.
Today the Parthenon is considered the peak of the architectural achievements of all time. Its proportions are perfect and the balance between architecture and sculpture is perfect as well.

              The Erechteum
         Not far from the Parthenon, in the northern part of the Acropolis, is located the Erechteum, whose construction lasted during the years 421-406 BCE and never completed. This temple was built to commemorate a legendary event of historical significance for Athens - the competition between Athena and Poseidon, held to decide who would be the patron god of Athens.
According to Pausanias, geographer and the Greek historian )second century CE), the Erechteum was built where according to the tradition, the competition described in the west gable of the Parthenon took place.
       The Erechteum was dedicated to Athena, Poseidon and Erechteus, the legendary king of Athens after whom the temple was named. Cecrops, the legendary founder of Athens, who was born from the ground half man half snake, was he who decided in favor of Athena in the competition. The Athenians believed that beneath the foundations of the temple lived a snake who represented his spirit, and that his good health was essential to the security of the city. The priestesses of Athena Polias (Athena in her role as a protector of the city), would feed the snake with honey cakes, and if it would refuse to eat, it was a bad omen.
        According to the Athenian tradition, in the Erechteum were found some of the most sacred relics of of the Athenians. The relics were: the olive tree planted by Athena after overcoming Poseidon in the competition, located west of the temple, relief of Pallas, the daughter of the god, whereby Athena protected the Athenians, traces of the fork of Poseidon, the salt water source created after Poseidon struck the ground, and the tomb of Cecrops.

        The Erechteum was built of Pentelic marble and dark stone from Eleusis that was used in the design of the frieze. The temple's plan is asymmetric with various levels as a result of the need to unite different structures on uneven ground.
In the temple there were three almost separate wings: eastern, northern and southern. It seems that there was also a western wing. Each of these wings had a separate roof.
In the eastern wing is found the naos of Athena to which led a monumental front with six Ionic columns as tall as 6.5 meters. In the naos of Athena was placed the statue of the goddess, which was lit day and night by a sophisticated lamp invented by Callimachus, to whom is ascribed the invention of the Corinthian capital.
The entrance to the northern wing is through a portico. In the front of this portico are four Ionic columns, and on each of its sides are two columns (including the one in the corner).
In the western part of the temple, in the northern and southern wings were altars dedicated to Poseidon, Erechteus, and Butes, the Athenian hero.
       The southern wing has a portico of caryatids located over the grave of Cecrops. The entire temple is built on a slope so that its western and northern side are approximately three meters below the southern and eastern sides.
       By positioning the caryatids in the southern portico instead of columns - six girls carrying Doric capitals on their heads, proudly supporting the ceiling - the architect has created an outstanding innovation. The peplos that the girls are wearing was the typical attire of Athenian girls at that time.
Some see in the caryatids of the Erechteum an echo to the Panathenaic procession that moved from the Propilaea toward the Erechteum. All the caryatids, except one, are made of marble. The Second caryatid from the west is a replica of the original delivered by Lord Elgin in 1801 to London. The girls have individual looks. Their graceful appearance balances the significant severity of the elegant columns of the Parthenon.
         In the Erechteum was solved the problem that appeared at the treasury of Siphnos, there the entablature seems too heavy over the heads of the female figures due to inharmonic proportions. In the Erechteum, however, the proportions are harmonious and there seems to be a perfect match between the size of the figures and the entablature that they carry. The straight folds of the caryatids' garment echo the straight lines of the columns.
In the entablature metal pins fastened the white marble reliefs to the black limestone of the frieze. Pillars of the temple and the walls surrounding the window openings (located on the west side of the temple) and the doors were decorated with great splendor. They were painted, gilded and highlighted with golden bronze. Between the capitals of the columns can be seen the patterns of egg and dart. The ceilings of the porticos were decorated with cassetones.
In its Ionic complexity and magnificence, the Erechteum balances the simplicity and monumentality of the Doric Parthenon. Its unusual shape is a rare phenomenon in Greek architecture. It may have been the result of a desire to finish quickly the work due to political and financial reasons caused by the long Peloponnesian War.

               Circular Temples
         In general, circular structures were not common in Greek architecture, which in contrary to the circular line, was characterized by traditional rectangular buildings.
Apart from the rectangular temple there was also the circular temple called tholos. Here, the naos is a circular room surrounded by columns replacing the rectangular naos surrounded by columns.
Construction of Greek tholos temples (there is no certainty about them being temples) on the ground began in the first half of the fourth century BCE. A typical example of a circular temple is the tholos of Delphi, which was built during the years 390-380 BCE, as part of the complex of the temple of Athena Pronoia (literally: Athena of foresight). The architect was probably Theodoros of Phocaea.
        This tholos whose purpose is not mentioned in the writings (but is believed to had served as a temple), was mostly built in marble. Its outer diameter is 15 meters or so, the diameter of its cella is approximately 8.5 meters and its height - 13.5 meters. On the stylobate, to which three steps lead, stands an outer ring of 20 columns, which surround the naos. These columns support the entablature and the low roof that surrounds the dome. The 40 metopes of the outer entablature are decorated with reliefs depicting the Battle of the Amazons and Centaurs. To the inner wall of the round cella were attached half Corinthian columns (probably ten) that supported the beams that carried the wooden roof.
        Above the naos was a cone shaped dome and above the colonnade was a lower roof surrounding the dome. There were earlier circular temples preceding the tholos of Delphi, but here for the first time the Corinthian order adjacent to the inner wall accompanies the Doric order of the outer colonnade.

         Three of the outer columns and the entablature, which they support, was restored in 1938. Inspired by plans of Theodoros of Phocaea many temples were built including the tholos temple in Epidausus, probably planned by Polycleitus the younger. The tholos at Epidaurus, which was built during the years 365-338 BCE, was apparently used by the cult of Aesclepius, a mortal doctor who after his death Zeus made him god, and he became the god of medicine. Some researchers think that sacred snakes were raised in the temple as part of the healing cult of Asclepius.
        The temple has a subterranean structure - with annular walls where there were openings that could be closed. In the center of the inner ring was a pit with a wooden staircase that led down to it from the structure.
        The floor in the inside of the tholos was designed in diamond-shaped patterns in black and white and at the center was a circular removable white stone, which covered the secret entrance. This design is reminiscent of the rich marble decorations in the Erechteum, which is paved in black and white marble. The magnificent Corinthian capitals, the adorned entablature, and the ornate ceiling with cassetones decorated with rosettes (rose-shaped patterns) are too reminiscent of the decorations in the Erechteum .
Pollitt. JJ, a scholar of ancient Greek culture of our time, unlike other researchers viewing the tholos as a temple whose function is unclear, believes that he knows what the function of the tholos was. In his opinion, the fact that in the tholos built for Philip of Macedon at Olympia (the construction of which began on 339 BCE and ended by Alexander the Great) stood statues of his family, may indicate that this tholos and others were part of the cult of the glorification of the dead hero. He also suggested that these tholos structures are associated with the tholos in Mycenae.

                 Temples and Monuments in the Hellenistic Period
         The cosmopolitan character of the Hellenistic Empire greatly influenced the nature of its architecture. Before the time of Alexander the Great, the center of construction activity moved from Athens to Asia Minor, where was rebuilt one of the wonders of the Ancient World – the temple in Ephesus (burned since) planned by Deinocrates, architect of Alexander the Great.
Asian influences and the encouragement to individualism that characterized the Hellenistic period resulted in breaking the conventions of architecture and classical Greek art.
         The encouragement to individualism during the Hellenistic period brought interest in emotions and in their expression in art. In sculpture this was expressed in displaying extreme emotions such as suffering, joy and merriment. In architecture, this found its expression in monumental structures not necessarily based on human proportions, design without dictated rules (such as the number of columns, length width ratio, ratio between the base of the column's height, etc.) and sculptures expressing extreme emotions, which are incorporated in buildings.
        The Cosmopolitan nature of the Hellenistic period influenced architecture, by the integration of architectural elements from other cultures. Elegant and complex elements penetrated architecture under the cultural influence of Asia.
Monuments that are considered representative of Hellenistic architecture are: the monument of Lysicrates, the Mausoleum in Halicarnassus and the Temple of Zeus in Pergamon.

                     The Monument of Lysicrates
        In ancient Greece, up to the Peloponnesian wars, it was customary for a rich man to organize a choir, pay its wages during rehearsals, and finance its musical instruments for the performances. This activity was considered as liturgy or as a service for the public. Such a person financing the chorus was called choregus.
When the chorus of the choregus won competitions, sometimes he built a temple-shaped monument in memory of the victory, in a certain street where such monuments were built. One of these monuments was built by the choregus Lysicrates in 334 BCE in Athens. 
Image - The monument of Lysicrates  

        This monument, which has survived until today is known as the monument of Lysicrates. It shows the last step in the development of architecture in ancient Greece, at the eve of the victory of the Macedonians led by Philip and his son Alexander the Great. The structure looks like an immense table offerings in cylindrical shape towering on a cubic shaped basis. The roof of the structure is made of monolithic (made of one block of stone) marble.
        Corinthian pilasters are attached to the cylinder walls. Here, for the first time the Corinthian order was built on the exterior of a structure. Until then, it was customary to use the Corinthian columns on the inside of the building only. However, the architectural elements that adorn the monument are not functional but decorative.
This small and elegant structure caused great excitement in the 18th century.

        The Mausoleum in Halicarnassus
        The tendency for heroic monumentality and ornamentation typical of the Hellenistic architecture culminated in the mausoleum of Halicarnassus (335-330 BCE), considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The planners were Satyrus and Pythius. This is a mausoleum dedicated to the King Mausolus of Caria, and since then the word mausoleum has become synonymous with burial structure.
        More sculptural work was done in the mausoleum than architectural work. The construction probably began before the death Maoseolus (in 353 BCE), but continued by his wife and sister Artemisia after his death
        The structure has three different parts, three stories, 14 meters in height each. The ground floor served as the basis or the podium. Above this was a Ionic peristyle, and above the peristyle was a pyramid. Above all these, stood a marble sculptural group – a quadriga, a carriage drawn by four horses, which contained colossal figures, including possibly Maosolus.

         Pliny wrote in his book "Historia Naturalis" that the mausoleum is surrounded by a colonnade of 36 columns. According to him, the pyramidal roof above the colonnade consisted of 24 steps leading to the quadriga.
         The cosmopolitan character of the Hellenistic architecture is expressed in a mausoleum that combined different styles: the step pyramid in the mausoleum is inspired by the ziggurats, which served as temples in Mesopotamia, and by the pyramids in ancient Egypt, which served as burial structures, while the colonnade is the characteristic hallmarks of Greek architecture.
In the 12th century the mausoleum of Halicarnassos began to deteriorate, and eventually the knights of St. John used it as a quarry, to build their castle.

         The Temple of Zeus in Pergamon
         Monumental building integrated with theatrical expressive sculpture is the temple of Zeus in Pergamon, which was built in 180 BCE. It was built by the son and successor of Attalus I (ruled 241-197 BCE) on a hill above the city, in the memory of his father's victories. The restoration of the temple can be seen in Pergamon Museum in Berlin. This is a remarkable symmetrical structure with a monumental staircase, which is its central axis.
         The temple is carried on a low podium with a few steps encircling it on all sides. Along the outside of the building on the ground floor, runs a continuous frieze of about 130 meters in length, which shows the war between the gods and giants. The height of the sculpted frieze is 2.25 meters. The huge figures are carved in high relief. The war between the gods and giants was a traditional theme, which we have already seen in the Parthenon and the Siphnian treasury. Here this theme received a new meaning expressing the victory of Attalus I. Over the frieze is towering a Ionic colonnade.

         Unlike the Parthenon, the temple has a long central colonnade and short colonnades vertical to its edges, embracing those entering the temple. The difference between this structure and the Parthenon lies in the access to the building. Here the temple seems to invite the visitor to enter, while in the Parthenon, the colonnade serves as a kind of barrier between the temple, and those approaching it.
In the temple of Zeus in Pergamon we see an attempt to create intimacy between the believers and the temple. This is also reflected in the statues, which are located close to the ground, creating a direct connection between the faithful and the gods therein.

       Public Buildings
         While paying attention to urban spaces, ancient Greek architects integrated in them public buildings such as the gymnasium, palaestra, stadium, fountain and theatre.

        The gymnasium was a sports stadium. Special areas were allocated to boys and young men, where they could run, ride, box, fight, throw a disc and play ball games. It was the center of social life, similar to the agora (marketplace) and stoae (roofed columns).
Around the gymnasium were built baths, dressing rooms, storage rooms, study rooms and the like. Every Greek city had its own gymnasium; without it a city was not complete. Major cities had two high school gymnasia (plural of Gymnasium) or more.
        The connection between the gymnasium and religion was reflected in its association with a temple of a particular god or local hero. Hermes and Heracles were specifically associated with the gymnasium. A god or local hero often lent his name to the gymnasium. The preferred location for such a building was the edge of the city or suburbs where there were open spaces. However, there were also gymnasia, which were placed indoors in the city, such as in the cities Sicion and Elis. In later times, this phenomenon was more common.
        The palastra (boxing and wrestling school) was sometimes part of the gymnasium and sometimes housed in a separate place. In the palastra, the young learned wrestling from a tutor. A large number of such schools were in Athens.
        The palastra was usually built according to a standard plan. It contained a rectangular courtyard surrounded by colonnades that were part of porticos with adjoining rooms that were used for bathing, ball games, storing clothes, and social meetings.
The porticos in the northern side of the palastra were twice as deep as the other porticos to protect against weather damage. The rooms on this side of the palastra served for activities of young people and were divided into training rooms and rooms for bath and putting on powder and oils. Along the other side of the palastra were large halls, where intellectual encounters took place.
         Gymnasia were usually very close to the stadium - racetrack across 600 feet (ancient Greek unit of length) equivalent to 182 meters. Winning a race was considered a great honor.
          In the stadium, which was designed for the competition, was marked a straight and narrow path, and the spectators sat on either side. At one end of the track was usually a semicircular area designed for wrestling and the seat of the judges of the competition. In Piazza Navona in Rome the stadium set up by the Roman emperor Domitian (ruled from 81-96 CE) has remained till today

         Another public building essential to the cities of ancient Greece, was the fountain. Pausanias, the Greek geographer who lived in the second century, was particularly interested in these buildings and was intrigued by the architectural form, water quality and quantity.
         As early as during the archaic period fountains were built in luxury homes. A large public fountain was called Nymphaeum. Rulers in the seventh and sixth centuries BCE, especially loved fountains. Paintings on jars, mostly from the sixth century BCE, show fountains. Jets of water that flowed from the front of the building made it possible for people to fill their containers.
The most common design of the jets' openings was a lion's head made of stone, or less frequently - bronze. There were also fountains where a full lion's body appears. Other shapes were rare.
Along with decorative fountains, there were also plain ones with simple pipes. The building where the fountain was placed was simple for the convenience of the users. In Greco - Roman cities, such as Pompeii and Herculaneum, we find little private fountains, which were the precedents of gardens' fountains
         Greek water engineering was sophisticated enough to ensure water supply and drainage, which led to the flourishing of the city. Contrary to popular belief the Greeks knew the technique of flowing water in aqueducts. To this end, they used terracotta subterranean pipes, which transported water to the city, and filled the water tanks that stood above the ground. From the water tanks the water was transferred to little fountains found in central locations in the city. The most developed water system in the period preceding the Roman period was found in Pergamon in Asia Minor.

              The Greek Theatre
         Greek drama was very close to the beginning of religious worship as it was a part of a religious ceremony in honor of the god of wine Dionysus. This ceremony included singing and dancing in honor of the god and was held around his altar. The place where the performances were held was called Theatre (theatron, literally in Greek: A place to see).
        The Greek theater was an unroofed structure, slightly larger than a semicircle. On one side there were seats usually built on the slope of a hill, and facing it was the orchestra (literally in Greek: a dance), where the choir, which constituted a major element of classical drama, sang and danced.
        Over the years plays were presented with actors, a change that required the construction of a building from which the actors entered the stage and where they changed their costumes. This structure was called in Greek scaeni and from this derived the word "scene" in our language. The chorus remained in the orchestra, and the players moved to the area in front of the scaeni. The wall of the scaeni served as their background.
        The scaeni initially had a low stage. In later Theaters, the stage was higher and more massive, but kept the original concept: simplicity, elegance and excellent acoustics.
Like the Greek temple, the theater looks impressive too, and is considered one of the most important innovations in the history of architecture. The theater building was unusual in Greek architecture, which is essentially wrapping architecture rather than architecture in space. The theater offers interior without exterior. The auditorium is part of the landscape that integrates with it and creates an aesthetic effect.
         As opposed to the ziggurat in Mesopotamia and the Step Pyramid in Egypt where the eyes turn upwards to the sacred place, in the theater the eyes turn to the opposite direction - downwards, to watch the religious scenes on stage.
         In the first theaters plays were played before wooden scaeni, and the audience sat on wooden stairs, on stones or tamped earth floors. Luxurious theaters with marble scaeni and seats began to appear in the fifth century BCE.
         There is no trace of Dionysus theatre, which was built in the fifth century BCE. Its shape was apparently simple: a few rows of seats of wood and stone. In 330 BCE The theater was rebuilt by Lycurgus, and was built again after being destroyed in the first century.
        Dionysus Theatre from the fourth century BCE served as the prototype of theaters. It was built for an audience of 30,000 people. The stage was narrow, but had limited numbers of players. Before the stage there was the orchestra, where the choir stood. The front seats were spectacular marble chairs used by the priests.
Tragedies were played in the morning, while comedies were played in the afternoon. The playwrights were not afraid of presenting the greatest figures of the generation. They did not ignore Pericles, philosophers such as Socrates and writers like Euripides. Judges handed out awards to authors of comedies and tragedies.
In the second half of the fourth century BCE the theatre of Epidaurus was built by Polycleitus the younger. This is an elegant theater built in marble and well preserved. It seems to be acoustically perfect. As early as in the fourth century BCE, and possibly earlier, were found references to its acoustics, and various devices were used to amplify sound. The theatre of Epidaurus was a kind of model, especially in Asia Minor during the Hellenistic period. 

           Residential Buildings
         The Greek residence, unlike the Greek temple, turned inward: most rooms opened onto a courtyard with a garden inside. Each house withdrew into itself. The entrance was not highlighted and the windows were usually placed high.
         The front door was placed in the same plane as the front of the house and sometimes in a withdrawn plane. Before the door was often an altar dedicated to Apollo, who was among others, the god of streets.
         Inside, on either side of the hall were the porter's room and other rooms intended for work. The hall led into the open courtyard surrounded by columns on three sides. A roof with a slope was built above the courtyard to facilitate the collection of rain water. In the courtyard there was a water container for washing hands, faces and tools. In the center of this courtyard was an altar dedicated to Zeus Herkeios, the patron god of domestic life.
        Beside the courtyard, opposite the entrance, stood a pair of pilasters set with space between them marking the entrance to the dining room. Here the family would meet for meals and sacrifices. Here probably was also the hearth which was also a sacred place for the goddess Hestia.
          On one side of the dining room was the bedroom of the owner and his wife, and on the other side was probably the girls' bedroom, which was part of the gynaeconitis, the inside of the house which was the focus of the activities of women, and located on the top floor if there was one.
         Other rooms placed around the courtyard were the dining rooms, bedrooms, storage rooms and cells for slaves, who sometimes dwelled upstairs. Light and air entered the rooms through the courtyard. The roof was generally flat.
The houses of the rich had two courtyards arranged one after another, with the dining room between them. The courtyard near the entrance and the rooms around it were the compound of the endronitis (or endron), the compound of men, while the inner courtyard and the rooms around it was the gynekonitis, the compound of women. This division into separate compounds for men and women, was designed to preserve the woman's modesty and fidelity.
         In the endronitis the landlord would receive his guests. Here the servants and maids worked, but the latter were required to leave this compound at the moment that a male visitor entered. Since it was forbidden for women to take part in public activities, the gynkonitis was the only area reserved for them, and men were forbidden to enter it, unless they were close relatives. An entrance of a man who was not relative to the compound, even if he was a close friend of the family, was considered a felony with punishment.
         The Greek house was not a comfortable dwelling. There was no chimney, and kitchen smoke would spread in the kitchen and fade away through the door. In the winter, tenants would suffer from gusty winds because there were many openings without doors.
        Many houses had no sewage pipes or sanitary conditions. Water was brought from a nearby well. The floors were made of simple clay with small stones embedded in it. Whitewashing was done in watercolor. Rainwater would wash the plaster exposing the clay bricks. The simplicity of the construction was in marked contrast to the furniture which was designed by talented artists.
         The rebuilding of Athens after the destruction made by the Persians did not lead to building more spacious houses. Even the rich houses were simple and made of sun-dried bricks; houses were seldom built with rubble. It was rare to find windows in the houses, which had no openings except for doors. In two-story houses the windows were sometimes upstairs.
         During the Hellenistic period there were large private houses and more ornate. The interior walls were decorated with mosaics and murals, and began to be made windows of various materials: oiled cloth, sheep skin, mika, horn, thin plaster and glass. However, the architectural vocabulary of these houses remained essentially identical to that of the fifth century BCE houses.
         There were areas where there were houses with kitchen and bathing facilities. Sometimes there were separate rooms for the kitchen and bath. In some places, like Olynthos in Macedonia, as early as in the fourth century BCE there were toilets that looked like the toilets in our time. In most homes on the island of Delos, which flourished in the third and second century BCE, there were separate toilets placed adjacent to the wall nearest the street, to allow the flow of wastewater into the sewer.
        Not all Greek houses were private homes. There were also tenements called synoecia. These long houses were facing the street and several families were living there. This design had a democratic character, expressed in same size apartments arranged in two parallel rows facing the street. 
        Books on Architecture from the fifth and fourth centuries BCE tell about the house rather than presenting concepts of construction. The book Economicus by Greek historian Xenophon (431-352 BCE), which deals with housekeeping, gives an advice regarding organization of home life. Xenophon writes that the husband and the wife would live in separate rooms. Each room would have a separate door and a door shared by both rooms. Separate rooms to the landlord and his wife were intended to ensure that the husband would not be interrupted by his wife when she gives birth or when she's sick. Guests would be housed at the house adjoining the hall, to prevent disturbances to the family.

         Architectural Heritage of Ancient Greece
        The Greeks tried to get the timeless principles of proportions and succeeded. Evidence of their success is the fact that for 2,500 years their buildings served as a source of emulation. Although these buildings were severely damaged over the years, their influence can be seen today.
         The word "classic" nowadays refers to the period which we call "antiquity", and includes the magnificent culture of ancient Greece and Rome. The word "classic" in our language is also an adjective meaning "always fashionable". Originally the word class in Latin was associated with Roman classes in society, which had fixed hierarchical structure. Before the end of the second century CE, the term "classical" meant noble things or people. The humanists of the Renaissance used the word "classic" to describe a fixed value or reference to ancient Greek civilization.
The Heritage of antiquity has never disappeared, and the eternal significance that the humanists attributed to the term "classic" has been kept until today.
         Greek architecture is known to us from daily life. Many public buildings in Europe and the United-States remind us of Greek temples as the coins in our pockets remind us of ancient coins. Classical influence on Western culture has persisted throughout history. Ancient Greek temples continue to serve as a source of inspiration for architecture today, but in other contexts and in different space concept than was accepted in ancient times.
         Considerable influence of Greek architecture can be seen in nearly every subsequent period, in the form of the Greek temple and in the use of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders. Its influence can be seen in Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassic and postmodern architecture.
        As its name testifies, the Renaissance - Rinascimento dell'antiquita – (meaning "rebirth of antiquity") saw the architecture of antiquity as its main source of inspiration.

                     The Ancient Greek City
         Cities in the Archaic and Classical Periods
         After the invasion of the Dorians to the Aegean peninsula, groups of villages formed a core of a tribe and began to spread until they became a city. Mountain ranges and tongues of sea divided Greece into strips of fertile flat land, cutting them off from the other cities and leading to the formation of a community known as the city-state (polis). Every city-state was a community separate and independent having its own rules and gods. In mainland Greece and in the shores and islands of the Aegean were hundreds of such city-states.
         The development of the Greek city did not happen in a vacuum. Contact with the Near East advanced technical skills in areas such as geometry, building in stone and monumental architecture. Contact between the peoples of the Near East and the Greeks took place already during prehistory, but it was cut off for a while, and started again in the eighth century BCE.
         Some see the departure of Greece from the darkness as a result of the influence of the Near East. The invention of technologies such as work in iron, renewal of the use of bronze and the return of writing – all these originated under the influence of the Near East. There are parallels between the Phoenician and ancient Greek cities. The Phoenician cities, like Greek ones, were city-states. The Greeks, like the Phoenicians, built colonies, but the Phoenician were different from the Greek by being smaller and more crowded. The Greek cities were more influenced by Mycenae, where residential areas clustered around the monumental palaces and other public buildings. The city was primarily a political and religious center, and less community minded.
        The economic revolution that occurred in the eighth century BCE had a significant influence on the development of cities. A colonization that entailed the construction of new cities began. Some of these cities borrowed their layout from ancient cities which had been built in the same place. Such was the city of Miletus on the west coast of Asia Minor.
         Parts of archaic Miletus, whose construction started in the year 700 BCE, were arranged in a regular plan even though the streets in various regions were not laid out on the same axes.
         The tyrants greatly aided the process of urbanization. Competition between them accelerated construction projects, because they wanted to satisfy the needs of the population, preferring to build temples and water supply systems. Theron (ruled from 488 BCE), tyrant of the city of Akragas in Sicily, outdid the others by building a subterranean sewerage.
         In Attica Peninsula, small city-states were gradually swallowed up by the Athenian Empire. which with time ruled the entire Aegean peninsula. In Italy were created Greek colonies, later called Magna Graecia (Greater Greece).
         For the Greeks the polis was essentially a grouping of residents with common political religious and social traditions. The nucleus of many ancient cities was the Acropolis, a hill high enough to be defended, but not too difficult to access. Early on, at a time when kings ruled the Greek communities, there was a distinction between "polis" and the "acropolis" ("high city"). The Acropolis was a stronghold, which dominated the city, a sanctuary and seat of the king.
         In the acropolis there were the principal sacred buildings, also because it was the most honorable place and for security reasons too. The wall surrounding the acropolis, with its fortified gates, was the last opposition stronghold in the city. A wall, whose shape was sometimes irregular, surrounded the temples. In many cities, including Athens, Epidaurus, Eleusis and Priene – a propylaea or gates marked the access road to the sacred site.
         The Acropolis of Athens is the prototype of the sacred site in the cities of Greece. A gable rising against the sky was balanced by other gables, like a series of mountains. Emphasis was put on the external beauty of the temples, while their interior had a ceremonial significance only.
        The composition of the complex of buildings on the Acropolis in Athens shows an asymmetric balance, creating a sense of visual stability for elements that in a different order would constitute a chaotic collection.
         Usually, cities developed around the slopes of the acropolis. According to the Greek historian Thucydides (471-395 BCE) downtown Athens was located initially on the southern side of the Acropolis. During the classical period it spread around the Acropolis, and created a shape of a ring with the Acropolis in the center.
The sites for building temples and public buildings were chosen by the Greeks with great care. A hilltop was the favorite place for the construction of temples, while stoas were built to its foot. The colonnade faced the east to allow penetration of sunlight. Since most of the land in Greece is not planar in nature, construction sites were often flattened artificially. The Council of 500 (Bouletarion), House of Commons in Athens, was built on a flat site created artificially by cutting the base of a hill.
         The center of downtown was the agora - the marketplace. The word "agora" in Greek is "a gathering place", but the primary meaning is "assembly". The meeting place in the Greek city was neither a building nor the street, but the agora which was the "living room" of the community enabling activities outdoors for most of the year.
         Eventually the agora became the market area where meetings were held. In the Greek agora people gathered for political, religious, commercial, administrative, legal and social purposes. It was the living heart of the city. Its most striking feature, the stoa, was outlined by the edges of the open interior.
         The stoa was a separate rectangular structure (or close to a rectangle), long and narrow, with a wall along one side (the long side of the rectangle), and a colonnade along the other open side. This structure was a sort of compromise between open space and a closed building providing protection from the broiling sun of summer, and from wind and rain of winter.
         In the Athenian Agora, which was also a spiritual center, Pericles and Plato, Aristotle and Socrates, talked and held philosophical discussions. Here was an opportunity to participate for the first time in an Open University. The cloister on the north side of the Athenian agora was the meeting place of choice for the philosopher Zeno, hence the name of the school that he founded called "stoic".
        The agora's natural place in its early stages was beside the Acropolis, not far from the main entrance. Such a site was safe and comfortable. Thus, the agora and acropolis formed a double nucleus. With the passage of time the relations between the two has changed. The agora became more important than the acropolis and was the most vital element in the city.
         When the government became democratic after the rule of royalist regime, what has happened in many cities, the acropolis has lost its position as the social center. However, it still served as a fortress. The agora continued to be the focus of life in Athens throughout the ages.
         In Athens the access from the Acropolis to the agora, which is located to the northwest of it, was quick and easy. The agora developed at the foot of the Acropolis, along the road leading to the port, and was built over a long period. The early agoras were small and showed uniform shapes, details and dimension. The later agoras were longer and more regular in shape. Everyone gathered around an open central space. Being horizontal in form, they created a sense of calm and stability.
         While in cities far from the beach the agora was situated at the foot of the Acropolis, in the coastal cities it was placed on the beach. Above all, the agora was an urban space. Its buildings have been changed continuously, and changed the character of the space. It was adorned by temples, statues and public buildings, and by trees, mainly plane.
        There is no doubt that the Mediterranean weather highly influenced this type of open spaces in the city. Small spaces between the buildings led to peripheral spaces and roads leading to various parts of the city. The street system in Athens indicates that the agora was not only the center of the city, but also the center of the entire Attica region.
        The most obvious characteristic of the city- states of ancient Greece was the important and extraordinary status attributed to public buildings, which were a source of pride and fame. Much attention has gone into building magnificent buildings for community use. Homes, however, were simple and without pretension. This contrast was a most striking feature of the urban landscape.
The importance given to public buildings reflects the way the Greeks understood democracy, and characterizes the classical Greek city where the home affairs were of secondary importance compared to political, social and religious issues.
        Athens in classical and Hellenistic period was a mixture of public buildings, private homes and sacred enclosures. The importance of improving the quality of life by emphasizing the convenience of residents and city beautification was understood by politicians during the classical period, as it was advocated by tyrants during the Archaic period.
         According to Plutarch, Cimon (died 449 BCE) a general and statesman, decorated the city of Athens with relaxation spacious and elegant sites. His public projects included planting trees and organizing ways to the agora. He also ensured water supply, drainage and sanitation.
          The streets of the city-states were narrow and followed the topography. There were no streets in the lowest level in fear of flooding. Small streets and alleys were reduced into narrow flights of stairs leading to the houses. As the streets were farther from downtown, they became more spacious, but were still narrow and winding.
         Despite the importance of the streets in the cities of Greece as communication arteries, the roads were sand or gravel roads, often paved with shells or clay. In the ancient Greek city there was at least one main street from which alleys and narrow streets were split. Garbage was thrown into the street and sewage was thrown out the window into the street.
        An opportunity to rebuild Athens regularly after the devastation brought by the Persians had not been taken. Athens was rebuilt according the original plan after the Persian threat was removed and had to be built rapidly.
         Athens largely reflects the development of many other cities. An overall planning of a city did not occupy the Athenians nor the Greeks in other cities of mainland Greece. The city has developed spontaneously. Its design was essentially practical and dictated by the geography, topography and economy. The city's location was chosen mainly for security reasons, water supply, drainage and natural landscape designed to emphasize the beauty of the city.
        The Greeks distinguished between "antique" cities, which were built spontaneously and the "new" cities, which were planned. Ancient cities were seen as reflecting the freedom that characterized the Greek lifestyle. Only during the Hellenistic period, probably under the influence of the East, the main streets were organized according to the needs of public celebrations. Another consideration was sanitation.
         Hippocrates (460-377 BCE), the famous Greek physician, wrote that the east is the most healthy direction of the city. Aristotle, referring to the ideal city, pointed out that when choosing a location of a city the factors related to health should be considered. According to him, the existence of a close water source is an essential factor in choosing a site of a city. He thought that cities located on a slope facing the east and as a result exposed to winds, were healthier. The second choice, in his opinion, was a slope facing the south. Aristotle points out that the military and political interests of residents should also be considered.
         Vitruvius recommended avoiding streets that face the cardinal points, because such streets are blowing strong winds and are extremely unhealthy. In fact, there were no fixed rules or principles regarding preferred directions. On mountain slopes or ridges, the main streets were designed in curved lines as possible. The streets crossing them were straight as much as possible and steeper.
The layout of the living quarters in ancient Greece was not ambitious. Most homes in the classical period were not pretentious, at least outward, because their builders did not mean to beautify the city's architecture by building them.
         In the Greek house there was a small area for a garden. The courtyard was a small part of its compound. The streets were narrow, the houses were crowded, and the sanitation level was poor. Athens had the worst sanitary conditions.
         Parks constituted already in ancient times an integral part of the urban landscape. Athens' gardens bordered the northwestern bank of the Illissos River. Thebes was famous for its beautiful gardens. The small dimensions of the cities allowed each resident to easily reach the open landscape. It seems that during the Hellenistic period a "green belt" surrounded the giant cities.
        The Ancient Greeks had an approach based on a sense of finality - the idea that the dimensions of things are defined. The city's dimensions too were defined.
        The Greeks saw in the city an area with limited dimensions and built a series of rectangular cells making up an entire city. The city was often built on uneven terrain. When it spread to its maximum size defined by the agricultural land needed to provide the needs of its population, it reached its peak of growth. A new town began to be built in a new site, usually not far from the original. The new town was called Neopolis, (literally in Greek: a new city). When this city also reached its maximum size, another city was built and so on. Thus, the city of Miletus gave birth to about seventy cities.
Hippodamus of Miletus, city builder, political theorist, mathematician and philosopher of the fifth century BCE, most prominently expressed the tendency to impose a perfect geometric shape on the city. He is considered the inventor of the orthogonal city (grid plan).
        The need for some degree of urban design actually came up long before the Hellenistic period, when the Greeks began to establish colonial cities in Sicily and southern Italy. In order to rule the land of the new cities and perhaps also to give every resident an equal part of the land, the land was divided into rectangular blocks in a regular grid pattern.

         In his plans, Hippodamus referred not only to a rational city, but also to a perfect social order manifested in cities divided into equal squares or rectangles in grid layout. This idea reappears throughout the ages.
         Aristotle writes about an orthogonal city plan ruled by the republic. In his book "Politics" he mentions that Hippodamus planned such an ideal city for 10,000 residents. A city of more than 20,000 inhabitants, seemed to him too large.
Hippodamus divided the city into three social classes: soldiers, skilled workers and farmers. He divided the land of the city into three parts: sacred ground dedicated to the gods, public land dedicated to the state and the land of the individual.
         The division into three parts by Hippodamus is associated with the science of numbers (numerology). For him, the number three was sacred and so was the triangle. It seems that he was influenced by Pythagoras. He also divided the laws into three categories: insult, injury and murder. He was the first who believed that the city plan expressed social order. The idea of organizing public areas, planning their size and their relations were his main contribution. Hippodamus can be considered one of the first sociologists, because he understood that the social field is close to urban planning.
        Hippodamus was a resident in the city of Miletus where 50,000 people lived. In the early fifth century BCE the city was destroyed and its inhabitants were enslaved.
In 470 BCE Hippodamus was appointed to rebuild the the city of Miletus according to an orthogonal plan. As mentioned, part of the city had already been built in an orthogonal plan, before the rebuilding.
         The only city, which in the writings is attributed directly to Hippodamus, is Piraeus, the port city of Athens which was founded by Themistocles in 470 BCE. Aristotle explicitly mentions that Hippodamus planned it. The planning of Rhodes, the commerce City, in orthogonal shape was ascribed to him as well.
         Instead of adopting the shape of the wheel, the attribute of Tyche, (the Greek goddess of fortune and the patron goddess of the city, who served as a personification of the city; the shape of the wheel was associated with the closed and protective aspect of the city-state), the grid plan has been adopted as a plan of commercial cities. Aristotle writes that an orthogonal plan adds to the beauty of the place, but is not practical in terms of security.
         In the fifth century BCE, Xenophon also presented the same ideas. Aristotle, who ascribed to Hippodamus the building of an ideal city, brought to mind the theories of Hippodamus among Renaissance theorists of urbanism.

                    Cities During the Hellenistic Period
         Alexander the Great understood the city's potential as a means of propaganda and self aggrandizement. The Hellenistic cities were founded in order to support his policy and the policy of his successors. Sometimes cities were built after victory in a battle. Nicopolis (literally in Greek: city victory) is such an example. This city was built by Alexander the Great in northwestern Greece after the battle of Issus, and was a symbol of power and prestige, presaging the concept of "city of victory" which was adopted by the Roman emperors.
        The Hellenistic cities, usually located on important geopolitical sites which were to be important strategic outposts, and became centers of spreading the Greek culture in large part of the ancient world. The nature of the Hellenistic cities was not only Greek but also absorbed Asian influences.
,        Unlike the architects in the classical period, who thought in terms of individual buildings, the architects during the Hellenistic period planned larger units such as the agora or even the city. They frequently engaged in space and the balance between the space and mass of the structure, and developed ideas that were adopted later on by the Romans. Despite the interest in space, they were not interested in an impressive internal space. For them, the important space was outside.
       While in Athens and other Greek cities there were no changes in the Hellenistic period, the new Hellenistic cities expanded, flourished, and prospered. Outside mainland Greece new cities were built and the old cities have changed.

               Dura Europus
         In 300 BCE, Nicanor, military commander of Seleucus IV, established a fortified military colony in the Syrian desert, and called it Dura Europus (Dura - literally in Greek: a fortress or fortified town; Europus – Nicanor's hometown in Macedonia) . In this site there has been a settlement already during the Babylonian period, and the Hellenistic city plan followed the early city plan that was built according to the orthogonal model. The ancient Babylonian city was divided into rectangles of the same size (35X70 sq m), separated from each other by streets of different lengths as a result of the undulating topography of the site.

        The city, designed to protect the direct route between the capital cities of Antioch and Seleucia, was populated by Nicanor's soldiers, who were wealthy landowners. It was surrounded by a wall with towers, and protected from the northeast by a cliff that stood on the bank of the Euphrates. During the Hellenistic period the most important buildings in Dura Europus were the palaces in the fortress and the temples of Artemis, Apollo and Zeus. The agora was close to the center of the city. The main street was approximately 13 meters wide and the other streets were six meters wide or so.
The city's various communities lived in relative harmony. Each of its residential districts had temples, baths, fountains and public buildings.

       The ideal city plan, in the spirit of Hippodamus is well represented in Priene in Asia Minor, which was built in 330 BCE, few kilometers to the north of Miletus. The city was built on a hill, and 400 houses were arranged in terraces along the streets that ran from east to west. The streets crossing them were often staircases.
The acropolis in Priene was a protected site surrounded by a saw tooth shaped wall. The builders took advantage of the soil's structure to improve the protection of the city center, where the agora and the temple of Olympian Zeus were located. In the lower level were located the stadium and gymnasium. Seven streets were built on the east-west axis, and 15 flights of stairs on the north- south axis.
The lines of the streets were designed precisely according to the four cardinal points. The few main streets were 7.36 meters wide and the others - 4.4 meters wide. This city never flourished until the Roman period.

        The clearest concept of the Hellenistic city is provided by the city of Pergamon in northwestern Asia Minor, which was built on a hill rising 275 meters above the plain surrounding it, in the third century BCE. Pergamon was the capital of a small and rich kingdom. The main building period was the first half of the second century BCE.
       The design of the city was irregular and defined in part by the surface. A visitor approaching the city from the west, by sea, would first notice the entire city and the terrace leading to the temple of Athena. Then he would pass through a complex of public buildings until reaching the palace at the summit. Such dominant architecture influenced the Roman architects in the first century CE.

         The key important city in the Hellenistic period was Alexandria, which was founded in 331 BCE by Alexander the Great and was completed by the Ptolemaic dynasty. Alexandria is located to the northwest of the Nile's Delta and extends from the Mediterranean coast to Lake Mariot.
        The plan of the city is orthogonal with central avenue, whose width exceeded 30 meters. Only a few streets in other places could compete with such width. A main broad boulevard was also characteristic of several other Hellenistic cities.
        The city was intended to commemorate and glorify the name of Alexander the Great and has become within a short period a cultural, intellectual, political and economic center.
         In Alexandria there was a lighthouse considered one of the seven wonders of the world, likewise, in this city was located the greatest library in the ancient world.
        The city was planned by the architect Dinocrates from Rhodes, an architect with bold ideas. One of his ideas was to design the Mount Athos in human form holding a city in his left hand and a huge cup, which would collect the water from rivers and pour it to the sea with his right hand. This idea has never been realized.

        Pella, the capital of Macedonia is mentioned in the writings of Herodotus and Thucydides in the fifth century BCE, but became the greatest of the cities of Greece only in the Hellenistic period. During the rule of the Macedonian king Cassander, (ruled 302-297 BCE), the city expanded and was rebuilt in a grid pattern with streets on north-south axis, six meters in width, and streets along an east-west axis, nine meters in width, all with drainage systems.
         Little is known about the city before the period of Cassander's rule because all the residential buildings in the Old City and the cemetery were destroyed in order to build the new city.
In the center of the city there was an agora, to which led a wide main road. On a low acropolis towering above the city, stood the palace of the kings (now demolished), where Alexander the Great and his father Philip lived.
          Houses were simple in their exterior and elegant inside. The rooms in private homes were paved with mosaics with geometric patterns and large images. In the courtyards there were stone pillars. The walls, which have not survived were coated with stucco and painted.

                The Fortifications of the cities
         The city walls were the means to set its limits. At first, the Greeks focused their defense on the city center or the acropolis. It was only later that they began to fortify the entire city. Fortifications and the gates of cities were important public monuments. Beyond providing protection, the walls also had an economic significance. Sometimes the agora was placed near the gate, and shops were built along the streets that led from the gates.
         The Ionian Greeks (modern Turkey) were the first to embrace the fortification technology, being pressured by the Persians and the Lydians (residents of Lydia in western Asia Minor, now Western Turkey). In mainland Greece these innovations were absorbed slowly. Only after the wars between the Persians and the Athenians, was built a long wall with two-storey towers from Athens to Piraeus in order to protect the road leading to the bay. The Acropolis, as mentioned earlier, had already been surrounded by cyclopean walls during the Mycenaean period.
       In building fortifications the Greeks neither aspired to reach the smallest circumference, nor did they attempt to create coordination between the fortifications and the street system. Even when the town was built in grid plan, the wall plan did not depend on the city plan. Fortifications in cities such as Knidos, Priene, Dura Europus and many other Greek cities, were built without coordination with the city plan, but followed the topography.
        Plato thought that for health and moral reasons it would be better not to build city walls. According to him, the citizens should not trust the walls too much. This concept is reminiscent of Sparta which prided itself that its people were its walls. Plato suggested that the houses would be built so that they would be like a wall for the city, by being arranged in a fixed order. Aristotle disagreed with Plato, and thought that walls were useful in wartime and peacetime.

                 The Ideal City of the Greek Philosophers
         Although the city plan was basically functional, the intellectual atmosphere in the fifth century BCE led to thoughts of an ideal city, which had never been fulfilled.
         Aristotle admired the orthogonal city plan of Hippodamus, but suggested that only a few quarters and areas of the city would be built in straight lines. Thus, he believed, safety and beauty would be incorporated.
         Plato was against spontaneous and naturalistic, city of which Athens is the best example. The utopian city that he dreamed of was anti-Athenian. It was a geometric representation of the cosmos. Influenced by Pythagoras, who thought that plain circle was the most beautiful shape, Plato's ideal city was circular, divided into 12 parts located around a religious center. Each of these parts is subdivided to allow equal soil quality. Every citizen was to receive his share in the central part and the people of the lower class would get their part in the periphery. 5000 households were to appoint sons as successors. If there was no son, or if he died, the daughter's husband was appointed as successor. Excess of children had to be dispersed, by giving them for adoption or immigration. All this was suggested to ensure a constant population size.
          Plato, who thought that all citizens in the city should be equal, so that there would not be rich and poor, and to achieve absolute equality, all streets should be straight and identical, and all the houses should be identical as well.

[1] similiter vero sacrarum aedium membra ad universam totius magnitudinis summam ex partibus singulis convenientissimum debent habere commensus responsum. item corporis centrum medium naturaliter est umbilicus. inamque si homo conlocatus fuerit supinus manibus et pedibus pansis circinique conlocatum centrum in umbilico eius, circumagendo rotundationem utrarumque manuum et pedum digiti linea tangentur. non minus quemadmodum schema rotundationis in corpore efficitur, item quadrata designatio in eo invenietur. nam si a pedibus imis ad summum caput mensum erit eaque mensura relata fuerit ad manus pansas, invenietur eadem latitudo uti altitudo, quemadmodum areae quae ad normam sunt quadratae.

[2] This description is problematic because according to it are created four circles. Vitruvius was aware that this is close to the ideal evaluation. He expresses that adding "in accordance with the circular scheme that will create the body" quemadmodum schema rotundationis in corpore efficitur)

1 comment:

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