March 28 notes
Religious architecture: Corinthian order
- Considered to be invented in Hellenistic period but it is untrue. It is during this period that the
Corinthian column is employed on exterior of structures.
- The popularity went into the roman period, especialy during augustus.
- Vitruvius says it was invented by sculptor Callimachus. He says Callimachus got the diea for this
order by looking at Corinthian funerary monuments. Do have some evidence it was used from
5 century onwards.
- For this order, the conrinthian column first appears at temple of Apollo epicurius at bassae (450-
400 BC). Very well preserved.
o Built under unsual circumstances. Was designed by iktinos (Parthenon). It is aligned
north south (usually east west), principal entrance on north. 38.3 x 14.5 m. has a doric
peristyle, 6 x 15 columns. Three rooms: proanos, cella, opisthodomos.
o The pronaos, supported by ionic columns. Have continues ionic frieze inside, depicted
Athenians in battle with amazons, lapiths fighting centaurs. But the frieze is inside,
o The temple also had one Corinthian column inside. It mixes all three orders from
classical, ionic, doric and Corinthian.
o The Corinthian column is the earliest example of this order. This column has canthis
leafs. The capital is different, the shaft is slender and has the same number of flutes. Its
really only the capital that is different.
- Why does this appear at bassae? We aren’t sure. Often the inclusion is explained as being
connected to the reason why it was built in the first place. Believed it was made as a response to
the great plague that broke out in pelop war. So Apollo as a healing god. So some say the
column had funerary associations. But have no evidence of it in a funerary context. Some say
just for decoration, others say it did have some sacred association. Best bet is the sacred
- Whats clear, the Corinthian order from this time and on was seen as appropriate for the interior
of temples. Tholoi: Delphi, Epidaurus, philippeion. See at temple of Athena alea in tegea. See it
at temple of zeus at nemea. This continues into early Hellenistic, like didyma and arsinoeion.
- So it probably did have some sacred meaning, just don’t know if it pre-dates bassae or because
of bassae. That’s the problem.
- Earliest example of use on exterior is temple of Olympian zeus, Athens. Aka the olympieion.
o Temple initially planned to be doric, work was intiated on it around 550 BC under
direction of the tyrant peisistratos. The building, incoimplete, destroyed after his death.
New building intited in 520 by his two sons. (hippias and Hipparchus.) the new temple
was gonna be a monster which uis why they destroyed the older one. They wanted to
make one to surpass all those on mainland and in asia minor.
o Supposed to be made of limestone, on a platform measuring 41 x 108 m. initially would
be flanked by doric colonnade, dipteral, 8 x 21 columns.
o Worked abandoned when hippias expelled. Very little expect for platform had been
o Work remained unfinished for next 330 years or so. Why was it never completth, don’t
want association with tyrants. Worked did resume in 174 bc. Antiochus 4 epiphanes,
unsual Seleucid king. He presented himself as the earthly embodiment of zeus. He went
around saying he was zeus.
o Vitruvius does say the sculptor was a roman citizen. (cossutius, the roman) o Under the new program, the design was changed w=to have three rows of 8 columns in
fornt and back. two rows along side, 20 columns. (massive).. material changed to
pentellic marble, making it more expensive. The order was changed to the Corinthian
order from doric. The patron did view himself was walking incarnation of zeus, he
usurped the sacred form of the Corinthian column and spread it across the ancient
world as an expression as who he embodied. He didn’t live long, so work halted in 164.
By this point, only half finished. It suffered more destruction in 86 when sulla sacked
Athens. We know sulla took some incomplete columns from temple and re-used in
temple of Jupiter on Capitoline hill.
o See the romans convert the form to the dominant order for their own religious
o Temple finally finished during reign of Hadrian, 129, 681 years after work first started on
Monumental funerary architecture
- Monumental tombs of this period, occupy this special place in Greek architecture. Show more
freedom of design and variety of form. No two large tombs looked alike. Most of the grandiose
and ostentatious were constructed for people of means. The tombs we look at, powerfully
expressive and frequently symbolic. The idea was to glorify the dead person and to reserve for
the dead the immortality of the gods.
- Beside temples, various structures have inspiration. These were meant to be seen and for
durability and permanence.
- Earliest known monumental tombs and set trend is the nereid monument in xanthos, 4 c. BC
o New combinations of architecture. From greek, eastern and local socurces.
o Later developments, see variations in forms and results from differences in climate,
material, local cultural views.
o The process of assimilating new ideas and thus creating an expressive and novel
funerary architecture was welcomed by everyone.
o Had more or less 4 major ones
▪ Built tombs.
▪ Rock-cut tombs
▪ Mixed, partly built and rock.
o Every one has sub types too.
o Built tombs jus include masonry structures, of single stone or many different types. And
use different types of masonry.
o Rock-cut tombs are cut into stone, often of conspicuous architectural façade.
o Tumuli are a separate group due to form. Circular in plan, low and wide mounts. Usually
consists of built and rock cut tombs too. Sometimes has grave markers, to emphasize
the fact they should be noticed. Many often have a dr