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architectures language and you know when you learn a new vocabulary word you start to notice it for the first time everywhere well the same thing happens with architecture when you learn a new architectural form you start to see it everywhere and that's especially true of the classical orders because these are what are essentially the building blocks of Western architecture and they've been used for 2,500 years we're basically talking about styles of architecture that the ancient Greeks had developed mostly for their temples and you're right that we've continued to use and we've got several contemporary examples up along the top but what's important to remember is that it's just a fancy dressing really of a basic ancient building system so we brought in Stonehenge to illustrate that ancient building system called post and lintel architecture this is the most fundamental most basic oldest kind of architectural system the posts are the vertical elements and they support a horizontal element called a lintel and you know what we still use this basic system when we nail two by fours together and that's what the Greeks were doing but they were doing it in a much more sophisticated way right they developed decorative systems and that's what we're referring to when we use the term classical orders there are three basic orders the Doric the ionic and the Corinthian there's a couple extra but we're not going to go into those today but we've listed them here for you just so you know what they are at the Tuscan and the composite so the Doric and ionic and Corinthian are illustrated here in this diagram first the Doric then the ionic and then the last two are Corinthian these are just slight variations of these three orders and the Doric is really the most simple the ionic a little bit more complicated and then the Corinthian completely out of control so let's start with the oldest order the Doric order right and we think that this order began in the seventh century on the mainland in Greece and we're looking at an actual Greek temple that happens to be in Italy but nevertheless is just a great example of the Doric in the classic era let's start at the top with the pediment the pediment isn't officially part of the order but since Greek temples had at one end or the other a pediment we just thought we would name that for you and that's that triangular space at the very top of the temple right these are gabled roofs sometimes they would be filled with sculpture the next area below the pediment is actually officially part of the order and that's called the entablature okay so that would be the area from about here to here and the top part of the entablature is called the frieze okay so only this part right here is known as the fruit so in other words this whole section right and in the Doric order it is decorated in a very specific way using triglyphs and metope is actually if you look at the word try glyph you notice that the prefix is try just like tricycle it means three and the suffix glyph means mark so a tri glyph literally means three marks and you can see patterns of three marks moving all the way across the frieze and then in between the triglyphs are spaces that are called meta peas and in ancient Greek architecture these were often filled with sculpture now the triglyphs we don't think are just arbitrary we think that they probably came from a time when temples were built out of wood and these would have been the ends of planks that would have functioned as beams in the temple and they would have of course been supported directly over the columns you'll notice that every other one at least is aligned directly over the columns so as we move down the temple the next area we come to is the Capitol and this is a door Capitol it's very simple it's got like Flair and then it's got a simple slab on top so the Doric is the oldest the most severe and was associated according to the ancient Roman architectural historian Vitruvius with masculine form it is broad it's not tall and it feels heavy it does as we continue to move down we come to the area that we commonly call the column but our historians call the shaft and if you look closely you can see that it is not entirely plain there are actually vertical lines that move across the entire surface known as flutes now in the Doric a flute is very shallow and really what it is is it's kind of scalloped that's been carved out of the surface and what fluting does is it creates a nice vertical decorative pattern along the shaft now one of the other defining features of the Doric order is that at the bottom of the shaft there is no decorative foot the shaft of the column goes straight into the floor of the temple and you can see that really well in the detail on the lower right where there's no molding there to make a transition so let's have a look at what these look like in person capitals are up high so we would never see a person next to them I think it's easy to not realize just how big they are but I snap this terrific picture of you at the British Museum next to a Capitol that actually comes from the most famous Doric temple on the Acropolis in Athens right the Parthenon and they really are massive and this photo is good also for seeing in this case a reconstruction but giving you a sense of the entablature with that fries with triglyphs and metope sand we've got an example on the right of a relief sculpture that was for one of the met appease on the Parthenon right so this manatee here would have actually fit right in one of these squares let's talk about one last element that we find in Doric architecture and that's something called nth ASIS now this is a little tricky because I think most people assume that a column is straight up and down that is the sides of a column are parallel with each other and the base of a column is just as wide as the area directly below the capital but in fact the ancient Greeks didn't build their temples that way no it's fascinating to think about all the ways that the ancient Greeks are thinking about how to make their buildings beautiful and speak of the realm of the gods and so when we look at an ancient Doric temple we see that the shafts swell a little bit toward the centre so right about a third of the way down they would be at their widest and it would taper ever so slightly towards the bottom and taper much more so as we move up to the top so that the narrowest point of the column shaft would be right at the top and the widest part would be about a third of the way from the base and so the building has a sense of liveliness that I think it wouldn't have if the column was exactly the same width at the top as at the bottom architectural historians have debated why the Greeks bother to do this because this was expensive this was difficult it meant that every drum that makes up this column had to be an individual unique piece it these could not be mass measured and mass produced right so you just used the word drum so the columns are not actually carved from one piece of stuff and if you look very carefully at this photograph I can just make out the seams between those drums there would also generally been a hole that would have gone through the center of each of these pieces so that a piece of wood sometimes would actually string them together almost like beads on a necklace one of the other things that and TASIS does is to emphasize the verticality of the temple because they get narrower as they go further up it seems as if the shaft of the column might actually be taller than it really is because of course as things move away from us they get smaller and scaled so the Greeks are thinking about human perception they're thinking about how we see not just an abstract idea of math and geometry but actually human experience which says something about ancient Greek culture one last detail the intesa gives the shaft of the column a sense of almost elasticity that it is bearing the weight of the stone above it it's really fascinating to think about all of these decisions that the Greeks are making as they build so let's look at the ionic order which emerges shortly after the Doric order here's another building on the Acropolis this is the erect Eon this is such a different aesthetic there's such a sense of delicacy here there is not that sense of mass that sense of the muscularity of the buildings that we associate with the door and in fact Vitruvius the ancient roman architectural historian saw this as a more feminine order it's taller it's thinner now one of the columns from this building in Greece is in the Museum in London we have some good photographs of it and you can see the distinguishing feature really is at the top at the Capitol where we see these scroll like shapes also known as volumes we also see a slightly different type of fluting and we also importantly see a base let's move to the Corinthian order this looks really different and is the most decorative and the distinguishing feature here is again the Capitol where we see reef like shapes they also have bases they tend to be taller than the Doric just like the ionic but they are highly decorative there's a great myth about the origin of the Corinthian capital it's a kind of fun story of course we have no idea whether this is true but the story is that there was a young girl who died and her possessions were placed in a basket and put on top of her grave underneath that basket was a canthus plant that began to grow and because the heavy basket with the tile on top was on top the acanthus leaves grew out to the side well if we're looking at corinthian column it really does look like that it looks exactly like that and so it's a great myth whether or not it's true so the Corinthian order is the most complex it includes both the scroll that we would expect to see in the ioniq evaluates right but also these very complex leaf like forms which you can just make out here which is actually from the acanthus leaf and we have a photograph of an acanthus leaf right down here and these grow wild so it makes sense what's important to remember is that the ancient Greeks although they developed these three classical orders for just the Genesis the Romans took these ideas over and then subsequently people who have looked back to the classical tradition have borrowed from them yet again and we still do this today and there you have it the Greek orders you
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