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Prehistoric Architecture
Architecture, with all its varying phases and complex developments, must have had a simple origin in the primitive efforts of mankind to provide protection against inclement weather, wild beasts, and human enemies.
Architecture - The Historic Styles
The architecture of Egypt is characterised by massive walls and sturdy, close-spaced columns carrying stone lintels which, in their turn, support the flat roof.
Egyptian Architecture - Influences
Egypt has been said to have but two seasons, spring and summer. The climate is equable and warm. Snow and frost are unknown, while storm, fog, and even rain are rare, and these conditions have contributed to the preservation of the buildings.
Egyptian Architecture - Architectural Character
Ancient Egyptian architecture was carried on, as far as the historical period is concerned, from about B.C. 5000 to the first century of the Christian Era.
Egyptian Architecture - Examples
The Great Sphinx, Gizeh (pp. 11, 17), near Cairo, is the most famous of all the mystery-laden monuments of Old Egypt. It has remained immutable through forgotten centuries ; the austere guardian alike of the illimitable desert, and of the lost ages of the world, which stretch out, as it were, behind its gigantic form.
Egyptian Architecture - Comparative Analysis
The plan of Egyptian temples differs in many respects from the Greek. An imposing avenue of sphinxes led to the main entrance, flanked by slender obelisks which formed a strong contrast to the massive pylons.
West Asiatic Architecture - Influences
The earliest civilisation of Western Asia flourished in the fertile plains of the twin rivers, Tigris and Euphrates, and to this district tradition assigns the Garden of Eden and the four rivers of the Book of Genesis.
West Asiatic Architecture - Architectural Character
The ancient architecture of Western Asia of the historical period was being developed from about B.C. 4000 to the conquest of the country by Alexander the Great in the fourth century before Christ.
West Asiatic Architecture - Examples
Temples of the Babylonian period, of which such surprising discoveries have recently been made—as of the plans of the Temples of Marduk, and Ashur on the sites of ancient Babylon and Ashur—seem to have formed the centre, not only of religious, but of commercial and social life.
West Asiatic Architecture - Comparative Analysis
The Assyrians, who throughout this comparative table are taken to include Babylonians, erected temples and palaces on artificial platforms, reached by flights of steps, 30 to 50 ft. above the plain, for defence and protection against malaria.
Greek Architecture - Influences
Greece is surrounded on three sides by the sea, and her many natural harbours made it easy for those early traders, the Phoenicians, to carry on extensive commerce with the country. This sea influence also fostered national activity and enterprise.
Greek Architecture - Architectural Character
Greek architecture stands alone in being accepted as beyond criticism, and therefore as the standard by which all periods of architecture may be tested.
Greek Architecture - The Early Period
The Minoan Period dates back to B.C. 3000 according to Sir Arthur Evans, whose excavations of the Minoan Palace at Knossos, Crete, together with those in other parts of the island, have revolutionised theories as to the original roots of Greek art.
Greek Architecture - The Hellenic Period
The Hellenic Period includes all the principal temples and monuments erected between B.C. 700 and B.C. 146, the year of the Roman occupation, but the masterpieces of Greek architecture belong to the short space of about 150 years.
Greek Architecture - The Doric Order
The Doric Order, the most sturdy, is traced by some to an Egyptian prototype, as exemplified at Beni Hasan. The origin of the column has given rise to much speculation, but it was probably evolved quite naturally and independently of an Egyptian prototype.
Greek Architecture - The Ionic Order
The Ionic Order is specially remarkable for its volute or scroll capital, which, like so many other decorative motifs, may have been derived from the Egyptian lotus, which must have undergone sundry modifications on its way from Egypt through Assyria to Asia Minor.
Greek Architecture - The Corinthian Order
The Corinthian Order was less used by the Greeks than either the Doric or Ionic Order. The Corinthian column, with base and shaft resembling the Ionic, is generally about ten times its diameter in height, and like the other Orders was placed on a stylobate.
Greek Architecture - Corinthian Examples
The Olympieion, Athens (B.C. 174) stands on the site of an earlier Doric temple commenced by Pisistratus B.C. 530. It was begun by Antiochus Epiphanes of Syria, from designs by Cossutius, a Roman architect, and so is often regarded as a Roman building.
Greek Architecture - Theatres
The Greek theatre, which consisted of orchestra, auditorium, and stage, was generally hollowed out of the slope of a hill near a city, was unroofed, and was intended for use in the daytime.
Greek Architecture - Domestic Buildings
Greek houses resembled the palaces in general arrangement, as is seen in remains dating from the Hellenic period at Athens, Delos, and Priene. They appear to have had one storey only, grouped round an internal court or peristyle.
Greek Architecture - Tombs
The Harpy Tomb, Xanthos (B.C. 550) has boldly sculptured archaic reliefs of harpies or birds with the heads of women. It is one of the important tombs found in Asia Minor, and is in the British Museum.
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