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Greek Architecture - Domestic Buildings

( Originally Published 1921 )

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. Vitruvius (Bk. VI, chap. x), referring to the general arrangement, says there was no atrium, but a peristylium with porticoes on three sides, and chambers grouped around. It is generally held that the Graeco-Roman houses at Pompeii may be taken as typical of those erected in the Hellenic period by the Greeks themselves, though there are indications at Pompeii that there was often more than one storey. These houses certainly give an insight into the habits and domestic life of the period (p. 179).


Propylaea, or entrance gateways, were erected in many of the principal cities of Greece, such as Athens, Epidauros, Sunium, Eleusis, and Priene.

The Propylaea, Athens (B.C. 437432) (pp. iv, 75, 110), erected under Pericles by the architect Mnesicles, form the imposing entrance gateway to the Acropolis approached by a steep ascent from the plain below. The front and rear hexastvle Doric porticoes are on different levels, and give access to a covered hall with wide central passage flanked by Ionic columns and with an eastern wall with five doorways of different heights. The projecting wings on either side of the front or western portico have three Doric columns, smaller than those of the central porticoes. The northern wing, provided with windows, was used as a pinacotheca or picture gallery, but the southern wing was never completed, probably to avoid encroaching on the sacred precincts of the Temple of Nike Apteros. The general appearance, showing the important position of the Propylaea as part of the world-famous group of Acropolis buildings, is shown in the view (p. iv).

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