Ancient Greek Architecture flashcards |

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City State


Open space used for a market space. A temple was constructed on its side and other government buildings were built there, such as a city hall.


A linear building with one or more rows of columns used for shops, meetings, or exhibitions. Multipurpose building. Covered space that you can look out at. Anta, colonnade, and solid wall that held a roof.

Tholos at Mycenae

Beehive tomb, called the Treasury of Atreus at Mycenae. It is a corbeled stone chamber rising 44ft in 33 horizontal courses from a circular plan 48ft in diameter, with a small chamber to the right of the entrance. Most of the stone work is covered by an earthen mound.



Aegean Megaron

A rectangular room having a central hearth and four columns supporting the roof with an atrium opening. Were used in Mycenae and Minoan cultures.


Fundamental unit of building and space. Used for ceremonial uses.


Sacred site, sanctuary, would have a temple for Greek gods and goddesses. Sacred sites were set apart from towns and villages on mountains and woods. They were neutral sites.


A colonnaded court or garden. Columns around all four sides.



An antechamber before a major space.


The shrine room in the center of the temple.


The base, usually having steps, on which a colonnaded temple sits.


The enclosed room at the back of a Greek temple, often used as a treasury.


The sanctuary of a Greek temple.


The vestibule or front porch to the shrine room in a Greek Temple.


The gable end of a temple, framed by cornices.


The horizontal elements supported by columns, consisting the architrave, frieze, and cornice.


A channeled block set between metopes in a Doric frieze.


Element of the Doric frieze, set alternately with triglyphs. Panels contain low relief carvings.


The horizontal element above the architrave and below the cornice in an entablature. Band of sculpture on the entablature.


The bottom portion of an entablature.


The uppermost part of an entablature and overhangs off the wall.


Grooves carved into the surface of the column with a tip between each flute. The tip will catch the tips leaving the groove dark, so it looks curved from far away.

In antis columns

Columns in the plane of the front and rear walls and between anta.


Wall thickenings.


A pier carved in the form of a standing women and used in place of a column.


The slight outward curve of a column which then tapers to the top of the shaft.


The carved cushion like molding that with the abacus formed the Doric capital.


Order that is the sturdiest and based on proportions of man. This column has no base and has the simplest capital atop the fluted shaft. Its entablature has a plain architrave and alternating metopes and triglyphs in the frieze, which is crowned with a cornice. Made of limestone.


Order that is lighter to reflect women. Column has a base supporting its fluted shaft and a capital with volutes. Its entablature also has an architrave and frieze. Cornice has dentils. Made of marble.




Cornice molding composed of rectangular blocks set in a row like teeth.


Order that is the slenderest one and a highly decorated capital to suggest a young maiden. Features a acanthus-leaf capital on top of a fluted shaft.

Classical Orders

Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian


The stone set directly over the capitol on a classical column.



Lowest part of a column or pier.



Convex, roughly semi-circular molding often seen at the base of a classical column.


A building with an arrangement of confusing pathways.


Smooth stone masonry laid so that the joints are visible.


A portico of columns on the front of a building.


A flat area for dancing at a Greek theater.


Orchestra backdrop structure at a Greek theater.


Was a raised platform for actors directly in front at a Greek Theater.


Named from Minos (was a name of a king or royal title). Lived on Modern day Crete Greece. Largest site is Knossos. Settlements were unfortified. Frescoes presented them as energetic and cheerful people.

Palace of Knossos - 1900 BCE

Minoan temple or palace, unfortified. Was a labyrinth and had frescoes on the walls. Lower levels of Knossos was built from ashlar masonry while the upper floors were built from walls of rubble with timbers, wooden columns, and large wooden beams. The Minoan column was a downward tapering shaft with a bulbous torus ring and abacus block capitol. The complex had lustral-basins (a pool used for ritual purification) and the complex was made up of Aegean megarons. Single cell houses were common in the Aegean region.


Named from the largest citadel there, Mycenae. They were warrior kings, who settled on mainland Greece. Settlements were heavily fortified.

Citadel of Mycenae

The city is located on high ground, protected from mountains to the north and on the south the city was flanked by two ravines. The city was concerned about defense. The fortification walls were 18-24ft thick and up to 40ft high. Construction of boulders set in position with minimal shaping and no mortar except for the sections adjacent to the gates where the stone was cut into large blocks. Used cyclopean masonry and main entrance was the Lion Gate. Had narrow passageway for defense.

Peripteral Columns

Columns placed around all sides of a building.

Temple of Hera Olympia (ca. 600-590 BCE)

Same idea of the original Greek temple but larger scale and replaced its wooden columns with stone columns and had fired-clay roof tiles. Had the Doric order and was a Archaic Greek Temple.

The Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, c. 400 BCE

Temenos built on a hillside. Had walls to mark sacred ground from normal ground. This was believed to be a Holy site, a place out in nature that was believed to be connected to the gods. They built a Temple dedicated to Apollo here. Inns, treasuries, and a Tholos Temple was built here too.

The Temple of Apollo

A Doric Temple for the God Apollo , built at Delphi.

Tholos Temple, 4th century BCE

Doric order and circular peristyle temple built at Delphi that wasn't dedicated to anyone. Oracle of Delphi (woman who could speak to the gods) lived at this temple at Delphi.


High city or city of the gods.

The City of Athens

Before this city, there was a small port village and north of it was a clearing on a mountainous hill. Built a temenos there for the goddess Athena. People would flee to the rock up cropping during warfare. They called it the Acropolis. It was always too dangerous to go home during the archaic period. People started to live on the rock. Farmers found out if they got to the rock first they would sell their crops. Markets cropped up around the acropolis. Eventually everyone moves back out of the temenos and lived outside of it. The Agora was then established at the city. A temple was constructed on its side and other government buildings were built there, such as a city hall. Founded a representative government, early democracy.

Acropolis, Athens, 421-407 BCE

Temenos for Athena. Contains the Temple of Athena Nike, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion, and the Parthenon.

The Temple of Athena Nike Acropolis, 427-424 BCE

Has Ionic style, symbolizing the characteristics of the Nike, a mystical, small, female, fairy with glowing wings. They were a good omen.

The Propylaia Acropolis, 437-432 BCE

Gateway to the Acropolis. Has the Doric order.

The Erechtheion, Acropolis, 421-407 BCE.

Had painted frescoes from other buildings stored there with statues such as the wooden statue of Athena. Used Ionic columns. Used as a storage place. Porch of maidens attached to the building later after construction. The Caryatids were Captives of war - feet and arms were bound by rope.

The Parthenon, Temple of Athena Polias, Acropolis 448-432 BCE

A Doric Temple for the Goddess Athena. Architects were Iktinos and Kallikrates. Cella is large compared to other temples. Has double height colonnade of the Ionic order(interior columns). People did not get to enter the temple. The interior space was home of the god. Only the priest could enter and see the statue of Athena in the inside. Phidias was a sculptor who helped with the design of this temple and designed it with marble instead of limestone. The metopes contained relief sculptures of struggles of Greeks and Amazons, Greeks and Trojans, gods and giants, and Lapiths and centaurs, all symbolizing the Greek triumph over barbarism.

Settle Refinements to the design of the Parthenon

The four columns on the corner are wider and moved on the diagonal by just a little bit. The columns on the side leans inwards a little bit. Stylobate and the Entablature curved along the center and back down again. Changes were done to adapt it so that it looked perfect from far away. This was done by entasis. The ornament was organized on the temple. Will only find ornament on the pediment, entablature and frieze within. Interior columns was Ionic order. Statue of Athena sat inside.

Spear Bearer (Doryphoros), Polykleitos, c. 440-430 BCE

Bronze statue that symbolized human proportion and served as a model to sculptors. Showed perfect body in motion and perfect balance. Statue built by Polykleitos. Statue originally had a bronze spear.

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