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ARCHITECTURE:
of the Greeks. Of the earliest efforts of the Greeks in architecture, we have evidence in the so-called Cyclopean Walls surrounding the castles of kings in the Heroic Age at Tiryns, Argos, Mycenae (fig. 1), and elsewhere. They are of enormous thickness, some being constructed of rude colossal blocks, whose gaps are filled up with smaller stones; while others are built of stones more or less carefully hewn, their interstices exactly fitting into each other. Gradually they begin to show an approximation to buildings with rectangular blocks. The gates let into these walls are closed at the top either by the courses of stone jutting over from each side till they touch, or by a long straight block laid over the two leaning side-posts. Of the latter kind is the famous Lion-gate at Mycenae, so-called from the group of two lions standing with their forefeet on the broad pedestal of a pillar that tapers rapidly downwards, and remarkable as the oldest specimen of Greek sculpture. The sculpture is carved on a large triangular slab that fills an opening left in the wall to lighten the weight on the lintel (fig. 2). Among the most striking relies of this primitive age are the so-called Thesauroi, or treasuries (now regarded as tombs) of ancient dynasties the most considerable being the Treasure-house of Atreus at Mycenae. Theusual form of these buildings is that of a circular chamber vaulted over by the horizontal courses approaching from all sides till they meet. Thus the vault is not a true arch (fig. 3). The interior seems originally to have been covered with metal plates, thus agreeing with Homer's descriptions of metal as a favourite ornament of princely houses. An open-air building preserved from that age is the supposed Temple of Hera on Mount Ocha (now Hagios Elias) in Euboea, a rectangle built of regular square blocks, with walls more than a yard thick, two small windows, and a door with leaning posts and a huge lintel in the southern side-wall. The sloping roof is of hewn flagstones resting on the thickness of the wall and overlapping each other; but the centre is left open as in the hypaethral temples of a later time. From the simple shape of a rectangular house shut in by blank walls we gradually advance to finer and richer forms, formed especially by the introduction of columns detached from the wall and serving to support the roof and ceiling. Even in Homer we find columns in the palaces to support the halls that surround the courtyard, and the ceiling of the banqueting-room. The construction of columns (see ARCHITECTURE, ORDERS OF) received its artistic development first from the Dorians after their migration into the Peloponnesus about 1000 B.C., next from the Ionians, and from each in a form suitable to their several characters. If the simple serious character of the Dorians speaks in the Doric Order, no less does the lighter, nimbler, and more showy genius of the Ionian race come out in the Order named after them. By about 650 B.C. the Ionic style was flourishing aide by side with the Doric. As it was in the construction of Temples (q.v.) that architecture had developed her favourite forms, all other public buildings borrowed their artistic character from the temple. The structure and furniture of private houses (see HOUSE), were, during the best days of Greece, kept down to the simplest forms. About 600 B.C., in the Greek islands and on the coast of Asia Minor, we come across the first architects known to us by name. It was then that Rhaecus and Theodorus of Samos, celebrated likewise as inventors of casting in bronze, built the great temple of Hera in that island, while Chersiphron of Cnosus in Crete, with his son Metagenes, began the temple of Artemis (Diana) at Ephesus, one of the seven wonders of the world, which was not finished till 120 years after. In Greece Proper a vast temple to Zeus was begun at Athens in the 6th century B.C. (see OLYMPIEUM), and two more at Delphi and Olympia, one by the Corinthian Spintharus, the other by the Elean Libon. Here, and in the Western colonies the Doric style still predominated everywhere. Among the chief remains of this period, in addition to many ruined temples in Sicily (especially at Selinus and Agrigentum), should be mentioned the Temple of Poseidon. at Paestum (Poseidonia) in South Italy, one of the best preserved and most beautiful relies of antiquity (figs. 4, 5). The patriotic fervour of the Persian Wars created a general expansion of Greek life, in which Architecture and the sister art of Sculpture were not slow to take a part. In these departments, as in the whole onward movement, a central position was taken by Athens, whose leading statesmen, Cimon and Pericles, lavished the great resources of the State at once in strengthening and beautifying the city. During this period arose a group of masterpieces that still astonish us in their ruins, some in the forms of a softened Doric, others in the Ionic style, which had now found its way into Attica, and was here fostered into nobler shapes. The Doric order is represented by the Temple of Theseus (fig. 6), the Propylaea built by Mnesicles, the Parthenon, a joint production of Ictinus and Callicrates; while the Erechtheum is the most brilliant creation of the Ionic order in Attica. Of the influence of Attic Architecture on the rest of Greece we have proof, especially in the Temple of Apollo at Bassae in South-Western Arcadia, built from the design of the above-mentioned Ictinus. The progress of the Drama to its perfection in this period led to a corresponding improvement in the building of Theatres (q.v.). A stone theatre was begun at Athens even before the Persian Wars; and the Odeum of Pericles served similar purposes. How soon the highest results were achieved in this department, when once the fundamental forms had thus been laid down in outline at Athens, is shown by the theatre at Epidaurus, a work of Polyclitus, unsurpassed, as the ancients testify, by any later theatres in harmony and beauty. Another was built at Syracuse, before B.C. 420. Nor is it only in the erection of single buildings that the great advance then made by architecture shows itself. In laying out new towns, or parts of towns, men began to proceed on artistic principles, an innovation due to the sophist Hippodamus of Miletus. In the 4th century B.C., owing to the change wrought in the Greek mind by the Peloponnesian War, in place of the pure and even tone of the preceding period, a desire for effect became more and more general, both in architecture and sculpture. The sober Doric style fell into abeyance and gave way to the Ionic, by the side of which a new Order, the Corinthian, said to have been invented by the sculptor Callimachus, with its more gorgeous decorations, became increasingly fashionable. In the first half of the 4th century arose what the ancients considered the largest and grandest temple in the Peloponnesus, that of Athena at Tegea, a work of the sculptor and architect Scopas. During the middle of the century, another of the "seven wonders," the splendid tomb of Mausolus at Halicarnassus was constructed (see MAUSOLEUM). Many magnificent temples arose in that time. In Asia Minor, the temple at Ephesus, burnt down by Herostratus, was rebuilt by Alexander's bold architect Deinocrates. In the islands the ruins of the temple of Athena at Priene, of Apollo at Miletus, of Dionysus at Teos, and others, even to this day offer a brilliant testimony to their former magnificence. Among Athenian buildings of that age the Monument of Lysicrates (q.v.) is conspicuous for its graceful elegance and elaborate development of the Corinthian style. In the succeeding age Greek architecture shows its finest achievements in the building of theatres, especially those of Asiatic towns, in the gorgeous palaces of newly-built royal capitals, and in general in the luxurious completeness of private buildings. As an important specimen of the last age of Attic architecture may also be mentioned the Tower of the Winds (q.v.) at Athens.
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PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
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