As far as mnemonic devices are concerned, DIC an essential for classical Greek architecture. Not only does DIC put the orders: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian in chronological order but also is relevant to the phallic characteristics of the columns where the orders are most evident. Another way to remember the orders in order is to picture the Coliseum. Even though it is Roman the floors of the Coliseum exemplify the orders in order. The first floor has Doric columns, the second has Ionic columns, and the third has Corinthian.

Greek Architecture revolves around temples, as did life of the ancient Greeks. The type of construction used is known as post and lintel. This type of construction is where a horizontal beam is placed on top of two vertical beams. The most popular space exemplifying this type of construction is Stone Henge. However effective this type of construction also limited the span of the buildings. Supports had to be close together in order to construct a large building.

Early Architecture:

The earliest known temples were built with materials such as wood and thatching although convenient they were not durable. Along with the coming of the seventh century came the use of stone for building. The Greeks at the time were greatly influenced by the Egyptians who relied solely on stonework for their architecture. Stone was also a readily available and therefore became the only material the Greeks saw fit for building.

Doric Characteristics:

The first and most simplified of the Classical Greek orders. Archeologists believe the Doric order evolved directly from the wood and mud brick construction. The order itself is traditionally linked to Dorian and Peloponesian spheres of influence.

Relationship between the lower diameter of the column and the height of the column ranged from 1:4.7 to 1:6.4.

Many archaeologists attribute the decline of the Doric order to this fact: it was impossible to place a triglyph over the exact center of each column and the space, which followed; the Greeks therefore saw the structure as awkward.

Ionic Characteristics:

Greeks who had left the mainland and settled along the coast of Asia Minor created the Ionic order. These colonizers set up great towns such as Ephesis and Miletus whose inhabitants were eventually referred to as Ionians. The Ionic order is based on the same geometrical principles as the Doric order therefore they are quite similar. The main difference between the two styles is the decoration of the column capital, the slender column, a frieze without triglyphs, and an intricate base.


Very few differences between the Ionic and Corinthian orders exist. The capital is the only major difference. The Corinthian capital is very ornate with foliage. The columns are characteristically tall and slender. This order was used more often by the Romans than the Greeks.

Greek Buildings:

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