1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Greek Doric Order: Early vs Late Styles

(Part 43)

Greek Doric Order: Early vs Late Styles

As before stated, the earliest examples of columns are the heaviest; they are also the most tapering, and there are some other details which help us in identifying the date of a Doric edifice in Greece proper. The hypotrachelium in early examples, as at Corinth, has three grooves; in later, as the Parthenon, only one. The contour also of the chief member, the echinus, varied at different dates. In the earliest it was full and round, as at Corinth, and at Assos (the latter having the greatest curve of any known example); sometimes possibly, as at Segesta, struck with the compass, but almost always part of a conic section (parabola). In later times it became less curved, and in the finest examples almost flat, as in the Propylaeum and Parthenon, but still forming part of a very delicate curve (hyperbola). In one case, at Selenious, where, to an inexperienced eye, the whole temple would appear to be of the same date, the differences alluded to contrast very strongly with each other. In the very late times of Greek work, when art became debased, the coarse round form of earlier work is exhibited, as in the Agora. The width of the abacus in early examples, as Corinth, is as much as two-sevenths the height of the shaft and cap. In later examples it diminishes to one-fifth. And as the column, so the entablature was more massive in the early examples, except in the colonies, where the old proportions continued to a late period. At Paestum the proportion of entablature to column is as 1 to 2.4; Aegina, 1 to 2.53; Theseum, 1 to 3 nearly.

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