1902 Encyclopedia > Architecture > Greek Temples (cont.): Columnar Arrangement

(Part 55)

Greek Temples (cont.): Columnar Arrangement

The temples are described, according to their external arrangement, as being either in antis (i.e. with two columns between two antae), prostyle (with column is front), amphiprostyle (with columns both in front and rear), peripteral (with a single row of columns at flanks as well as at ends), dipteral (with a double row of columns at flanks(, or pseudo-dipteral (in which the inner range of columns in the peripteral is omitted.) The columnar arrangement in antis is not common in Greek architecture, though there are examples of it, generally of the Doric order. The inner porticoes, prone, of peripteral temples are, for the most part, placed in antis, as may be seen by reference to the examples in which columns stand between the antae. The Ionic temples of Athens are the principal examples of the simple prostyle. They may be called apteral, if it be necessary to distinguish them from peripteral, as the latter are prostylar; but the former term alone in sufficient. Neither does Greek architecture present more than one example, and that is at Athens also, of an amphiprostyle, except in the same peripteral structures, which are also amphiprostylar. Almost all the Doric temples are peripteral, and being peripteral, they are, as a matter of course, amphiprostylar, as has been just remarked; so that the former term alone is used in describing an edifice of that kind, with the numeral which expresses the number of columns in each of its prostyles. There are but two known examples of Greek antiquity of a pseudo-peripteral structure-the gigantic fane of Jupiter Olympius at Agrigentum, and the nine-columned edifice at Paestum. The former is not even prostyle, for the columns on its fronts are attached, as well as those on its flanks. The dipteral arrangement is found at Selinus, in an octastyle temple; and in some cases the porticoes of peripteral temples have a pseudo-dipteral projection, though no perfect example of the pseudo-dipteral exists.

The Doric order was never used by the Greeks in mere prostyle; consequently there is no Doric temple of the tetrastyle arrangement, for it is incompatible with the peripteral, the tetrastyle examples which do exist being all Ionic. Athens itself, containing a Doric tetraprostyle, may seem to contradict this; but in speaking of Greek architecture, we exclude all the examples, even in Greece itself, which were executed under the Roman dominion, for they bear the Roman impress; and among these is the portico referred to. With very few exceptions, all the Doric temples of the Greeks are hexastyle. Their queen, however, the unmatched Parthenon, is octastyle; and the pseudo-periptyeral fane of Jupiter Olympius at Agrigentum, just referred to, presents the singular arrangement, heptastyle. The misshapen monument called the Basilica, at Paestum, the Thersites of its style, has a front of nine columns, or an enneastyle arrangement. The temples of Jupiter Olympius at Athens, and of Apollo at Branchidae, had each a front of ten columns.

It may be here remarked in support of the opinion we have given as to the authority of Vitruvius, that, according to him, peripteral temples have on each flank twice the number of intercolumniations they have in front, - thus giving to a hexastyle eleven, to an octastyle fifteen columns, and so on,- whereas in the Greek temples this is never the case, for they always have more. The best examples have two, some have only one, but many have three, and in one instance there are four, more intercolumniations in flank than ion front. The famous temple at Ephesus, recently disinterred by Mr. Wood, has seven intercolumniations in front, and nineteen on the flanks. Again, he limits the internal hypaethral arrangement to those structures which are externally decastyle and dipteral, though an example, he says existed in Greece of an octastyle hypaethros, and that was a Roman structure. Now the Parthenon is an octastyle hypaethros; but all the other hypaethral temples, both in Greece and her colonies, are hexastyles, except, perhaps, the octastyle-dipteral at Selinus, and there is no evidence that the Greeks ever constructed a decastyle –dipteral temple, except that of Apollo Didymaeus at Branchidae.

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