Study Guide #1

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Abacus

At the top of a capital, a thick rectangular slab of stone that serves as the flat, broad surface on which the architrave rests.

Capital

The upper most part of a column, usually shaped to articulate the joint with the lintel or arch supported; in Classical types, comprising an abacus, echinus, and other carved detail.

Cella

The body and main sanctuary of a Classical temple, as distinct from its portico and other external parts; sometimes used synonymously with naos, the principle room of a temple where the cult statue is housed.

Clerestory

A part of a building that rises above adjoining rooftops and is pierced by window openings to admit light to the interior

Column

A vertical, usually cylindrical, support, commonly consisting of a base, shaft, and capital; in Classical architecture, its parts are governed by proportional rules.

Cornice

The uppermost, projecting portion of an entablature; also the crowning horizontal molding of a building or wall.

Doric Order

The column and entablature developed on mainland Greece; the fluted columnar shaft is without a base; its capital is an abacus above a simple cushionlike molding (echinus). The entablature has a plain architrave, a frieze composed of metopes and triglyphs, and a cornice with projecting blocks (mutules). In Roman Doric, the column is slimmer that the Greek prototype, is unfluted, and stands on a low base; the capital is smaller.

Echinus

A convex, cushionlike molding between the shaft and the abacus in the Doric or Tuscan order; in an Ionic capital, found beneath the volutes, generally in decorated form

Entablature

The upper part of a Classical order comprising architrave, frieze, and cornice.

Fluting

The shallow concave channels cut vertically into the shaft of a column or pilaster. In Doric columns, they meet in a sharp edge (arris); in Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite columns, they are separated by a narrow strip.

Guttae

Beneath each triglyph in a Doric entablature, small conical projections that may represent the wooden pegs used in the timber prototypes of the Greek temple.

Ionic Order

One of the five classical orders, the Ionic is characterized by a scroll-shaped (voluted) capital element, the presence of dentils in the cornice, and a frieze that might contain continuous relief ornament.

Megalithic

Prehistoric monuments made of or containing megaliths.

Metope

In the frieze of a Doric Order, the rectangular area between triglyphs; often left plain but sometimes decorated with relief ornament.

Naos

The principle enclosed area of a Greek temple, containing the cult statue of god or goddess.

Obelisk

A stone pillar, typically having a square or rectangular cross section and a pyramidal top, set up as a monument or landmark.

Peristyle

A continuous colonnade around a courtyard or around the exterior of a building.

Pilaster

A column in flattened, rectangular shape, projecting slightly from the face of the wall.

Pylon

In ancient Egyptian architecture, the sloping, towerlike walls flanking the entrance to a temple.

Stereobate

A solid mass of masonry serving as a foundation for a wall or row of columns.

Megaron

The principle hall of an Aegean dwelling, oblong in shape and sometimes subdivided into a larger and smaller section by a range of columns; thought to be the ancestor of the Greek temple plan.

Prostyle

A classical temple having columns across the front, set in a line forward on the side walls of the cella.

Amphiprostyle

A classical temple type with a portico at both it front and rear.

Peripteral

Pertaining to a building surrounded by a row of columns on all sides.

Dipteral

Referring to a temple surrounded by a double range of columns.

Distyle

A temple with two columns across the front and back

Tetrastyle

A temple with four columns across the front and back

Hexastyle

A temple with six columns across the front and back

Octastyle

A temple with eight columns across the front and back

Ennastyle

A temple with nine columns across the front and back

Decastyle

A temple with ten columns across the front and back

Trabeation

A architectural system using a horizontal beam over supports, as opposed to an arched or arcuated system; synonymous with post and lintel.

Ziggurat

Mesopotamian. A rectangular stepped tower, sometime surmounted by a temple.

Battered Wall

A wall that is sloped

Architrave

A square beam that is the lowest of the three horizontal components of a Classical entablature

Caryatid

A sculpted female figure used as a support in place of a column or pier

Coffering

Recessed panels, square or polygonal, that ornament a vault, ceiling, or the underside (soffit) of an arch.

Corbeled Arch

Masonry constructed over a wall opening be a series of courses projecting from each side and stepped progressively further forward until they meet at midpoint; not a true arch.

Dolmen

A prehistoric monument composed of two large stones placed upright with a covering stone slab, forming chamber.

Drum

1. The cylindrical or polygonal wall supporting a dome. 2. One of the cylindrical sections comprising the shaft of a column.

Engaged Column

A column attached to or appearing to be partly embedded within a wall

Entasis

The slight swelling of the vertical profile of a Classical column as it tapers towards the top to counteract the illusion of concavity that accompanies straight-sided columns.

Frieze

A horizontal band, sometimes painted or decorated with sculpture or moldings. It may run along the upper portion of a wall just beneath a cornice or it may be that part of a Classical entablature that lies between the architrave and cornice. A Doric frieze often has continuous relief sculpture.

Hypostyle

A structure-usually a large hall-in which the roof is supported by many rows of columns. The term is frequently applied to ancient Egyptian temples.

Mastaba

Derived from the Arabic word meaning "bench," mastaba refers to a type of Egyptian tomb, rectangular in shape and formed with sloping sides and a flat top, with a passage leading to an underground burial chamber.

Menhir

A tall upright stone of the kind erected in prehistoric times in western Europe.

Mortise and Tenon

A method of wood joining whereby a board formed with a projecting tongue (tenon) is fitted into a board hole (mortise) of corresponding shape.

Necking

A narrow ringlike molding between the bottom of a capital and the top of the shaft of a column

Peripteral

Pertaining to a building surrounded by a row of columns on all sides

Pier

A massive vertical support often rectangular in plan and therefore differing from a column, sometimes having its own capital and base. When combined with pilasters, columns, or shafts, it is called a compound pier. Its proportions are far more variable than a Classical column. Pier is also the term used for the solid mass between windows, doors, and arches.

Post and Lintel

A system of construction in which two or more uprights support a horizontal beam; also called trabeated.

Raking Cornice

either of two straight, sloping cornices on a pediment following or suggesting the slopes of a roof

Stylobate

The continuous platform of masonry on which a colonnade rests; the uppermost level of the stepped base (crepidoma) of a Greek temple.

Tholos

In Greek architecture, a circular building; also in Mycenaean architecture, a circular tomb of beehive shape.

Trigylph

In a Doric frieze, the projecting block marked by vertical grooves (glyphs) between the rectangular areas known as metopes.

Cyclopean Wall

Constructed without mortar of irregular stones so hugh it was late believed to be the work of a mythical race of giants called Cyclopes.

Stonehenge

Salisbury Plain, England c. 3000 B.C.

King Zoser's Funerary complex

Step Pyramid Saqqara, Egypt c. 2750 B.C.

Cheops (Khufu)

First Pyramid of Giza, Egypt c. 2570 B.C.

Chefren (Khafre)

Second Pyramid of Giza, Egypt c. 2530 B.C.

Mycerinus (Menkure)

Thrid Pyramid of Giza, Egypt c. 2500 B.C.

Funerary complex of Queen Hatshepshut

Deir el Bahari, Egypt c. 1470 B.C.

Temple of Karnak and Luxor

Egypt c. 1100 B.C.

Temple of Horus-Edfu

Egypt c. 305-330 B.C.

Ziggurat of Ur

Sumer, Ur c. 2150-2050 B.C.

Palace of Knossos

Island of Crete c. 1700-1400 B.C.

Treasury of Atreus

Mycenae c. 1200 B.C.

Tomb of Clytemenstra

Mycenae c. 1250 B.C.

Lion Gate

Mycenae c. 1250 B.C.

Temple of Hera I (Basilica)

Paestum, Italy c. 530 B.C.

2nd Temple of Hera (Poseidon)

Paestum, Italy c. 460 B.C.

Temple E

Selinus, Island of Sicily c. 465-450 B.C.

Temple of Concord

Agrigentum, Sicily c. 430 B.C.

Parthenon

Acropolis, Athens, Greece c. 447-438 B.C.

Temple of Athena-Nike

Acropolis, Athens, Greece c. 420 B.C. (small temple)

Erectheum

Acropolis, Athens, Greece c. 420 B.C.

Acropolis

Athens, Greece begun c. 400 B.C.

Propylea

Acropolis, Athens, Greece c. 437-432 B.C.

Oracle at Delphi

Delphi, Greece c. 370 B.C.

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