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Hellenistic Architecture

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Mag B

on 31 March 2016

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Transcript of Hellenistic Architecture

Hellenistic Architecture
Religious Buildings
Town Planning
Temple of Artemis, Ephesus
323 BC
Temple of Apollo, Didyma
331 BC
Altar of Zeus, Pergamon
Week 06
Maged Elsamny, PhD
Stoa of Attalos, Athens
The Agora, Athens
• The Temple of Artemis (Diana), dedicated to the
Greek goddess Artemis
(Goddess of the moon, hunt, childbirth, and virginity,) and occupied the site of two previous temples in
Ephesus (near Seljuk in Turkey)
• The
oldest archaic temple
was built in the
7th century and destroyed by a flood
. Later it was
rebuilt by Ctesiphon (B.C. 550), and was burnt in B.C. 356 by Herostratus
(who was seeking fame at any cost, thus the term
herostratic fame
on the night of the birth of Alexander The Great
. The later temple, regarded as
one of the seven wonders of the world

In 323 BC
, the temple was
reconstructed after the death of Alexander the Great, and then it was destroyed again in 268 A.D. by the Goths.

Remains of the temple were used in the construction of later buildings.
• The temple was the first to be
entirely of marble and one of the largest Greek temples ever built, measuring some 115 x 46 meters.

The temple had 127 ionic columns, each 13m high
. Vitruvius describes it as
dipteral octastyle
. The few
scattered artifacts
, however,
do not reveal a ground plan.
• One arrangement of the requisite number of columns is to have a double row of 21 along the sides, 3 rows of 8 columns on the principle façade, 2 rows of 9 columns at the rear, and the remainder filling the pronaos and opisthodomos (the front and back porches). Thirty-six of these columns were carved with reliefs, one of them by Scopas, who also worked on the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
• Many of the remains, both of the archaic and later temples are now in the British Museum.
• In addition to the
there were a
and staircases leading to the roof. The cella which housed the
goddess’s cult image
is believed to have had super-imposed columns to carry the roof.
• The building externally must have been one of the
most impressive among Greek temples, owing to its size, and the sculptures it housed.
Photo Credits: Zee Prime
Image Credits: Ari Bronstein
Copyright Perseus Project 1990, drawn by M.W. Cutler based on H. Knackfuss, Didyma 1, Die Baubeschreibung, 1940, in Gruben 1966 345 fig. 274
Photograph by Don Keller, summer 1991
Photograph by Don Keller, summer 1991
Medusa head frieze of 2nd century A.D
Remains of one of the Ionic Capitals
Located near the ancient city of
on the western coast of modern-day Turkey, it was
the fourth largest temple in the ancient Greek world
The temple’s oracle
played a significant role in the religious and political
life of both Miletus and the greater Mediterranean world; many rulers Greeks and Romans,
visited or sent delegations to this oracle seeking the guidance
and favor of Apollo.
The temple was
built around the site of a natural spring
, which they believed to be the source of the oracle’s prophetic power. The first temple was a humble structure that replaced a much earlier Carian sanctuary.
In the 6th century B.C
., the people of nearby Miletus began construction on a second,
much larger temple
which, reflected the
growing fame and influence of the oracle.

This temple having seated figures on either side and a lion and sphinx,
which were dedicatory
offerings to Apollo
. (Located at the British Museum now), however,
was plundered and destroyed, in 494 B.C.
by the Persian
king Darius or in 479 B.C. by his son and successor Xerxes.
Legend has it that the sacred spring ceased to flow until none other than Alexander the Great passed through on a conquest of his own and
re-consecrated the site in 331 BC.
The building is
dipteral decastyle
. It has a very
deep pronaos, having beyond it an ante-chamber with stone staircases on either side.

The cella walls were ornamented with Ionic pilaster's, resting on a continuous podium, ranging with the peristyle level.
pilasters were crowned with capitals of varied design
, having between them a sculptured band of griffins and lyres.
At the eastern (entrance) end on either side of the doorway were half columns having Corinthian capitals, the acanthus leaves being unusually placed and the central volutes undeveloped. The peristyle columns of the Ionic order are fluted, and the bases are of very varied design, being octagonal with carved panels on each face.
The temple was later
converted into a church during the 5th or 6th century A.D.
• The Altar of Zeus was
constructed by Eumenes II
and after his death by Attalus II
as a memorial of the victory against the Galatians
. The altar was
constructed in the period 166-156 BC,
although it was not completely finished. (around 156 BC king Prusias II attacked Pergamon).
• Its dimensions are
36.4 x 34.2m
and consists of
four parts and the high frieze on it describe the war between the giants and the gods.
• The
front stairway
alone is almost
20m wide
. The
base is decorated with a frieze in high relief showing the battle between the Giants and the Olympian
gods known as the
• The frieze sculptures show the fight of the gods, who finally are victorious, against the giants (gigantes) (Gigantomachy). The giants (around 100) are the sons of the mother Earth (Gaia).
• By this victory,
Zeus ended the matriarchal epoch and established a patriarchal government order and culture.
• This transition is conceived to be due to a period when
man developed and advanced the technology of war
• One can understand the
Gigantomachy to represent a fight between the rational behavior represented by the gods
the raw immoderate nature represented by the giants.
• The Pergamon Altar is
one of the most impressive pieces of Art from

Byzantine conquerors tore down the altar in the 8th century A.D
. and
used the marble as building material for a wall
• The Pergamon frieze is the largest sculptural composition after the famous Parthenon marbles of Athens--
now in the British Museum
• By depicting the victory of the Greek gods over the giants, the altar symbolically celebrated the triumph of the city of Pergamon in the newly conquered lands of Anatolia.
ca. 166 - 156 BC
Stoa or
were formed for the
protection of pilgrims
to the various shrines, as connections between public monuments, or as
adjoining open spaces, and were an important class of structure. It also served as
market place
Stoa of Attalos was built in
ca. 150 B.
C, and named after the
King Attalos of Pergamon
who offered it as gift to Athens. It served as a
shelter from the rains, as well as a market place
with a lot of different shops and the place for entertainments.
The stoa was more elaborate and larger than the earlier buildings of ancient Athens. And it was notable because of its

which was unusual.
The stoa's dimensions are
116 x 20 metres
and it is made of
Pentelic marble and limestone
exterior colonnade is of Doric
order and
Ionic for the interior
colonnade. T
his combination is very common in the Hellenistic period
On the first floor of the building,
the exterior colonnade was Ionic
. Each story had t
wo aisles and 21 rooms lining the western wall
. The
rooms of both stories were lighted and vented through doorways and small windows located on the back wall.
There were stairways leading up to the second story at each end of the stoa. The building is similar in its basic design to the Stoa that Attalos' brother, and predecessor as king, Eumenes II had erected on the south slope of the Acropolis next to the theatre of Dionysus. The main difference is that Attalos' stoa had a row of rooms at the rear on the ground floor that have been interpreted as shops.
The stoa was
destroyed in 267 A.D. by the Herulians
and its building
materials were used in the defensive walls
around the agora.
The current building in the Athens Agora is a
replication of the original one, constructed in 1952-1956, and severs as a museum for the Agora
ca. 150 B.C.
Photo Credits: Dmytro
Photo Credits: Dmytro
Photo Credits: A.Savin
The agora, or
open meeting-places
for the transaction of public business, were
large open spaces surrounded by stoa or open colonnades, giving access to the public buildings
, such, as temples, basilicas, stadion (racecourse), and the palaestrae or gymnasia.
The Athenian Agora was
built in the center of the city as a public space in the 6th-7th century BC
Peisistratus removed the private houses from the agora, closed wells, and made it the center of Athenian government
. He also built a
drainage system
and a
temple to the Olympian gods.
Later in the
5th-4th century BC
there were temples constructed to
Hephaestus, Zeus and Apollo
478 B.C
, the Agora was r
econstructed after the Persians were defeated
and forced to leave Athens. It r
emained unchanged until the Herulians invasion in 267 A.D.
The agora was the
center of political and public life
in Athens, and
housed the courts
It was utilized for
commerce, political, religious and military activity.
Meetings were held four times per month to enact legislation, to hear embassies, and deal with defense of the city-state.
It was also the location of a
temporary theater and of burial sites
The City of Miletus
ca. 450 BC
Polis (pl. poleis)
is a term that is used to describe a tight knit small community of Ancient Greek citizens who agreed on certain rules and customs.
Usually a polis was centered on a small town and the countryside the surrounded it. The Ancient Greek poleis are among the first recorded democratic governments in the world.
Many words were derived from it:
, and
invention of formal city
planning was attributed to
Hippodamus of Miletus.
He applied the grid plan (
orthogonal planning) to Miletus
which he had developed on
inspiration from geometrically designed settlements
, and that later many cities were laid out according to this plan.
Miletus, which is a fine example of the
grid plan
, comprises
houses on blocks created by streets and side streets crossing
at right angles, with
public buildings in the city Center
. This plan retained in the Hellenistic period, however in the
Roman period it began to deteriorate
gradually and inevitably.
Hippodamus arranged the buildings and the streets of Miletus such that the
winds from the mountains and the sea close to Miletus could flow optimal through the city and provide a cooling during the hot summer
The Greeks were the
first to use solar architecture
as they oriented their houses to
make use of the sun during winter, while obscuring its rays during summer
and entire cities were built this way.
Hippodamus' name is frequently associated with other orthogonally planned towns. His direct involvement remains unproven, but his name remains permanently associated with this type of plan that we call Hippodamian.
The city of Hippodamus was
composed of 10,000 citizens
divided into three parts:
Artisans, Husbandmen, and Armed Defenders of the state
He also divided the land into three parts;
1. Sacred, which was set apart to maintain the customary worship of the Gods. 2. Public, to support the warriors. 3. Private, the property of the husbandmen.
The ancient Greeks lived in
self-governing city-states
called "
The city-states were
independent communities
, which were
male-dominated and bound together by race
The polis
started as a defensible area
to which
farmers of an area could retreat in the event of an attack as in the Mycenaean
citadels. Over time,
towns grew around these defensible areas
polis was different from another
, e
ven though there were similarities
between them. They were all
bounded by common language and religious beliefs
they made efforts to preserve their own unique identity
, and each city-state
believed that their state was better
than all the other states
The city-states were
often in wars
with one another.
city-state of Athens
on the Greek mainland was among the
most famous and powerful
of them all.
It was a
major center for learning and arts.

When city-states were
formed, they were
ruled by a few wealthy men
. However, they
gradually moved towards democracy

an early form of
. They had a
voting system and only men were born in Athens were allowed to vote
. They voted at
public assemblies where upper class citizens discussed and adopted laws that might benefit Athens
• The
scale of the polis was small
. The philosophers
Aristotle and Plato believed
that the polis should be of a
small size, so that members know each other personally
• The ideal
of a city-state was
fixed at 5040 males by Plato
• Citizens in any polis were
related by blood and so family ties were very strong
. Membership of the polis was hereditary and could not be passed to persons outside the family
• The society of the polis had a
social hierarchy with citizens at the top, followed by people who are not citizens and finally slaves

Public life was for male citizens while women were secluded in the house
• Greek citizens
did not have rights but duties

All citizens were directly involved in politics, justice, military service, religious ceremonies, intellectual discussion, athletics and artistic pursuits
• It was
not acceptable
for Greek citizens
to refuse to carry out their responsibilities
Town Planning & Public Buildings
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