What is the Greek Doric Order?
Quatr.us answers questions
Upgrade /Log in
Options /Log out
Early Europe
Central Asia
Islamic Empire
Native Americans
S./Central America
American History

Greek Doric Order

Doric temple
Doric temple at Agrigento

The earliest Greek temples were built of wood, but as soon as the Greek began to build in stone, about 510 BC, they built in the Doric style. Doric temples are simple and strong, not fancy like Ionic or Corinthian temples.

Doric order

In Doric temples, the columns have no base, but just sit right on the floor. At the top of the columns, there's a capital made of a sort of small pillow in stone, and then a square block, under the architrave. On the architrave, there are triglyphs and metopes.

In the Archaic period, practically every Greek city-state built its own Doric temples, not only in Greece but also in Greek settlements in southern Italy, Sicily, and Ionia (modern Turkey).

Doric temple at Paestum
Doric temple at Paestum, Italy

But by around 450 BC, in the Classical period, Greek architects were beginning to build more delicate, fancier, lighter temples in the Ionic style.

More about the Ionic order
More about the Corinthian order

Bibliography and further reading about Greek architectural orders:

Ancient Greek Architects at Work, by J. J. Coulton (1982). An interesting look at how Greek architects worked.

Greek Architecture, by A. W. Lawrence, R. A. Tomlinson (5th edition 1996). Might be a bit out of date.

More about the Ionic order
Quatr.us home

Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

Help support Quatr.us!

Quatr.us (formerly "History for Kids") is entirely supported by your generous donations and by our sponsors. Most donors give about $10. Can you give $10 today to keep this site running? Or give $50 to sponsor a page?

'Tis the season: read all about the history of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Who invented Christmas trees? Who were the Maccabees? When was Jesus really born? How did people celebrate Hanukkah in the Middle Ages? Plus, some great gift ideas.