Hellenistic Architecture
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Hellenistic Architecture

Greek theater at Epidauros
Greek theater at Epidauros

In the Hellenistic period, the Greeks continued to build temples, but they also began to build a lot of other types of large public buildings. They built many more theaters, and also gymnasia (like our gyms, places to exercise), and, because this was a time with a lot of fighting, also a lot of forts.


A video of Epidauros' theater

After Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire in the 300s BC, Greek architecture reached all across West Asia and even into India. There was a lot of interest in town planning, and a lot of new towns were started with carefully laid out straight streets and public squares. After about 250 BC, however, there was not so much building, because the Hellenistic kingdoms were rich enough anymore to pay for big public buildings.

Learn by doing: go see a play in an open-air theater
More about Roman Greece

Bibliography and further reading about Hellenistic Greek architecture:

Greek Art and Archaeology (3rd Edition), by John G. Pedley (2002) A lot of good information and is pretty readable. Plus, the author is really an expert in this field.

The Archaeology of Greece: An Introduction, by William R. Biers (1996) Biers writes very clearly and has a lot of good pictures.

The Early Hellenistic Stadium (Excavations at Nemea)
by Stephen G. Miller, Robert C. Knapp, David Chamberlain (2001) By experts, for experts, on their recent archaeological excavations at Nemea in Greece.

More about Roman Greece
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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

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