What is the Greek Doric order?

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A Greek doric temple with pediment and columns, seen from the front

Doric temple at Agrigento, in Sicily

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 temple showing column base, column, then column capital, and the architrave running along the top of the columns

The elevation of a Doric temple

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.

Doric temple at Paestum, Italy

Doric temple at Paestum, Italy

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).

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 Might be a bit out of date.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
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By | 2017-07-01T00:33:44+00:00 July 1st, 2017|Architecture, Greeks|0 Comments
Cite this page: Carr, K.E. What is the Greek Doric order?. Quatr.us Study Guides, July 1, 2017. Web. December 13, 2017.

About the Author:

Karen Carr

Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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