Architectural Column history
NotesColumn script development: - I changed BC to BCE just for giggles.
Most Greek and Roman columns (but not all) were fluted - that means they had narrow channels running up and down them. Doric columns usually had 20 flutes, while Ionic columns usually had 24 flutes.
DORIC The earliest Greek temples were built in the Doric style. Doric temples are simple and strong, not fancy like Ionic or Corinthian temples.
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.
IONIC Around 500 BCE, Greek architectural styles changed so that instead of building temples in the old Doric style, people began to want their new temples for the gods to be built in the new Ionic style. Ionic temples are a little fancier and more delicate than Doric temples, without being as elaborate as Corinthian temples.
In Ionic temples, the columns have a small base to stand on, instead of sitting right on the floor. They are still fluted, but they have more flutes than Doric columns. At the top of the columns, there's a double curve in stone, under the architrave (ARR-kuh-trayv). On the architrave, there is a continuous frieze (FREEZE) where the triglyphs and metopes would be on a Doric temple.
CORINTHIAN By 400 BCE, the Greeks had added a third type of column to the old Doric and Ionic styles. This was called the Corinthian column, after the city of Corinth. The Greeks never actually used the Corinthian column that much, but the Romans used it a lot.
The Corinthian style is fancier and heavier than the Ionic style. In Corinthian temples, the columns have a fancier base to stand on. At the top of the columns, on the capital, there's a stone carving of acanthus leaves, under the architrave (ARR-kuh-trayv). On the architrave, as in Ionic temples, there is a continuous frieze where the triglyphs and metopes would be on a Doric temple.
One example of a Corinthian temple is the Pantheon. Another is the Temple of Castor in the Roman forum.
An example, from way-back-when, of what this is supposed to be: