Oneof the most influential invention of the greek architecture was the threeclassical orders, Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The Doric order was the firstand the simplest but also most distinctive out of the three, as it marks theperiod of the transition from the use of wood to marble and limestone. Doricorder’s name was taken from the Achaeans or Dorians.
They were invaders who pushedthe original inhabitants to the remotest regions such as the islands,themselves became the Athenians and the people who lived in most of othercities in Greece mainland. Due to the fact that they were nomadic herdsmen,they personified gods from forms of nature as male characters and their mainconcerns was to pacify the gods therefore the nature and appearance of doricorder is quite masculine with power and heaviness reflected upon the shorterand lack of base columns in comparsion of the otehr two orders. This style was usedamong builders during the Archaic period, and was the predominant order fortemples through the early fifth century,occuring frequently in Greek mainlands. Onthe other hand, Ionic order comes from the Ionians, natives who fled to the islands.They were agriculturists and their religion was to express their gratitude togods for the fertility and growth. Therefore, in contrary, their gods werepersonified as female figures.
This idea had added the hint of mystery to thegoddesses they worship and more mystical in comparison to the Dorians.Furthermore, their worship was through devotion leading to a more extensivesensual and emotional elements than the Dorians. As Dorians` religions appearedto have more aggressive and unexplainable gestures, human aspects was the mainfocus of Ionians` mythology. This is reflected upon in the Ionic order columns asthey were more slender, more attentive to decorations, as they tried to expressfemininity. This style was used for temples from around 600 B.C.E. and mainlyfound in Asia Minor regions and islands.
Thelast of the three orders was Corinthian, an invention during an incident when cameacross a tomb with acanthus plant grown around the basket of offerings duringthe visit to Corinth. This order was first developed and appeared towardsthe end of the classical period, commonly used during Hellenistic and later inRoman periods. Thethree orders share similar layout structures, such as a cornice, frieze, architrave,capital, a column, a stylobate and stereobate. However, the three orders differin details of their components.
Both Doric and Ionic orders have a pediment, asloped roof, whereas Corinthian has a flat roof. Inthe entablature, all orders have a cornice but dentils are found only inCorinthian. At the frieze of Doric order, metope and triglyph could be foundwhereas in Ionic and Corinthian orders, the frieze have continuous carvedfigures ornament. Ionic order’s frieze was carved with relief sculpturesarranged in a continuous pattern around the building. Doric order’s frieze isseparated by the regula from the architrave which does not found in otherorders. Followingup is the architrave, all three orders have lined architrave apart from Doricwhich can have a smooth architrave as well.
The three orders have a rectangularabacus but Corinthian order’s abacus contains concave sides. The three ordersare all quite different in their capitals, Doric order has a convex echinuswhere Ionic order has two opposed volutes in the echinus resting on a band ofpalm leaf ornament and between the volutes is an egg and dart carved ovaldecoration. Corinthian order has the most decorative capital, bell shapedechinus decorated with acanthus leaves, thus spirals, palmettes and smallvolutes at all corners, hence is the reason why Corinthian is considered as themost elegant order of the three. Doricand Corinthian order have a necking which is absent in the Ionic order and thecolumn ratio of the Doric order is lower than the other two orders which madeit appear to be shorter and heavier.
Doric orders columns also consists of Doricdrums and are about five times its diameter, Ionic`s are nine times its lowerdiameter and Corinthian`s columns are ten times its diameter. The presence ofbase in the other two orders adds to their slenderness whereas Doric order’scolumns sit directly into the stylobate which further adds to its heavyappearance.