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The lowest member of a column which supports the shaft and rests either on a plinth or directly on the stylobate. Column bases are characteristic only of the Ionic and Corinthian Orders, while Doric colums rest directly on the stylobate.

There are two major types of bases in the Ionic Order: the Asiatic or Samo-Milesian and the Attic-Ionic. Their names reflect their geographical origins and the latter developed morphologically from the former. The earliest known Asiatic bases are from the 6th c. B.C. whereas the Attic-Ionic style evolved in Athens in the 5th c. B.C.

The Asiatic base is composed of two elements, a disc below (spira) and a convex member above (torus). Both elements may be carved with a variable number of horizontal flutes (scotias) which are usually separated by one or more thin, convex pipings (astragals). The torus is sometimes decorated with other relief ornament.

The Attic-Ionic base differs primarily in the addition of a third element (another torus) at the bottom and the simplification of the spira into a single concave moulding. It was the Attic form of Ionic base which was employed in the Corinthian Order, was widely used by the Romans, and is still seen today in Neoclassical architecture.

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