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κίων, στύλος). A column, employed in architecture to support the entablature and roof of an edifice. It is composed of three principal parts: the capital (capitulum), the shaft (scapus), and the base (spira). The column was, moreover, constructed in three principal styles or orders, each possessing characteristic forms and proportions of its own, distinctive of the order, but by unprofessional persons most readily distinguished by the difference in the capitals.


Dorĭca, the Doric; the oldest, most substantial, and heaviest of all, which has no base, and a very simple capital. (See Capitulum.)


Ionĭca, the Ionic; the next in lightness, which is furnished with a base and has its capital decorated with volutes. (See Capitulum.)


Corinthia, the Corinthian; the lightest of all, which has a base and a plinth below it, and a deep capital ornamented with foliage. (See Capitulum.) To these are often added:


Tuscanĭca, the Tuscan; only known from the account of Vitruvius, and which nearly resembled the Roman Doric; and


Composĭta, the Composite; a mixed order, formed by combining the volutes of the Ionic with the foliage of the Corinthian.

Figs. 1 and 2 give instances of the Doric style from the temple at Paestum and the Parthenon at Athens. The Doric column consists (A) of the shaft, which increases in diameter almost invisibly up to about one-quarter of its height, and diminishes slightly after that point. It has no base, but rests immediately on the stylobate. It is surrounded with semicircular flutings, meeting each other at a sharp angle. These were chiselled with a cedarwood tool after the separate drums had been put together. (B) The capital. This consists of three parts—(a) the hypotrachelion, or neck of the column, a continuation of the shaft, but separated by

Doric Order.

an indentation from the other drums. It is wider at the top than at the bottom, and is generally ornamented with several parallel and horizontal rings. (b) The echinus, a circular moulding or cushion, which widens greatly towards the top. (c) The abax or abacus, a square slab supporting the architrave or epistylion. The height of the shaft is usually 5 1/2 times, the distance between the columns 1 1/2 times, the diameter of the base of the column. The architrave is a quadrangular beam of stone, reaching from pillar to pillar. On this again rests the frieze (zophoros), so called from the metopes which are adorned with sculptures in relief. These metopes are square spaces between the triglyphs; the triglyphs are surfaces cut into three concave grooves, two whole grooves in the centre, and two half grooves at the sides. One is placed over each pillar, and one between each pair of pillars. The entablature is completed by a projecting cornice, a slab crowned with a simple heading-course, the lower surface of which is ornamented with sloping corbels (στάγονες, mutuli).

An instance is given in Fig. 3 from the temple on the Ilissus at Athens. These are loftier than the

Ionic Order; Corinthian Order.

Doric, their height being 8 1/2-9 1/2 times the diameter of the lower part. The enlargement of the lower part is also less than in the Doric columns, the distance between each column greater (2 diameters), the flutings (generally 24 in number) deeper, and separated by small flat surfaces. The Ionic column has a base, consisting of a square slab (πλίνθος), and several cushion-like supports separated by grooves. The capital, again, is more artistically developed. The neck, instead of flutings, has five leaves worked in relief. The echinus is very small and ornamented with an egg pattern. Over it, instead of the abacus, is a four-cornered cushion ending before and behind in spiral volutes, supporting a narrow square slab, which is also adorned with an egg pattern. The architrave is divided into three bands, projecting one above the other, and upon it rises, in an uninterrupted surface, the frieze, adorned with reliefs continuously along its whole length. Finally, the cornice is composed of different parts.

The Corinthian column is shown in Fig. 4, from the monument of Lysicrates at Athens. The base and shaft are identical with the Ionic, but the capital takes the form of an open calix formed of acanthus leaves. Above this is another set of leaves, from between which grow stalks with small leaves, rounded into the form of volutes. On this rests a small abacus widening towards the top, and on this, again, the entablature, which is borrowed from the Ionic order. On the human figures employed instead of columns to support the entablature, see Atlas; Canephori; Caryae.

The Romans adopted the Greek styles of column, but not always in their pure form. They were fondest of the Corinthian, which they laboured to enrich with new and often excessive ornamentation. For instance, they crowned the Corinthian capital with the Ionic, thus forming what is called the Roman or composite capital. The style known as Tuscan is a degenerate form of the Doric. The Tuscan column has a smooth shaft, in height 7 diameters of the lower part, and tapering up to three-quarters of its lower dimensions. Its base consists of two parts—a circular plinth and a cushion of equal height. The capital is formed of three parts of equal height.

In other styles, too, the Romans sometimes adopted the smooth instead of the fluted shaft, as, for instance, in the Pantheon (q.v.).

This most beautiful of all architectural supports originated from the simplest beginnings. A few strong poles, or the straight trunks of trees, stuck into the ground, in order to support a cross-piece for a thatch of boughs or straw to rest upon, formed the first shaft (scapus) of a column. When a tile or slab of wood was placed under the bottom of the trunk to form a foundation and prevent the shaft from sinking too deeply into the ground, the first notion of a base (spira) was attained; and a similar one, placed on its top, to afford a broader surface for the cross-beam or architrave to rest upon, furnished the first capital. Thus these simple elements, elaborated by the genius and industry of succeeding ages, produced the several distinctive properties of the architectural orders.

One point, however, is to be constantly borne in mind—that the column of ancient architecture always implies a real, and not a fictitious, support; for neither the Greeks nor the Romans, until the arts had declined, ever made use of columns as the moderns do, in their buildings, as a superfluous ornament, or mere accessory to the edifice, but as a main and essentially constituent portion of the fabric, which would immediately fall to pieces if they were removed; and that the abusive application of coupled, clustered, incastrated, imbedded columns, etc., was never admitted in Greek architecture; for the chief beauty of the column consists in its isolation, by means of which it presents an endless variety of views and changes of scene, with every movement of the spectator, whether seen in rank or in file. See Mauch, Die Architekt. Ordn. der Griech., Römer, und Neueren Meister (5th ed. Berlin, 1862); Reber, Geschichte der Baukunst im Alterthum (Leipzig, 1866); Fergusson, Hist. of Architecture, vol. i. (2d ed. Boston, 1883); Lübke, Hist. of Art, 2 vols. (Eng. trans., N. Y. 1877).

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