, dim. κιονίς
, dim. στυλίς
pillar or column.
Under the term “column” is comprised a number of forms, bearing
indeed a superficial resemblance to each other, but in origin and function
widely differing. Thus, the isolated pillar having a votive, terminal, or
commemorative object, corresponds to the earlier monolith or sacred tree. A
few of the more interesting and important types of this class will be
briefly described later on. Again, the structural column, according as it
appears in the interior of the Homeric hall (Od.
, &c.), in the
exterior of a peripteral temple, or in the arrangement called
“hypaethral,” also occurring in the Roman atrium, has in
each case a distinct history and significance. Merely to confront the grand
series of achievements in stone, belonging in the main to the most finished
and regular types, with the rude wooden cabins that have existed or still
exist in some parts of Hellas, is no longer considered a satisfactory
explanation of the origin of Greek columnar architecture. It is now admitted
that a form which had been brought through centuries of development to such
variety and perfection on the Nile and Euphrates was scarcely likely to have
been invented again by such an eminently assimilative race as the Greeks.
Hence evidence of the occasional occurrence of wooden columns has no bearing
on the general question: the pillars of oak in the market-place at Elis
), the trunks of vines in the
temple of Juno at Metapontum (Plin. Nat.
), may have been relics of an older mode of construction, but can
prove nothing. The verandahed huts of Xanthos described by Fellowes
p. 234) undoubtedly throw light upon the Lycian
rock-hewn tombs and temples, which clearly exhibit a wooden type. But this
is a local style; moreover, these monuments being monolithic, the change of
material does not require structural accommodation.
The theory of direct imitation of wooden structures had been pushed to its
logical conclusion by Vitruvius, according to whom the triglyphs cover the
ends of the beams supporting the cornice, and the mutules are the
representatives of the ends of rafters; but the rather lame attempt of the
Roman architect to explain the details of the Doric order only accentuates
more strongly the material difficulties. A like failure has hitherto
attended nearly all essays to find a meaning for the symbolic and decorative
elements apparent or suggested in the several orders. The story of
Callimachus (Vitr. 4.1
) is chronologically inconsistent; the anthropomorphic speculation
(4.1) requires the absence of the Doric flutings; and Vitruvius' fantastic
explanations are only paralleled by some of the modern theories.
Recently, however, the materials and the methods for the elucidation of the
history of the Greek orders have been enlarged and improved. Fragments of
temples dating from before the Persian wars, the evidence of coins and
vases, and a cautious comparison of Egyptian and Assyrian styles, are all
helping to throw light on this difficult subject. Thus a glimpse, however
slight, has been obtained of the importation into Hellas of the elements of
two orders, the Doric and the Ionic. Through the Phoenicians and the races
of Asia Minor, the resources and motives of Egyptian and Assyrian art were
made familiar to the Greek mind. Perhaps even a precise moment may be seized
for that imposing creation the Doric temple; and we may suppose, with M.
Chipiez, that the idea was first inspired in those Greeks who, serving under
Psammetichus, had beheld the wonderful temples on the Nile. This would not
only account for the new departure, in the use of stone, but also for that
most remarkable parallel to Egyptian art, the principle of polychromy.
For a full account of the positive results hitherto attained, and for a
criticism of the
Fallen Column. (Swinburne's |
Tour in the Two
Sicilies, ii. p. 301.)
older Vitruvian views, the student must be referred to the
literature cited below. In M Chipiez's work, the historical side is most
ably illustrated, and in H. Adamy's treatise aesthetic considerations
receive ample appreciation. [p. 1.490]
Hist. de l'Art grec avant Périclès;
Id., Fouilles et Découvertes
résumées et discutées en vue de
l'Histoire de l'Art; Chabat, Fragments
d'Arch.; Chandler, Ionian Antiquities; Batissier,
Art Monument.; Chipiez, Hist. crit. des Orig.
et de la Format. des Ordres grecs; Adamy, Architektonik auf
hist. und aesthet. Grundlage;
the works of Schliemann and Cesnola, and reports of
excavations at Olympia. Also Prisse d'Avennes on Egyptian
Perrot and Chipiez, History of Ancient
Temple at Delos.
Parthenon at Athens. Doric Columns. (Fergusson.)
Temple at Corinth.
particular Milchhoefer, Die Anfänge der Kunst in
Before proceeding to the detailed description of the several orders, a
few words may be devoted to more general matters. The members of an
order from below upwards are: the foundation (κρηπίδωμα
) of one or more steps (κρηπῖδες
); the column (στῦλος
), consisting of shaft (σῶμα,
) and capital (ἐπίκρανον, κιόκρανον
); and the entablature, consisting
of architrave (ἐπιστύλιον
]), and cornice
). For the gable-end or pediment
), see FASTIGIUM; for the door-posts (παραστάδες
), see ANTAE
From the constitutive character of the column in an
order immediately follows its importance in determining the proportions
and disposition of the other members. The ancient unit (ἐμβάτης,
) for this purpose was the inferior
diameter of the column, or in the Doric order the breadth of a triglyph
(one semidiameter). Each order, then, has its canon (κανών
) of proportion as well as of form.
Also, except when the disposition of the columns is indefinite [PORTICUS
determined by reference to the modulus [TEMPLUM
1. Doric order.
The Doric Order
is characterised by the absence of a
base--the shafts of the columns spring immediately from the floor
)--the thickness and rapid
diminution of the shaft, and the simplicity of the capital, which
consists of a deep square abacus
) supported by a circular ovolo
), beneath which are
from three to five steps or channels (ἱμάντες,
). Below these the shaft
sometimes retreats (ἀποφυγὴ
in most cases a narrow neck (ὑποτραχήλιον
), traversed by the flutes, is cut off by
grooves or fillets,--three in early examples (Corinth), one in later
This portion was of one piece with the capital (see engraving of
fallen column, p. 489), and did not share in the diminution, but its
channels served as indications for the fluting (ῥάβδωσις
) of the lower drums. The shaft
swells from the base to about one-third and then diminishes; this
]) is exaggerated
in some ancient specimens, as at Assos, while it is entirely absent
in others, as at Corinth. The shallow flutes (διάξυσμα,
), commonly sixteen to twenty in
number, although twenty-four, twenty-eight, and thirty-two are
known, are separated by a sharp edge; their section is circular,
semi-elliptical, or eccentric. In the earliest examples of the
order, the columns are very short in proportion to their greatest
thickness. Thus, in the temple at Corinth, the height of the columns
is only 7 2/3 modules (semi-diameters), and in the great temple at
Paestum only 8 1/2 ; but greater lightness was afterwards given to
the order, so that in the Parthenon, [p. 1.491]
represents the canonical proportion, the height of the columns is 11
modules. Originally the echinus moulding was full and impending
(Corinth and Assos); its outline, usually parabolic or circular,
became later almost flat (hyperbolic), as in the Propylaea and
Parthenon. The architrave, impending the columns half as much as the
abacus the shaft, is flat and plain, except at Assos, where it bears
a bas-relief of bulls fighting. It is marked off by a narrow band
) from the frieze. The
latter is ornamented by equally-spaced surfaces (τρίγλυφοι
), one over each column and
each intercolumniation, with the exception of those at the
extremities, whose axes do not coincide with
Doric Order. Temple of Apollo Epicurius, Phigaleia.
(Mauch, pl. 11.)
those of the angular columns. The triglyphs are so called
from the channels, two whole and two half, of triangular or curved
section, which appear upon then, leaving three flat strips (μηροί
). They are bound above and below
by narrow bands: the upper of these is continuous, although here
deeper, with the fascia of the frieze; from the under-surface of the
lower band (regula
) depend six
cylindrical or conical drops (guttae
The square intervals of frieze (μετόπαι
) are supposed to have been originally left open
(Eur. IT 113
), and are so
represented on vases. In extant examples they are occupied with flat
plates often sculptured in high relief. The cornice consists of a
flat larmier (γεισιπόδισμα,
) and a group of mouldings
comprising a square fillet and ogee. The corona is continuous and
greatly projecting, with its lower surface sloped. Attached to a
narrow sunk face, forming the soffit of the cornice, is a series of
inclined plates (mutuli
), one over each
triglyph and metope; from their under-surfaces depend eighteen
cylindrical guttae in three rows. The cymatium, so called from the
form of its characteristic moulding (κῦμα
), carries lionheads. For the arrangement of the
roof, see FASTIGIUM; and for further
details, ACROTERIUM, ANTEFIXA, STELAE.
The profile in the preceding column is from the temple of Apollo
Epicurius at Phigaleia, built by Ictinus, the architect of the
2. Ionic Order.
The Ionic Order
is distinguished by the elegance of
each member, a characteristic betraying Asiatic influence. Thus, the
column from the first is slender: that of the temple of the Ilissus
has a height of 8 modules, a proportion later increased to 9
(Erechtheium) and 9 1/2
Ionic Corner Capital. Portico of Temple of Athena Polias
(Erechtheium), Athens. (Mauch, pl. 34.)
(Athena Polias, Priene). The shaft rests upon a circular base
), towards which it
gradually curves. [SPIRA; ATTICURGES.] Its
surface is occupied with alternate flutes (24) and fillets. The
capital consists of an astragal, an echinus with egg and tongue
pattern, and, sometimes a torus
intervening, the canalis,
proceed the spirals of two lateral volutes (ἕλικες
), whence the name for the whole σπειροκέφαλον.
The upper and lower lines
of the canalis may be either convex or horizontal. The volutes have
a central disc (oculus
), and are flat
in front and behind, presenting a surface of double curvature at the
sides, where they are [p. 1.492]
bound together with
astragals [BALTEI] in the directrices.
When the order had to be carried round a corner, the plane of the
outer volute was sometimes given an inclination of 45° to
the surfaces (see figure in preceding page). Below the astragal of
the capital there is often a hypotrachelium, sometimes, as in the
Erechtheium, adorned with palm-leaves (ἀνθέμιον
), separated from the shaft by an astragal.
Upon a narrow ornamental rectangular abacus rests the architrave of
three faces, slightly overlapping. There is a small cornice between
architrave and frieze ; the latter sometimes exhibits bas-reliefs,
and all three members are more or less ornamented
Ionic Column and Entablature. Portico of Temple of Athena
Polias (Erechtheium), Athens. (Fergusson.)
with mouldings. Modillions (πρόμοχθοι
) and dentils sometimes appear under the
upper part of the cornice.
The finest specimens of the order in its most simple form are those
in the temple of the Ilissus, and that of Athena Polias at Priene.
The engraving shows the portico of the temple of Athena Polias
(Erechtheium) at Athens, which, while displaying a greater profusion
of ornament, is equally pure in its outlines.
3. Corinthian Order.
The Corinthian Order
is more slender than the Ionic,
but the chief difference is the greater richness of the capital.
From a sort of basket (κάλαθος
spring two rows of acanthus-leaves, surmounted by four volutes at
the angles, the spaces between the volutes being occupied by
flowers, leaves, and opposed or intertwining helices. In the earlier
examples, however, there is frequently but one row of acanthus
leaves; and in the Horologium of Andronicus Cyrrhestes, vulgarly
called “The Temple of the Winds,” the volutes are
wanting, the capital consisting only of an astragal, a row of
acanthus leaves, and a row of tongue-shaped leaves. In all the
examples except the last-mentioned, the abacus, instead of being
square, is hollowed
Corinthian Order. Monument of Lysicrates, Athens. (Mauch,
at the edges, and the middle of each edge is ornamented
with a flower. The details of flowers, leaves, tendrils, and volutes
seem derived from metal-work applied to a central core. Indeed, it
is known that the capital was frequently made of bronze, or even
gold and ivory.
A very early capital was found in the ruins of the temple of Apollo
at Phigaleia. The most typical specimen of this order is the
choragic [p. 1.493]
monument of Lysicrates at Athens
(335 B.C.). (See cut on preceding page.) The next example is from
the Horologium of Andronicus Cyrrhestes, spoken of above. (See cut
The Olympieium or temple of Zeus Olympius at Athens, commenced by
Peisistratus and finished by Hadrian, after many suspensions and
interruptions, is, strictly speaking, a Roman and not a Grecian
example; except that, being executed at Athens, there is a degree of
taste and art displayed in its execution which we do not find in any
strictly Roman example. (Fergusson.)
Although the combination of Greek orders in one plane follows no
rule, when superposed the
Corinthian Order. Horologium of Andronicus Cyrrhestes,
same order is used in each tier, and the columns separated
by an architrave have their axes common. (This arrangement is to be
seen in the temple of Poseidon at Paestum.)
The frequently recurring want of symmetry in the dispositions of the
Greek temple can here only be noted. For details on this and other
matters, such as the inclination of columns and horizontal surfaces,
variations from canonical forms, and surface colouring and the
employment of coloured tiles, reference must be made to the
authorities below (see also ENTASIS
2. Tuscan Order.
The TUSCAN ORDER, although at one time the
prevailing style at Rome, has left such meagre remains, that we are
obliged to fall back upon the description of Vitruvius (4.7
). With this, however, the fragments of
columns discovered and the bas-reliefs on Etruscan tombs do not quite
agree. The order seems to have been an undeveloped or simplified Doric.
(Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria;
Le Antichità di Alba Fucense,
Canina, Etruria maritima,
pl. cx.; Abeken,
imitations of the Greek orders are
chiefly notable for their inferiority in proportion and vulgarity in
detail, and for their perverse misapprehension of the more
characteristic features in the originals.
- 1. In the Doric Order the shaft is often smooth
(Coliseum) and always slender, and it is in later work provided with
a base. The proportions of the capital are disregarded, and the
effect of the abacus is destroyed by a fillet. Mutules are sometimes
absent from the cornice, and dentils appear instead. (The figure in
the text reprosents
the details of an example at Albano, near Rome.)
Roman Doric Order. Albano, near Rome. (Mauch, pl.
- 2. In the Ionic Order, a square plinth was added to
the base, and frequently all the capitals were given corner volutes.
- 3. The Corinthian Order.
“The fate of this order,” says Fergusson, “was
different from that of the other two. The Doric and Ionic orders
had reached their acme of perfection in the hands of the Greek
artists, and seem to have become incapable of further
improvement. The Corinthian, on the contrary, was a recent
conception; and although nothing can surpass the elegance and
grace with which the Greeks adorned it, the new capital never
acquired with them that fulness and strength requisite to render
it an appropriate architectural ornament, [p. 1.494]These were added to it by the Romans, or rather
perhaps by Grecian artists acting under their direction, who
thus, as shown in the cut below, produced an order which for
richness, combined with proportion and architectural fitness,
has hardly been surpassed.”
This order sometimes shows a plinth, and a base, composed of two
tori, including two scotiae, separated by a double astragal.
Roman Corinthian Order. Temple of Jupiter Stator.
- 4. The Roman or Composite
Order is a mongrel of the Corinthian and Ionic; the
general character being Corinthian, except that the upper part of
the capital has Ionic volutes. Both capital and entablature are
overloaded with ornaments. The cut on the next page is from the
triumphal arch of Titus, which is considered the best
Structural incongruities, such as an order of columns standing free from
the architrave, which is otherwise supported, and complete
ordonnances (Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian),
super-imposed one on another, the upper members thus losing all
significance, are of common occurrence. In the Coliseum, the three
orders are further surmounted by a wall decorated with pilasters of the
Composite order. (See the elevation, AMPHITHEATRUM
p. 109 b.
It now remains to mention some other uses of the column or pillar, in
addition to that in an architectural ordonnance. Long rows of columns
were used to support aqueducts (Crates, ap. Ath.
); and single pillars were fixed in harbours for mooring
ships (Hom. Od. 22.466
). Various other
structures in which the column appears are described under HOROLOGIUM
Single columns were erected from the earliest times to commemorate
persons or events (Leon. Tarent. in Brunck, Anal.
Early Roman examples are those in honour of C. Maenius and P. Minucius,
mentioned by Pliny (Plin. Nat. 34.21
of a later date is the marble monolith to Julius Caesar, set up in the
Forum after his death (Suet. Jul. 85
were employed by the
Romans to record their naval victories (Verg. G.
; Serv. ad loc.
), the most
celebrated being that to C. Duilius, who gained a victory over the
Carthaginians in B.C. 260, a copy of which is now in the museum of the
Capitol. (See cut on the next page.)
More important, as well on account of their imposing size as of their
value to the archaeologist, are the lofty and elaborate columns erected
in imperial times. The finest of these monuments is that which was voted
by the senate in honour of Trajan, and executed by Apollodorus in 104
A.D. The column itself is apparently of the Tuscan order, and is
composed of huge drums of white marble, pierced within so as to form a
spiral staircase, to which there is an entrance in the pedestal. A
bas-relief of the chief episodes in the Dacian campaigns winds round the
shaft. Including the bronze status of the emperor, the total height was
not less than 130 feet. (Piranesi, Col. Traj.;
Fröhner, La Col. Tr.
of castings); Percier, La. C. T. restaur. exécut.
1788; Chipiez, Columna
Daremberg and Saglio.) [p. 1.495]
The above mode of construction, which received the name of columna cochlis,
was likewise adopted in the
Antonine column erected to the memory of Marcus Aurelius, illustrating
Roman Composite Order. Arch of Titus. (Mauch, pl. 77.)
victories over the Marcomanni. (Bartoli et Bellori,
Col. cochl. M. Aur. Ant. Aug. dicata,
1672 and 1704.)
Columna rostrata of C. Duilius.
The third and very inferior specimen of this type of monument is the
Theodosian column, the base of which still exists at Constantinople. (G.
Bellino, Col. Theodos.
d'Agincourt, Hist. de l'Art,
--Principles of Greek
architecture:--Vitruvius, De Arch.,
ed. Rose u.
An Investig. of the Principles of Athenian Archit.;
Column of Trajan.
Tektonik der Hellenen;
Détail der gr. Baukunst;
Lohde, Die Architektonik der
Mauch, Die Architekt. Ordn. der Gr.,
Römer, u. neueren Meister;
Id., Neue system.
Darstell. d. arch. Ordn. der Gr., R., u. neueren Baum.;
Vergl. Darstell. Gr. Bau-Ordn.
Gesch. der Bauk. im Alterthum.
canon:--Aurès, 21Etudes des dimensions du gr. Temple
&c.; Id., Nouvelle
[p. 1.496]du Module;
Études sur l'Archit. grecque.
accommodations, curvature, &c., see ENTASIS
Polychromy:--Hittorf, Restit. du
Temple d'Empédocle à Sélinounte, ou
l'Arch. polychrôme chez les Grecs
Rosz, Bemalte Att.
Bormann u. Siebold, Ueber Verwendung
von Terrakotten am Geison und Duche Gr. Bauwerke.
works:--Penrose (above), Michaelis, Fergusson--the Parthenon;
Leake, Topogr. of Athens;
Stuart and Revett, Antiq. of Athens and Attica;
Expéd. scient. de Morée;
Stackelberg, Der Apollotemple zu Bassae;
Rech. arch. à Eleusis;
Hittorf et Zanth,
Archit. ant. de la Sicile;
Texier, Descr. de
Rayet et Thomas, Milet et le golfe
Perrot et Guillaume, Explor. de la
Pacho, Voy. dans la
Labrouste, Les Temples de
and works by Wood, Newton, Ramsay, and others.