Synopses & Reviews
Greek temples captivate anyone with an interest in antiquity, and the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columnar orders that clad them launched the classical architectural tradition down to modern times. The Origins of Classical Architecture proposes groundbreaking new theories in both areas as it elucidates the nature and function of Greek architecture. While contextualizing past debate and prevailing frequently evolutionary assumptions, Mark Wilson Jones explains how the orders emerged over a relatively short period in response to cultural developments, human agency, and artistic inspiration. Temples were houses for the gods while also considered as offerings to them, and thus made appropriately from enduring materials and grandly scaled. These structures, furthermore, sheltered votive offerings of great artistic quality, the design of which influenced that of the temples and the creation of the new architectural forms. Temples and their orders thereby symbolized the dedication of effort and artistry to the cause of religious expression and collective identity.
With startling scope and ambition, this groundbreaking book throws new light on a subject that has preoccupied and obsessed architects since the Renaissanceand#8212;how the Greeks invented architecture.
The Greek architectural ordersand#151;Doric, Ionic, and Corinthianand#151;lie at the heart of the classical traditions of building, and yet satisfying accounts for their origins have proved elusive. In contrast with conventional theories that would see the orders originating over the course of a long evolution, this book stresses the suddenness of the phenomenon and its dependence on historical context, human agency, and artistic inspiration. Casting new light on a subject that has preoccupied architects since the Renaissance, Mark Wilson Jones shows how construction, influence, appearance, and meaning found expression in complex and multifaceted designs. and#160;New emphasis is placed on the relationship between the orders and the temples of worship that they were created to adorn. Temples were exquisitely made offerings to the divinity, and they also contained valuable offerings. In revealing affinities between certain offerings and the orders, the author explains how these gave architectural expression to sensibilities of intense social and religious significance.and#160;
About the Author
Mark Wilson Jones is an architect, architectural historian, and scholar of archeology in the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath.