The Development of Ancient Greek Architecture

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Kelly Macquire
published on 06 November 2022

Some of the most exceptional and distinctive buildings from the ancient world were crafted by the architects of ancient Greece and some of their structures like theatres, temples, and stadia became staple buildings in cities and towns from antiquity onwards in the western world. The ancient Greeks are well-known for their incredible Doric and Ionic temples, and none are quite as famous as the Parthenon atop the acropolis of Athens, built under the direction of Perikles and envisioned by the architect Phidias in the fifth century BCE.

The architectural feature of all, or most, of these buildings, and the one most commonly associated with the Greeks, are columns. There are five of what are called orders of classical architecture, and an order is basically a combination of a type of column either with or without a base and an entablature which is what the column supports, this could be something like a frieze or a beam called architrave. The five classical orders are Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite though it was not the Greeks, but the Romans who gave them these names.



0:00​ Introduction
1:03 The Greek Architectural Orders
3:31 Ancient Greek Buildings - Temples
7:13 The Theatre, Stoa, and Stadium
10:43 Outro

Ancient Greek Architecture
A Visual Glossary of Classical Architecture
Ancient Greek Inventions

The Early History of the Parthenon, Acropolis and Agora of Ancient Athens
An Introduction to Ancient Greek Magic and Sorceresses
Ancient Roman Art and Architecture
Oracles of Ancient Greece

You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here -

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

World History Encyclopedia

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About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2022, November 06). The Development of Ancient Greek Architecture. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Development of Ancient Greek Architecture." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified November 06, 2022.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Development of Ancient Greek Architecture." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 06 Nov 2022. Web. 26 Mar 2023.