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Comparison of Greek Temples

Ancient Greek Mythology, Religion, Art

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Comparison of Greek Temples

 

This diagram compares eight different types of basic Greek temples, styles that were generally adopted into Roman architecture as well: Temple in Antis, Double Anta, Prostyle, Amphi-Prostyle, Peripteral, Dipteral, Pseudodipteral, and Monopteral.

The earliest and simplest design is the Temple in Antis with a naos and simple pronaos made from projections of the side walls. It's also known as a Distyle (di = two, stylos = column, anta = pilaster, a rectangular column attached to a wall). Next is the Double Anta which repeats the same layout front and back, allowing for an opisthodomus as well.

When a full row of columns appears in the front of the temple, it's called a Prostyle. The front porch, or pronaos, usually has columns on either side as well. If a full row of columns appears in the back as well, it's an Amphi-Prostyle (Prostyle on Both Ends).

The Peripteral (also peristyle) style of temple became the standard style from the second half of the 7th century BCE on. This is the style most people are familiar with and associate with ancient Greek religion and architecture. Here a single row of columns (colonnade, peristasis) runs around all four sides of the temple. During the classical period the usual format was to have 6 columns on either end and either 12 or 13 columns along either side. A few earlier peripteral temples had 15 columns along the sides.

More elaborate was the Dipteral style of temple where a double row of columns running around all four sides. This allowed for the construction of a much larger porch around the naos. There was also the Pseudodipteral style in which the inner colonnade was left out and just a single row stood around the naos, sometimes giving the impression of having two colonnades. Both the Dipteral and Pseudodipteral typically had 8 columns along the front and back. The monopteral style was a round temple that had a single colonnade on the outside and, usually, a single colonnade within the naos.

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