Essentials of Ancient Greek Architecture
What you'll learn
- Students will acquire the vocabulary of ancient Greek architecture and be able to apply them to recognizable monuments.
- Students will be able to recognize major Greek monuments and innovations.
- Students will gain an appreciation of the engineering advances that contributed to the success of Greek architecture.
- A comprehensive vocabulary list is found at the end of the course.
- Some knowledge of prior art history courses (Egyptian, Ancient Aegean, and Archaic Greek will help, but it's not essential.
It is a testament to the longevity of Greek architectural principles that in our daily lives, we pass derivatives of ancient Greek architectural forms and design on virtually every block. The Greek temple, as well as other forms like the theater, became architectural building blocks for subsequent Classical culture in antiquity, and this style of building and design was at the heart of the revival of culture in the Italian Renaissance and early-modern Europe. However, as much as we might take the basic shapes of Greek architecture for granted, the history of its development reveals the richly interwoven fabric of contact with other ancient cultures in the Archaic period. The distinctive forms and style which we can call Greek architecture, notwithstanding this degree of foreign influence in its early stages, emerged in the ancient Mediterranean basin as recognizable markers of a uniquely Greek identity and civilization. Greek Architecture came into being as far back as the Neolithic, but the transition to building in stone, which occurred after the seventh century B.C.E., resulted in permanent constructions that have been hugely influential on the history of architecture well through the present day. From the Archaic through the Hellenistic Period, we see evolutions in Greek architecture which would be repeated far and wide through the course of architectural history both in the East and West. The Classical legacy which Greek architects left has been one of the most influential forces in the course of this history to come. From wooden temple-houses to monumental stone constructions which never forgot their “roots,” the Greeks may have borrowed engineering expertise, such as the use of colonnades as support structures, from cultures with which they came into contact, but their core Greek identity, passed down from the earliest times, changed very little. We see the brightest moments of Greek architecture associated with their victories over the most serious threats to their existence: the defeat of the Persians and their expulsion from Greek lands paved the way for the Classical style with its formalized canon of harmonious proportions to emerge. With Alexander the Great’s conquest of a great many of the Eastern potentates, Greek civilization was brought into direct contact with previously foreign building traditions and methods, and this melting-pot brought out combinations of Classical Greek elements with Eastern sensibilities that would never have been dreamt of in Athens. All over the Middle East today, in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and everywhere Greek culture established a foothold, we find examples of the sheer variety and pervasiveness of Hellenistic architecture in the ancient world and beyond. Familiarize yourself with the evolution of Greek Architecture, its terminology, and its major sites with this engaging course!
Who this course is for:
- High school, university, or graduate students will find standard material covered, and life-long students will find original material and analyses not found in standard textbooks.
Dr. Lily Filson has held the title of Assistant Professor for both private as well as state universities in the United States. She received her Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Formative Sciences and her M.A. in Italian Renaissance Art History; her educational fellowships include a European Research Council Grant Fellowship at the Universita' Ca Foscari in Venice, Italy, the Katerina Duskova Memorial Fellowship from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, and the Syracuse University Florence Fellowship. She has more recently won a Short-Term Grant from the Renaissance Society of America and a Research Award from the University of Oxford.
Her studies and career have brought her into contact with numerous artworks and sites that go beyond traditional art history survey courses; her lectures feature unique content and fresh perspectives on the greatest story ever told: why and how art is made and how we relate to it over time. She brings first-hand experience and a warm delivery style to her video lectures which bring ancient artworks to life.