Hellenistic architecture

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Hellenistic architecture

The generals who ruled them established dynastic control and created a court life that provided a type of stimulus to the arts that had not been experienced in Greece since the Bronze Age. The Attalidswho had become the rulers of Pergamum in northwest Asia Minorconstructed there a new capital city in which influential schools of sculpture and architecture flourished.

The Seleucids ruled the Eastern world as far as Persia, and under them the art of architecture in particular evolved in forms that would have an effect on Roman architecture. In the Aegean world, Rhodes proved an important centre and so, of course, did the Macedonian homeland in the north.

By comparison, the great cities of central Greece declined in importance, with the exception of Athens, which had a hold on the imagination of Greeks everywhere for its former role against the Persians and the achievements of the Classical period; as a result it benefited from the gifts of the new kingdoms, especially in building.

This gave considerable impetus to the art of portraituresince these rulers thus deserved commemoration as much as any god; in fact, even private citizens aspired now to some heroic status after death, so that portrait monuments for tombs and honorific statues became more common.

Except for this growth of portraiture, however, the mood in the arts during the Hellenistic period was to intensify and elaborate styles developed by Classical Greece. Palatial architecture aimed at effects never contemplated hitherto; even domestic architecture for the first time had palatial pretensions.

Trade and the newly acquired resources of the East opened up new possibilities for the artist, in both materials and inspiration; the results, however, generally tended to elaboration and grandeur such that the finer qualities of balance and precision characteristic of earlier periods are often difficult to discern in later works. The Classical form of the Doric temple was out of favour in the new age, and the few that were built are elaborate in plan and detail, impairing the sober quality of the order.

This age appreciated the Ionic and the more flamboyant Corinthian forms, and at any rate most new temple building was done in the new eastern areas of the Greek world, where Ionic had been the usual idiom. For the first time the Corinthian order was used for temple exteriors, and work was resumed on the great Temple of Olympian Zeus at Athens, financed by an Eastern king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

The two-storied stoa became an architectural form of importance, serving as hotel, emporium, or office block, and the design of central market and administrative areas depended largely on the disposition of such buildings. Monumental tombs were naturally still required for ruling families, but nobles and the nouveaux riches could also aspire to them now, designing some as minor sanctuaries for the heroized dead. The finest Macedonian tombs of the period displayed a painted architectural facade below ground, leading to a painted and elaborately furnished vaulted underground chamber.

The variety of administrative and court requirements for buildings led to original designs that broke still more decisively with the colonnade orders of Classical temples. A few important examples of particularly original designs are the famous lighthouse Pharos of Alexandria with its tiers of masonry feet metres high; the library of Alexandria; the clock house Tower of the Winds at Athens; monumental fountains and assembly halls; and a new elaboration of stage architecture for theatres, in which for the first time the acting took place on a raised stage.

In the s, as the city of Alexandria prepared for major construction projects, layers of the ancient city were uncovered, including what are thought to be remnants of the Pharos of Alexandria. To the established decorative repertory of moldings and carved ornament was added a variety of floral and animal forms that enriched the surface decoration of buildings. In the East especially, these forms were combined in original ways that, together with compositions that defied the logic of the Classical orders, tended to a style that in many respects anticipates the Baroque.In B.

By the time he died 13 years later, Alexander had built an empire that stretched from Greece all the way to India. That brief but thorough empire-building campaign changed the world: It spread Greek ideas and culture from the Eastern Mediterranean to Asia.

At the end of the classical periodaround B. First the Athenians fought with the Persians; then the Spartans fought with the Athenians during the Peloponnesian War ; then the Spartans and the Athenians fought with one another and with the Thebans and the Persians. All this fighting made it easy for another, previously unexceptional city-state to rise to power: Macedoniaunder the assertive rule of King Philip II.

Philip and the Macedonians began to expand their territory outward. They were helped along by a number of advances in military technology: long-range catapults, for example, along with pikes called sarissas that were about 16 feet long—long enough for soldiers to use not as projectiles, but as spears.

This was not to be; King Philip was assassinated by his bodyguard Pausanias in B. The new Macedonian king led his troops across the Hellespont into Asia.

They conquered huge chunks of western Asia and Egypt and pressed on into the Indus Valley. After Alexander died in B. Soon, those fragments of the Alexandrian empire had become three powerful dynasties: the Seleucids of Syria and Persia, the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Antigonids of Greece and Macedonia.

The Hellenistic states were ruled absolutely by kings. By contrast, the classical Greek city-states, or polei, had been governed democratically by their citizens. These kings had a cosmopolitan view of the world, and were particularly interested in amassing as many of its riches as they could.

As a result, they worked hard to cultivate commercial relationships throughout the Hellenistic world. They imported ivory, gold, ebony, pearls, cotton, spices and sugar for medicine from India ; furs and iron from the Far East; wine from Syria and Chios; papyrus, linen and glass from Alexandria; olive oil from Athens; dates and prunes from Babylon and Damaskos; silver from Spain; copper from Cyprus; and tin from as far north as Cornwall and Brittany.

They also put their wealth on display for all to see, building elaborate palaces and commissioning art, sculptures and extravagant jewelry. They made huge donations to museums and zoos and they sponsored libraries the famous libraries at Alexandria and Pergamum, for instance and universities. The university at Alexandria was home to the mathematicians Euclid, Apollonios and Archimedes, along with the inventors Ktesibios the water clock and Heron the model steam engine.

People, like goods, moved fluidly around the Hellenistic kingdoms. Koine was a unifying cultural force: No matter where a person came from, he could communicate with anyone in this cosmopolitan Hellenistic world. At the same time, many people felt alienated in this new political and cultural landscape. Once upon a time, citizens had been intimately involved with the workings of the democratic city-states; now, they lived in impersonal empires governed by professional bureaucrats.

Hellenistic philosophers, too, turned their focus inward. Diogenes the Cynic lived his life as an expression of protest against commercialism and cosmopolitanism. And the Stoics argued that every individual man had within him a divine spark that could be cultivated by living a good and noble life.

In Hellenistic art and literature, this alienation expressed itself in a rejection of the collective demos and an emphasis on the individual. The Hellenistic world fell to the Romans in stages, but the era ended for good in 31 B. Octavian took the name Augustus and became the first Roman emperor. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!Laocoon and His Sons, Antiphas and Thymbraeus. A characteristic example of sculpture from the Hellenistic era of classical antiquity.

For an introductory guide to arts and crafts from the wider Aegean area, see the Art of Classical Antiquity c. Altar of Zeus at Pergamon c. In Classical Antiquity, the meaning of the term "Hellenism" can be summed up as: "an admiration for, or an imitation of, the ideas, style, or culture of classical Greek civilization. The Hellenistic age was characterized by a profound respect, if not reverence for Greek culture, which was felt throughout the civilized world in the West.

Countries and colonies around the Eastern Mediterranean, for instance, were greatly impressed by Greek art - including all types of Greek sculpture and Greek pottery - and Greek architectureespecially the architectural 'Orders'.

Generally speaking, Hellenistic styles of sculpture and architecture were practiced in all Greek colonies, notably the mainland of Anatolia present day Turkeywhile Hellenistic painting is exemplified by the Egyptian Fayum Mummy Portraits from 50 BCE.

Egypt however did not take to Greek building designs, and the Ptolemaic dynasty BCE which was established in Egypt by the Macedonian Greek general Ptolemy I, adhered to traditional Egyptian designs. On the European mainland, both Etruscan art and Roman art were heavily influenced by Greek styles. This is particularly noticeable in the field of Roman sculpturealthough Roman relief sculpture was almost as good as that produced by the Greeks. As for Roman architecturethis was responsible for a number of critical improvements on Greek designs, including the invention of the arch, the vault, the dome and concrete.

Death of Alexander the Great. Control of this empire was then fought over by Alexander's principal generals known as the "Diadochi"who duly established a number of ruling dynasties. Hellenistic Architecture. This was directly affected by the splitting-up of Alexander's empire, since each of these dynasties had significant patronage, as well as the need to establish themselves in the eyes of their subjects.

This combination led to a number of major urban developments, like Antioch, Pergamon, and Seleucia on the Tigris. Pergamon is especially characteristic of Hellenistic architecture. Originally a modest stronghold located on an Acropolis, it was redeveloped by the Attalid kings into a colossal architectural complex. It included the monumental Altar of Zeus at Pergamon c. Hellenistic architectural gigantism is also exemplified by the incomplete second temple of Apollo at Didyma, Ionia begun around BCEdesigned by Daphnis of Miletus and Paionios of Ephesus.

Hellenistic Architecture and Human Action

In addition to those works cited above, other notable examples of Hellenistic architecture include the following:. Hellenistic Sculpture. In contrast to the calmness and serenity of High Classical Greek sculpture BCEas exemplified by the statues and reliefs of the ParthenonGreek sculpture from the Hellenistic era was more exciting, and typically featured more movement and stronger emotion. Hellenistic sculptors no longer restricted themselves to the idealized subjects of Classical sculpture, but portrayed a wider range of personalities, moods and scenes.

But although more active than classical forms, Hellenistic works retained several classical features such as all-round viewability of statues, meticulous drapery, and suppleness of posture - see, for instance, the twist of the hips on the Venus de Milo c. Sensuality was also depicted, in works like Aphrodite, Pan and Eros c. Hellenism also led to an increasing interest in individual psychology: see, for instance, the melancholic statue of Demosthenes c.

hellenistic architecture

Compare the reliefs on the Ara Pacis AugustaeRome c. Advances in bronze casting facilitated the creation of monumental bronze sculpturesuch as the metre tall Colossus of Rhodes - one of the famous Seven Wonders of the World BCEmade by Chares of Lindos fl.

Unfortunately, most Hellenistic bronzes were melted down and used in the manufacture of weapons or coins.

Hellenistic art

Hellenistic Greece also witnessed the widespread use of terracotta sculptureboth for funerary and decorative purposes. New molding techniques enabled artists to create highly detailed miniature statues, with a high level of naturalism. In contrast to these relaxed figurines, Hellenistic sculptors in Greece and Egypt produced a variety of "grotesques" - hunchbacks, epileptics and other deformed or tortured characters - which appear to violate most canons of "Greek beauty".

An early form of caricature artpossibly. Hellenistic plastic art also had a major influence on Indian sculptureespecially Greco-Buddhist statuary of the Gandhara school around Peshawar, and later at Taxila, in the Punjab. For more about the influence of Hellenism on 20th century artists, see: Classical Revival in modern art In addition to those works cited above, other notable examples of Hellenistic sculpture include the following:.

By unknown artist.The art of the Hellenistic time B. C, a long time in the past, in Greece is sculpture and painting and other things. For a long time, people said that the art of that time was not good.

hellenistic architecture

Pliny the Elder talked about the Greek sculpture of the classical time B. But much good art is from the Hellenistic time. Now more people have looked at writing about the Hellenistic time.

Lesson 11- Alexander and Hellenistic Culture

People discovered art from the Hellenistic time at Vergina and other places. Now people can see that the art of the Hellenistic time is very good art.

One of the things that made the Hellenistic time different from other times was the division of Alexander the Great 's country into smaller parts. In every part there was a family of leaders. The Ptolemies had Egypt ; the Seleucids had Mesopotamiathe Attalids had Pergamonand other leaders had other parts.

Every family of leaders gave money for art in a way that was different from the way the city-states did it. They made big cities and complex groups of buildings in a way that most city-states had already stopped doing by BC. This way of making buildings was new for Greece. This way was not to try to change or fix a natural place, but to make the buildings fit the natural place. There were many places for pleasure, for example many theatres and places to walk. The Hellenistic countries were lucky because they had much empty space where they could make big new cities.

Some of their new cities were AntiochPergamonand Seleucia on the Tigris. Pergamon is a very good example of Hellenistic architecture. It started with a simple fortress on the Acropolis a very big rock.

Different Attalid kings added to it and made a huge group of buildings.The word Hellenistic is inspired by the word Hellazein, which basically meant to identify with the Greeks. This period is called as the ancient Greece Hellenistic because of the Greek empire was spread across the entire Mediterranean and parts of Asia and had reached till India.

It was the Macedonian emperor Alexander the Great who had successfully spread the Greek empire to all these places. Alexander became the leader of the Greek kingdom of Macedonia in BC. In the next 13 years, he successfully spread the Greek empire far and wide. After his death in BC, his empire was governed by his generals. The empire was divided into fragments and started to crumble slowly. But before the empire was invaded by various forces like the Persians and the Romans, it made a huge impact on all the places and the people which were under the ruling of the Greeks.

The Hellenistic states were ruled by kings. This era saw the transformation of the Greece society from a localized and city-states approach to a more extrovert and open culture mainly due to the cosmopolitan nature of the kings who ruled these regions. Commercial relations between different places improved in this period.

As people got to move around places more often, the Greek culture and way of life were spread across many borders and hence influenced many places. This period was also an important era of the development of sciences. Great mathematicians like Euclid and Archimedes were a part of this era and their findings are even today considered very important. Scientist Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth within miles and the fact that the earth was not flat but was a sphere was prevalent in this period.

Culture in the Hellenistic period also changed with time. Art and architecture also not only evolved in this period but also flourished a great deal. Many sculptures made in the Hellenistic world are influential even today. Architectural styles changed and refined and new ideas like the Corinthian order were implemented in this period.

Most people of the Hellenistic period knew the same language. It was called koine, which was a kind of a colloquial Greek language.

hellenistic architecture

Political atmosphere and functioning of the governments of a lot of places changed in this period. Governments were then not run by the common people but included professionals.

Hellenistic religion

This period finally came to an end in 31 BC when in the battle of Actium the Romans were victorious. That saw the end of ancient Greece and but the influence of the Greece culture had its influence for many years down the line. Skip to content.Architecture during the Hellenistic period focused on theatricality and drama; the period also saw an increased popularity of the Corinthian order.

Describe the characteristics of Hellenistic architecture, including stoas, the Corinthian order, and the use of theatricality. An ornament resembling the foliage or leaves of Acanthus spinosus, and used in the capitals of the Corinthian and composite orders. In Ancient Greece, a walkway with a roof supported by colonnades, often with a wall on one side; a portico.

In linear perspective drawing, the diagonal line pointing to the vanishing point; sometimes referred to as vanishing or convergence line. Having a double row of columns on each on the flanks, as well as in front and rear, often said of a temple. Architecture in the Greek world during the Hellenistic period developed theatrical tendencies, as had Hellenistic sculpture. The conquests of Alexander the Great had caused power to shift from the city-states of Greece to the ruling dynasties.

Dynastic families patronized large complexes and dramatic urban plans within their cities. These urban plans often focused on the natural setting, and were intended to enhance views and create dramatic civic, judicial, and market spaces that differed from the orthogonal plans of the houses that surrounded them. Architecture in the Hellenistic period is most commonly associated with the growing popularity of the Corinthian order.

However, the Doric and Ionic orders underwent notable changes. Examples include slender and unfluted Doric columns and four-fronted capitals on Ionic columns, the latter of which helped to solve design problems concerning symmetry on temple porticos. A stoa, or a covered walkway or portico, was used to bind agorae and other public spaces.

Highlighting the edge of open areas with such decorative architecture created a theatrical effect for the public space and also provided citizens with a basic daily form of protection from the elements. Both the stoa and the agora were used by merchants, artists, religious festivals, judicial courts, and civic administrations.

The Stoa of Attalos c. This portico consists of a double colonnade. It was two stories tall, and had a row of rooms on the ground floor. The exterior colonnade on the ground level was built in the Doric order, and the interior was Ionic. On second level Ionic columns lined the exterior, and columns with a simple, stylized capital lined the interior. Other examples of grand and monumental architecture can be found in Ioniamodern day Turkey in Pergamon, and Didyma.

The Temple of Apollo at Didyma was both a temple and an oracle site. The temple was designed by the architects Paionios of Ephesus and Daphnis of Miletus.Free map of ancient Greek theaters download it now!!! During what may be considered a second stage, skepticism concerning all truth and all values resulted in the rejection of reason entirely.

Toward the end of the civilization philosophy degenerated into a barren mysticism, with the consequence that the whole intellectual approach, whether based upon reason or experience, was thrown into the discard. Despite the fundamental differences in their teachings, the philosophers of the Hellenistic Age were all agreed upon one thing: the necessity of finding some way ofsalvation for man from the hardships and evils of his existence.

The first and most important of the Hellenistic philosophies were Epicureanism and Stoicism, both of which originated about b. The founders were, respectively, Epicurus and Zeno, who were residents of Athens, though the former was born on the island of Samos, while the latter was a native of Cyprus, probably of Phoenician descent. Epicureanism and Stoicism had several features in common.

Both were individualistic, concerned not with the welfare of society " primarily, but with the good of the individual. Both were materialistic, denying categorically the existence of any spiritual substances; even divine beings and the soul were declared to be formed of matter.

Lastly, the two philosophies were similar in their doctrines that concepts and abstractions are nothing but names, that only particular things are real, and that all knowledge has its basis in sense perception.

hellenistic architecture

But in many ways the two systems were quite different. Zeno and his principal disciples taught that the cosmos is an ordered whole in which all contradictions are resolved for ultimate good. Evil is, therefore, relative; the particular misfortunes which befall human beings are but necessary incidents to the final perfection of the universe.

Everything that happens is rigidly determined in accordance with rational purpose. Man is not master of his fate; his destiny is a link in an unbroken chain. He is free only in the sense that he can accept his fate or rebel against it. But whether he accepts or rebels, he cannot overcome it. The supreme duty of man is to submit to the order of the universe in the knowledge that that order is good; in other words, to resign himself as graciously as possible to his fate.

Through such an act of resignation he will attain to the highest happiness, which consists in tranquillity of mind. The individual who is most truly happy is therefore the man who by the assertion of his rational nature has accomplished a perfect adjustment of his life to the cosmic purpose and has purged his soul of all bitterness and whining protest against evil turns of fortune. The Stoics developed an ethical and social theory which accorded well with their general philosophy described above.

Believing that the highest good consists in serenity of mind, they naturally emphasized duty and self-discipline as cardinal virtues. Recognizing the prevalence of particular evil, they taught that men should be tolerant and forgiving in their attitudes toward one another. They denied racial exclusiveness and held that all men are brothers under the fatherhood of one God.

Unlike their contemporaries, the Cynics, they did not recommend that man should withdraw from society but urged participation in public affairs as a duty for the citizen of rational mind. They condemned slavery and war, but it was far from their purpose to preach any crusade against these evils.

They were disposed to think that the results which would flow from violent measures of social change would be worse than the diseases they were supposed to cure. Besides, what difference did it make that the body should be in bondage so long as the mind was free?

Despite its negative character the Stoic philosophy was the noblest product of the Hellenistic Age. Its equalitarianism, pacifism, and humanitarianism were important factors in mitigating the harshness not only of that time but of later centuries as well.

Whereas the Stoics went back to Heracletus for much of their conception of the universe, the Epicureans derived their metaphysics chiefly from Democritus. Epicurus taught that the basic ingredients of all things are minute, indivisible atoms, and that change and growth are the results of the combination and separation of these particles.

Nevertheless, while accepting the materialism of the atomists, Epicurus rejected their absolute mechanism. He denied that an automatic, mechanical motion of the atoms can be the cause of all things in the universe. Though he admitted that the atoms move downward in perpendicular lines because of their weight, he insisted upon endowing them with a spontaneous ability to swerve from the perpendicular and thereby to combine with one another. The chief reason for this peculiar modification of the atomic theory was to make possible a belief in human freedom.

If the atoms were capable only of mechanical motion, then man, who is made up of atoms, would be reduced to the status of an automaton; and fatalism would be the law of the universe. In this repudiation of the mechanistic interpretation of life, Epicurus was probably closer to the Hellenic spirit than either Democritus or the Stoics. The ethical philosophy of the Epicureans was based upon the doctrine that the highest good for man is pleasure. But they did not include all forms of indulgence in the category of genuine pleasure.


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