Modern Architecture And Ancient Greece

1851 Words8 Pages
Rules of proportion in Architecture and Ancient Greece

Proportion is the essence of architecture, and its roots can be traced back to even the ancient Egyptian times. The first recorded information about the theories of proportion comes from Pythagoras’s studies on geometry, ratio and the musical scale. This knowledge has been further explored in relation to proportions of things found in nature, such as the discovery of the golden ratio, and the modulation of the parts that make up the human body. This knowledge is documented in Vitruvius’s treatice, De Architectura, which contains valuable information about how architecture was perceived in these ancient times. His ideas of the ideal proportions of greek temples, and its relationship to the modular system of the human body is most evident in the flawless harmony of parts that make up the Parthenon.

In the mid-5th century BC Pythagoras studied the Greek string instruments, called the lyre and he discovered that two strings with the same length, tension and thickness will sound the same. When the strings are at different lengths, they will most likely sound bad (or dissonant). However, he discovered certain string lengths that were different from one another, but they sounded good (or consonant) when played together. For example when he halved one string, he realised that the notes sounded the same, but at different pitches. This was the discovery of the octave, or diapason, and can be represented as a ratio of 1:2.

More about Modern Architecture And Ancient Greece

Get Access