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The Greek Temple

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The architecture of ancient Greece is the architecture produced by the Greek-speaking people whose culture flourished on the Greek mainland, the Peloponnese, the Aegean Islands, and in colonies in Anatolia and Italy for a period from about 900 BC until the 1st century AD, with the earliest remaining architectural works dating from around 600 BC. Nikolaus Pevsner refers to "the plastic shape of the temple.....placed before us with a physical presence more intense, more alive than that of any later building". There is an abundance of high quality white marble both on the mainland and islands, particularly Paros and Naxos. This finely grained material was a major contributing factor to precision of detail, both architectural and sculptural,…show more content…
The temple did not serve the same function as a modern church, since the altar stood under the open sky in the temenos or sacred precinct, often directly before the temple. Temples served as the location of a cult image and as a storage place or strong room for the treasury associated with the cult of the god in question, and as a place for devotees of the god to leave their votive offerings, such as statues, helmets and weapons. Some Greek temples appear to have been oriented astronomically. The temple was generally part of a religious precinct known as the acropolis. According to Aristotle, '"the site should be a spot seen far and wide, which gives good elevation to virtue and towers over the…show more content…
The propylon or porch, formed the entrance to temple sanctuaries and other significant sites with the best-surviving example being the Propylaea on the Acropolis of Athens. The bouleuterion was a large public building with a hypostyle hall that served as a court house and as a meeting place for the town council . Remnants of bouleuterion survive at Athens, Olympia and Miletus, the latter having held up to 1200 people. Every Greek town had an open-air theatre. These were used for both public meetings as well as dramatic performances. The theatre was usually set in a hillside outside the town, and had rows of tiered seating set in a semicircle around the central performance area, the orchestra. Behind the orchestra was a low building called the skênê, which served as a store-room, a dressing-room, and also as a backdrop to the action taking place in the orchestra. A number of Greek theatres survive almost intact, the best known being at Epidaurus, by the architect Polykleitos the Younger. Greek towns of substantial size also had a palaestra or a gymnasium, the social centre for male citizens which included spectator areas, baths, toilets and club
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