of trunk necessary to support the walls of brick, and over the doorway a similar feature. In Chaldaea the same decorative features are found in the stage towers which constituted their temples, and broad projecting buttresses, indented panels and other features, originally constructive, form the decorations of the Assyrian palaces. There also, built in the same material, unburnt brick, the walls have a similar batter, though they were faced with burnt bricks. In later times in Greece and Asia Minor, where wood was plentiful, the stone architecture suggests its timber origin, and though unburnt brick was still employed for the mass of the walls, the remains in Crete and the representations in painting, &c., show that it was encased in timber framing, so that the raking walls were no longer a necessary element in their structure. The clearest proofs of original timber construction are shown in the rock-cut tombs of Lycia, where the ground sill, vertical posts, cross beams, purlins and roof joists are all direct imitations of structures originally erected in wood.
The numerous relics of structures left by primeval man have generally little or no architectural value; and the only interesting problem regarding them—the determination of their date and purpose and of the degree of civilization which they manifest—falls within the province of archaeology (see Archaeology; Barrow; Lake-Dwellings; Stone Monuments).
Technical terms in architecture will be found separately explained under their own headings in this work, and in this article a general acquaintance with them is assumed. A number of architectural subjects are also considered in detail in separate articles; see, for instance, Capital; Column; Design; Order; and such headings as Abbey; Aqueduct; Arch; Basilica; Baths; Bridges; Catacomb; Crypt; Dome; Mosque; Palace; Pyramid; Temple; Theatre; &c., &c. Also such general articles on national art as China: Art; Egypt: Art and Archaeology; Greek Art; Roman Art; &c., and the sections on architecture and buildings under the headings of countries and towns.
In the remainder of this article the general history of the evolution of the art of architecture will be considered in various sections, associated with the nations and periods from which the leading historic styles are chronologically derived, in so far as the dominant influences on the art, and not the purely local characteristics of countries outside the main current of its history, are concerned; but the opportunity is taken to treat with some attempt at comprehensiveness the leading features of the architectural history of those countries and peoples which are intimately connected with the development of modern architecture.
These consecutive sections are as follows:—
- Early Christian
- Early Christian Work in Central Syria
- Coptic Church in Egypt
- Romanesque and Gothic in—
- Belgium and Holland
- Renaissance: Introduction
- Belgium and Holland
Finally, a section on what can only be collectively termed Modern architecture deals with the main lines of the later developments down to the present day in the architectural history of different countries.
(R. P. S.)
Although structures discovered in Chaldaea, at Tello and Nippur, seeming to date back to the fifth millennium B.C.
, suggest that the earlier settlements of mankind were in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, north of the Persian Gulf, it is to Egypt that we must turn for the most ancient records of monumental architecture (see also Egypt
: Art and Archaeology
). The proximity of the ranges of hills (the Arabian and Libyan chains) to the Nile, and the facilities which that river afforded for the transport of the material quarried in them, enabled the Egyptians at a very early period to reproduce in stone those structures in unburnt brick to which we have already referred.
Although the great founder of the first Egyptian monarchy is reputed to be Menes, the Thinite who traditionally founded the capital at Memphis, he was preceded, according to Flinders Petrie, by an earlier invading race coming from the south, who established a monarchy at This near Abydos, having entered the country by the Kosseir road from the Red Sea; and this may account for the early tradition that it was the Ethiopians who founded the earliest dynastic race, “Ethiopians” being a wide term which may embrace several races.
Egyptian architecture is usually described under the principal periods in which it was developed. They are as follows
:—(A) the Memphite kingdom, whose capital was at Memphis, south-west of Cairo, the Royal Domain extending south some 30 to 40 m.; (B) the first Theban kingdom with Thebes as the capital; this covers three dynasties. Then follows an interregnum of five dynasties, when the invasion of the Hyksos took place; this was architecturally unproductive. On the expulsion of the Hyksos there followed (C) the second Theban kingdom, consisting of three dynasties, under whose reign the finest temples were erected throughout the country. After 1102 followed six dynasties (1102–525 B.C.
), with capitals at Sais, Tanis and Bubastis, when the decadence of art and power took place. Then followed the Persian invasion, 525–331 B.C.
, which was destructive instead of being reproductive. On the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great, and after his death in 323 B.C.
, was founded (D) the Ptolemaic kingdom, with Alexandria as the capital. A great revival of art then took place, which to a certain extent was carried on under the Roman occupation from 27 B.C.
, and lasted about 300 years.
With the exception of a small temple, found by Petrie in front of the temple of Medum, and the so-called “Temple of the Sphinx,” the only monuments remaining of the Memphite kingdom are the Pyramids, which were built by the kings as their tombs, and the mastabas, in which the members of the royal family and of the priests and chiefs were buried. The mastaba (Arabic for “bench”) was a tomb, oblong in plan, with battering side and a flat roof, containing various chambers, of which the principal were (1) the Chapel for offerings, (2) the Serdab, in which the Ka or double of the deceased was deposited, and (3) the well, always excavated in the rock, in which the mummy was placed.
The three best-known pyramids are those situated about 7 m. south-west of Cairo, which were built by the second, third and fourth kings of the fourth dynasty,—Khufu (c.
), Khafra (c.
), and Menkaura (c.
), who are better known as Cheops, Cephren and Mycerinus. The first of these is the largest and most remarkable in its construction and setting out. The pyramid of Cephren was slightly smaller, and that of Mycerinus still more so, compensated for by a casing in granite. The dimensions and other details are given in the article Pyramids
. From the purely architectural point of view they are the least impressive of masses, and their immense size is not realized until on a close approach.
The temple of the Sphinx, attributed to Cephren, is T-shaped in plan, with two rows of square piers down the vertical and one row down the cross portion. These carried a flat roof of stone. The temple is remarkable for the splendid finish given to the granite piers, and to the alabaster slabs which cased the rock in which it had been partially excavated (but see Egypt
The Serapeum at Sakkara, in which the sacred bulls were embalmed and buried, the tomb of Ti (a fifth dynasty courtier), and the tombs of the kings and queens of Thebes, have no special architectural features which call for description here.
We pass on to the first Theban kingdom, the eighth king of which, Nebheprē Menthotp III., built the temple lately discovered on the south side of the temple at Deir-el-Bahri, of which it is the prototype. It was a sepulchral temple, and being built on rising ground was approached by flights of steps. In the centre was a solid mass of masonry which, it is thought by some authorities, was crowned by a pyramid. This was surrounded by a double portico with square piers in the outer range, and octagonal piers in the inner range, there being a wall between the two ranges.
The earliest tombs in which the column
) appears, as an architectural feature, are those at Beni Hasan, attributed to the period of Senwosri (formerly read Usertesen) I., the second king of the twelfth dynasty. These are carved in the solid rock. There are two
- ↑ For the various chronological systems proposed see Egypt: Chronology.