Page:EB1911 - Volume 02.djvu/399

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
378
[GREEK
ARCHITECTURE
centuries of previous development. What, however, is most remarkable is the admirable planning of the whole palace, the bringing together, under one roof and in proper and regular intercommunication, of the numerous services, which in a palace are somewhat complicated. The palace measured about 400 ft. square, and was built round an open court, nearly 200 ft. long by 90 ft. wide; as the same arrangement was found at Phaestus, excavated by the Italian archaeologists, it may be assumed to have been the Cretan plan. It was built on the crest of a hill, and in the western or highest portion was the court entrance from the agora to the megaron or throne-room, and the halls of the officers of the state. In the lower portion facing the east (the rooms in which were two storeys below the level of the court on account of the slope of the hill) was the private suite of apartments of the king and queen. All the services of the palace were at the north end of the palace, where the entrance gateway to the central court was situated. This northern entrance, Dr Evans points out, “represents the main point of intercourse between the palace and the city on the one hand and the port on the other.” This is the only part of the palace in which there is evidence of some kind of fortification, as the road of access is dominated by a tower or bastion. Other provisions also in the plan of the western entrance suggest that its passage was guarded to some extent. In this respect the palace of Tiryns, excavated by Dr Schliemann, presents an entirely different aspect; the whole stronghold bears a singular resemblance to a fortified castle of the middle ages; a high wall from 24 to 50 ft. thick surrounded the acropolis, and the inclined paths of approach and the double gateways gave that protection at Tiryns which at Cnossus was assured, as Dr Evans remarks, by the bulwarks of the Minoan navy. The area on the spur of the hill, on which the citadel of Tiryns was placed, was very much smaller, but if we accept the forecourt at Tiryns as equivalent to the great central court at Cnossus, there are great similarities in the plans of the two palaces. The propylaea, the altar court, the portico, and the megaron are found in both, and those details which are missing in the one are found in the other. The discoveries at Cnossus have enabled Dr Evans to reconstitute the timber columns, of which the bases only were found at Tiryns, and the spur walls of the portico of the megaron and the sills of the doorways at Tiryns give some clue to the restoration of similar features at Cnossus; and if in the latter palace we find the origin of the Doric column, at Tiryns is found that of the antae and of the door linings, further substantiated by the careful analysis made by Dr Dörpfeld of the Heraeum at Olympia.
The reconstruction by Dr Evans of the timber columns at Cnossus, which tapered from the top downwards, the lower diameter being about six-sevenths of the upper, has little historical importance (see Order), so that we may now pass on to the next early monument of importance, the tomb of Agamemnon, the principal and the best preserved of the beehive tombs found at Mycenae and in other parts of Greece. This tomb consists of three parts, the dromos or open entrance passage, the tholos or circular portion domed over, and a smaller chamber excavated in the rock and entered from the larger one. The tomb was subterranean, the masonry being concealed beneath a large mound of earth. The domed part, 48 ft. 6 in. in diameter and 45 ft. high, is built in horizontal courses of stone, which project one over the other till they meet at the top. Subsequently the projecting edges were dressed down, so that the section through the dome is nearly that of an equilateral triangle. Notwithstanding the great thickness of the lintel (3 ft.) over the entrance doorway, the Mycenaeans left a triangular void over, to take off the superincumbent weight, subsequently (it is supposed) filled with sculpture, as in the Lions’ Gate at Mycenae. The doorway was flanked by semi-detached columns 20 ft. high, the shafts of which tapered downwards like those reconstituted at Cnossus; the shafts rested on a base of three steps, and carried a capital with echinus and abacus. These shafts carried a lintel which has now disappeared; the wall above was set back, and was at one time faced with stone slabs carved with spiral and other patterns, of which there are fragments in various museums, the most important remains being those of the shafts, of which the greater part, which was brought over to England in the beginning of the 19th century by the 2nd marquess of Sligo, was presented by the 5th marquess to the British Museum in 1905. These shafts, as also the echinus moulding of the capitals, are richly carved with the chevron and spirals, probably copied from the brass sheathing of wood columns and doorways referred to by Homer.
The Archaic Period.—The buildings just referred to belong to what is known as the prehistoric age in Greece; the dispersion of the tribes by invaders from the north about 1100 B.C. destroyed the Mycenaean civilization, and some centuries have to pass before we reach the results of the new development. Among the invaders the Dorians would seem to have been the chief leaders, who eventually became supreme. They brought with them from Olympus the worship of Apollo, so that henceforth the sanctuary of the god takes the place of the megaron of the king. From Greece the Dorians spread their colonies through the Greek islands and southern Italy. Later they passed on to Sicily and founded Syracuse, and subsequently Selinus and Agrigentum (Acragas). The prosperity of all these colonies is shown in the splendid temples which they built in stone, the remains of many of which have lasted to our day.
Plan of the Heraeum.png
From Curtius and Adler’s Olympia, by permission of Behrend & Co.
Fig. 14.—Plan of the Heraeum. A, Peristyle; B, Pronaos; C, Naos;
D, Opisthodomus; E, Base of statue of Hermes.
The earliest Greek temple of which remains have been discovered[1] is that of the Heraeum at Olympia, ascribed to about 1000 B.C. Its plan (fig. 14) shows that the enclosure of the sanctuary and its porticoes in a peristyle had already been found necessary, if only to protect the walls of the cella, built in unburnt brick on a stone plinth; further, that the antae of the portico and the dressings of the entrance were in wood; and, following Pausanias’ statement relative to the wood column in the opisthodomos, all the columns of the peristyle were in that material, gradually replaced by stone columns as they decayed, evidenced by the character of their capitals, which in style date from the 6th century B.C. to Roman times. The ephemeral nature of the materials employed in this and other early temples, and the risk of fire, must have naturally led to the desire to render the Greek sanctuaries more permanent by the employment of stone. But the Greeks were always timid as regards the bearing value of that material, and would seem to have imagined that unless the blocks were of megalithic dimensions it was impossible to build in stone. This may be gathered from the remains of the earliest example found, the temple of Apollo in the island of Ortygia, Syracuse, where the monolith columns had widely projecting capitals, the abaci of which were set so close together that the intercolumniation was less than one diameter of the column.
Following the temple of Apollo at Syracuse is the temple of Corinth, ascribed to 650 B.C., of which seven columns remain in situ, all monoliths, and the Olympieum at Syracuse. Nearly contemporary with the latter is one of the temples at Selinus in Sicily, 630 B.C., remarkable for the archaic nature of its sculptured metopes. Of later date there are five or six other temples in Selinus, all overthrown by earthquakes; the temple of Athena at Syracuse, which having been converted into a church is in fair preservation; an unfinished temple at Segesta; and six at Agrigentum, built on the brow of a hill facing the sea, one of which was so large that it was necessary to build in walls between the columns.
In Magna Graecia, in the acropolis at Tarentum, are the remains of a 7th century temple and three at Paestum about a century later in date. In one of these, the temple of Poseidon (figs. 15 and 16) the columns which carried the ceiling and roof over the cella are still standing; these are in two stages superimposed with an architrave between them, and although there are no traces in this instance of a gallery, they serve to render more intelligible Pausanias’ description of that which existed in the temple of Zeus at Olympia.
The temple of Assus in Asia Minor is an early example remarkable for its sculptured architrave, the only one known, and in the temple of Aphaea in Aegina (q.v.) we find the immediate predecessor of the Parthenon, if we may judge by its sculpture and the proportions of its columns.
So far we have only referred to the early temples of the Doric order; of the origin and development of those of the Ionic order far less is known. The earliest examples are those of the temple of Apollo at Naucratis in Egypt, and of the archaic temple of Diana at Ephesus, both about 560 B.C. The remains of the latter, discovered by Wood, are now in the British Museum; they consist of two capitals, one with a portion of a shaft in good preservation; the sculptured drum and the base of one of the columns, inscribed with the name of Croesus, who is known to have contributed to it;
  1. Except, possibly, the earliest of those at Sparta (q.v.).—Ed.