This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
The Greek "Order" is an architectural composition resulting from the combination of a platform or Stylobate, a Column, and an Entablature. A pedestal is not employed with the Greek column. The platform, or stylobate, consists of a plain mass of greater or lesser height, upon which the columns rest. In the Doric Order, however, the stylobate generally consists of three high steps upon which are set the columns. The entablature is divided into Architrave or Epistyle, Frieze, and Cornice.
There are three Greek or-ers:
(1) The Doric Order, in which the capital is composed solely of mouldings. (See Fig.
(2) The Ionic Order, in which the capital is composed of mouldings enriched with carving, and with the addition of long scrolls called Volutes.
(3) The Corinthian Order, in which the capital is composed of mouldings, volutes, and leafage.
The Caryatid and Persic Orders, in which the entablature is carried by sculptured figures instead of by columns, are not specified as separate orders, but should not be overlooked.
There are other distinguishing characteristics, but the capital is perhaps the most notable.
The column, so important a part of the order, is itself a growth of much earlier times. Its origin is doubtful and probably it developed variously in different places at nearly simultaneous periods.
Fig. 46. Moulding Outlines.
Origin of the Entasis of the Column. The great difference between the width at neck and base of the Greek column in the early examples indicates in part its experimental stages and in part its derivation from the stone Avail or pier; while its outline certainly suggests more the "batter" or slope of a pylon or wall than the entasi; of a column. We shall find, in taking up the Greek Doric Orders more in detail, still other evidences pointing in the same direction.
The Flutings and their Origin. The shafts or columns are frequently divided into flutings. In the Doric-Order these flutings are, in plan, short segments of a circle or of an ellipse, and intersect in a sharp, raised edge, or arris; but in the Ionic and the Corinthian Orders the flutings are almost half circles in plan, and are separated, not by a mere arris, but by a fillet or an appreciable portion of the shaft itself, as at F in Fig. 49.
In the earliest rock-cut temples, pylons or square piers (as shown at A, Fig. 47) were probably left to support the roof, as may be seen to-day in India and Central America. These piers were sometimes elaborately carved and decorated in panels on their four sides.
The fluting was probably first suggested by the undue amount of wear on the corner angle, and this angle was chamfered off, as at B in the same figure, first slightly and afterward so as to make the pier of eight equal faces or sides. These chamfers extended from a point above a person's head and near the top of the pier, down to the floor, as at A or B in Fig. 48. Later on the eight faces were made into sixteen by the same simple process of dressing down the corners (C, Fig. 47); and the top of the pier was perhaps left square (C, Fig. 48), as the earlier form suggested.
Fig. 47. Plans showing Development of Doric Columns.
PLATE XXXVI. (A reproduction at small size of Portfolio Plate XXXVI).
But it was now found that the angles of the corners were so obtuse that they were hardly distinguishable (A, Fig. 49); and it was an easy further step to sharpen and emphasize these corners by hollowing out the flat surface, at first very slightly (B, Fig. 49).
It must be remembered that this is the development of a rock or stone-cut pier that we are tracing, and that the instinct of the artisan was to preserve the distinctive feature, that of the angle or corner, disregarding at first an easier solution-that of making it circular in plan. We find instances of just this stage of development in some of the rock-cut tombs at Beni-Hassan in Egypt, where two columns of a form similar to that just described were used in antis (Fig. 31).
Fig. 48. Elevations Showing Development of Doric Columns.
The process of chamfering off the corner angles would leave us with a pier of sixteen sides, while the Greeks adopted the number of twenty for the Doric work of the best periods. This was undoubtedly after due experimentation, when it was found that sixteen flutes were too coarse for the best effect. At Paestum we find evidences of this process. There, in the Great Temple, the exterior Order of very large columns has twenty-four flutes. The interior lower Order has twenty, and the upper Order sixteen flutes, evidently proportioned with regard to the size and girth of the whole of the column quite as much as to their distance from the eye.
In some such way as this was developed the character of the fluting and capital of the Greek Doric column. By referring to Fig. 48 again, it will be found that the outline of the .pier shown at A suggests more the outline of the capital formed of an echinus and abacus, as in the later examples, than do the next successive stages, B and C.
The further growth of the fluting is shown in Fig. 49. At C is indicated a section of greater depth and decision. In D we find that three circles are employed to get the effect, one of large radius for the flat center sweep, and at either end one of short radius, in order to obtain a sharp corner edge, or arris, at the meeting of the flutings. This presages the appearance of the fillet separating the flutings, although this character is afterwards relegated to the second Order, the Ionic.