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Title: Architecture
Author: Bell, Nancy R E Meugens
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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CHAP.                                                      PAGE



  II. GREEK ARCHITECTURE                                     13

 III. ROMAN ARCHITECTURE                                     22

  IV. EARLY CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE                           31


  VI. ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE                                45


VIII. GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE IN EUROPE                          60




      INDEX                                                  93



It is only when a building entirely fulfils the purpose for which it is
intended and bears the impress of a genuine style that it takes rank as
a work of architecture. This definition, exclusive though it at first
sight appears, brings within the province of the art every structure
which combines with practical utility beauty of design and execution,
from the humblest cottage to the most dignified temple or palace.
Suitability of material and harmony with its surroundings are among the
minor factors that give to a building vitality of character and
contribute to its enduring value, a value enhanced by its reflection of
the needs and aspirations of those by whom and for whom it was erected.

Wood appears to have been the earliest material used for the building of
a home when out-of-door dwellings took the place of the caves that were
the first shelters of primitive man. At Joigny in France there still
exist examples of what are supposed to be the most ancient of all such
dwellings, namely circular holes, locally known as _buvards_, in which
the trunk of a tree had been fixed, the branches plastered over with
clay forming the roof of a simple but rain-proof refuge. Huts of wattle
and hurdle work dating from prehistoric times have also been preserved,
some rising from the ground, others from platforms resting on piles sunk
in the beds of lakes. These were in their time superseded by stronger
structures, with walls made of squared beams piled up horizontally and
fastened together at the corners with wooden pegs; the roof being formed
of roughly sawn planks. Out of such primeval houses as these were
evolved in the course of centuries the picturesque half-timbered
cottages of mediæval Europe and the quaint wooden churches of Norway
such as the characteristic one at Hitterdal.

Limestone, granite, and sandstone were used for building at a very
remote period in much the same way as wood, large blocks, fresh from the
quarry, of all manner of different shapes, being piled up horizontally
or stood on edge, no cement being employed, though in certain cases
crushed stone was used to fill up the spaces between the blocks. To
walls or buildings of which courses of undressed stone were the only
materials, the name of Cyclopean has been given because of the erroneous
belief that it was originated by the Cyclopes, an imaginary race of
giants, supposed to have lived in Thrace, a province of ancient Greece.

Bricks, that is to say, dried blocks of clay, were used at a very early
date as a supplement to or substitute for wood and stone for building
purposes. The most ancient bricks were not subjected to artificial heat
but were simply exposed to the sun, and even when kiln-baked bricks were
introduced they were often employed merely to face the older variety.
Spacious and lofty buildings consisting entirely of bricks were erected
at a very early date in Assyria, Persia, and elsewhere, and some of the
most noteworthy architectural survivals of the Roman Empire are of the
same material.

The main features of a building are determined by the shape of the walls
or the mode of arrangement of the pillars that take the place of walls,
the way in which the roof is constructed, and that in which the openings
of the doors and windows are spanned. The earliest roofs were flat, and
the most ancient mode of linking together the supports of doors and
windows was to place a plank of wood or slab of stone known as a
_lintel_ across them at the top. To this style of roofing and spanning,
which reached its most perfect development in the temples of Greece, the
name of the _trabeated_ was given, derived in the first instance from
the so-called _trabea_, a toga adorned with horizontal stripes.

It was only by very gradual degrees that the trabeated mode of roofing
and spanning was succeeded by what is known as the _arcuated_, or that
in which the arch takes the place of the horizontal beam. In early Roman
temples and palaces the Greek style was long carefully copied, but in
utilitarian works such as bridges, viaducts, and drains the arch was
employed at a very remote period. An arch whether circular or pointed
consists of two series of stones cut into the form of wedges known as
_voussoirs_, a central one at the apex or highest point called the
_keystone_ locking the two series together. This beautiful contrivance,
the inventor of which is unknown, gradually revolutionised the science
of architecture. It was used at first, tentatively as it were, in
combination with the horizontal beam or slab of stone, but in the end
became in its rounded form the distinctive peculiarity of the Romanesque
and in its pointed shape of the Gothic style.




The most ancient existing examples of Egyptian architecture are the
royal tombs of the Memphite kingdom known as the Pyramids, of which the
oldest is that of King Seneferu (about 3000 B.C.) at Medum, and the
largest, which rises to a height of 481 feet from a base 764 feet
square, that called the Great Pyramid of King Cheops (3788-3666) at
Ghizeh, near Cairo, on which 100,000 men are said to have been
continuously employed for thirty years. The latter is not only a marvel
of constructive skill, but is by many authorities considered to be a
most accurately designed astronomical observatory.

[Illustration: Section of King's Chamber, and of Passage in Great

The Pyramids consist of masses of admirably squared and polished stones,
in certain cases supplemented with bricks piled up in the form of a
rectangle around a sepulchral chamber, the entrance to which was most
carefully concealed. When the body of the monarch had been placed in it
the tapering mound above it was finished off with huge facing blocks,
that were skilfully worked into the angle required and finally levelled
to a smooth surface.

Near the Pyramids of the kings are the tombs, known as Mastabas, of
their wives and children and of the great officers of state. They are
constructed of stone, are square or oblong in form, and their walls are
adorned with paintings of scenes from contemporary life, the whole
reminiscent of earlier timber structures. Later tombs are those hewn out
of the living rock at Beni Hassan and elsewhere, dating from about 2500
B.C., with porticoes upheld by columns resembling those of Greek
temples and flat or curved roofs, the latter suggestive of the principle
of the arch having been known to those who excavated them.

[Illustration: Section of Hall at Karnak]

It was between 1600 B.C. and 1110 B.C. that the Egyptians reached their
highest point of civilisation, and it was during that period that were
erected the magnificent Theban temples, of which those at Karnak and
Luxor, which were connected by an avenue of colossal sphinxes, are the
finest still remaining. The plan of all Egyptian temples of whatever
size was the same: a horizontal gateway flanked on either side by masses
of masonry of considerably greater height than it, known as pylons,
their surfaces enriched with symbolic carvings, giving access to a
square space open to the sky, and partly surrounded with cloisters,
leading into a noble hall of huge dimensions, its flat roof upheld by
columns, some with capitals resembling lotus buds, others representing
the head of the goddess Isis. Beyond this hall were a number of small
dark rooms, the use of which has never been ascertained, enclosing
within them the nucleus of the whole, the low narrow mysterious cell or
sanctuary in which was enshrined the image of the god to whom the temple
was dedicated. Outside these noble buildings were ranged obelisks, or
four-sided tapering-pillars of great height, covered with hieroglyphics
commemorating the triumphs of the kings, and colossal figures, few of
which remain _in situ_, which added greatly to the dignity of the
appearance of the whole.

To the same period as the temples of Thebes belong those of very similar
general design hewn out of the sides of the mountains of Nubia, of which
the best example is the larger of the two at Ipsambul, specially
noteworthy for the huge seated figure of the monarch for whom it was
built, the great Rameses II, guarding the entrance to it. The tombs of
the Theban rulers, like the Nubian temples, were hewn out of the living
rock, and are many of them, notably those known as the Tombs of the
Kings and the Tombs of the Queens in the plains watered by the Nile, of
vast extent, labyrinths of passages, alternating with large rooms,
leading to the actual sepulchral chamber.

[Illustration: Tomb at Beni Hassan]

Of considerably later date than any of the buildings referred to above
are the temples of Denderah, Edfou, and Philæ, erected after the
conquest of Egypt by the Greeks, but they all resemble those of the
Theban dynasty in general style, whilst that at Esneh is a good example
of the results of Roman influence.

Very great is the contrast to Egyptian architecture presented by the
Asiatic buildings that have been preserved to the present day. In the
former stone was the usual material employed, and the mode of
construction was as a general rule that known as the post and lintel,
whilst in the latter brick was almost exclusively used, and the arch was
a distinctive feature. The so-called Babylonian or Chaldean, Assyrian,
and Persian styles resemble each other so greatly that they may justly
be said to belong to one type, evolved by the inhabitants of the
extensive region watered by the Euphrates and Tigris, who like the
Egyptians attained to a very advanced civilisation at a remote period.
Of the temples not a single one has been preserved, but the remains have
recently been excavated, in the mounds on the site of Babylon, of four
that consisted of numerous chambers enclosing a large court with towered
gateways, whilst at Assur another has been uncovered of a somewhat
similar design. To atone for the lack of temples many Asiatic palaces
have been to some extent reconstructed, the most remarkable being those
unearthed near the villages of Nimrod, Khorsabad, and Koyunjik, all
supposed to be relics of Nineveh. They originally consisted of lofty
many-roomed structures raised on high platforms, and entered from arched
gateways flanked by colossal winged bulls of stone. The brick walls were
encased in alabaster slabs carved with figure subjects in low relief,
some of which are in the British Museum, and galleries, rising from
columns with capitals that foreshadowed Greek forms, admitted air and
light freely. The Palace of Nebuchadnezzar has also recently been
identified, and must when uninjured have been an immense castle-like
pile with a vast number of courts and halls to which a paved way led up.

[Illustration: Terrace Wall at Khorsabad]

Tombs and palaces are the chief relics of Persian architecture. Many of
the former, notably that near Murghab, supposed to have been the
sepulchre of Cyrus, resemble Greek temples in general style, whilst
others are rock-cut and recall the Mastabas of Egypt. Of the palaces
those at Persepolis were the most remarkable, for in them Persian
architecture reached its fullest development. Their ruins, that rise
from a platform some forty feet high hewn out of the surface of the
living rock, to which long flights of steps led up, consist of vast
columned halls entered from detached porticoes known as propylæa. When
intact the largest of these halls, named after Xerxes, must have
exceeded in size the cathedrals of Canterbury or Winchester.

Other noteworthy relics of early Asiatic architecture are the tombs of
Lycia, Phrygia, and Lydia. The first named--of which the so-called tomb
of the Harpies now in the British Museum is a typical example--are all
either cut in the living rock or carved out of detached masses of stone,
in either case recalling in their general appearance the log-huts of
prehistoric times. More ornate than those of Lycia, the Phrygian
sepulchral monuments, of which the grave of Midas at Doganlu is the
finest, are also rock hewn, but their shape and decoration are more
suggestive of the tent than the wooden dwelling, whilst those in Lydia
are comparatively primitive, being in some cases, notably in the Tumulus
of Tantalus on the Gulf of Smyrna, mere masses of stone heaped up above
a huge mound.

[Illustration: Restored Section of Hall of Xerxes]

[Illustration: Capital of Lât]

The most ancient examples of Indian architecture are the Stambhas or
Lâts, the earliest dating from the time of Asoka (272-236 B.C.), that
are pillars bearing inscriptions and surmounted by a symbolic animal
such as an elephant or a lion, of which there is a good specimen at
Allahabad, and the Stupas or Topes, mounds encased in masonry, crowned
by a reliquary containing memorials of Buddha or of his chief disciples,
and enclosed within a stone railing elaborately carved with scenes from
the life of the founder of Buddhism, with an even more ornate gateway at
each of the four corners, of which the finest is the larger of two at
Sanchi in Central India. Even more interesting than the Lâts and Stupas
are the Viharas or Buddhist monasteries, of which there is a specially
good example at Nigope near Behar, and the Chaityas or temples, of which
those at Karli, Ellora, Ajunta, and Elephanta are amongst the finest.
All alike hewn out of the living rock, the former consist of a square
central hall with or without columns, surrounded by cells for the
monks, whilst the latter, of more complicated design, resemble in
general plan a Roman basilica. A wide nave with rows of massive pillars
upholding a slightly domed roof is flanked by lateral aisles, and at the
eastern end rises a semicircular sanctuary containing a seated figure of

[Illustration: Section of Cave at Karli]

Out of the Buddhist religion grew that known as the Jaina, and many fine
temples, of which the most remarkable are that at Sadri and the Dilwana
Temple on Mount Abu, remain that were erected for the use of its
professors. It was usual to group a number on some hill-top, and the
plan of each was generally that of a Greek cross, a columned portico
giving access to a complex collection of shrines, each approached by
avenues of pillars and roofed in with a separate dome, whilst the
exterior was adorned with rounded towers finished off with pointed
finials suggestive of a spire, the whole both inside and out being
richly decorated with carvings.

[Illustration: View of Temple at Sadri]

Hindu architecture, or that of those who hold the Brahmanic faith,
differs very greatly from Buddhist, its chief characteristic being a
lofty pyramidal tower of several stories, as a general rule covered with
ornament, that reached its fullest development in the so-called pagodas,
of which there are fine specimens at Jaggernaut, Mahavellipore, and
Palitana. In different parts of India various modifications of this
general style occur to which distinctive names have been given, but the
same spirit may be said to pervade them all, from the great Temples of
Bhuvaneswar, Tanjore, Bundaban, and elsewhere, to the humbler shrines
scattered throughout the length and breadth of the vast continent and of
its island dependencies.

There is nothing very distinctive about the architecture of China or
Japan. The Buddhist temples in both countries recall those of India, but
the pagodas, most of which are of wood faced with porcelain tiles,
differ slightly in having a curved roof to each story. The palaces of
China are impressive on account of their vast extent and the use of
copper in their construction, but the domestic buildings of Japan are
all of comparatively small size.

In America as in Asia are many deeply interesting architectural relics
of the civilisation of the early inhabitants, of which the most
remarkable are the ruins of Cyclopean buildings on the shores of Lake
Tatiaca, the remains of the ancient city of Cuzco, all in Peru, and the
Teocallis or temples and Palaces of the kings in Mexico, Yucatan, and
Guatemala, none of which however call for description here as they did
not influence the architecture of the future in their own or any other



In their architecture as in their sculpture the Greeks gave eloquent
expression to the exquisite feeling for symmetry of form which was one
of their most distinctive characteristics. Architects and masons were in
close touch with the people for whom they built, no social barriers, so
far as the arts and crafts were concerned, divided class from class,
citizens, aliens, and even slaves vying with each other in their zeal to
produce the best work possible.

The finest buildings of ancient Greece and its dependencies entirely
fulfilled the conditions of true architecture, for they were beautiful
alike in design and execution, admirably adapted to the purpose for
which they were erected, and in complete harmony with their
surroundings. Moreover they are of exceptional importance in the
history of the evolution of the art on account of the influence they
exercised on that of other countries, all their distinctive features
having been either copied or modified in those of the rest of Europe.

[Illustration: Plan of Greek Temple]

The Greeks, though they were doubtless acquainted with the arch, the
dome, and the tower, refrained as a general rule from using them,
probably because they considered them unsuitable to the topographical
and climatic conditions that prevailed in their native land. They
achieved their highest results by means of correctness of proportion and
dignity of outline, giving far more attention to the exterior than to
the interior of their buildings, and in this respect differing greatly
from the Egyptians, who endeavoured to impress the spectator chiefly by
the vast extent and massiveness of their temples and palaces.

[Illustration: Doric Capital]

Recent discoveries on the site of Knossos in Crete of the remains of a
many-roomed palace, and elsewhere in the same island of circular stone
tombs, all of which betray strong Oriental influence, confirm the
opinion of archæologists that it was in the islands of the Ægina Sea
that the first works of architecture properly so called were erected in
Europe. On the mainland of Greece, notably at Mycenæ and Tiryns, exists
relics of many buildings, including at the former the noble Lion Gate
that gave access to the Acropolis, and at the latter the residence of a
chieftain, which maintain the continuity between the earliest and the
latest phase of Greek architecture, and may justly be said to presage
the triumphs of the Golden Age.

[Illustration: Column from the Parthenon]

From first to last Hellenic architecture was characterised by unity of
purpose, its grandest forms being essentially the same in general
principle as its earliest efforts, the mud walls with timber pillars
upholding a flat wooden roof, having been gradually transformed into
stately colonnaded structures in costly materials, that to this day
remain absolutely unrivalled in their exquisite beauty of proportion and
the close correlation of every detail with each other and the whole.

[Illustration: Portion of a Doric Entablature]

The grand temples of Greece were built either of stone or of marble. As
a general rule they are set on a platform to which a long flight of
steps lead up, and are enclosed within an outer wall or a continuous
colonnade. Their plan is extremely simple: a parallelogram, formed in
some cases entirely of columns, in others with walls at the side and
columns at the ends only, encloses a second and considerably smaller
pillared space known as the cella or naos, that enshrined the image of
the god to whom the building was dedicated, and was entered from a
pronaos or porch, and with a posticum or back space behind it, sometimes
supplemented by a kind of second cella called the opisthodomus or back
temple. The front columns at either end are spanned by horizontal beams
that uphold a sloping gable called a pediment, the flat, three-cornered
surface of which is generally adorned with sculpture in bas-relief, and
along the side-columns is placed what is known as the entablature, that
consists of three parts, the architrave resting on the capitals of the
columns, the frieze above it and the cornice, the last of which
sustains the flat roof, usually covered with tiles or marble copies of

[Illustration: The Parthenon]

Greek architecture is generally divided into three groups or orders: the
Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, each of which, though the buildings
belonging to them resemble each other in general plan, is distinguished
by certain peculiarities of the columns and entablatures. The Doric was
the earliest to be employed, but the Ionic, that early succeeded it, was
long used simultaneously with it, sometimes even in the same building,
whilst the Corinthian did not come into use until considerably later.

[Illustration: Metope from the Parthenon]

In the Doric order the column has no separate base, but rises direct
from the top step of the platform on which the building it belongs to
stands. It is of massive form and has what is known as an entasis or
slightly convex surface, it is generally fluted, that is to say, cut
into parallel perpendicular channels, several rings called annulets
connecting it with the capital, which consists of an echinus or rounded
moulding and an abacus or unrounded slab resting on the echinus. The
Doric entablature is equally simple, the architrave being perfectly
plain, whilst the frieze is adorned with triglyphs or three upright
projections with grooves between them, set at equal distances from each
other, the spaces separating them, known as metopes, being as a rule
enriched with fine sculptures of figure subjects. The frieze is
connected with the cornice by narrow bands called mutules resting on the
triglyphs and metopes, and the cornice itself has a plain lower band
known as the corona, surmounted by more or less decorated courses of
stone or marble.

[Illustration: Portion of Frieze of Parthenon]

[Illustration: Portion of Frieze of Parthenon]

[Illustration: Ionic Capital]

The Ionic and Corinthian orders are alike characterised by lightness and
grace rather than massiveness and simplicity. In both, the columns,
instead of rising direct from the platform, have a complex base
consisting of a number of circular mouldings above another, the fluted
shafts are comparatively slim and tapering, and the channels in them are
divided by spaces called fillets. In the Ionic order the flat abacus of
the Doric capital is replaced by two coiled volutes projecting beyond
the echinus on either side, and the horizontal portion between the
volutes is surmounted by finely carved leaf mouldings. The Corinthian
order is specially distinguished by the ornate decoration of the
capitals, that represent calices of flowers and leaves, chiefly those of
the acanthus, arranged so as to point upwards and curve outwards in much
the same style as they do in nature. The architrave in both the Ionic
and the Corinthian orders consists of plain slabs, but the frieze--which
is not divided as in Doric buildings into triglyphs and metopes--is in
nearly every case enriched with a series of beautiful figure subjects,
and is therefore known as the Zoophorus or figure-bearer.

[Illustration: Ionic Column]

Among the most ancient remains of sacred Greek architecture are those of
the Heræon or Sanctuary of the Goddess Hera at Olympia; of the temple
that preceded the Parthenon at Athens; and of those at Assos in Asia
Minor, Selinus in Sicily, and Corcyra in Corfu, the last a very typical
example of archaic Doric, with a pediment in which are primitive
sculptures of a gorgon flanked by lions. Of somewhat later date are the
ruined temples at Girgenti, Syracuse, and Segesta, all in Sicily, the
last the best preserved of all; the group at Pæstum in Southern Italy,
of which that of Neptune is the finest, the pediments having been
originally filled in with beautifully executed sculptured figures. The
Temple of Athene in the island of Ægina marks the transition from the
extreme severity of early Doric to the more ornate buildings of the
Golden Age of Greek architecture, its decorative sculptures being of
exquisite design and execution. The Temple of Jupiter at Athens, begun
in the Doric style by Pisistratus about 540 B.C. and not completed
until about 174 B.C., has Corinthian capitals on some of its columns,
and the Temple of Theseus, of uncertain date, in the same city, that
consists entirely of white marble, ranks, in spite of its severe
simplicity, even with that of Neptune at Pæstum on account of its fine
proportions and the admirable finish of every detail.

[Illustration: Ionic Entablature from the Erectheum]

It was in the Parthenon, or Temple of the Virgin Goddess of Wisdom, at
Athens, that the Doric style found its highest expression, for in it
were combined the massive grandeur of the archaic period with the
refinements of construction, decoration, and lighting of a more
scientific but not less æsthetic age. It occupies the site of an earlier
building, the relics of which are referred to above, that was destroyed
by Xerxes, and it rises from the summit of the lofty rock of the
Acropolis that dominated the ancient city. It was built, it is supposed,
by the famous architects Ictinus and Callicrates about 440 B.C., under
the enlightened ruler Pericles, and its decorative sculptures, some of
which are now in the British Museum, were the work of Phidias and his
pupils, and, mutilated though they are, they still rank amongst the
greatest masterpieces of plastic art.

Before the Parthenon, after being long used as a Christian church, was
reduced to ruins by the explosion of a shell, when in 1687 it was
desecrated by being converted into a powder magazine by the Turks during
their struggle with the Venetians, it must have been one of the very
noblest buildings in the world, forming with other sanctuaries and
secular buildings on the world-famous hill a spectacle of surpassing
grandeur, the pride and glory of the whole Greek world.

[Illustration: Acanthus Ornament]

[Illustration: Corinthian Capital]

The Parthenon was 228 feet long by 101 broad, and 64 feet high; the
porticoes at each end had a double row of eight columns; the sculptures
in the pediments were in full relief, representing in the eastern the
Birth of Athene, and in the western the Struggle between that goddess
and Poseidon, whilst those on the metopes, some of which are supposed to
be from the hand of Alcamenes, the contemporary and rival of Phidias,
rendered scenes from battles between the Gods and Giants, the Greeks and
the Amazons, and the Centaurs and Lapithæ.

Of somewhat later date than the Parthenon and resembling it in general
style, though it is very considerably smaller, is the Theseum or Temple
of Theseus on the plain on the north-west of the Acropolis, and at Bassæ
in Arcadia is a Doric building, dedicated to Apollo Epicurius and
designed by Ictinus, that has the peculiarity of facing north and south
instead of, as was usual, east and west.

Scarcely less beautiful than the Parthenon itself is the grand triple
portico known as the Propylæa that gives access to it on the western
side. It was designed about 430 by Mnesicles, and in it the Doric and
Ionic styles are admirably combined, whilst in the Erectheum, sacred to
the memory of Erechtheus, a hero of Attica, the Ionic order is seen at
its best, so delicate is the carving of the capitals of its columns. It
has moreover the rare and distinctive feature of what is known as a
caryatid porch, that is to say, one in which the entablature is upheld
by caryatides or statues representing female figures.

Other good examples of the Ionic style are the small Temple of Niké
Apteros, or the Wingless Victory, situated not far from the Propylæa and
the Parthenon of Athens, the more important Temple of Apollo at
Branchidæ near Miletus, originally of most imposing dimensions, and that
of Artemis at Ephesus, of which however only a few fragments remain _in

Of the sacred buildings of Greece in which the Corinthian order was
employed there exist, with the exception of the Temple of Jupiter at
Athens already referred to, but a few scattered remains, such as the
columns from Epidaurus now in the Athens Museum, that formed part of a
circlet of Corinthian pillars within a Doric colonnade. In the Temple of
Athena Alea at Tegea, designed by Scopas in 394, however, the transition
from the Ionic to the Corinthian style is very clearly illustrated, and
in the circular Monument of Lysicrates, erected in 334 B.C. to
commemorate the triumph of that hero's troop in the choric dances in
honour of Dionysos, and the Tower of the Winds, both at Athens, the
Corinthian style is seen at its best.

[Illustration: Corinthian Column from Monument of Lysicrates]

In addition to the temples described above, some remains of tombs,
notably that of the huge Mausoleum at Halicarnassus in memory of King
Mausolus, who died in 353 B.C., and several theatres, including that of
Dionysos at Athens, with a well-preserved one of larger size at
Epidaurus, bear witness to the general prevalence of Doric features in
funereal monuments and secular buildings, but of the palaces and humbler
dwelling-houses in the three Greek styles, of which there must have been
many fine examples, no trace remains. There is however no doubt that
the Corinthian style was very constantly employed after the power of the
great republics had been broken, and the Oriental taste for lavish
decoration replaced the love for austere simplicity of the virile people
of Greece and its dependencies.

[Illustration: Corinthian Entablature from Monument of Lysicrates]



After the Golden Age of Greek architecture properly so called was over,
a kind of aftermath prevailed for some little time in the peninsula and
the outlying colonies of Greece, to be succeeded by a transition time to
which the name of the Hellenistic has been given, during which is
supposed to have been inaugurated the use of the arch and the vault,
which were in course of time to revolutionise the art of building.

It has long been customary to give to the Etruscans, an Asiatic people
who in very early times occupied a considerable portion of Italy, the
credit of the first introduction of the arch in Western Europe. It is
however now more generally believed that the Roman style of building was
an offshoot of the Hellenistic, in which the dome was certainly
employed, though no existing examples of its use can be quoted. The city
of Alexandria, founded about 332 B.C. by Alexander the Great, is known
to have had four principal colonnaded streets leading from a four-arched
central building, and many are of opinion that much of the town was
built over arched cisterns. The dome may possibly have been in the first
instance introduced into western Europe as a cover for the hot baths in
which the wealthy delighted, and its form was probably the same as that
of the one preserved at Pompeii. The famous arched drain at Rome, known
as the Cloaca Maxima, so constantly referred to as the greatest
masterpiece of the Etruscans was not, it has now been proved, built
until after their subjugation and extinction as a nation. For all that
they were without doubt most skilful architects and engineers; the walls
of their cities were of cyclopean masonry and were entered from arched
gateways, a good example of which is to be seen at Volterra, constructed
of wedge-shaped stones fixed without cement. Their rock-cut tombs, such
as those at Corneto, Vulci, and Chiusi, are divided into many chambers,
the walls adorned with paintings, the roof upheld by columns, and the
façades resembling those of Egyptian temples, whilst the tumuli in which
they sometimes buried their dead are surmounted by pyramids of earth
resting on stone foundations.

[Illustration: Roman Barrel Vault]

From whatever source Roman architects got their inspiration, they very
soon absorbed all external influences and stamped the buildings they
erected with a character of their own. From the first sun-dried bricks,
sometimes combined with stone, were the chief materials used, even the
grander structures of the best period such as the huge palaces and halls
were of plastered brickwork, stone having been as a general rule
reserved for such works as temples, theatres, and triumphal arches.
Concrete was also largely employed, and timber in many cases was turned
to account for roofing. The most distinctive peculiarity of the
architecture of the Romans is the vaulted roof, which they employed in
an infinite variety of ways, introducing it at every possible
opportunity. The simplest form, known as the waggon or barrel vault, is
a semicircular arch spanning two walls, whilst a more elaborate
contrivance consists of two intersecting vaults of the same height
crossing each other at right angles, which was used in Rome as early as
75 B.C. These two forms were sometimes supplemented by what are
distinguished as conches or half-domes over external semicircular
recesses, of which the apse is a characteristic example. With the aid of
these three varieties of vaulting, that were occasionally combined with
consummate skill, the Romans were able to roof in large or small
circular spaces, and in some few cases, as in the Baths of Caracalla at
Rome, they even to a certain extent anticipated the clever contrivance
known as the pendentive, a triangular piece of vaulting springing from
the corners of a right-angled enclosure, that was later brought to such
perfection in Byzantine architecture.

[Illustration: Intersecting Vaulting]

With their wonderful system of vaulting the Romans combined the
columnation and entablature of the Greeks, introducing innovations
however that were in many cases anything but improvements. Thus they
sometimes supplemented the foliage of the Corinthian capital with the
volutes of the Ionic; whilst what is known as the Tuscan style is really
merely a modification of the Doric, and is wanting in the simple dignity
that characterised the latter, the metopes being adorned with sculptures
very inferior to the beautiful figure subjects of the Parthenon and
other Greek temples. Roman architects were in fact rather skilful
engineers and adapters of the æsthetic conceptions of others than
original designers of new forms of beauty, but they were unrivalled in
their power of harmoniously co-ordinating in a single building an
infinite variety of structural features. They were moreover
exceptionally successful in the laying out of cities, as proved by the
wonderful groups of buildings in the fora or public squares in which
courts of justice and markets were held, of the capital and other
cities, and by the fine continuous vistas of their streets, in which
irregularities were masked by clever contrivances, adding greatly to the
symmetry of the general effect. Temples, basilicas, baths, bridges,
aqueducts, triumphal arches, palaces, and private houses were all set in
the environment most suitable to them, and even tombs were ranged
according to a definite plan, not, as in most modern cemeteries, dotted
here and there in an arbitrary manner.

[Illustration: Pont du Gard, Nîmes]

The earliest Roman works of architecture were of a purely utilitarian
character, and in addition to the Cloaca Maxima already mentioned the
most noteworthy still in existence are the bridges over the Tiber, the
aqueducts of the Campagna outside Rome, and the so-called Pont du Gard
at Nîmes, France. The most ancient temples greatly resemble those of
Greece, and amongst them may be named as specially typical those of
Fortuna Virilis and of Antoninus and Faustina, both now in use as
churches, and that of Venus and Rome, all in the capital, that of Diana
at Nîmes known as the Maison Carrée, and that of the Sun at Baalbec. Of
later date are the beautiful circular temples, of which the grandest
example is the Pantheon of Rome, built under Hadrian about A.D. 117, in
which Roman architecture reached its noblest development. The colonnaded
porch with entablature and pediment, that detracts so much from the
external effect of this magnificent building, did not originally belong
to it, but formed the entrance of a temple built by Agrippa more than a
century before, and was added to the Rotunda after the completion of the
latter. The internal diameter of the Pantheon is 142 feet 6 inches, and
its height at the apex of the dome is the same; its walls are 20 feet
thick, and its concrete dome is adorned with deeply recessed panels or
coffers and has a single circular opening at the crown through which
alone light is admitted. The floor is of marble; bronze pilasters flank
doorways of the same metal, the oldest existing specimens of their kind,
and it is supposed that when first completed the whole of the outside
was cased in white and the inside in coloured marbles.

[Illustration: Section of Pantheon]

Other circular temples of Roman origin, but on a much smaller scale than
the Pantheon, are the Temple of Vesta and that in the Forum Boarium,
Rome, the latter much injured and spoiled by a modern roof quite out of
character with it; the one at Tivoli near the capital, known as that of
the Sybils, still beautiful in spite of the loss of much of its
entablature and many of its columns; the Temple of Jupiter at Spalato
with a domed roof upheld by columns; and that at Baalbec, which has the
distinctive feature of a curved instead of a perfectly flat entablature.

A very special interest attaches to the Roman basilica on account of its
having so long been supposed to have been the type on which the earliest
Christian churches were built. Basilicas were used as courts of justice
and exchanges, more rarely as market-places, and the most ancient are
said to have been merely square spaces, enclosed within rows of columns
open to the air, that were however soon succeeded by walled buildings
roofed with timber or with vaults of concrete supported on massive piers
of stone. In them a raised semicircular space at the eastern end was
divided off by columns known as cancelli for the use of the magistrate
and his lectors, and between it and the main body of the hall, which
was divided by columns into a nave and aisles, rose the altar on which
sacrifice was offered up before any business of importance was entered

A good example of an early Roman basilica is that called the Ulpian in
the Forum of Trajan, Rome, dating from A.D. 98, which is said to have
had a flat roof and double aisles, the latter surmounted by galleries,
whilst that of Maxentius and Constantine, the ruins of which are known
as the Temple of Peace, also in the capital, of considerably later date,
A.D. 312, had a groined central roof and barrel-vaulted side aisles.

[Illustration: Roman Doric Column and Entablature]

[Illustration: Roman Ionic Column and Entablature]

[Illustration: Roman Corinthian Column and Entablature]

It was in their Thermæ or Baths rather than in their Temples and
Basilicas that the Roman architects achieved their greatest triumphs.
These were vast complex structures fitted up with every conceivable
luxury for the use of bathers, with a large hall artificially heated and
known as the tepidarium, open colonnaded courts, and many subsidiary
buildings including gymnasia, debating rooms, &c. They combined simple
grandeur of structure with rich internal decoration. The most ancient
Thermæ in Rome, of which extensive remains still exist, were those of
Caracalla, erected in A.D. 217, already referred to in connection with
the earliest use of the contrivance which foreshadowed the pendentive.
Rising from a lofty platform, the noble tepidarium was roofed in by
three fine intersecting vaults, and its walls were cased in marble.
With their supplementary buildings the baths covered a space some 110
yards square, and beneath them were many vaulted rooms for the
attendants on the bathers. Amongst their ruins were found the
masterpieces of sculpture known as the Farnese Hercules and the Farnese
Bull, but when they were first placed there, there is no evidence to

[Illustration: Temple of Vesta, Rome]

Larger and more imposing in appearance even than the Baths of Caracalla
were those of Diocletian, that were capable of accommodating more than
3000 bathers and were built about A.D. 303. The grand hall or tepidarium
and the barrel-vaulted entrance portico were most successfully converted
in the sixteenth century into the church of S. Maria degli Angeli by
Michael Angelo, and one of two circular structures that flanked the
encircling wall was later consecrated under the name of S. Bernardo, and
is still used as a place of worship.

Next in importance to the Thermæ rank the Amphitheatres of the Roman
Empire, in which gladiatorial contests and other trials of skill took
place, and without which no town however small was considered complete.
Though their detail was almost exclusively borrowed from the
Greeks--tiers of arches resting on columns and surmounted by an
entablature rising one above the other--their architects managed to
impress on them a distinctive character of their own. Finest of all
still existing examples is the Flavian Amphitheatre, generally known as
the Coliseum at Rome, which occupies the site of the famous Golden
House of Nero, and was completed about A.D. 70. It is of elliptical
plan, measures some 612 by 515 feet, and was from 160 to 180 feet high.
It was capable of containing some 80,000 spectators, and was for a long
period the chief meeting-place of the Roman citizens. The exterior is
four stories high and consists of a series of three rows of arches, the
lowest with Doric, the second with Ionic, and the third with Corinthian
capitals, the last surmounted by a row of Corinthian pilasters, forming
a fourth story, which is supposed to have been originally of wood and to
have been rebuilt in stone considerably later. The groups of seats,
which, with the central arena they commanded, were protected from the
weather by a moveable awning called the velarium, corresponded with the
exterior stories, and to each tier a staircase led up, wide vaulted
corridors connecting the various entrances with each other, running
round the entire building, the whole producing a most harmonious and
pleasing effect.

At Verona, Capria, Pola, and Pezzuoli in Italy, at Syracuse in Sicily,
and at Arles and Nîmes in France are remains of important Roman
amphitheatres, and of the rarer theatres used for dramatic
entertainments must be named the two well-preserved examples at Pompeii,
the ruins of the Odeion of Herodes Atticus at Athens, and most ancient
of all, the remains of the so-called Theatre of Marcellus at Rome now
incorporated with the Orsinii Palace, all which appear to have resembled
the Coliseum to a great extent in their general style and decoration.

Of the vast and imposing palaces built or added to by successive Roman
emperors, that included audience chambers, basilicas, stadia for
athletic games, galleries, state dining-halls, baths, and many suites of
apartments for various purposes, there exist unfortunately but a few
remains. Nero's Golden House, several of the ruins of which were
excavated in the 16th century, and inspired Raphael with some of the
decorative details of the loggia of the Vatican, is said to have covered
more than a mile of ground, and at one time the whole of the Palatine
Hill was occupied by stately edifices, with the Palace of Augustus in
the centre and those of Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, Domitian, and
Septimius Severus, who greatly added to and modified the work of his
predecessors, grouped about them, but all that can now be fully
identified are some of the ground plans with a few of the minor details
of structure. To atone for this however, much of the Palace of
Diocletian at Spalato in Dalmatia, to which that emperor withdrew after
his abdication in A.D. 305, which originally formed a small town in
itself, is still to a great extent intact, including a temple now used
as a cathedral, a gallery 520 feet long by 24 wide, and a few of the
covered arcades that originally connected its various parts.

What is left of the so-called Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli near Rome proves
that it too was of vast extent, with a great variety of buildings,
different suites of rooms having been occupied according to the seasons,
and at Pompeii and Herculaneum, thanks to the remarkable preservation of
many of the houses in them, notably that named after Pansa, the domestic
architecture of the private citizens of the great Roman Empire, of which
picturesque arcaded courts were a noteworthy feature, can be well
studied, as well as that of the temples, triumphal arches, public baths,
&c., all of which greatly resembled those of the Capital.

[Illustration: Arch of Titus at Rome]

Whether the Romans were or were not the first people of Western Europe
to use the arch, they certainly took a very great delight in it, setting
up ornately decorated examples of it at the entrances to their towns,
their fora, and their bridges, as well as in commemoration of great
victories in war and of the completion of civic enterprises. Most
remarkable of those still standing in Rome are the Arch of Titus of one
span only, erected in memory of the destruction of Jerusalem by the
Emperor after whom it is named; the triple-span arch of Septimius
Severus, and the smaller one of Constantine. Though they were rather
triumphs of engineering skill than works of architecture properly so
called, the fine stone built aqueducts such as those in the Campagna of
Rome and at Nîmes must be mentioned here on account of the æsthetic
effect of the long rows of lofty arches, and a few words must also be
said of the Pillars of Victory, of which that of Trajan at Rome is the
most notable still extant, adorned as it is with a spiral of finely
sculptured bas-reliefs.

In the early days of the Roman power it was customary to cremate the
dead, the ashes being preserved in urns that were ranged in cells known
as Columbaria, generally hewn in the living rock. As time went on,
however, the Egyptian mode of sepulchre was adopted. Bodies were
embalmed and laid in stone or marble coffins which were placed in the
basements of tombs of two or more stories, surmounted by round towers
with pointed or circular roofs. Of these complex resting-places of the
dead the finest now in existence is the Mole or Mausoleum of Hadrian,
known as the Castle of S. Angelo, at Rome, which is some 300 feet high
and was originally encased in marble. No burial was allowed within the
walls of a Roman city, but the approaches were generally lined with
tombs as at Rome, at Pompeii, and elsewhere, most of them, though on a
smaller scale, of a similar plan to that of Hadrian.



It was in the low, gloomy, dimly lighted subterranean galleries known as
catacombs, hewn in the living rock near Rome, that Christian
architecture may be said to have had its first crude beginnings. The
passages in the walls of which the graves of the dead were hollowed out,
widened at intervals into spacious vaulted halls, where the persecuted
followers of the crucified Redeemer met in secret for worship or to take
part in the funeral services for those they had lost.

It was long taken for granted that it was not until the first issue in
A.D. 313 of the Edict of Milan by Constantine, Emperor of the West, and
Licinius, Emperor of the East, that the professors of the new faith
ventured to erect above ground buildings for the exercise of the rites
of their religion, but recent discoveries prove that Christian churches
were built as early as the 3rd century in many parts of the Roman
empire. To quote but two cases in point, relics of a circular one with a
small apse at the eastern end have been found at Antepellius in Asia
Minor, and of one of the basilican type at Silchester in England.
Moreover, heathen temples were occasionally converted into churches,
whilst basilicas were sometimes used for Christian services just as they

[Illustration: Plan of a Basilica]

Some few early Christian churches were possibly modelled on classic
tombs such as those referred to in the chapter on Roman architecture,
but the more usual form was the basilican, the altar having been placed
on the raised platform within the semicircular apse at the eastern end,
the bishops and clergy occupying the seats assigned in halls of justice
to the prætor and his assessors, whilst the congregation met in the nave
and aisles. Ere long, however, to this general plan was added the
distinctive feature of transepts or transverse passages running across
the entrance to the apse, thus giving to the whole building the form of
a cross. Later structural changes were the erection of an arch above the
altar, the heightening of the nave, the connecting of the columns
between the nave and aisles by arches instead of horizontal architraves,
the introduction of windows, to which the collective name of the
clerestory or the clear-story was given, in the semicircular heads of
the arches and more rarely into the upper part of the low external walls
of the aisles, the apse, which was gradually lengthened eastwards, being
left comparatively dark, the only light proceeding from the main body of
the church. Simultaneously with or in some cases earlier than these
alterations, a portico known as the narthex was added at the western
end, extending across the whole width of the nave and aisles, for the
use of those, such as catechumens or penitents, who were not privileged
to enter the church itself. The narthex in its turn was set within an
atrium or outer colonnaded court, in the centre of which was a fountain,
used by worshippers for ablutions before entering the consecrated

A minor characteristic of early Christian churches was the richness of
the internal decoration, mosaics that is to say, patterns or pictures
made of many coloured pieces of glass or stone, combined in certain
examples with marble carvings and gilding, adorned the vaulting, the
wall, and even the floor, a kind of mosaic known as the _opus
alexandrinum_ being generally used for the last, the whole producing a
very gorgeous but harmonious effect.

One of the most interesting existing early Christian churches, that
remains very much what it was when first completed, is that of the
Nativity at Bethlehem, built in A.D. 327 by the Empress Helena when on
her quest for the True Cross, with the Convent to which it originally
belonged, that was destroyed by the Turks in 1236 and later restored by
the Crusaders. The Church of the Nativity rises above a natural cave now
converted into a crypt or vaulted subterranean chamber. It is of
cruciform plan, and though its unpretending exterior is of brick, the
interior has four rows of massive stone pillars dividing the nave from
the aisles, which as well as the choir at the eastern end have
semicircular apses.

Contemporary with this humble building, that is closely associated with
all the most sacred memories of the early Church, were the vast
basilican places of worship erected at Rome by Constantine and his
immediate successors, which have unfortunately been either destroyed or
so much modified as to retain little of their distinctive character. The
Cathedral of S. Peter occupies the site of one of them, which had five
aisles, a nave 80 feet wide, a comparatively small apse, and a noble
atrium; the Church of S. Giovanni in Laterano retains but a few details
of its predecessor of the same name, but that of S. Paolo fuori le Mura
or St. Paul without the walls, built by Theodosius in 386, is supposed
to be a true copy, so far as structure is concerned, of the grand
basilica destroyed by fire in 1823. It has a nave 280 feet long by 78
wide, and the whole building is 400 feet in length by 200 wide. A noble
arch spans the intersection of the transepts, and lofty columns with
richly carved capitals divide the nave from the aisles and the latter,
of which there are five, from each other, but the roof is only a flat
wooden one, the external walls are wanting in dignity and solidity,
whilst the height, 100 feet only, is quite out of proportion with the
otherwise noble dimensions.

Another very fine early basilican church in Rome is that of S. Maria
Maggiore, occupying the site of a 5th century building, some of the
marble columns of which with Ionic capitals have been incorporated in
the later structure. The Churches of S. Agnese and S. Lorenzo are also
of basilican plan, and have both the somewhat rare feature of galleries
over the aisles. The former is but little altered since its erection,
whilst the latter has gone through a long series of vicissitudes. It was
founded in the 4th century and greatly added to in the 5th by Sixtus
III, who joined a second church on to it, so that it had an apse at each
end. Both these apses, with the walls between the earlier and the later
buildings, were pulled down in the 13th century by order of Pope
Honorius III, who had the earlier church converted into a choir and the
later into a nave, with very satisfactory results.

Even more interesting than S. Lorenzo is S. Clemente, Rome, that
consists of two buildings of widely separated dates one above another,
the lower, which now serves as a crypt, supposed to have been built at
the beginning of the 6th century, the upper not until 1108. Both are of
the same general plan as the other basilican churches described, with
certain differences in minor details, including in the more modern
portion a low marble screen dividing the choir and altar from the nave.

[Illustration: Church of S. Clemente]

To many of these early churches fine cloisters, that is to say, arcaded
colonnades encircling the outer walls, were added, those that once
enclosed the ancient basilica of S. Paola fuori le Mura being among the
finest still preserved, that may be said to have anticipated the
beautiful ambulatories of later monastic and collegiate buildings.

In other cities of the Roman empire are many noteworthy early basilican
churches, including S. Apollinare Nuovo within and S. Apollinare in
Classe without the walls of Ravenna, the cathedral of Torcello, that is
connected by a narthex with the later S. Fosca, in which the transition
from the Roman to the Byzantine style is shadowed forth, and the
cathedrals of Parenzo and Grado in Istria, the former retaining almost
intact its beautiful colonnaded atrium, the latter chiefly remarkable
for its fine mosaic pavement.

In addition to the early churches of basilican plan are a few of
circular form, such as that at Rome enshrining the tomb of S. Constanza,
the daughter of Constantine, dating from about A.D. 354, which has a
domed roof and vaulted aisles, the 5th century church of S. Stefano
Rotondo in the same town, the latter, though greatly modified in detail,
still preserving its two concentric ranges of columns, S. Vitale at
Ravenna, and S. George at Salonika, that has a circular nave but an
oblong chancel and apse, whilst the 6th century tomb of Theodoric is
typical of the use of a similar plan in sepulchral monuments.

In the first centuries of the Christian era it was customary for the
ceremony of baptism to be performed in buildings known as baptisteries,
apart from, but close to, cathedrals and important parish churches.
These buildings were as a general rule of circular or octagonal plan
with a tank in the centre of the interior, of size sufficient for the
total immersion of candidates. The earliest and also one of the finest
existing examples is the Baptistery of Constantino that rises close to
S. Giovanni in Laterano, Rome, and is two stories high, with a central
domed roof of timber and flat-ceilinged aisles, the massive porphyry
columns dividing them from the space set apart for the ceremony of
baptism, being surmounted by slender pilasters. Another fine early
Baptistery is that at Nocera, which resembles that of Constantine in
general plan and style.

The Christians of Egyptian descent, to whom the name of Copts has been
given, evolved a style of building that combined with oriental
traditions certain details of western architecture. They were very early
familiar with the dome, and employed it in churches of a basilican
ground-plan even before it was adopted in the Roman Empire. Moreover,
certain of the barrel vaults and arches in Coptic places of worship were
pointed, so that the most distinctive characteristic of Gothic
architecture may be said to have been to some extent anticipated. Except
for the effective feature of the dome the exteriors of these buildings
were plain and unpretending, but the interiors were in many cases
lavishly decorated with marble mosaics. Other peculiarities were the
division of the eastern extremity into three semicircular or square
recesses, each containing an altar, the use of an elaborately carved
screen shutting off the choir or chancel from the nave and aisles, and
the introduction of galleries above the latter for the use of the women
of the congregation.

Specially noteworthy examples of Coptic architecture are the two
churches in Upper Egypt known as the White and Red Convents, the former
supposed by some authorities to be even older than the church of the
Nativity of Bethlehem, the 6th century church of Dair-as-Sûriâni in the
Desert, and the 8th century S. Sergius or Abu Sargah at Cairo, whilst in
the oasis of El Bagawat have recently been excavated a large number of
sepulchral chapels, dating probably from the 5th century, many of which
have domed cupolas greatly resembling in structure those of considerably
later Byzantine buildings.

In Syria, as well as in Egypt, are many very interesting early Christian
churches, including the vast complex 5th century building at Kalat-Seman
dedicated to S. Simeon Stylites, which has four basilicas, each with an
apse, grouped about a central octagon; the 6th century church at
Sergiopolis; and the smaller contemporaneous ones at Qalb Lorzeh and
Roueiha; all of which, though they resemble in general plan the
basilicas of Rome, have certain details that appear to shadow forth the
characteristics of the Romanesque style, notably in the first the
cruciform bays dividing the nave from the aisles, in the second, the use
of the lobed arch, and in it and the Roueiha building the grouping of
the clerestory windows.

Asia Minor is also rich in examples of early Christian architecture, of
which one of the most remarkable is the 5th century S. Demetrius at
Salonika, of basilican plan with transepts at the eastern end, nave
arcades resembling those of S. Clemente, Rome, and galleries above the
aisles, such as those of the Coptic places of worship quoted above. With
it must be named the 6th century church in the same city, now used as a
mosque, under the name of Eski Djuma, and the considerably later
churches at Bin Bir Kilissi that have only recently been explored and
are of basilican plan with barrel-vaulted roofing.



The term Byzantine has been given to the style of architecture which was
the outcome of the fusion of the best building traditions of the East
and of the West, the former contributing the distinctive structural
feature of the dome, with the minor details of richness of colouring and
lavishness of decoration, the latter dignified symmetry of proportion
and scientific solidity of construction.

It was in Byzantium, when in 330 the first Christian Emperor chose it
as his headquarters, and its name was changed in his honour to
Constantinople, that the union which was to be so prolific of results
took place. Unfortunately however none of the churches erected under the
auspices of Constantine in the new capital have been preserved, the sole
relic of his reign, so far as architecture is concerned, being the
foundations of the apse of a church, now replaced by a considerably
later building, in which he had the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem
enclosed. The oldest existing church in Constantinople is a basilica of
the Roman type dating from 463, with nothing distinctive of the new
style about it, but there is historical evidence that the noble S.
Sophia, in which that style reached its fullest development, was
preceded in Constantinople by other grand buildings of a similar type,
including one dedicated to the Holy Apostles which was cruciform in plan
and had five domes.

[Illustration: S. Sophia, Constantinople]

The most distinctive peculiarity of Byzantine architecture is the
roofing over of square spaces with the aid of the pendentive, a clever
expedient already explained, that was carried to great perfection by the
builders of Constantinople and those who elsewhere followed their
example. Previously employed in comparatively small structures, it now
became the fundamental principle for the roofing over of spaces of a
great variety of extent, groups of domes and semi-domes, in many cases
supplemented by tapering towers rising with imposing effect from massive
outer walls. The long aisles and nave of the Roman and early Christian
basilicas were replaced by a more or less square plan, lofty piers
spanned by arches upholding the central cupola, whilst the galleries
above the aisles rested on slender columns such as were also employed to
rail off the sanctuary and narthex from the main body of the building.
The whole of the interior, which was lighted from windows in the dome,
was most profusely decorated, the walls having dados or slabs of
different coloured marbles supplemented by mosaics, with which every
portion of the domes, semi-domes, and pendentives were also covered,
whilst the columns, in many cases of variegated marble, had beautifully
carved capitals of an infinite variety of design.

It is customary to divide the history of the development of Byzantine
architecture into two distinct periods, the first extending from the 4th
to the close of the 6th century, the second from the 8th to the 13th
century, there having been a pause between them during which no
buildings of any importance were erected owing to the wars which
convulsed alike the East and the West. As already stated, no actual
buildings belonging to the earlier portion of the first period remain,
but there exist in S. Vitale at Ravenna and still more in S. Sophia at
Constantinople unique examples of the golden age of Byzantine
architecture, the inspiring influence of which was felt throughout the
whole of Europe and the greater part of Asia. The former church, begun
about 526, is of octagonal plan, each division, except that containing
the choir, with an apse of its own, and though the interior has been
greatly spoiled by restoration, the general effect of the vaulted
roofing, marble casing of the walls, and mosaics of the eastern end is
extremely fine. San Vitale is, however, altogether excelled by the
world-famous S. Sophia, now the chief mosque of Constantinople, which
occupies the site of a basilica built under Constantine, that was burnt
down early in the reign of Justinian. The latter emperor at once ordered
the erection of its successor, appointing as architects Anthemios of
Thralles and Isodoros of Miletus.

Begun in 532 and completed in 537, S. Sophia is of very simple yet most
dignified external appearance, so symmetrical is the grouping of its
many domes and semi-domes, whilst the interior, though it has none of
the rich colouring usual in oriental buildings, is unsurpassed in the
harmony of its structural details, all of which lead up, as it were, to
the huge central dome, the lower portion of which is pierced with a
series of small windows throwing a flood of light upon the vast circular
space below. The general plan is square, but a fine narthex consisting
of two spacious halls one above the other projects slightly beyond the
actual church at the western end. The nave, which is 106 feet wide by
225 long, has a semicircular apse with small recesses opening out of it
at either end, and is separated from the aisles by rows of closely set
columns with ornate capitals, spanned by arches upholding two-storied
arcaded galleries, roofed in by semi-domes, except at the northern and
southern ends, which have walls with numerous small windows. One large
western window illuminates the nave, and there is also a double circle
of lights round the apse, the galleries, and the narthex.

Other interesting early Byzantine buildings are the Baptistery at
Kalat-Seman and the church of S. George at Ezra, both in Syria, each of
which is of square plan with an octagonal central space, the latter
having the comparatively unusual feature of a dome upheld by what is
known as a drum, that is to say a low vertical wall instead of
pendentives. The church of S. Sergius at Constantinople, contemporaneous
with S. Sophia, is specially noteworthy on account of the introduction
in it of a classic entablature, combined with distinctive Byzantine
features, with which may be named the much-restored S. Lorenzo at Milan
and the church of the Virgin at Misitra, the ancient Sparta.

To the second period of Byzantine Architecture belong not only several
fine buildings in Constantinople, but others in Greece, Asia Minor, the
North of Italy, and elsewhere, all of which, though they have the
leading structural features of the style, are distinguished by certain
minor local characteristics. The most noteworthy in the capital are the
now secularised church of S. Irene, founded by Constantine and rebuilt
considerably later, and the church of the Chora monastery, specially
remarkable for its beautiful mosaics, whilst in Greece the Churches of
S. Nicodemus at Athens and that of Daphni not far from it, with the two
monastic churches at Stiris and the churches of S. Sophia and S. Elias,
at Salonika, are all thoroughly Byzantine, bearing a close resemblance
to each other. They are all, however, excelled by the great Cathedral of
S. Marco at Venice, which rivals even S. Sophia in the exquisite beauty
of the interior and excels it in the ornate richness of the exterior.

Founded early in the 9th century, S. Marco was partially destroyed in
978 and rebuilt soon afterwards in the original style, that of a
basilica without transepts, but in the second half of the 11th century
it was completely transformed by additions converting it into a
cruciform building, roofed over by five domes of the same size, and with
five arcaded porches at the western end that form one of the grandest
façades in the world. Numerous columns of many covered marbles uphold
graceful arches, the spandrels, or triangular spaces between them filled
in with gleaming mosaics, and above them rise other arches that contrast
well with tapering towers supported on slender pilasters to which the
domes beyond form an admirable background. Within the church to which
this magnificent narthex gives entrance, an infinite variety of
harmonious details combine to produce an entrancing effect: one charming
vista succeeding another, the whole flooded with light from a vast
number of windows, there being no less than eighty in the domes alone.
Mosaics of different dates and greatly varying æsthetic merit completely
clothe the surfaces of the vaulting, the capitals of the columns--many
of which, by the way, are purely decorative, upholding no arches--are
elaborately carved, and the flooring is of marble, slabs of considerable
size being set in patterns of tesseræ.

In the various countries which fell under the influence of the followers
of Mahommed a style of architecture was evolved that had marked
affinities with the Byzantine, the first mosques having been designed,
it is supposed, by Christian architects of Oriental origin, who retained
the square or circular ground-plan of early churches, though they
modified the interior to suit the requirements of the new religion,
introducing, for instance, a central tank for ablutions. Mosques
intended for worship only, generally had flat roofs, the use of the dome
being at first distinctive of a burial place, but as it very soon became
usual to inter in mosques, the dome came to be quoted as a distinctive
feature of them. By degrees simple unadorned mosques were replaced by
vast buildings with many arcaded courts entered from ornate lateral
doorways, whilst certain characteristic features were introduced, of
which the chief were the stalactite vaulting, the name of which explains
itself, the horse-shoe arch, and the minaret, the last named a turret of
several stories gradually decreasing in circumference, each with a
balcony of its own from which the mueddin calls the faithful to prayer.
Pointed arches were also constantly employed as well as the form known
as cusped, that is to say one with a triangular projection springing
from the inner curve. A minor but most significant characteristic of
Saracenic architecture is the elaborate surface decoration in which
geometrical designs, letters, &c., are interwoven with consummate skill,
but in which no figures of animals are ever introduced, the
representation of life being strictly forbidden by the Koran.

Although Arabia was the birthplace of the founder of Islam, there are
few Saracenic buildings of importance in it. The so-called great Mosque
at Mecca, which has been a goal of pilgrimage from all points of the
Mahommedan world for so many centuries, has been since its foundation
completely rebuilt, not assuming its present form until the middle of
the 16th century. It has little that can be called architectural style
about it, consisting as it does of an arcaded enclosure in the centre of
which is the Kaaba, a heathen shrine that existed long before the time
of Mohammed, the whole surrounded by a wall with several gateways and

[Illustration: Section of Mosque el Aksah at Jerusalem]

In Jerusalem various characteristic buildings bear witness to the
prevalence of the Mahommedan faith in the Holy City of the Christians,
including the 7th century Mosque el Aksah, originally a Christian church
transformed into what it now is by Calif Omar, and the 8th century
shrine erroneously named after him, also known as the Dome of the Rock,
both of which rise from the site of the Jewish Temple. The latter is of
octagonal plan, and, though its details are of a somewhat hybrid
character, many of the columns having been filched from other buildings,
whilst the decorations of the great dome and of the exterior were added
in the 16th century, is of very singular charm on account of the
symmetry of its proportions and the richness of its colouring, the walls
being cased in Persian tiles and the windows filled with stained glass.

It appears to have been in Egypt that Saracenic architecture, strictly
so-called, first attained to the structural dignity and appropriateness
of ornamentation that were to distinguish it in Persia, Spain, and
India. In the 7th century Mosque of Amru and that of Ibn Touloun, dating
from the 9th century, both at Cairo, the earlier phases of the style can
be studied, whilst the later development is illustrated in the same city
by the 13th century Mosque of Kalaoon, the 14th century Mosque of Sultan
Hassan, that has the rare feature in a Mahommedan building of a
cruciform plan, the contemporaneous Mosque of Sultin Barkook, and the
small 15th century Mosque of Kait-Bey, the last specially noteworthy on
account of its beautiful internal decoration and its graceful minaret.

In Persia the finest mosques are the 13th century one at Tabrez known as
the Blue, and that at Ispahan dating from the 16th century, which has a
grand dome and noble gateways with pointed arches, whilst at Serbistan,
Firanzabad, Ukheithar, Kasir-i-Shirin, and elsewhere in the same country
are remains of palaces and other secular buildings, ranging in date from
the 4th to the 9th century, that give proof of great structural and
decorative skill on the part of the architects who worked for the
fire-worshippers, who, though they required no temples in which to
worship their gods, lavished vast sums on their own homes.

Beautiful as are the relics of Saracenic architecture in Egypt, Syria,
and Persia, they are excelled by many remarkable buildings in Spain,
where, after the conquest of the country by the Moors in the 8th
century, the style reached its fullest development. The most remarkable
examples of it are the Mosque at Cordova, begun in 786 by Abd-el-Rahman
and added to from time to time by his successors, with the result that
it affords an excellent illustration of the modification of details that
took place as time went on; the 12th century Giralda or Tower at
Seville, noteworthy for its fine proportions and effective surface
decoration, the 13th century Alcazar or castle in the same town, and
above all the Palace of the Alhambra, that dominates Granada from a
lofty height above the city, which was begun in 1248 by the Moorish
King, Ibn-l-Ahmar and added to by his successors. Of the original
buildings that, when first completed, must have been one of the grandest
and most finely situated groups in the world, all that now remain are
the towers of the north wall, in one of which is the vast hall of the
Ambassadors, and various colonnaded rooms and porticoes ranged round two
spacious courts, one called that of the Fishpond, the other that of the
Lions. The delicate grace of the columns and arches, with the richness
of their decoration and of every inch of surface, has never been
surpassed either in beauty of design or harmony of colour, whilst the
effects of perspective from the doorways and other points of view are
equally unrivalled. No single detail is superfluous or without its
special meaning in relation to the whole, and even what to the
uninitiated appear mere geometrical designs on the walls, lintels, &c.,
are quotations from the Koran and classic Arabic poetry.

[Illustration: Section of Mosque at Cordoba]

When through the breaking up of the power of the Moors in Spain, the
architecture introduced by them seemed fated to share their decline, a
kind of revival of it took place in Constantinople through the conquest
of that city by the Turks in 1453. Unfortunately however the style made
no real progress there, the mosques and other buildings erected by the
new owners being rather Byzantine than Saracenic, even that known as the
Suleimanyeh, built between 1550-1556, and the Ahmediyeh, dating from
1608-1614, greatly resembling St. Sophia.

In India the mosques and palaces erected by the Mahommedan conquerors
and their successors are even more beautiful and impressive than the
Buddhist and Hindu buildings described in the section on Asiatic
architecture. Their distinctive characteristics, as in Egypt, Persia,
and Spain, are the skilful combination of the dome, the arch and the
minaret, and the lavish surface decoration of the interior, with certain
other peculiarities that were the outcome of local tradition. More
attention was given, for instance, to external appearance, huge
recessed gateways and colonnaded cloisters surmounted by rows of purely
decorative domes on pilasters, being of frequent occurrence. At the same
time, stalactite vaulting was rarely employed, whilst horizontal courses
of corbels or arches in which each stone projects slightly beyond that
on which it rests, were used as supports for the domes instead of

[Illustration: Section of Taj Mahal, Agra]

Among the most noteworthy still-existing examples of Indo-Saracenic
architecture are the early 15th century Jumna Musjid or Great Mosque at
Ahmedabad, that has certain details recalling Hindu post and lintel
structures; the late 15th century Adinah mosque at Gaur, which has 385
domes; the 16th century Jumna Musjid at Bijapur, that has the singular
feature of a central space covered in by a dome upheld by intersecting
arches, set in a number of squares with flat roofs; the Mosque built by
Akbar in the second half of the 16th century at Futtehpore Sikhri, the
gateways of which are specially characteristic; and the remarkable
buildings at Delhi and Agra, erected in the 17th century under the
enlightened Shah Jehan, including in the former city the Jumna Musjid
and the fortified palace, and in the latter the Moti Musjid or Pearl
Mosque, and the Taj Mahal, both exceptionally beautiful, in which the
Saracenic style may justly be said to have reached its culmination,
nothing that can be compared with them having been since produced either
in India or elsewhere. The Taj Mahal, built by the Emperor as a tomb for
himself and his favourite wife, is indeed of dream-like and ethereal
charm, with its well-proportioned domes and minarets, cased, as is the
rest of the exterior, in white marble, and its interior enriched with
mosaics of precious stones.



The term Romanesque is given to the period between the beginning of the
9th and the middle of the 12th century, but there was no real break in
the continuity of the evolution of Christian architecture in Europe from
the time when that art first freed itself from Pagan influence till it
reached its noblest development in the Gothic style.

[Illustration: Simple Intersecting Vaulting]

From first to last the keynote of structure was the use of the arch for
vaulting and for the spanning of piers and columns, and its form is, as
a general rule, indicative of the phase of development to which it
belongs. Although, however, it may be said that the semicircular arch is
characteristic of Romanesque buildings, the lintel is occasionally used
simultaneously with it in interiors, and the chief entrances are in many
cases spanned by horizontal beams or courses of stone that are, however,
as a general rule surmounted by arches. Moreover in late Romanesque work
the pointed arch is now and then introduced shadowing forth the
approaching change.

It was not in the invention of new forms of vaulting but in the
adaptation and improvement of those already in existence that Romanesque
architects chiefly displayed their skill. The earliest Romanesque vaults
were simple intersecting arches similar to those which had long been in
use, but as time went on these were superseded by what is known as
ribbed vaulting; that is to say by roofs divided into bays by a
framework of diagonal ribs supporting fillings in of thin stone called
severes, which in their turn gradually developed into the complex and
ornate system of Gothic vaulting. To counteract the thrust of arched and
ribbed vaulting the device of buttresses was hit upon. These buttresses
consisted at first of a series of supports introduced beneath the roof
of the aisles and extending from the back of the nave to the aisle wall,
which were later supplemented by the external buttresses known as
flying, that were to be so distinctive a feature of Gothic architecture.

[Illustration: Ribbed Vaulting]

[Illustration: Ribbed Vaulting]

Other characteristics of Romanesque architecture are the slenderness of
the columns as compared with those of earlier buildings, the disuse of
classic capitals, and the substitution for them of what is known as the
basket form, that is to say, semicircular mouldings enclosing floral
designs, later replaced by a great variety of forms, such as flowers,
leaves, human and animals' heads. The grouping of columns in clusters
also came into use, the general tendency being towards the production of
an effect of grace and lightness rather than of strength and solidity.
Arched cornices were introduced to relieve the monotony of the walls
above the pillars of the nave, whilst an even more marked change took
place in the windows, which, though small and few in early Renaissance
buildings, gradually increased in number, in size, and in the beauty of
their tracery. At the eastern end of churches several windows were in
some cases grouped together, divided only by slender pilasters, and
above the western entrance large circular windows known as the rose or
wheel--according to certain peculiarities of their tracery--were
introduced, whilst the walls were pierced by rows of complex windows,
each with a number of different lights.

In Romanesque churches the beautiful colonnaded narthex of the early
Christian basilica is replaced in Northern and occasionally in Southern
Italy by a projecting, and elsewhere by a simple, porch; but to make up
for the loss of what was a very effective feature, the whole of the
western façade, including the recessed doorway giving access to the
nave, is generally most richly decorated with sculpture and carving,
figures in niches, grotesque animal forms of symbolic meaning, with
floral and geometrical designs of great variety and beauty adorning
every portion.

[Illustration: Clustered Column]

[Illustration: Buttress]

[Illustration: Buttress]

On either side of the west front of many Romanesque buildings, more
rarely also from the point of junction of the transepts and nave, rise
lofty square or octagonal towers, the earlier with flat, the later with
more or less steeply pitched roofs, that gradually developed into the
tapering spires so characteristic of the Gothic style. Occasionally the
eastern apse is flanked by a turret or small tower, and in some cases,
chiefly in Italy, a detached and lofty tower known as a Campanile or
Bell Tower--though it only rarely contains bells, being sometimes merely
a secular monument--rises close to the church or at a little distance
from it, but connected with it by a cloister.

[Illustration: Rose Window]

In S. Ambrogio, Milan, begun in the 9th and completed in the 12th
century, the gradual change from the early Christian to the Romanesque
style as developed in Italy can be studied. It has a nave of basilican
type, a narthex surmounted by a gallery, a pediment-like gable at the
western end, an octagonal cupola roofing over the eastern apse, with a
circle of windows flooding the choir with light, a triforium or arcaded
storey above the aisles, and most characteristic of all, an open
external arcaded gallery, admitting air and light beneath the roof of
the apse, such as was to become so effective a decorative feature of
later buildings, and in some cases to be extended along the aisles and
above the chief entrance.

[Illustration: Example of Arched Cornice]

S. Michele, Pavia, is a typical and very beautiful example of the
Romanesque style of the twelfth century, specially noteworthy features
being its cruciform plan, its two-storied aisles, and its external
gallery with clustered pilasters; and the contemporary S. Zeno, Verona,
though it has no triforium and is not vaulted, has noble clustered piers
from which sprang arches--only one of which remains--spanning the nave,
alternating with single columns.

Other fine Romanesque buildings in Italy are the Cathedral of Verona,
which has a fine two-storied porch; the Cathedral of Novara, specially
noteworthy for its beautiful atrium; S. Miniato, Florence, that is of
basilican plan, and, though it is without transepts, has the distinctive
Romanesque feature of transverse arches upheld by clustered piers
spanning the nave and aisles; S. Antonio, Piacenza, with transepts at
the western instead of the eastern end, fine intersecting vaults roofing
in the whole building, and a tower rising from the junction of the nave
and transepts; and the Cathedral of Pisa, the last a complex building
with vaulted aisles, a dome above the intersection of the transepts and
nave, a flat roof over the latter, and a lofty triforium gallery running
round the entire church, the general effect being most pleasing and
harmonious. Close to the cathedral are the 12th century circular
Baptistery, that has considerably later additions, and the famous
Leaning Tower, the three buildings forming one of the finest
architectural groups in the world.

Certain very marked characteristics distinguish the buildings of Sicily
from those of contemporary date on the mainland of Italy, the Romanesque
style, as is very clearly seen in the Cathedral of Monreale, having been
there considerably modified alike by Saracenic and Norman influences.
The pointed arch was adopted long before it came into use elsewhere in
Europe, having been, it is suggested, a modification of the horse-shoe
form so characteristic of Moorish mosques.

In France, Romanesque ecclesiastical architecture followed, in the main,
the same lines as in Italy, with, in many cases, one notable addition,
that of the chevet, a circlet of chapels round the eastern apse, which
gradually grew out of what was known as an ambulatory, that is to say, a
space in which perambulation was possible, obtained by the extension of
the aisles behind the choir. In early examples of the ambulatory the
circle was continuous, as in the church of S. Saturnin, Auvergne, but as
time went on, small semicircular chapels were introduced, with windows
between them, that gradually developed into the chevet, the chapels
increasing in number and in size, and in some cases extending westwards
along the aisles.

The churches and cathedrals of Southern France differ in several
respects from those of the North, the aisleless basilica plan with
barrel, intersecting, or domed vaulting being of frequent occurrence in
the former, whilst in the latter the beautiful arcaded aisles and
steeply pitched roof presage the approach of the Gothic style with its
pointed arches, groined roofs, flying buttresses, and tapering

The five-domed S. Front in Perigueux, though it has rudimentary aisles
only, is a good example of an early French Romanesque building, in which
Oriental influence is very perceptible, it being in some of its features
a copy of S. Marco, Venice, whilst in the later Cathedral of Angoulême
of cruciform plan with apsidal chapels, that of Le Puy with a triple
entrance porch, the church of S. Hilaire, Poitiers, with its irregular
domes, the uncompleted S. Ours, Loche, with its pyramidal octagonal
spires, S. Saturnin, Toulouse, with its central many-storied tapering
tower, the 12th century churches of Vezelay and Avallon; the cathedral
and church of La Trinité at Angers, both combining pointed arches with
domed vaulting, the gradual development of the southern branch of French
Romanesque architecture can be very clearly studied.

In many of the noble churches and cathedrals of Northern France and
elsewhere the Romanesque may justly be said to have melted into the
Gothic style, some of them combining as they do the most beautiful
features of both. To the cost of their erection ecclesiastics and laymen
alike contributed with eager zeal, and amongst the architects and
craftsmen employed on them, class and professional rivalry were merged
in one common enthusiasm to promote the glory of God, all desire for
individual distinction being merged in an unselfish ambition to aid in
producing a building worthy of His worship.

In Normandy was inaugurated the phase of Romanesque architecture which
was to develop on such noble lines in England, the chief distinctions of
which are the massiveness of the walls and pillars, the great length of
the nave, the richness of the decoration alike of the shafts and
capitals of the columns and of the round-headed arches they uphold. Very
notable examples are the Abbaye aux Hommes, the Abbaye aux Dames, and
the Church of S. Nicholas, all at Caen, the first with circular arched
vaulting and western towers ending in spires, the second with a Gothic
roof of intersecting pointed arches, the third with three apses, each
with a steeply pitched roof, a porch with three arcades at the western
end, and a low gabled tower rising from the point of intersection of the
nave and transepts, the three buildings illustrating well the transition
from the simple basilica to the complex Gothic structure. With them may
be named the Abbey of Jumièges, of which unfortunately but a few relics
remain, which had beautiful clustered piers alternating with single
columns upholding semicircular lateral arches, a flat roofed nave, and
vaulted aisles.

Other fine Romanesque churches of Northern France, all of which differ
somewhat in general appearance from those of Normandy, are the
Cathedrals of Noyon and Soissons, the church of S. Pierre at Lisieux,
all of which combine pointed with semicircular arches, and above all
the Cathedral of Le Mans, which has a very characteristic Romanesque
nave flanked by round-headed arches and roofed over with an equally
characteristic groined Gothic vault, whilst the choir, added in the
early 13th century, is encircled by a beautiful chevet, the exterior of
which with its many buttresses and pinnacles presents a most impressive

One of the finest Romanesque buildings in Europe is the Cathedral of
Tournai, Belgium, which has a flat-roofed nave of exceptional length,
picturesque lateral storied galleries, a central tower with a lofty
spire, and two supplementary towers, also with spires, flanking the
northern and southern apses. Elsewhere in Belgium are several
flat-roofed churches of basilican plan, some with ambulatories in the
French style but no apsidal chapels. In Spain, on the other hand, the
chevet is rarely absent from ecclesiastical buildings, whilst a
distinctive local feature is a low central dome or tower known as the
cimborio, which is in many cases scarcely more than a swelling of the
roof at the point of intersection of nave and transept.

Germany is especially rich in Romanesque churches, which, like those of
Belgium, are of basilican plan with flat roofs. In the Cathedral of
Trier can be studied the gradual growth of the Teutonic form of the
Romanesque style, for it was originally an early Christian Church of the
Roman type, which was converted into one of a more distinctive style in
the 11th century by additions, including a western apse, whilst the
noble vaulting of the nave dates from the 12th and the choir from the
13th century. As time went on the multiplication of apses became
characteristic of German churches, it being usual to add one at the
western end, and more rarely also on the northern and southern sides,
the beautiful tapering columns dividing them from the aisles, with the
small chapels beyond them, producing very fine effects of perspective.
Other peculiarities of German Romanesque buildings are their great
height and the noble proportions of the interiors, with the finely
balanced grouping of the cupolas, towers, and turrets of the exterior;
to which must be added the absence of the great Western doorway that
lends such distinction to French, Italian, and Belgian churches.

Very fine examples of the style in Germany are the churches of S. Maria
in Capitolo Cologne, S. Quirin in Neuss, and the cathedrals of Nuremberg
and Bamberg, but it was in those of Speier, Mainz, and Worms that it
achieved its greatest triumphs. The first, it is true, has no western
apse, but this is atoned for by a fine narthex, and in the other two the
western extension is as conspicuous as the eastern. Dignified simplicity
and sense of space are the chief characteristics of all three
buildings, massive columns upholding the arcading flanking the naves,
whilst the walls of the aisles are unbroken by triforia, the piers at
Speier and Worms being carried right up to the clerestory windows,
whilst at Mainz two arches are placed one above the other, the vaulting
of the nave springing from the upper tier.



In Great Britain, even more than on the Continent, the architecture of
the past reflects national character, its distinctive peculiarities
having been the outcome of local conditions differing widely from those
that obtained elsewhere, which largely modified the styles introduced
from without. On the arrival of the Romans in the first century of the
Christian era, there were, with the exception of the monoliths on
Salisbury plain known as Stonehenge and other prehistoric relics, the
origin of which has never yet been discovered, no buildings of greater
pretension than mud huts or circular stone or wooden houses with a hole
in the tapering roof through which air was admitted and smoke dispersed.
The houses, palaces, and churches erected by the invaders were, as
proved by the remains at Silchester, Wroxeter, and elsewhere, of the
type of those of Imperial Rome, and on them many British masons were
employed, who thus acquired a knowledge of the principles of
construction that stood their successors in good stead. Those
successors, however, showed no desire to perpetuate the style introduced
by the conquerors, and when the latter withdrew in the 5th century the
buildings they left behind them were allowed to fall into rapid decay.

[Illustration: Example of Saxon Arcading]

[Illustration: Example of Saxon Arcading]

Very quickly too did most of the converts to Christianity relapse into
heathenism, and although the lamp of faith was long kept burning in
Ireland and in Scotland, no trace exists of the churches in which the
little remnant of the followers of the Redeemer met for worship. Of
those built later under the auspices of Saints Augustine, Paulinus, and
other early bishops, not one escaped destruction, but there is strong
evidence to prove that they were of the basilican apsidal plan, that
never took very deep root in England, but was in many cases ousted by
the sanctuary with a square-shaped eastern extension.

It is usual to give the term Anglo-Saxon to all relics of buildings in
Great Britain, that can be proved to date from between the early 7th
century and 1066, but Pre-Conquest would be more strictly accurate,
Anglo-Saxon architects having contributed but little to the evolution of
style, for they were wanting in initiative, rarely trying experiments
with new features as was the constant custom of their Norman successors.
To this, however, there was one brilliant exception in Bishop Wilfrid of
York, who greatly improved the primitive church, built by King Edwin in
the capital of his see, that was later destroyed by fire, and erected
noble minsters at Hexham and Ripon, of which the fine crypts with
massive pillars still remain beneath the considerably later buildings.
In the south of England, too, there was considerable architectural
activity in the 7th and 8th centuries, whilst in the 9th the return of
King Egbert from his long exile at the Court of Charlemagne appears to
have led to the introduction in Wessex of the Oriental branch of the
Romanesque style to which the cathedral of Aix-la-Chapelle belongs.

[Illustration: Tower of Sompting Church, Sussex]

The chief characteristics of the so-called Anglo-Saxon style are the
great height in comparison with the length and breadth of a building, a
rectangular plan, massive square towers, unadorned angular or
semicircular arches, stunted clumsy-looking columns with roughly carved
or plain capitals, long narrow round-headed deeply recessed windows,
massive walls without internal decoration, with on the exterior a
somewhat ornate surface ornamentation, combined with a series of
peculiar clamps known as quoins at the angles of the walls, greatly
strengthening the structure. There were no aisles or transepts in early
Anglo-Saxon buildings, but the chancel was divided from the nave by an
arch sometimes with and sometimes without carving.

It is supposed that most of the early Anglo-Saxon churches were built of
wood, and at Greenstead in Essex an example remains of the mode in which
such buildings were constructed, though the probability is that none of
the original material remains. Of the stone buildings that succeeded
those in the more perishable material a few only are still in existence,
including the Abbey Church of Deerhurst near Towkesbury, the oldest
consecrated building still in use in England, the Tower of Earl's Barton
Church in Northamptonshire, parts of Barfreston Church, Kent, that has a
fine Norman doorway: Sompting Church, with the unusual feature of a
gabled tower with a spire, and that of Worth, both in Sussex, the latter
with rudimentary transepts and a semicircular apse, with which may be
mentioned S. Lawrence at Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts, of somewhat uncertain
but probably later date than any of these, for it has a square Eastern
end and decorative arcading on the upper portion of the walls, prophetic
of coming changes.

Certain portions of St. Martin's Church, Canterbury, notably a doorway
in the chancel and parts of the foundations, are supposed to have
belonged to a Saxon church of earlier date than the crypts of Hexham and
Ripon already referred to, and which was preceded by an even more
ancient building, one of the very first places of Christian worship
erected in England.

The so-called Pyx House in Westminster Abbey, a low narrow
solemn-looking vaulted room with a row of massive pillars in the centre,
and a single archway in the south transept, are all that are left of the
noble sanctuary built under the direction of the last of the Saxon
kings, but these relics, with a few conventual buildings, suffice to
connect with Anglo-Saxon times a church that is perhaps more intimately
associated than any other with the history of England from the close of
the 11th to the middle of the 16th century, it having been added to
under every successive occupant of the throne.

The Anglo-Norman style, that succeeded the Saxon, prevailed in Great
Britain from the conquest to the last decade of the 12th century,
becoming at that time either merged in or superseded by the earliest
phase of the Gothic.

Always most enthusiastic builders, the Normans found in the land of
their adoption fuller scope for their energies than in their own, and
before they became absorbed in the race they had conquered, they left
their impress throughout the length and breadth of their new domain,
monasteries, cathedrals, and parish churches, castles, and dwelling
houses rising up in every direction, all stamped with a most distinctive
character, the result of the welding into one of Anglo-Saxon and Norman
traditions, and the modification of a foreign style by local conditions
of material and environment. In many cases somewhat crude and heavy,
Norman work has yet always an imposing dignity, and is, as a general
rule, admirably suited to the site it occupies and the purpose for which
it is intended.

[Illustration: Plan of Norman Church]

[Illustration: Norman Capital. White Tower, London]

[Illustration: Base and Capital of Norman Pillar]

[Illustration: Norman Capital]

[Illustration: Norman Arcading]

[Illustration: Norman Window]

[Illustration: Norman Arcading]

[Illustration: Norman Window]

[Illustration: Norman Window]

The chief characteristics of Anglo-Norman ecclesiastical buildings are a
cruciform plan; the great length in comparison with the breadth of the
nave, which joins the choir without the intervention of a screen, such
screens as are _in situ_ being of much later date than the churches in
which they are found; columns of greater girth and height than the Saxon
type, some circular, others six or eight sided, the circular type
occasionally clustered in groups of six or more, with roughly carved
capitals of which the so-called cushion form is of most frequent
occurrence, upholding arches of wide span, massive walls, those of the
nave with rows of purely ornamental arcading, beautifully proportioned
triforia and clerestories; long, narrow, round-headed windows, two or
three being often grouped together; deeply recessed and finely decorated
doorways; strong external buttresses; twin western towers and a loftier
central one rising from the intersection of nave and transepts. With
certain notable exceptions referred to below, Norman churches have flat
timber roofs, but those of the crypt beneath them are generally of
groined stone with plain or only slightly ornamented ribs.

[Illustration: Norman Window]

[Illustration: Norman Doorway]

Another very distinctive characteristic of the Norman style is the
richness of the surface decoration of the interiors of cathedrals and
churches, the bases, shafts, and capitals of the columns, the arches,
headings of windows, mural arcades, &c. being all enriched with
mouldings of an infinite variety of form, including the so-called cable
resembling a rope, the billet not unlike short bits of rounded wood, the
chevron or zig-zag, the fret or fillet, the lozenge, the trellis, the
cone, the scollop, and wave with the so-called torus, a convex swelling,
and the cavetto, a hollow moulding, the last two used almost exclusively
on the bases of columns.

[Illustration: Norman Buttress]

[Illustration: Cable Moulding]

[Illustration: Billet Moulding]

[Illustration: Chevron or Zig-zag Moulding]

[Illustration: Diamond or Lozenge Moulding]

[Illustration: Trellis Moulding]

[Illustration: Cone Moulding]

[Illustration: Scollop Moulding]

Among noteworthy existing examples of the Anglo-Norman style are the
nave, transepts and western doorway of Hereford Cathedral; the choir,
transepts, and nave of Peterborough Cathedral; the naves of Gloucester,
Exeter, Chichester, and Ely Cathedrals; certain portions of Canterbury
Cathedral, including the choir chapels, part of the cloisters, the
baptistery tower, S. Anselm's Tower, and a fine staircase leading up
from the Close; the Chapter House of Worcester Cathedral; the greater
part of Norwich Cathedral, which, though it has the French chevet at the
eastern end, combines with it the distinctive English characteristics of
a nave of great length and long transepts, the former with fourteen
noble bays; the naves of S. Alban's Abbey, Southwell Minster, and the
Priory Church of Christchurch, Hants; portions of the nave and transepts
and the central tower of Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford; the beautiful
portal of Tewkesbury Abbey, the finest in England, and the doorway of
Hales Church, Norfolk, on which may be seen many of the characteristic
mouldings enumerated above.

[Illustration: Norman Church at Kilpeck]

Somewhat later in date and even more distinctively Anglo-Norman than the
examples quoted above, is the noble Cathedral of Durham, in which the
style reached its fullest culmination. It remains, with the exception of
the so-called Chapel of the Nine Altars that replaces the original apse,
very much what it was when first completed, and reflects the national
unity that was becoming ever more and more complete whilst it was being
erected. A very noteworthy feature of this most effective building, in
which every detail is subordinated to the general effect, is the vaulted
roof of the nave, one of the very few dating from Norman times,
significant of the approaching revolt against the flat roofs that had so
long been looked upon as essential. In spite of certain crudities of
structure it harmonises well alike with the vaulting of the aisles and
transepts of earlier, and of the choir of somewhat later date. The great
clustered piers alternating with cylindrical columns, the fine arches
spanning them, the beautiful triforia and clerestories, and above all
the long vista of nave and choir, combine to place Durham Cathedral in
the very highest rank amongst contemporary buildings either in England
or on the Continent, whilst in the Galilee Chapel, to which a porch,
replacing an earlier entrance, gives access, the details of the
transitional Norman style can be very clearly studied, the graceful
intersecting arches, upheld by slender coupled columns, recently
supplemented by additional supports, enriched with characteristic
mouldings, shadowing forth the approaching change to the early English
phase of Gothic.

Winchester Cathedral, originally a very typical Norman building designed
by William of Wykeham, retains its Norman framework, covered over, as it
were, with a drapery of detail in the latest development of English
Gothic, and with it may be named as characteristic Norman buildings with
Gothic additions, Peterborough Cathedral, all Norman except the west
front and eastern extremity of the choir; Malmesbury Abbey, with a
flat-roofed nave and vaulted aisles, the latter with pointed arches; the
Cathedral of Exeter; the Minster of Sherbourne; and portions of
Westminster Abbey.

Many parish churches, too, including those of Kilpeck in Herefordshire,
a very typical Norman building; Tickencote in Lincolnshire, with
intersecting pointed arches; S. Peter's in the East, Oxford, with a
groined vaulted roof; Barfreston Church, Kent, with a very beautiful
recessed doorway; Goring and Iffley in Oxfordshire; and above all, S.
Bartholomew's in London, date from Norman times, and, though they have
all been more or less modified by restoration, retain the general
characteristics of the period to which they belong.

[Illustration: Plan of Peterborough Cathedral]

Anglo-Norman secular architecture is characterised by much the same
qualities as ecclesiastical, the castles and residences of the
sovereigns and the nobles having been of dignified and impressive
appearance, well proportioned, and thoroughly in harmony with their
surroundings. During the reigns of the Conqueror and his successors many
noble strongholds were erected on points of vantage. The most important
feature, and in every case the first to be built, having been the lofty
central keep or donjon, the home of its owner in peace, and the last
refuge of a besieged garrison in time of war. In it was a fine hall, in
which the host received his guests, with a raised platform known as the
daïs for the use of those of high rank, and the approach to it was
protected by a complex series of defences, including deep ditches or
fosses, walls with towers and turrets at intervals, forming two distinct
enclosures known as the outer and inner baileys, often covering a vast
extent of ground, the whole encircled by a deep moat that could be
filled with water when necessary. The great main entrance was flanked by
towers, and in connection with the heavy doors of solid oak was a
portcullis, that is to say, a grating of timber and iron bristling with
spikes, that could be drawn up from within, cutting off all access to
the inner precincts.

Some few Norman castles, all considerably modified to suit modern
requirements, are still in use as residences or public buildings,
including those of Windsor, Warwick (both specially typical), Norwich,
Dover, Richmond in Yorkshire, and the Tower of London; the keep of the
last named (known as the White Tower) and the chapel dedicated to S.
John being amongst the best examples of the Anglo-Norman style in
existence; whilst at Rochester, Colchester, Croft, Headingham, and
Kenilworth are extensive remains of other strongholds, that before they
fell into decay, must have equalled in grandeur those of Windsor and
Warwick. A very remarkable example of a private residence dating from
Norman times is Haddon Hall in Derbyshire, the seat of the Duke of
Rutland, which retains the original great hall with a daïs and
minstrels' gallery, and a number of fine suites of rooms to which
various wings were added during the 13th, 14th, and 15th centuries,
affording an excellent opportunity for the study of the development of
English domestic architecture.



The first decades of the 12th century were marked throughout Europe, as
far as architecture was concerned, by the final breaking loose from the
Roman traditions that had so long been accepted as binding, and the
revolt against which had been inaugurated more than a hundred years
before. The struggle between the old and new methods of building very
clearly reflected that of the people for greater freedom of thought and
action in the countries in which it took place. The keynote of both was
an aspiration after nobler things, and, in architecture, a yearning for
religious expression, typified by the pointing upwards of the spires and
pinnacles of churches and cathedrals, coincided with the craving of
builders for increased lightness and grace of structure. The lofty
vaults and complicated systems of buttresses of the Gothic style bore
striking witness to the ambitious daring of their designers, a daring
more than justified by its results.

[Illustration: Gothic Vaulting]

The term Gothic, that now calls up a vision of ethereal beauty, was,
strange to say, first given to the style that grew out of the Romanesque
by the artists of the Renaissance as an expression of their contempt for
what they looked upon as outworn methods of building, similar to those
of the Gothic barbarians in warfare. It very soon, however, lost all
association with this most inappropriate comparison, becoming synonymous
with all that is most beautiful in the architecture of the period to
which it is applied.

The most important characteristics of Gothic buildings are the
introduction, wherever possible, of vertical or very sharply pointed
details, such as highly pitched roofs and gables, spires and pinnacles,
pointed arches and pointed vaulting, flying buttresses, that grew ever
slenderer and more decorative, leading downwards from the roof, and
counteracting the tremendous thrust of the suspended vault of stone, all
of true structural value. To these must be added the minor peculiarities
of slenderer columns than those of Romanesque buildings, several being
often clustered together, mouldings cut into the stone of the capitals
of the columns, arcading &c., instead of projecting beyond the surface,
the grouping of several windows under the arch, and the increase in the
beauty of their tracery. The so-called lancet or long narrow window with
stilted head, pointed like an arch, is specially distinctive of Early
Gothic, and was later supplemented by the more elaborate rose window,
the stained glass in them, and in the more complex groups, adding
greatly to the æsthetic effect of the whole building, the many coloured
light from them relieving the monotony of the stone work.

[Illustration: Gothic Vaulting]

The general appearance of the interior of a Gothic cathedral, with its
long perspective of nave, aisles, and choir, its finely proportioned
triforia and clerestories, and, above all, its graceful arches leading
up to their points of union in the soaring roof, may justly be called a
poem in stone, whilst its exterior is equally remarkable for the close
correlation of all its parts, producing an impression of consistent
unity of design. An added charm is given alike to the interior and
exterior by the combined richness and quaintness of the decorative
sculpture, in which is clearly illustrated the delight in symbolism of
the mediæval craftsmen, who, working in close accord with architect and
builder, supplemented effigies of heroes and heroines of the faith,
royal patrons, &c., with emblematic animals, fruit, flowers, and
foliage, welding the most incongruous forms into an elaborate and
beautiful scheme of ornamentation.

[Illustration: Gargoyle]

It was in Northern France that the Gothic style was first developed, and
there, as elsewhere, it passed through three phases. The first,
characterised by comparative severity of style and simplicity of
decoration, prevailing in the 12th and 13th centuries; the second, to
which the name of Rayonnant is sometimes given, on account of the
ray-like window tracery, in the 14th; and the third, known as the
Flamboyant, because of the flame-like tracery and general brightness of
the ornamentation, in the 15th century.

[Illustration: Flying Buttress]

A hint of the coming change was, as has already been shown, given in
many a Romanesque building, notably, to quote but two cases in point, in
the Cathedral of Evreux, and the Church of S. Etienne, Beauvais, but it
was in the Cathedral of S. Denis, near Paris, founded in 1140, that the
full significance of that change was revealed. It retains, it is true,
round-headed arches above some of its windows and a few projecting
decorative mouldings, but in other respects it is essentially Gothic,
its double aisles foreshadowing those of the later Notre Dame of Paris,
which may justly be said to be an epitome of the development of the
pointed style in France. Specially dear to the French nation on account
of its intimate association with many thrilling episodes of its history,
it remains, in spite of all the vicissitudes through which it has
passed, so far as its general structure is concerned, very much what it
was when first completed in the late 13th century. The noble western
façade, with its profuse and ornate ornamentation, and the fine square
towers flanking it, each pierced with effective openings and adorned
with grotesque gargoyles, contrast with the slender central
spire--which, by the way, is modern--tiers of graceful flying
buttresses, and the numerous groups of pinnacles, whilst the long line
of the great roof ridge brings into relief the comparative intricacy of
the design of the rest of the building, especially of the extremities of
the transepts with their fairy-like arcading, beautiful sculptures, and
grand rose windows.

The most distinctive details of the interior of Notre Dame are the
massive piers and symmetrical arches of varying width of the nave, the
simple but most effective vaulting of it, the double aisles and the
choir; the shortness of the transepts, atoned for by the unusual length
of the semicircular apse, with its circlet of chapels; the combination
in the clerestory of pointed-headed and rose windows, and, above all,
the exquisitely proportioned and spacious triforium, which surmounts the
whole of the double aisles and forms a circular gallery with arcaded
openings, harmonising alike with those of the nave below and the
clerestory above, and a stone vault of pointed intersecting arches
springing from slender clustered columns.

[Illustration: Gothic Arcade]

[Illustration: Gothic Steeple]

Contemporaneous with Notre Dame is Laon Cathedral, the original and
characteristic chevet of which was replaced in the early 13th century by
a square termination, in imitation it is supposed of some English
church, but which otherwise resembles the Cathedral of Paris, especially
in its fine western façade and open vaulted triforium. In the Cathedral
of Chartres, founded in the 12th century, but practically rebuilt in the
13th after its almost complete destruction by fire, the further progress
of the style may be studied, its arches being more stilted and its nave
and choir wider than those of its predecessors, whilst its closed-in
triforium is significant of the ever increasing height of the roofs,
necessitating the strengthening of the walls, a change that was,
however, quickly succeeded and, to a great extent, neutralised by the
piercing and filling in with glass of the wall behind the arcading.
Other characteristics of Chartres Cathedral are the noble sculptures of
the west front, that are not only among the finest but the least injured
in France, those of the south and north porches that are scarcely
inferior, the dignified towers surmounted by beautiful and graceful
spires of different but harmonious designs, and the double tier of
flying buttresses of the nave. The last named are moreover of unusual
construction, each consisting of two parts, the upper strengthened by an
arcade with round-headed arches, springing from massive stunted piers,
that seem to connect the advanced Gothic of the rest of the building,
with the late Romanesque style.

The Cathedral of Rheims is another typical Gothic building with a
western façade, the deeply recessed central portal of which is
especially fine, resembling those of Notre Dame, Laon, and Chartres; a
remarkably effective central tower that rises nearly sixty feet above
the high-pitched roof; a well-developed chevet, a walled-in triforium
similar to that of Chartres, a noble series of clerestory and several
grand rose windows filled with very beautiful stained glass.

[Illustration: Gothic Clustered Column]

In the Cathedral of Amiens French Gothic architecture touched its
highest point of excellence, before the over exaggeration of its
distinctive peculiarities sounded the note of decadence. Begun in 1220,
when all the structural problems of the pointed style had been finally
solved, it was completed in 1272, and although it has more than once
been seriously injured by fire, it has been so successfully restored
that it still remains one of the noblest churches of Europe, the one
thing detracting from the solemn beauty of its general external
appearance being the later Flamboyant spire, that is quite out of
character with the rest of the building. Its great height and breadth;
the symmetry of its proportions; the dignified simplicity of its
vaulting, which in nave, aisles and transepts, chevet chapels and
ambulatory is of similar design, the centre from which the ribs radiate
being in every case so situated that these ribs are all of equal length;
the grand sculptures and fine arcading of the great west front, the
towers of which, though they differ in detail, harmonise well with each
other; the exquisite statues and bas-reliefs of the transept portals;
the combined strength and grace of the many flying buttresses; the
admirable system of lighting, windows occupying the whole of the space
between the main arcades of the nave and the roof; the beautiful and
varied effects of perspective from many different points of view in the
interior; with the minor detail of the marvellous carvings in the choir,
justify the claim that Amiens Cathedral is the crowning glory of Gothic
architecture and an ample vindication of its principles.

In the contemporaneous Beauvais Cathedral, that was intended to rival
that of Amiens in its height and in the ethereal lightness of its
stilted arches, a convincing proof was given of the danger of carrying
those principles too far, for the vaulting of the choir collapsed before
the completion of the building, which, though it was restored and added
to later, still remains unfinished. With it may be mentioned the Sainte
Chapelle of Paris, the window tracery in which is very fine; the
Cathedral of Coutances, which has a very fine central lantern
tower--that is to say, one with windows that throw a light upon the
centre of the interior of a building--and a beautiful tapering spire;
and the Cathedral of Lisieux, with a very characteristic chevet and
vaulting resembling that of the Cathedral of Amiens.

The Cathedral of Le Mans, already referred to in connection with its
noble Romanesque nave, has a most beautiful late 13th century Gothic
choir, with one of the finest chevets in France. The aisles, that at the
western end of the building are single, develop at the transepts into a
double circlet, with chapels radiating from them, whilst the choir has
exceptionally fine 13th and 14th century stained glass windows. The
general effect of the interior, in which the solemn dignity of the nave
contrasts with the almost ethereal beauty of the choir and its
surroundings, is most impressive, whilst the exterior with its graceful
flying buttresses and pinnacles is equally fine.

The Cathedral of Bourges is another typical 13th century Gothic building
which, though it is without the usual transepts, has a beautiful apse,
the ambulatories of which have unusually wide spaces between the
columns, double aisles flanking the nave as well as the choir and
chevet, producing a unique impression of vastness, whilst the exterior
is equally effective with its five grand western portals, a long main
roof unbroken by towers or spires, and a series of steeply pitched
supplementary roofs above the chapels of the eastern end.

Dating from the same period as the cathedrals just noticed is the
fortified Abbey of Mont St. Michel, that has been again and again
rebuilt, and in which the gradual evolution of the Gothic style in
France can be well studied, especially in the lovely chapel justly
called the Merveille or the Marvel, that, with its cloisters, is still
much what it was when finished in 1228, whilst the Chatelet or
Gate-house, with its massive round towers and the various abbatial
buildings, such as the Salle des Hôtes or Guest-Hall, are equally
characteristic of French domestic architecture of the same period. On
the other hand the Abbey Church, that crowns the mount, has been so
much-restored and modified that little of the original structure
remains, except the crypt which, with its massive piers and arches and
many supplementary chapels, is practically the same as that from which
uprose the famous abbey, the building of which was a labour of love to
so many successive abbots.

The Church of S. Pierre, Caen, which has a fine tower with a beautiful
pierced spire, is a good example of the second period of the Gothic
style in France, and at Rouen the Rayonnant and Flamboyant phases are
exceptionally well illustrated. The Abbey Church of S. Ouen was built
entirely in the 14th century, and, with its characteristic high-pitched
roofs over each bay of the aisles, its lofty towers--those at the west
end with tapering spires--its delicately sculptured portals, double
tiers of flying buttresses, triple division of arcades, triforium, and
clerestory in the nave, the number and beauty of its stained glass
windows, its graceful clustered piers, that rise without a break from
the ground to the springing of the vault, and its beautiful chevet, with
its circlet of eleven chapels, is an epitome of all the most
characteristic features of Gothic architecture.

The Church of St. Maclou in the same town is a fine gem of Flamboyant
work, with its stilted arches, tapering spires and pinnacles, and lavish
internal and external decoration, whilst in the Cathedral of Rouen can
be recognised details of each of the three stages of French Gothic,
combined with those of the later Renaissance. The western façade,
lateral portals, towers, spires, and fine rose windows are typically
Flamboyant, and the general view of the interior, with its long vista of
nave and choir, its slightly pointed arcading, two tiers of which divide
the nave from the aisles, and, above all, its simple but most effective
vaulting, is essentially that of an early example of the pointed style,
that of the Lady Chapel being especially effective.

Good secular examples of the Gothic style in France are the Palais de
Justice and Hôtel de Bourgtheroulde, both at Rouen, the Chateau of Coucy
near Laon, the Hôtel de Cluny, Paris, the Chateau de Pierrefonds in
Normandy, and, most characteristic of all, the House of Jacques Coeur
at Bourges. It was, however, in Belgium that Gothic municipal and
domestic architecture reached its noblest development, the great halls
of the towns being remarkable for their dignified and massive
appearance, and, except in the latest examples built after the decadence
had set in, for the severe restraint of their ornamentation. Of
rectangular plan, and several stories in height, with steeply pitched
roofs, the gable ends adorned with many pinnacles, and the long sloping
sides broken by dormer windows, contrasting with the rows of
pointed-headed lights in the walls beneath, and lofty central tower of
ornate design, these noble buildings, of which those at Ypres, Bruges,
Brussels, Ghent, and Tournai are the best, are the chief pride of the
cities to which they belong. They rival in the affections of the people
even the cathedrals of contemporary date, although those of Antwerp,
specially noteworthy for its seven aisles, Louvain, the nave and
transepts of which, as already stated, are Romanesque, whilst the choir
is a fine specimen of Early Gothic, Brussels, Ghent, Louvain, and Liège
are all noble structures, resembling those of France in general plan,
though most of them are shorter and of greater width.

In Spain, as in France, Gothic architecture passed through three phases:
the first, that prevailed in the second half of the 12th and the first
of the 13th century, to a great extent the outcome of the Romanesque;
the second that succeeded it and lasted until the beginning of the 15th
century, distinguished by great dignity of structure and appropriateness
of ornamentation; the last, that prevailed until nearly the middle of
the 16th century, corresponding to a great extent with French
Flamboyant, though it lasted longer and was considerably modified by
Moorish influence.

To the first period of Gothic architecture in Spain belong the
Cathedrals of Santiago de Compostella, of cruciform plan with a vaulted
roof, semicircular headed arcades and windows, and an ornate western
façade recalling that of Chartres; Zamora, Taragona, and the older of
the two at Salamanca, the three last retaining the characteristic
cimborio, or low dome, already referred to in connection with Romanesque
work in Spain, rising from the intersection of nave and transepts, but
of more complex structure than in earlier examples, the ribs of the
vaulting being upheld by pendentives and the whole surmounted by a
secondary dome of considerable height pierced with windows, and at
Salamanca flanked by four circular towers. Unfortunately, in later
Spanish ecclesiastical architecture this beautiful feature was
abandoned, and the Cathedrals of Toledo, Leon, and Burgos are of the
French type, with chevets, double aisles, clustered pillars upholding
pointed arches, vaulted roofs, ornate decorative arcading, fine open
triforia, and lofty clerestories. The exterior of that of Burgos is
especially ornate, with three pinnacled towers, tapering open-traceried
spires rising from those at the western end. In the 14th century the
cruciform plan, which had so long prevailed, was replaced in Spain by
one without either aisles or transepts; the buttresses that had
previously been introduced outside the building to resist the thrust of
the vaulting, were brought within the walls so as to make the nave one
vast vaulted hall, flanked by lateral chapels as in the fine Cathedral
of Gerona and the Church of S. Maria del Pino at Barcelona. Later,
however, this comparatively simple mode of structure was superseded by
vast complicated buildings such as the Cathedral of Salamanca and that
of Segovia, both dating from the 16th century, the vaulting of which is
especially complicated, with very ornate ribs, whilst the towers closely
resemble those of contemporaneous Moorish mosques.

The Gothic style, that was alike alien to the Italian temperament and
unsuited to the Italian climate, never really took root in Italy, the
soil of which was thoroughly impregnated with classic traditions. The
horizontal cornice, so characteristic of Greek and Early Roman
architecture is of frequent occurrence, the round arch was long retained
in combination with pointed highly-pitched roofs, and spires are rare,
whilst the beautiful groined vaulting, the flying buttresses, and the
exquisite window-tracery, that lend so great a charm to the cathedrals
and churches of France and England, are very seldom met with. There was
no gradual evolution in Italy from Early to Late Gothic, and for this
reason it is usual to treat Italian buildings in the pointed style in
three geographical instead of chronological groups, namely, the
northern, central, and southern. To the first belongs the Cathedral of
Milan, the largest Gothic building in Italy, the exterior of which is
somewhat spoiled by its over-decorated western façade, though the effect
of the long rows of lateral pinnacles, the numerous flying buttresses,
the low conical dome and lofty spire is very fine. The interior, with
its vast nave, double aisles, and complex apse, its lofty piers, with
capitals consisting of life-sized figures in niches, and its noble
clerestory, presents an appearance of grandeur unequalled by any other
Gothic church in Italy. The Certosa or Carthusian Monastery, the façade
of which is a century older than the rest of the building; the Churches
of S. Maria del Carmine and S. Michele, both at Pavia, the latter with a
very typical campanile; the Cathedral of Genoa; the Churches of S.
Anastasia and S. Zenone at Verona, are all good examples of
Italian-Gothic, whilst amongst secular buildings in the same style in
Northern Italy, the Ducal and other palaces at Venice, such as the
so-called Ca' d'Ora are remarkable for the beauty of their proportions,
the effectiveness of their window-grouping, and the general
appropriateness and grace of their decorative details, especially of
their balconies.

In Central Italy the Cathedrals of Florence and Siena are specially
typical, the former, with its dome of considerably later date than the
rest of the building, contrasting with the Campanile or Bell Tower named
after Giotto, the latter being noteworthy for the combination of a dome
with pointed arcading and horizontal cornices, and the association on
the west front of rounded with stilted arches, the last a peculiarity
also of the cathedral at Orvieto, the façade of which is one of the most
beautiful in Italy.

The Gothic work of Southern Italy is far more florid than that of the
rest of the peninsula, and this is equally true of that of Sicily. In
the churches of both, as in the earlier Romanesque buildings already
noticed, Saracenic, Greek, and Roman influences are alike noticeable,
especially in those of Naples and the Cathedrals of Palermo, Monreale,
and Messina, the three last named combining the pointed arch distinctive
of Gothic, with the elaborate surface decoration so characteristic of
the Norman style.

German architects did not adopt the pointed arch until considerably
later than those of the south and west of Europe, but to atone for this
they delighted in highly pitched roofs with stilted gables, and lofty
towers, with pointed roofs and tapering spires. The exteriors of their
buildings differ very greatly from the interiors, in which the
round-headed windows and semicircular arches of the Romanesque style are
retained, enriched, however, with beautiful and ornate carving. The term
round-arched Gothic is therefore often applied to the earliest phase of
the style in Germany, of which good examples are the Churches of the
Holy Apostles, of S. Martin and S. Maria in Capitolo, all in Cologne,
the Abbey Churches of Arnstein and Andernach and the Liebfrauenkirche at
Trèves, the last built on the foundations of a much earlier chapel.

The second phase of Gothic architecture in Germany, in which the pointed
arch was substituted for the semicircular, did not begin until the
second half of the 13th century. To it belong the greater part of the
Cathedral of Strasburg, which combines, with much beautiful Romanesque
work, a typical Gothic façade with a fine open tracery spire, a
companion to which was designed but never erected. The Cathedral of
Freiburg, with a graceful and ornate spire, the Church of S. Stephen at
Vienna, with aisles almost as lofty as the nave, portions of the Church
of S. Sebald, Nuremberg, the decorative sculpture of which is remarkably
fine, and, above all, the Cathedral of Cologne, the noblest example of
German Gothic, with an exceptionally symmetrical plan, which in spite of
the fact that the building extended over more than a century, and that
the west point was only completed in the 19th century, was not departed
from, so that it remains a unique specimen of mediæval design. It has a
noble nave, double aisles, one of which is continued round the eastern
apse and is divided into seven chapels, forming a picturesque chevet.
Massive towers with a tapering central spire and many pinnacles flank
the western entrance, elaborately decorated buttresses break the long
lines of the walls, and from the intersecting nave and transepts rises a
slender but most effective spire.

[Illustration: Plan of Cologne Cathedral]

To the third period of Gothic architecture in Germany belong Ulm
Cathedral, which has a nave of exceptional height; the unfinished Church
of S. Barbara at Kullenberg, with a very picturesque chevet, the
exterior of which is most lavishly decorated, and a steeply pitched roof
of unusual height, with soaring towers and pinnacles; S. Catherine at
Oppenheim, the over ornate complex decorative carvings of which are
specially typical; and the parish Church of Thaun, the western portal of
which is remarkably fine.

With these ecclesiastical buildings may be named the town halls of
Lübeck, Brunswick, Münster, and other German towns, which, though they
are neither so beautiful or so characteristic as those of Belgium, are
of noble and symmetrical proportions, whilst a word of recognition must
also be given to the beautiful domestic architecture of Germany,
especially that of Prague, Nuremberg, and Frankfort all rich in
survivals of mediæval times.



[Illustration: Early English Lancet Window]

[Illustration: Early English Window]

Gothic architecture in England and Scotland followed to some extent the
same lines as in France, with, however, certain notable differences that
were the outcome of the national feeling which had begun to make itself
felt as early as the close of the 11th century. Until then the Normans
had remained a distinct and alien element in what appeared to them a
foreign land, but now they had become fused with the natives of that
land, sharing their æsthetic as well as their political aspirations. The
note of change was first sounded in the architecture of the now united
races in a rebellion against the heavy massiveness of the Norman style,
and a desire for a greater redundancy of what may be called structural
decoration in place of extraneous surface ornamentation. The general
proportions of buildings gradually became slenderer, the walls loftier,
the windows longer, the piers and columns slighter, and the arches more
pointed, these peculiarities becoming more and more accentuated as time
went on, till they culminated in the noble and exquisitely beautiful
cathedrals and churches that vied even with the best of those of
Northern France.

[Illustration: Early English Capital]

It is usual to divide the development of English Gothic architecture
into three periods: the Early English, the Decorated, and the
Perpendicular--the first prevailing from about 1189 to 1307, the second
from the latter date to 1380, and the third from 1380 to 1485, whilst
the name of Tudor has been given to the transitional time between the
last phase of Gothic and the introduction of the Renaissance style,
lasting from 1485 to about 1546. It must, however, be added that hardly
any buildings exist belonging entirely to one period, architects having
in almost every case been compelled to be content with adding to or
modifying the work of their predecessors.

Amongst the characteristics of Early English architecture are groined
vaulting with main diagonal ribs only, long narrow lancet-headed
windows, clustered piers with capitals consisting generally of
delicately carved foliage, pointed arcading, the archivolt or arched
portion enriched with mouldings, in which the ornament known as the
dog-tooth is of frequent occurrence, ornate yet dignified western
façades with deeply recessed doorways decorated with slender columns and
beautiful bas-reliefs, high-pitched roofs with stilted gable ends, lofty
towers and spires, and plain buttresses ranged in pairs at the angles of

The Early English lancet window has a unique significance in the
development of Gothic architecture this side of the Channel, for it
inaugurated an important structural change, its constantly increasing
length aiding greatly in the breaking up of the triple division of
walls--supposed by some to have been emblematic of the Holy
Trinity--with arcading, triforium, and clerestory. By slow degrees the
triforium was first reduced to a mere decorative feature, and then
eliminated altogether, whilst the clerestory usurped its place in
addition to its own.

[Illustration: Early English Capital]

[Illustration: Early English Capital]

[Illustration: Base of Early English Pillar]

[Illustration: Capitals of Early English Clustered Pillar]

In Decorated buildings the windows are larger and divided into a greater
number of lights than in Early English, the heads being filled with
tracery of geometrical design; the façades are more complicated and at
the same time less effective, the towers and spires are loftier and
supplemented by many pinnacles and finials, flying buttresses are
multiplied; parapets with pierced openings, canopied niches containing
figures and other purely decorative features give to the exteriors a
great richness of general appearance. In the interiors the simple Early
English vaulting is superseded by roofs divided into a great number of
different compartments, the points of intersection being marked by stone
bosses or masses of carving, whilst increased lavishness of decoration
characterises every portion of the building, mouldings of a great
variety, amongst which the ballflower is of frequent occurrence, being
introduced wherever possible.

[Illustration: Early English Ornaments]

[Illustration: Early English Ornaments]

In Perpendicular Gothic, as its name implies, the vertical tendency
became ever more and more marked; towers, spires, and pinnacles became
more and more numerous, all decreasing in bulk and increasing in height.
Turrets with many airy finials, springing from flying buttresses that
were adorned with figures of lions, dragons, and other symbolic
creatures, rise above equally ornate parapets, the dignified
single-centred arch was replaced by a four-centred form, and rectilinear
lines superseded the beautifully flowing tracery of earlier windows. It
was, however, the complex and exquisitely delicate groined roofing that
chiefly characterised the Perpendicular style, lending to the interior
of the buildings in which it was employed an ethereal charm that has
never been surpassed. In the so-called fan-tracery roof, that was the
culmination of this distinctive form of vaulting, the entire surface of
the roof is covered with radiating ribs resembling the sections of an
outspread fan, connected by bands of trefoil or quatrefoil ornament
known as cusping, and, in some cases--notably in that of Henry VII's
chapel at Westminster--with pendant stalactite ornaments drooping from
the point of intersection of the groins. In some Perpendicular
buildings, as in the Churches of S. Stephen and S. Peter's Mancroft at
Norwich, ornate open timber roofs, enriched with beautiful carving, take
the place of those of stone, and in the final or Tudor phase of the
style such roofs, to which the name of hammer beam has been given, and
of which those of Wolsey's Great Hall at Hampton Court and of
Westminster Hall are good examples, were almost as elaborate as the
fan-tracery variety. Characteristic features of secular Tudor buildings
are the extensive use of panelling, the bow or projecting window rising
direct from the ground, the oriel window or window supported by a corbel
of stone often finely carved, battlements with open tracery work and
richly decorated gables, fine specimens of all of which are to be seen
at Hampton Court Palace.

[Illustration: Early English Dog-tooth Ornament]

[Illustration: Early English Arcading]

[Illustration: Early English Doorway, Westminster Abbey]

One of the earliest Gothic structures in England is the choir of
Canterbury Cathedral, designed by the Burgundian Williams of Sens, which
recalls in general style certain contemporaneous French ecclesiastical
buildings. Foreign influence is also noticeable in the somewhat later
Ripon and Chichester Cathedrals, but by the beginning of the 13th
century English Gothic had freed itself almost entirely from the
trammels of French traditions, and started forward on the path from
which it never deviated, combining a consummate mastery of structural
principles and an unwearying attention to detail with a unity of
expression that makes an English Gothic church or cathedral an ideal
reflection of the spirit of the age which witnessed its erection.

[Illustration: Plan of Salisbury Cathedral]

The Cathedrals of Wells, Lincoln, and Salisbury, the choir of Ely
Cathedral, and the choir, transepts, and part of the cloisters and
other details of Westminster Abbey, are typical examples of the Early
English phase of Gothic. The first named especially is unrivalled in the
symmetry of its general proportions and the richness and appropriateness
of its decorations. Its western façade rivals that of Amiens Cathedral
in the restrained dignity of its general design, the delicacy of its
decorative arcading, and the number and variety of its finely sculptured
figures. The central tower, though its upper portion belongs to the
Decorated period, harmonises well with the rest of the exterior, whilst
the interior is truly a poem in stone, with the long perspective of the
nave flanked by graceful arches, springing from clustered piers with
capitals of exquisitely carved foliage, noble triforia and clerestories,
and a simple arched vaulting of intersecting ribs. The transepts, that
are of earlier date than the nave, serve as a kind of introduction to
it, and in the choir the transition from Early English to Decorated
Gothic can be well studied, the western portion dating from the 12th and
the eastern from the 13th century.

[Illustration: Decorated Window]

[Illustration: Decorated Pinnacle]

[Illustration: Decorated Capital]

Though the exterior of Lincoln Cathedral is of a somewhat hybrid
character, the towers and doorways of the west front being Norman, the
arcading and decorative sculpture Early English, and the central tower
Decorated, the general effect is grand and impressive. The interior,
though not quite so ornate as that of Wells, is almost as beautiful, the
great rose windows being specially noteworthy features. The so-called
Angel Choir, which has a very fine triforium, is a gem of Early English
work, and the three 15th century chapels adjoining it are equally
characteristic of Perpendicular Gothic.

The beautiful Early English choir of Ely Cathedral contrasts forcibly
with the noble Norman nave, and the so-called Galilee Porch is one of
the finest examples of the first phase of Gothic in the country, but the
exterior of the building has been almost entirely rebuilt, the great
central tower, which fell in 1322, having been replaced by the present
one in the Decorated phase of Gothic. The Early English portions of
Westminster Abbey closely resemble the other examples of the style just
quoted, though the bays of the choir are not so well proportioned as
those of Lincoln. Before the 15th century additions to Salisbury
Cathedral and the sweeping away of the statues and other sculptures that
adorned its west front, it must have been almost as typical as that of
Lincoln or of Wells of the Early English style, and it still remains, in
its rectangular plan and square eastern termination, a true
representative of the ideals of native architects.

[Illustration: Decorated Ball Flower Ornament]

The transepts of York Minster, in one of which is the famous window with
lancet-headed lights, known as the Five Sisters, is a good example of
the transition from Early English to Decorated Gothic, and the same may
be said of portions of the ruins of Hexham Abbey, the Saxon crypt of
which has already been referred to, notably of the transepts with
windows resembling those of York Minster, and of the many relics of the
noble monastic buildings of Yorkshire, including those at Ripon,
Jervaulx, Rivaulx, and Whitby. The Cathedral of Glasgow is another
beautiful building in the first phase of Gothic, the choir, beneath
which is a noble crypt of earlier date, being especially fine, and with
it must be named the ruins of the great abbey churches of Kelso,
Jedburgh, and Dryburgh, that have distinctive Norman as well as Early
English details.

The first half of the 14th century was the golden age of English
architecture, during which the Decorated gradually grew out of the Early
English style, the two being in many cases so completely merged in each
other that no break is discernible. The foundations of a truly national
style had been laid in the Cathedrals of Wells and of Lincoln, in which
originality of design was combined with consummate technical skill of
execution, and in the buildings that succeeded them, architect and
craftsmen still worked together in complete harmony. The wealth of
imagination of the latter found its best expression in emphasising the
structural lines of the noble conceptions of the former; niches, with
their figures, cusping, finials and crockets, ball flowers and bosses,
all becoming essential details of one harmonious whole.

The nave and choir of Exeter Cathedral are especially typical of
Decorated architecture at its best. They rise from the foundations of an
earlier church, of which the Norman towers above the transepts are
relics, and are absolutely unsurpassed in the simple dignity of the
arcading spanning the clustered piers, the exquisite beauty of the
groined roofing, the bosses of which are decorated with delicate
carvings of a great variety of subjects, and the fine tracery of the
windows. Unfortunately the general effect of the exterior, in spite of
the fine Norman towers and the beauty of the decorative sculpture of the
west front, is inferior to that of the interior, a 15th century porch
harmonising ill with the earlier work, whilst breadth is too great for
the height of the building.

[Illustration: Decorated Steeple]

Other good examples of Decorated Gothic are the Church of St. Mary,
Oxford, with a very fine spire; the nave and chapter-house of York
Minster, which has a very beautiful window at the western end, the
flowing tracing of which is specially distinctive of the style; the
choir of Lichfield Cathedral, which has, however, certain Early English
details; the choir of Carlisle Cathedral, with an exceptionally
beautiful eastern window of nine lights with elaborate tracery; the Lady
Chapel of Wells Cathedral; the crypt, all that is left of St. Stephen's,
Westminster, now used as a chapel of the Houses of Parliament, the
lantern tower of Ely Cathedral; the ruins of Tintern and Battle Abbeys,
with those of Melrose Abbey, which has also characteristic Perpendicular
features. To the same period as these ecclesiastical buildings belong
the Round Tower at Windsor, the Hall of the Bishop's Palace at Wells,
Conway, Caernarvon, and Chepstow Castles, all recalling Norman domestic
architecture in the general massiveness of their structure, that is
relieved by the comparative lightness of such details as the doors and

Unfortunately the second half of the 14th century was marked by a
tendency to destroy or obliterate the characteristic details of Early
English and Decorated buildings, a notable example of which is
Gloucester Cathedral, the beautiful eastern apse of which was pulled
down, whilst the piers and walls of the rest of the building were
concealed as much as possible, the barbarism being, it must be owned,
atoned for to some extent by the addition of a noble eastern window in
the Perpendicular style. The nave of Westminster Abbey, on the other
hand, begun just after the restoration of Gloucester Cathedral was
completed, harmonises well with the earlier choir, and may be quoted,
with the choir of York Minster and the naves of Canterbury and
Winchester Cathedrals, as examples of the transition from the Decorated
to the Perpendicular styles. To the final phase of the latter belong
Beverley Minster, the Cathedral of Chester, and the Abbey Church at
Bath, the western façades of all of which are very fine, but it was in
Henry VII's Chapel, Westminster Abbey, King's College Chapel, Cambridge,
and St. George's Chapel, Windsor, with those of Holyrood and Roslyn in
Scotland, that the style reached its fullest development. That
development was, alas, however, all too soon followed by a decadence
that was ushered in by an employment of too lavish and often meaningless
ornamentation which had nothing to do with structural necessities.

[Illustration: Hammer Beam Roof]

[Illustration: Perpendicular Roofing]

[Illustration: Perpendicular Window]

[Illustration: Perpendicular Niche]

Westminster Chapel, in addition to the characteristic fan-tracery roof
already referred to, has an exceptionally beautiful chevet with five
apsidal chapels, a finely vaulted nave, aisles, and cloisters, in which
Decorated and Perpendicular details are harmoniously combined. King's
College Chapel, Cambridge, and St. George's, Windsor, are both entirely
in the Perpendicular style, whilst the Scotch examples quoted above are
specially noticeable for the contrast their massive pillars and arcades
present to the airy lightness of their vaulting.

Less important Perpendicular ecclesiastical buildings are the parish
churches of Blakeney and Cley in Norfolk, the former with a specially
fine east window, the latter unfortunately almost in ruins, but notable
on account of the beauty of the decorative carving; the parish church of
Fairford, Gloucestershire, the stained glass windows of which are
amongst the finest in England; and Christ Church College, Oxford, in
which town, by the way, Gothic traditions lingered longer than anywhere
else in England.

[Illustration: Corbel]

Notable secular buildings in the latest phase of English Gothic are
Westminster Hall, and the earlier portions of Hampton Court Palace,
whilst Longleat Palace, Wiltshire, and Christ Church Hall, Oxford, with
a fine open timber roof, are good examples of the transition from the
Gothic to the Renaissance styles, the general plans belonging to the
former and the decorative details being Italian in feeling.



The term Renaissance, signifying revival, has been given to the style
which succeeded the Gothic. It was, to a great extent, a reversion to
classic ideals modified to suit modern requirements. Its leading
characteristics are simplicity of plan, symmetry of proportion, and
massive grandeur of general effect, a minor peculiarity being the lavish
use of plaster, not only for surface decoration, but also in some cases
for the actual structure of such details as cornices, &c.

[Illustration: Example of Renaissance Ornament]

The Renaissance style was inaugurated in Italy, where, as already
stated, the Gothic never took root, and spread thence to the other
countries of Europe, assuming in each country a certain distinctive
character of its own in harmony with its environment. In Italian
Renaissance ecclesiastical architecture the old basilican plan was
revived, the dome became again, as in ancient Rome, the crowning glory
of the building, and was combined with horizontal entablatures upheld by
columns, with capitals of one or another of the Greek orders, and
porticoes with pediments. In secular Italian Renaissance a very notable
feature is the central cortile or courtyard surrounded by open arcades,
above which are the principal apartments, of style corresponding with
that of the arcades, the round-headed windows being divided from each
other by slender pilasters, and the spandrels above them filled in with
sculptured ornamentation. The principal façade of Italian palaces was
especially ornate, richly decorated courses of stone dividing the
stories from each other, in which the fenestration or grouping of the
windows was peculiarly effective.

Whereas in the history of mediæval architecture few names emerge from
the obscurity in which those who planned and erected the great
cathedrals, churches, and castles were content to remain, in that of
Renaissance the individual architect comes to the front, all the
designing having been done by him and the whole work carried on under
his personal superintendence. In the new movement Florence took the
lead, owing the pre-eminence she quickly won to the gifted and versatile
Filippo Brunelleschi, who, like so many of his famous contemporaries,
was a skilled goldsmith and sculptor before he became an architect. His
first work of importance was the dome he added to the unfinished
cathedral of his native city, which was soon succeeded by the Churches
of S. Spirito and S. Lorenzo, both of which are typical Renaissance
buildings, as is also the Puzzi Chapel, on which the architect displayed
his wonderful sense of symmetry, combining domes, arches, and lintels
with consummate skill.

Fine examples of Renaissance secular architecture in Florence are the
Riccardi and Pitti Palaces, both designed by Brunelleschi, but
considerably modified after his death, the Rucellai Palace by Alberti, a
worthy successor of Brunelleschi, the Guadagni Palace, designed by
Bramante, and the Pandolfini, designed by Raphael, the last very
characteristic of the mature phase of Italian Renaissance.

[Illustration: Façade of a Venetian Palace]

It was in Rome that the style reached its noblest development, and the
Cathedral of S. Peter's, on which all the greatest architects of the
16th and 17th centuries were successively employed, affords a unique
opportunity for its study. Built on the site of the old basilica of S.
Peter, alluded to in the section on Early Christian architecture, what
was to become the largest church in the world was begun by Bramante in
1506. His plan, that of a square with four projecting apses, to be
covered in with a central and four supplementary domes, was followed
until his death in 1514, when the work was carried on by Giuliano da San
Gallo, Fra Giacondo and Raphael, who were in favour of certain
modifications of the original design, that if carried out would have
converted the square into a Latin cross. The withdrawal of San Gallo,
and the deaths of Giacondo and Raphael in 1515, led to Baldasarre
Peruzzi being appointed architect, and under his auspices the plan was
changed to that of a Greek cross. Before his death in 1536 the present
south transept and the vaulting, that was to encircle the central dome
were finished, and the massive pendentives that were to uphold the
latter were begun. The next architect to take up the vast scheme was
Antonio da San Gallo, who, could he have obtained the necessary funds,
would have added a long pronaos or corridor of approach, to be entered
from a domed porch at the western end. In his model the interior of the
central portion of the cathedral, with the notable exception of the
dome, appears much as it does now, so that with its aid a good idea can
be obtained of the state of the building when, in 1546, Michael Angelo
was appointed architect in chief, and set the seal of his genius upon a
complex creation which was already a reflection of the highest
constructive and æsthetic achievement of the golden age of Italian
architecture. Reverencing the noble design of Bramante, Michael Angelo
left the interior, of which the symmetry of plan and beauty of the many
pilasters with their Corinthian capitals are notable characteristics,
much as he found it, but though he introduced on the exterior Corinthian
pilasters resembling those of the interior, he greatly modified the
general aspect of the former by the removal of the projecting chapels
and the aisles round the apses. It was in his design for the dome that
Michael Angelo achieved his greatest architectural triumph, for without
tampering at all with what had already been done by Bramante, he set
upon the cylindrical drum that artist had intended to uphold a dome,
which was to be a mere reproduction of that of the Pantheon, a
magnificent structure of original design which dominates the capital,
producing an absolutely unrivalled impression of combined strength,
vastness, and symmetry, the eye being irresistibly led up from drum to
dome and from dome to lantern. From within the cathedral the effect is
scarcely less grand, a wonderful sense of space being conveyed by the
soaring vault, that seems to spring heavenwards of its own volition.

Michael Angelo died before his masterpiece was completed, but so far as
the dome was concerned his design was carried out, with certain slight
modifications, by Giacomo della Porta and Domenico Fontana.
Unfortunately, however, the rest of the great architect's scheme was
departed from and its effectiveness destroyed by additions which he
would most certainly have condemned. At the suggestion of Pope Pius IV
the façade built under Michael Angelo was pulled down and replaced by
Maderno with that still _in situ_, whilst the nave was lengthened out of
all proportion to the rest of the building.

In spite of this lamentable mistake, the general effect of the interior
is remarkably fine, and is greatly enhanced by the rich colouring of the
lavish decoration of every portion, the massive piers and vast arches
spanning them, and the vaulted coffered ceilings, all harmonising with
and supplementing each other. Moreover, the unhappy result of the
substitution of Maderno's for Michael Angelo's façade was to some extent
neutralised in 1666 by the erection under Bernini of the lofty colonnade
encircling the piazza of S. Peter in the simple and dignified Doric
style, that forms an appropriate approach to the cathedral.

In the Renaissance palaces of Rome classic details were more closely
copied than in Florence, pilasters and arcades forming, in almost every
case, the chief decorations of the exteriors. Notable examples are the
so-called Venetian Palaces, the Cancellaria designed by Bramante, the
Sacchetti by Antonio San Gallo, and, above all, the Farnese, the
grandest in the capital, begun by San Gallo and completed by Michael
Angelo, with portions of the Vatican, including the Hall of the
Belvedere, designed by Bramante.

In Venice, where the Renaissance style was necessarily modified by the
peculiar conditions of the lagoon city, good examples of it are the
Churches S. Maria dei Miracoli, S. Zaccaria, and S. Maria della Salute,
with the palaces of Vendramini, Calergo, Trevisano, and Cornaro, all,
however, excelled by the beautiful Palazzo Grimani designed by San
Michele and the Library of S. Mark of Sansovino.

At Vicenza the famous architect Palladio erected many noble Renaissance
churches, including the Redentore, enclosed the ancient Basilica in
grand classic arcades, and designed a great number of fine palaces. In
Milan the finest Renaissance structures are the sacristy of S. Maria
Presso S. Sabino, the apse of S. Maria della Grazie and the arcaded
court of the great Hospital, all designed by Bramante. Near Pavia is the
fine Certosa, the façade of which is the work of Ambrogio Borgognoni;
Genoa is rich in effective groups of Renaissance palaces after the
designs of Alessio, and owns a late Renaissance church ascribed to
Puget, and at Verona is the typical Palazzo del Conseglio, built by Fra

It was not until the beginning of the 16th century that the Renaissance
style gained a footing in France, and even for some time after that
French architects, whilst adopting its main features, clung to certain
characteristic Gothic details. This is very notably the case in some of
the royal chateaux on the Loire, justly considered the finest secular
Renaissance buildings in the country, especially in that of Chambord,
which, with a typical Renaissance façade, has a highly pitched roof with
soaring pinnacles and pointed-headed dormer windows.

Other fine Early Renaissance French buildings are the wing added by
Frances I to the old castle of Blois, famous for its beautiful external
spiral staircase, the chateaux of Chenonceaux, Chateaudun, and
Azay-le-Rideau, the Hôtel de Ville at Beaugency, the Church of S.
Eustache, the Hôtel des Invalides, the western portion of the Louvre,
and the Luxembourg, all in Paris. To the latest phase of what eventually
became almost a national style, belong the Pantheon, the Palais Royal,
the College and Church of the Sorbonne, all in Paris; the relics of the
noble Chateau built for Richelieu on the site of the great minister's
native village by Lemercier, the Chateau of Ballery in Normandy, the
additions to the castle of Blois, the Chateau des Maisons near, and the
Church of Val de Grace in Paris, all by François Mansard, whose name is
associated with a picturesque form of roof invented by him.

In the chateau of Versailles, designed by Jules Mansard, a distant
connection of the greater François, the first note of the decadence of
the Renaissance style was sounded, for well-built and richly decorated
though it is, the huge structure is lacking in the dignified grandeur,
so distinctive of the buildings enumerated above.

Although it was in Italy and France that European Renaissance
architecture achieved its greatest triumphs, some few fine examples of
it remain in other countries, including in Spain the great Monastery and
Palace of the Escurial near Madrid, the central church of which is
especially fine, the Cathedrals of Burgos, Malaga, and Granada, the town
halls of Saragossa and Seville, and portions of the Alcazar of Toledo,
the convent of Mafra in Portugal, the Town Hall of Antwerp, the Council
Halls of Leipzig and Rothenburg, the Cloth Hall of Brunswick, the Castle
of Schallenburg, and the Hall of the Belvedere at Prague.

It is unnecessary to refer in detail to the many buildings in Europe in
what is known as the Rococo style, of which grotesque and meaningless
ornamentation is the chief characteristic, but it must be added that in
the early 19th century something like a new classic revival took place
on the Continent. The Church of La Madeleine and the Opera House in
Paris, the Arco della Pace at Milan, the Royal Theatre at Berlin, the
Glyptothex and Pinacothex of Munich, the Walhalla at Ratisbon, the
Museum of Dresden, and the Church of S. Isaac at St. Petersburg being
notable instances of the skilful way in which Greek details of structure
were combined by the best architects with modern requirements.



It was only by very slow degrees that the Renaissance style was
introduced into England, native architects and those for whom they
worked having clung with almost pathetic devotion to the traditions of
the past. At the end of the 15th century the Gothic style was still in
full vigour on this side of the Channel, and although early in the 16th
century it was to a great extent modified by the influence of the
foreign artists who were attracted to the court of Henry VIII by the
lavish patronage of the young monarch, it continued to the end of the
century to check the development of pure Renaissance, the two styles to
a great extent neutralising each other.

It is significant of the change of the attitude of rulers and ruled
towards religion that took place in England during the 16th and 17th
centuries, that it was no longer in churches and cathedrals that
architecture achieved its greatest triumphs, but in palaces,
manor-houses, colleges, and places of public entertainment. No longer
was the soaring Gothic style to voice in stone the aspirations of
worshippers for closer intercourse with the divine; the best energies of
architects were henceforth to be directed to the promotion of comfort
and luxury in private life, and for the realisation of this
comparatively ignoble aim the revived classic style was peculiarly
adapted. True, the spirit of the Renaissance did not display itself so
fully in architecture as in other branches of human endeavour, but for
all that its working was very apparent, assuming a certain character of
its own in England.

[Illustration: Portion of Lilford Hall, Northants]

First Italians, amongst whom the most distinguished were Torregiano,
designer of the tomb of Henry VII in Westminster Abbey, Giovanni da
Majano, and Giovanni da Padua, the architect of Longleat in Wiltshire,
then Flemings and Germans, none of whom, however, except John of Cleves,
designer of Caius College, Cambridge, rose to any special eminence,
endeavoured to graft their own upon English methods, succeeding with
rare exceptions only so far as the minor details of ornamentation were

It is not to these men of alien birth but to the builders and masons of
rural England that the country owes the many noble residences, dating
from the late 16th and early 17th centuries, that, Gothic so far as
their principles of construction are concerned, are enriched or spoiled,
according to the point of view from which they are considered, by
Renaissance ornamentation. Amongst these builders Thomas Holt, author of
the Divinity School of Oxford, and Robert Smithson and John Thorpe,
joint designers of Wollaton Hall, Northamptonshire, were especially
distinguished. To the last named many critics also attribute Holland
House, London, Rushton, Kirkby and Apethorpe Halls in Northamptonshire,
and Knowle House in Kent, all of which are truly typical examples of
English 16th or early 17th domestic or academic architecture at its
best. To about the same period belong Lilford Hall, Northants, Westwood,
Bolsover, Charlton, and Hatfield Houses, all somewhat wanting in the
dignified simplicity of plan of the work of the men quoted above, but
with an undoubted charm of their own.

The master-builders who alike designed and executed the many beautiful
mansions and colleges of the Elizabethan age--with whom must be
associated the later John Abel, designer of several fine market-halls,
including those of Kingston, Hereford, and Leominster--may justly be
said to have paved the way for Inigo Jones, the first Englishman to
introduce pure Renaissance architecture into his native land. Already
before his advent these humble predecessors had partly evolved, out of
the mediæval castle and the mediæval cottage, what was to become the
typical English home, bringing about something like a revolution in
planning by the innovations introduced by them with a view to admitting
more air and light, and rendering access to the upper floors easier by
the substitution of an internal staircase, for the external flight of
steps leading up to each separate room hitherto the fashion.

Gifted with a vivid imagination and a rare faculty of design, Inigo
Jones succeeded in so adapting Italian ideals, especially those of
Palladio, to English needs, that he may justly be said to have founded
something approaching to a national style. Unfortunately few of the many
schemes evolved by him were carried out in their entirety, but his plans
and drawings prove him to have been the equal and, in some respects,
even the superior of his great successor, Sir Christopher Wren. Of his
grand design for the new Palace of Whitehall after the fire of 1619, the
Banqueting Hall, considered his masterpiece, alone was completed, but he
was the real architect of the equally successful Greenwich Hospital, for
it was his plan that was followed after his death by Wren.

Although it is the custom to dwell much on the unique opportunity
afforded to Sir Christopher Wren by the great fire of 1666, there is no
doubt that even without it he would have set his seal on the period
during which he lived. His additions to Hampton Court Palace are most
dignified and appropriate, his semi-Gothic Tom Tower at Oxford well
illustrates his keen sense of environment, and his design for a Royal
Palace at Winchester, had it been carried out, would have given to that
city a building worthy to rank with its cathedral. As it is, his fame
rests chiefly on his work in London, although the masterly scheme he
drew up for the rebuilding of the whole town had to be considerably

[Illustration: Portion of Greenwich Hospital]

S. Paul's Cathedral, that dominates the vast agglomeration making up the
modern capital, reflects, in its solemn and dignified beauty, almost as
clearly as did a mediæval ecclesiastical Gothic edifice, the spirit of
its age, during which the Puritan replaced the Roman Catholic ideal, and
a rigid Protestantism became the religion of the people. Of noble and
most harmonious proportions, S. Paul's is cruciform in plan, every
portion of its exterior and interior subordinated to the great central
dome, that, consisting as it does of an outer and inner vault, is
equally impressive whether seen from within or from without. From
whatever point of view, the dome, with its graceful lantern surmounted
by a cross, remains the central feature of a structure at unity with
itself, consistent in every detail, the western towers and the great
central portico with their appropriate classic pilasters and columns all
being in complete and satisfying accord.

The Churches of S. Stephen, Walbrook, S. Andrew, Holborn, S. James,
Piccadilly, S. Clements Danes, S. Bride's, Fleet Street, and Bow are
amongst the finest designed by Wren. The steeples of the last three are
especially noteworthy as the earliest examples in England of the use of
that feature in Renaissance buildings.

Sir Christopher did not pass away until the 18th century, which was to
witness a rapid decline of architecture in England. His influence had
begun to wane even before his death, and few of his immediate
successors, with the exceptions of his pupils, Nicholas Hawkesmoor,
architect of S. George's, Bloomsbury, and other London churches of
similar design, and Sir John Vanburgh, who designed Castle Howard and
Blenheim Palace, rose to eminence. James Gibbs, designer of the
Ratcliffe Library at Oxford, also did some good work; the brothers Adam
successfully imitated classic forms in certain London and Edinburgh
buildings, and Sir Robert Taylor won some distinction by the Halls
erected by him in Herefordshire and Essex.

Towards the close of the century a classic revival inaugurated by Sir
William Chambers, designer of Somerset House, took place in England, and
it became the fashion to add a Greek portico to every important public
or private building. Typical examples of the new departure are S.
Pancras Church, London, that is a kind of compilation from the
Parthenon, the Erectheum, and the Temple of the Winds at Athens, and S.
George's Hall, Liverpool, a skilful adaptation of the design of a hall
of one of the great Thermæ of Rome.

Early in the 19th century a reaction took place against the classic
style, which was not really adapted to the English climate, and
architects began to show a desire to revert to Gothic traditions. In
this new movement Sir Charles Barry took the lead. The Houses of
Parliament, in the latest phase of the style, considered his
masterpiece, is specially successful in its general plan and in the
picturesqueness of its exterior. With Sir Charles Barry must be
associated Augustine Pugin, a man of fine genius and originality, with a
genuine feeling for mediæval Gothic, Norman Shaw, and Bodley, all of
whom have done much to leaven the utilitarian tendencies of modern


    Alhambra, the, 42

    Amiens Cathedral, 65

    Amphitheatres, Roman, 28

    Anglo-Norman style, 54

    Anglo-Saxon style, 53

    Arch, vi

    Arches, Roman, 30

    Architecture, definition of, v

    Asiatic architecture, 9

    Assyrian architecture, 9

    Babylonian architecture, 9

    Baptisteries, 35

    Basilicas, Roman, 26

    Baths, Roman, 27

    Buddhist architecture, 12

    Buvards, v

    Byzantine architecture, 24, 36

    Caryatid Porch, 21

    Castles, Norman, 59

    Cathedrals. _See_ Churches

    Chaityas, 11

    Chartres Cathedral, 64

    Chinese architecture, 13

    Christian architecture, Early, 31

    Churches, Anglo-Norman, 54
      Anglo-Saxon, 53
      Byzantine, 37
      Early Christian, 31
      Gothic, 62, 68, 76
      Renaissance, 84
      Romanesque, 47

    Coliseum, 29

    Cologne Cathedral, 70

    Coptic architecture, 35

    Corinthian style, 16, 18, 21

    Doric style, 16, 18-21

    Durham Cathedral, 58

    Egyptian architecture, 7

    Etruscan architecture, 22

    Flamboyant Gothic style, 62, 65, 67

    Gothic style, 50, 60
      British, 72
      Decorated, 73, 74, 78, 79, 80
      Early English, 73, 78, 79
      French, 62
      German, 70
      Italian, 69
      Perpendicular, 73, 75, 80, 81
      Spanish, 68

    Greek architecture, 13

    Hindu architecture, 12

    Indian architecture, 11

    Ionic style, 16, 18, 21

    Jones, Inigo, 90

    Keystone, vi

    Lâts, 11

    Lintel, vi

    Mansions, English Renaissance, 90

    Mastabas, 7, 10

    Materials employed, v, 9, 23

    Mosques, 40

    Nineveh, 10

    Norman style, 54

    Notre Dame of Paris, 63

    Palaces, Greek, 14
      Persian, 10

    Palaces, Renaissance, 86
      Roman, 29

    Pantheon, 26

    Parthenon, 19

    Persian architecture, 9, 10

    Peruvian architecture, 13

    Pyramids, 7

    Rayonnant Gothic style, 62, 67

    Renaissance style British, 88
      European, 83
      French, 87
      Italian, 83

    Rococo style, 88

    Roman architecture, 22

    Romanesque style, 45

    Roofing, arcuated and trabeated, vi

    S. Ambrogio, Milan, 48

    S. Marco, Venice, 39

    S. Paul's Cathedral, 91

    S. Peter's Cathedral, Rome, 84

    S. Sophia, Constantinople, 38

    Saracenic architecture, 40

    Stambhas, 11

    Stupas, 11

    Taj Mahal, 44

    Temples, Babylonian, 10
      Egyptian, 8
      Greek, 15, 18
      Indian, 11

    Tombs, Egyptian, 7
      Greek, 21
      Persian, 10

    Topes, 11

    Tudor style, 73, 76

    Tuscan style, 24

    Vaulting, Gothic, 61
      Roman, 24
      Romanesque, 45

    Viharas, 11

    Voussoirs, vi

    Westminster Abbey, 76, 78, 81

    Wren, Sir Christopher, 90


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