By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Architecture - Classic and Early Christian
Author: Smith, T. Roger (Thomas Roger), 1830-1903, Slater, John, 1847-1924
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Architecture - Classic and Early Christian" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

                  _OF ALL AGES_




         JOHN SLATER, B.A., F.R.I.B.A.

      PERICLES, _circa_ B.C. 438.]




              BY T. ROGER SMITH, F.R.I.B.A.
   _Professor of Architecture, University Coll. London_


              JOHN SLATER, B.A., F.R.I.B.A.

        [Illustration: ATRIUM OF A ROMAN MANSION.]


[_All rights reserved._]



This handbook is intended to give such an outline of the Architecture
of the Ancient World, and of that of Christendom down to the period of
the Crusades, as, without attempting to supply the minute information
required by the professional student, may give a general idea of the
works of the great building nations of Antiquity and the Early
Christian times. Its chief object has been to place information on the
subject within the reach of those persons of literary or artistic
education who desire to become in some degree acquainted with
Architecture. All technicalities which could be dispensed with have
been accordingly excluded; and when it has been unavoidable that a
technical word or phrase should occur, an explanation has been added
either in the text or in the glossary; but as this volume and the
companion one on Gothic and Renaissance Architecture are, in effect,
two divisions of the same work, it has not been thought necessary to
repeat in the glossary given with this part the words explained in
that prefixed to the other.

In treating so very wide a field, it has been felt that the chief
prominence should be given to that great sequence of architectural
styles which form the links of a chain connecting the architecture of
modern Europe with the earliest specimens of the art. Egypt, Assyria,
and Persia combined to furnish the foundation upon which the splendid
architecture of the Greeks was based. Roman architecture was founded
on Greek models with the addition of Etruscan construction, and was
for a time universally prevalent. The break-up of the Roman Empire was
followed by the appearance of the Basilican, the Byzantine, and the
Romanesque phases of Christian art; and, later on, by the Saracenic.
These are the styles on which all mediæval and modern European
architecture has been based, and these accordingly have furnished the
subjects to which the reader's attention is chiefly directed. Such
styles as those of India, China and Japan, which lie quite outside
this series, are noticed much more briefly; and some matters--such,
for example, as prehistoric architecture--which in a larger treatise
it would have been desirable to include, have been entirely left out
for want of room.

In treating each style the object has not been to mention every phase
of its development, still less every building, but rather to describe
the more prominent buildings with some approach to completeness. It is
true that much is left unnoticed, for which the student who wishes to
pursue the subject further will have to refer to the writings
specially devoted to the period or country. But it has been possible
to describe a considerable number of typical examples, and to do so in
such a manner as, it is hoped, may make some impression on the
reader's mind. Had notices of a much greater number of buildings been
compressed into the same space, each must have been so condensed that
the volume, though useful as a catalogue for reference, would have, in
all probability, become uninteresting, and consequently unserviceable
to the class of readers for whom it is intended.

As far as possible mere matters of opinion have been excluded from
this handbook. A few of the topics which it has been necessary to
approach are subjects on which high authorities still more or less
disagree, and it has been impossible to avoid these in every instance;
but, as far as practicable, controverted points have been left
untouched. Controversy is unsuited to the province of such a manual as
this, in which it is quite sufficient for the authors to deal with the
ascertained facts of the history which they have to unfold.

It is not proposed here to refer to the authorities for the various
statements made in these pages, but to this rule it is impossible to
avoid making one exception. The writers feel bound to acknowledge how
much they, in common with all students of the art, are indebted to the
patient research, the profound learning, and the admirable skill in
marshalling facts displayed by Mr. Fergusson in his various writings.
Had it been possible to devote a larger space to Eastern architecture,
Pagan and Mohammedan, the indebtedness to him, in a field where he
stands all but alone, must of necessity have been still greater.

The earlier chapters of this volume were chiefly written by Mr.
Slater, who very kindly consented to assist in the preparation of it;
but I am of course, as editor, jointly responsible with him for the
contents. The Introduction, Chapters V. to VII., and from Chapter X.
to the end, have been written by myself: and if our work shall in any
degree assist the reader to understand, and stimulate him to admire,
the architecture of the far-off past; above all, if it enables him to
appreciate our vast indebtedness to Greek art, and in a lesser degree
to the art of other nations who have occupied the stage of the world,
the aim which the writers have kept in view will not have been missed.

                                             T. ROGER SMITH.

    _University College, London._
        _May, 1882._



    INTRODUCTION.                                                    1



        Pyramids. Tombs. Temples. Analysis of Buildings.            14



        Babylonian. Assyrian. Persian. Analysis of Buildings.       43



        Hindu. Chinese and Japanese.                                64



        Buildings of the Doric Order.                               80


        Buildings of the Ionic and Corinthian Orders.              102


        Analysis of Greek Architecture. The Plan. The Walls.
          The Roof. The Openings. The Columns. The Ornaments.
          Architectural Character.                                 117



        Historical and General Sketch.                             138


        The Buildings of the Romans. Basilicas. Theatres and
          Amphitheatres. Baths (Thermæ). Bridges and Aqueducts.
          Commemorative Monuments. Domestic Architecture.          147


        Analysis of Roman Architecture. The Plan. The Walls.
          The Roofs. The Openings. The Columns. The Ornaments.
          Architectural Character.                                 182



        Basilicas in Rome and Italy.                               198


    BYZANTINE ARCHITECTURE.                                        210


    ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE.                                       222



        Analysis of Basilican, Byzantine, and Romanesque.          240



        Egypt, Syria and Palestine, Sicily and Spain, Persia
          and India.                                               252


      PERICLES, _circa_ B.C. 438.                       _Frontispiece_

  ATRIUM OF A ROMAN MANSION.                         (_on title-page_)

  FRIEZE FROM CHURCH AT DENKENDORF.                                  x

  TIMBER CONSTRUCTION IN STONE.                                  xviii

  THE TEMPLE OF VESTA AT TIVOLI.                                  xxiv

     ROME.                                                           3

     ARCH AT POLA.                                                   4

     FRONT, PÉRIGUEUX, FRANCE.                                       5


  5. PART OF THE EXTERIOR OF THE COLOSSEUM, ROME.                   10

  6. TIMBER ARCHITECTURE. CHURCH AT BORGUND.                        12

  7. AN EGYPTIAN CORNICE.                                           14


  9. ASCENDING GALLERY IN THE GREAT PYRAMID.                        19



      AT MEMPHIS.                                                   21

      AT MEMPHIS.                                                   21

  14. PLAN AND SECTION OF THE TOMB AT BENI-HASSAN.                  23

  15. ROCK-CUT FAÇADE OF THE TOMB AT BENI-HASSAN.                   24

  16. GROUND-PLAN OF THE TEMPLE AT KARNAK.                          26



  19. PLAN OF THE TEMPLE AT EDFOU.                                  30

  20. EXAMPLE OF ONE OF THE MAMMISI AT EDFOU.                       30



  23. EGYPTIAN COLUMN WITH LOTUS BUD CAPITAL.                       33


  25. PALM CAPITAL.                                                 34

  26. SCULPTURED CAPITAL.                                           34

  27. ISIS CAPITAL FROM DENDERAH.                                   35


  29. CROWNING CORNICE AND BEAD.                                    36

  30. PAINTED DECORATION FROM THEBES.                               42

  31. SCULPTURED ORNAMENT AT NINEVEH.                               43


  33. PAVEMENT FROM KHOYUNJIK.                                      51




  35. TOMB OF CYRUS.                                                54



  36. COLUMN FROM PERSEPOLIS--NORTH PORTICO.                        58

  37. THE ROCK-CUT TOMB OF DARIUS.                                  60

  38. SCULPTURED ORNAMENT AT ALLAHABAD.                             64

  39. DAGOBA FROM CEYLON.                                           66

  40. CHAITYA NEAR POONA.                                           68

  41. THE KYLAS AT ELLORA. A ROCK-CUT MONUMENT.                     69

  42. PLAN OF THE KYLAS AT ELLORA.                                  70

  43. VIMANA FROM MANASARA.                                         71

  44. BRACKET CAPITAL.                                              73

  45. COLUMN FROM AJUNTA.                                           73

  46. COLUMN FROM ELLORA.                                           73

  47. COLUMN FROM AJUNTA.                                           73

  48. A SMALL PAGODA.                                               76

  49. GREEK HONEYSUCKLE ORNAMENT.                                   80

  50. PLAN OF A SMALL GREEK TEMPLE IN ANTIS.                        82

  50a. PLAN OF A SMALL GREEK TEMPLE.                                83


  52. PLAN OF THE TREASURY OF ATREUS AT MYCENÆ.                     86


  53. GREEK DORIC CAPITAL FROM SELINUS.                             87

  53a. GREEK DORIC CAPITAL FROM THE THESEUM.                        87

  53b. GREEK DORIC CAPITAL FROM SAMOTHRACE.                         87

  54. THE RUINS OF THE PARTHENON AT ATHENS.                         89

  55. PLAN OF THE PARTHENON.                                        90

      TILES.                                                        91

       BY BÖTTICHER.                                                92

  57. THE GREEK DORIC ORDER FROM THE THESEUM.                       93

  58. PLAN OF A GREEK DORIC COLUMN.                                 94

  59. THE FILLETS UNDER A GREEK DORIC CAPITAL.                      94

      COLOURED DECORATION.                                          95



  63. DETAILS OF THE TRIGLYPH.                                      97

  64. DETAILS OF THE MUTULES.                                       97

      WITH COLOURED DECORATION.                                     99

  66. PALMETTE AND HONEYSUCKLE.                                    102


  68. IONIC CAPITAL. FRONT ELEVATION.                              103

  69. IONIC CAPITAL. SIDE ELEVATION.                               103

  70. THE IONIC ORDER. FROM PRIENE, ASIA MINOR.                    105


      PERICLES.                                                    107

  73. PLAN OF THE ERECHTHEIUM.                                     108

      (NIKÈ APTEROS).                                              108

  75. IONIC BASE MOULDINGS FROM PRIENE.                            108

      AT ATHENS.                                                   111



  79. CAPITAL OF AN ANTA FROM MILETUS. SIDE VIEW.                  114


  81. CAPITAL OF AN ANTA FROM MILETUS.                             117

  82. GREEK DOORWAY, SHOWING CORNICE.                              123


  84. THE ACANTHUS LEAF AND STALK.                                 128

  85. THE ACANTHUS LEAF.                                           129

      AND ONE OF THE LAPITHÆ.                                      130

  87. MOSAIC FROM THE TEMPLE OF ZEUS, OLYMPIA.                     131

  88. SECTION OF THE PORTICO OF THE ERECHTHEIUM.                   132


  90. CAPITAL OF ANTÆ FROM THE ERECHTHEIUM.                        133

  91-96. GREEK ORNAMENTS IN RELIEF.                                134

  97-104. GREEK ORNAMENTS IN RELIEF.                               135

  105-110. GREEK ORNAMENTS IN COLOUR.                              136

  111-113. EXAMPLES OF HONEYSUCKLE ORNAMENT.                       137

       AND FILLET, AND THE HONEYSUCKLE.                            137

  116-120. EXAMPLES OF THE FRET.                                   137

       DESCRIPTIONS ONLY).                                         138

  122. SEPULCHRE AT CORNETO.                                       140

  123. THE CLOACA MAXIMA.                                          142

  124. "INCANTADA" IN SALONICA.                                    147

       ROME.                                                       148

       PROBABLY OF THE TIME OF HADRIAN.                            150



       SECTION OF PART OF THE PERISTYLE.                           153

  130. GROUND-PLAN OF THE BASILICA ULPIA, ROME.                    155

  131. PLAN OF THE COLOSSEUM, ROME.                                157

  132. THE COLOSSEUM. SECTION AND ELEVATION.                       158


  134. INTERIOR OF SANTA MARIA DEGLI ANGELI, ROME.                 165

  135. THE PANTHEON, ROME. GROUND-PLAN.                            166

  136. THE PANTHEON. EXTERIOR.                                     167

  137. THE PANTHEON. INTERIOR.                                     168

  138. THE CORINTHIAN ORDER FROM THE PANTHEON.                     169

  139. THE ARCH OF CONSTANTINE, ROME.                              172

  140. GROUND-PLAN OF THE HOUSE OF PANSA, POMPEII.                 176


  142. THE ATRIUM OF A POMPEIAN HOUSE.                             178

  143. WALL DECORATION FROM POMPEII.                               180

  144. CARVING FROM THE FORUM OF NERVA, ROME.                      182

       VESTA AT TIVOLI.                                            188

  145a. A ROMAN COMPOSITE CAPITAL.                                 188


       THE USE OF AN ATTIC STORY.                                  191

       OF A VAULT.                                                 192

       ARCH SPRINGING FROM A COLUMN.                               192


  151. ROMAN CARVING. AN ACANTHUS LEAF.                            194

  152. THE EGG AND DART ENRICHMENT--ROMAN.                         194

       FROM POMPEII.                                               195

       IN THE VIA LATINA, NEAR ROME.                               197

  155. BASILICA CHURCH OF SAN MINIATO, FLORENCE.                   198

       DESCRIPTIONS BY VARIOUS AUTHORS.                            200

        AT ROME.                                                   202



  158a. FRIEZE FROM THE MONASTERY AT FULDA.                        210

       SECTION.                                                    212

  160. PLAN OF SAN VITALE AT RAVENNA.                              216


  162. PLAN OF ST. MARK'S AT VENICE.                               217


  164. CHURCH AT TURMANIN IN SYRIA.                                220

  165. TOWER OF A RUSSIAN CHURCH.                                  221

  166. TOWER OF EARL'S BARTON CHURCH.                              223

  167. CATHEDRAL AT PIACENZA.                                      225

       DE CLUNY, PARIS.                                            227

  169. CHURCH OF ST. SERNIN, TOULOUSE.                             228

  170. NAVE ARCADE AT ST. SERNIN, TOULOUSE.                        229



  173. NAVE ARCADE, PETERBOROUGH CATHEDRAL.                        236


  175. HEDINGHAM CASTLE.                                           238

  176. INTERIOR OF HEDINGHAM CASTLE.                               239

  177. ROUNDED ARCH OF CHURCH AT GELNHAUSEN.                       240


  179. SPIRE OF SPIRES CATHEDRAL.                                  242

  180. CHURCH AT ROSHEIM. UPPER PORTION OF FAÇADE.                 244

  181. CUBIC CAPITAL.                                              246

  182. DOORWAY AT TIND, NORWAY.                                    247


       AFFRICISCO AT RAVENNA.                                      251

  185. ARABIAN CAPITAL. FROM THE ALHAMBRA.                         252

  186. HORSE-SHOE ARCH.                                            254


  188. ALHAMBRA. HALL OF THE ABENCERRAGES.                         257

  189. MOSQUE "EL MOYED" AT CAIRO.                                 259

  190. ARABIAN WALL DECORATION.                                    260

  191. PLAN OF THE SAKHRA MOSQUE AT JERUSALEM.                     261

  192. SECTION OF THE SAKHRA MOSQUE AT JERUSALEM.                  262

  193. DOORWAY IN THE ALHAMBRA.                                    264

  194. GRAND MOSQUE AT DELHI, BUILT BY SHAH JEHAN.                 267

  195. ENTRANCE TO A MOORISH BAZAAR.                               269

      _Imitation of Timber Construction in Stone._]


    ABACUS, a square tablet which crowns the capital of the

    ACANTHUS, a plant, the foliage of which was imitated in
    the ornament of the Corinthian capital.

    AGORA, the place of general assembly in a Greek city.

    ALÆ (_Lat._ wings), recesses opening out of the atrium
    of a Roman house.

    ALHAMBRA, the palatial fortress of Granada (from _al
    hamra_--the red).

    AMBO, a fitting of early Christian churches, very
    similar to a pulpit.

    AMPHITHEATRE, a Roman place of public entertainment in
    which combats of gladiators, &c., were exhibited.

    ANTÆ, narrow piers used in connection with columns in
    Greek architecture, for the same purpose as pilasters in

    ARABESQUE, a style of very light ornamental decoration.

    ARCHAIC, primitive, so ancient as to be rude, or at
    least extremely simple.

    ARCHIVOLT, the series of mouldings which is carried
    round an arch.

    ARENA, the space in the centre of an amphitheatre where
    the combats, &c., took place.

    ARRIS, a sharp edge.

    ASTRAGAL, a small round moulding.

    ATRIUM, the main quadrangle in a Roman dwelling-house;
    also the enclosed court in front of an early Christian
    basilican church.

    BAPTISTERY, a building, or addition to a building,
    erected for the purposes of celebrating the rite of
    Christian baptism.

    BASEMENT, the lowest story of a building, applied also
    to the lowest part of an architectural design.

    BAS-RELIEF, a piece of sculpture in low relief.

    BIRD'S-BEAK, a moulding in Greek architecture, used in
    the capitals of Antæ.

    BYZANTINE, the style of Christian architecture which
    had its origin at Byzantium (Constantinople).

    CARCERES, in the ancient racecourses, goals and

    CARTOUCHE, in Egyptian buildings, a hieroglyphic
    signifying the name of a king or other important person.

    CARYATIDÆ, human figures made to carry an entablature,
    in lieu of columns in some Classic buildings.

    CAVÆDIAM, another name for the atrium of a Roman house.

    CAVEA, the part of an ancient theatre occupied by the

    CAVETTO, in Classic architecture, a hollow moulding.

    CELLA, the principal, often the only, apartment of a
    Greek or Roman temple.

    CHAITYA, an Indian temple, or hall of assembly.

    CIRCUS, a Roman racecourse.

    CLOACA, a sewer or drain.

    COLUMBARIUM, literally a pigeon-house--a Roman sepulchre
    built in many compartments.

    COLUMNAR, made with columns.

    COMPLUVIUM, the open space or the middle of the roof of
    a Roman atrium.

    CORONA, in the cornices of Greek and Roman architecture,
    the plain unmoulded feature which is supported by the
    lower part of the cornice, and on which the crowning
    mouldings rest.

    CORNICE, the horizontal series of mouldings crowning the
    top of a building or the walls of a room.

    CUNEIFORM, of letters in Assyrian inscriptions,

    CYCLOPEAN, applied to masonry constructed of vast
    stones, usually not hewn or squared.

    CYMA (recta, or reversa), a moulding, in Classic
    architecture, of an outline partly convex and partly

    DAGOBA, an Indian tomb of conical shape.

    DENTIL BAND, in Classic architecture, a series of small
    blocks resembling square-shaped teeth.

    DOMUS (_Lat._), a house, applied usually to a detached

    DWARF-WALL, a very low wall.

    ECHINUS, in Greek Doric architecture, the principal
    moulding of the capital placed immediately under the

    ENTABLATURE, the superstructure--comprising architrave,
    frieze and cornice--above the columns in Classic

    ENTASIS, in the shaft of a column, a curved outline.

    EPHEBEUM, the large hall in Roman baths in which youths
    practised gymnastic exercises.

    FACIA, in Classic architecture, a narrow flat band or

    FAUCES, the passage from the atrium to the peristyle in
    a Roman house.

    FLUTES, the small channels which run from top to bottom
    of the shaft of most columns in Classic architecture.

    FORUM, the place of general assembly in a Roman city, as
    the Agora was in a Greek.

    FRESCO, painting executed upon a plastered wall while
    the plaster is still wet.

    FRET, an ornament made up of squares and L-shaped lines,
    in use in Greek architecture.

    GARTH, the central space round which a cloister is

    GIRDER, a beam.

    GROUTED, said of masonry or brickwork, treated with
    liquid mortar to fill up all crevices and interstices.

    GUTTÆ, small pendent features in Greek and Roman Doric
    cornices, resembling rows of wooden pegs.

    HEXASTYLE, of six columns.

    HONEYSUCKLE ORNAMENT, a decoration constantly introduced
    into Assyrian and Greek architecture, founded upon the
    flower of the honeysuckle.

    HORSE-SHOE ARCH, an arch more than a semicircle, and so
    wider above than at its springing.

    HYPOSTYLE, literally "under columns," but used to mean
    filled by columns.

    IMPLUVIUM, the space into which the rain fell in the
    centre of the atrium of a Roman house.

    INSULA, a block of building surrounded on all sides by
    streets, literally an island.

    INTERCOLUMNIATION, the space between two columns.

    KEYED, secured closely by interlocking.

    KIBLA, the most sacred part of a Mohammedan mosque.

    LÂTS, in Indian architecture, Buddhist inscribed

    MAMMISI, small Egyptian temples.

    MASTABA, the most usual form of Egyptian tomb.

    MAUSOLEUM, a magnificent sepulchral monument or tomb.
    From the tomb erected to Mausolus, by his wife
    Artemisia, at Halicarnassus, 379 B.C.

    METOPES, literally faces, the square spaces between
    triglyphs in Doric architecture; occasionally applied to
    the sculptures fitted into these spaces.

    MINARET, a slender lofty tower, a usual appendage of a
    Mohammedan mosque.

    MONOLITH, of one stone.

    MORTISE, a hollow in a stone or timber to receive a
    corresponding projection.

    MOSQUE, a Mohammedan place of worship.

    MUTULE, a feature in a Classic Doric cornice, somewhat
    resembling the end of a timber beam.

    NARTHEX, in an early Christian church, the space next
    the entrance.

    OBELISK, a tapering stone pillar, a feature of Egyptian

    OPUS ALEXANDRINUM, the mosaic work used for floors in
    Byzantine and Romanesque churches.

    OVOLO, a moulding, the profile of which resembles the
    outline of an egg, used in Classic architecture.

    PENDENTIVE, a feature in Byzantine and other domed
    buildings, employed to enable a circular dome to stand
    over a square space.

    PERISTYLAR, or PERIPTERAL, with columns all round.

    PERISTYLIUM, or PERISTYLE, in a Roman house, the inner
    courtyard; also any space or enclosure with columns all
    round it.

    PISCINA, a small basin usually executed in stone and
    placed within a sculptured niche, fixed at the side of
    an altar in a church, with a channel to convey away the
    water poured into it.

    POLYCHROMY, the use of decorative colours.

    PRECINCTS, the space round a church or religious house,
    usually enclosed with a wall.

    PRESBYTERY, the eastern part of a church, the chancel.

    PROFILE (of a moulding), the outline which it would
    present if cut across at right angles to its length.

    PRONAOS, the front portion or vestibule to a temple.

    PROPYLÆA, in Greek architecture, a grand portal or state

    PROTHYRUM, in a Roman house, the porch or entrance.

    PSEUDO-PERIPTERAL, resembling, but not really being

    PYLON, or PRO-PYLON, the portal or front of an Egyptian

    QUADRIGA, a four-horse chariot.

    ROMANESQUE, the style of Christian architecture which
    was founded on Roman work.

    ROTUNDA, a building circular in plan.

    SACRISTY, the part of a church where the treasures
    belonging to the church are preserved.

    SHINTO TEMPLES, temples (in Japan) devoted to the Shinto

    SPAN, the space over which an arch or a roof extends.

    SPINA, the central wall of a Roman racecourse.

    STILTED, raised, usually applied to an arch when its
    centre is above the top of the jambs from which it

    STRUTS, props.

    STUPA, in Indian architecture, a mound or tope.

    STYLOBATE, a series of steps, usually those leading up
    to a Classic temple.

    TAAS, a pagoda.

    TABLINUM, in a Roman house, the room between the atrium
    and the peristyle.

    TALAR, in Assyrian architecture, an open upper story.

    TENONED, fastened with a projection or tenon.

    TESSELATED, made of small squares of material, applied
    to coarse mosaic work.

    TETRASTYLE, with four columns.

    THERMÆ, the great bathing establishments of the Romans.

    TOPES, in Indian architecture, artificial mounds.

    TRABEATED, constructed with a beam or beams, a term
    usually employed in contrast to arches.

    TRICLINIUM, in a Roman house, the dining-room.

    TRIGLYPH, the channelled feature in the frieze of the
    Doric order.

    TUMULI, mounds, usually sepulchral.

    TYPHONIA, small Egyptian temples.

    VELARIUM, a great awning.

    VESTIBULE, the outer hall or ante-room.

    VOLUTES, in Classic architecture, the curled ornaments
    of the Ionic capital.

    VOUSSOIRS, the wedge-shaped stones of which arches are

N.B. For the explanation of other technical words found in this
volume, consult the Glossary given with the companion volume on Gothic
and Renaissance Architecture.






Architecture may be described as building at its best, and when we
talk of the architecture of any city or country we mean its best,
noblest, or most beautiful buildings; and we imply by the use of the
word that these buildings possess merits which entitle them to rank as
works of art.

The architecture of the civilised world can be best understood by
considering the great buildings of each important nation separately.
The features, ornaments, and even forms of ancient buildings differed
just as the speech, or at any rate the literature, differed. Each
nation wrote in a different language, though the books may have been
devoted to the same aims; and precisely in the same way each nation
built in a style of its own, even if the buildings may have been
similar in the purposes they had to serve. The division of the subject
into the architecture of Egypt, Greece, Rome, &c., is therefore the
most natural one to follow.

But certain broad groups, rising out of peculiarities of a physical
nature, either in the buildings themselves or in the conditions under
which they were erected, can hardly fail to be suggested by a general
view of the subject. Such, for example, is the fourfold division to
which the reader's attention will now be directed.

All buildings, it will be found, can be classed under one or other of
four great divisions, each distinguished by a distinct mode of
building, and each also occupying a distinct place in history. The
first series embraces the buildings of the Egyptians, the Persians,
and the Greeks, and was brought to a pitch of the highest perfection
in Greece during the age of Pericles. All the buildings erected in
these countries during the many centuries which elapsed from the
earliest Egyptian to the latest Greek works, however they may have
differed in other respects, agree in this--that the openings, be they
doors, or be they spaces between columns, were spanned by beams of
wood or lintels of stone (Fig. 1). Hence this architecture is called
architecture of the beam, or, in more formal language, trabeated
architecture. This mode of covering spaces required that in buildings
of solid masonry, where stone or marble lintels were employed, the
supports should not be very far apart, and this circumstance led to
the frequent use of rows of columns. The architecture of this period
is accordingly sometimes called columnar, but it has no exclusive
claim to the epithet; the column survived long after the exclusive
use of the beam had been superseded, and the term columnar must
accordingly be shared with buildings forming part of the succeeding


The second great group of buildings is that in which the semicircular
arch is introduced into construction, and used either together with
the beam, or, as mostly happened, instead of the beam, to span the
openings (Fig. 2). This use of the arch began with the Assyrians, and
it reappeared in the works of the early Etruscans. The round-arched
series of styles embraces the buildings of the Romans from their
earliest beginnings to their decay; it also includes the two great
schools of Christian architecture which were founded by the Western
and the Eastern Church respectively,--namely, the Romanesque, which,
originating in Rome, extended itself through Western Europe, and
lasted till the time of the Crusades, and the Byzantine, which spread
from Constantinople over all the countries in which the Eastern (or
Greek) Church flourished, and which continues to our own day.



The third group of buildings is that in which the pointed arch is
employed instead of the semicircular arch to span the openings (Fig.
3). It began with the rise of Mohammedan architecture in the East, and
embraces all the buildings of Western Europe, from the time of the
First Crusade to the revival of art in the fifteenth century. This
great series of buildings constitutes what is known as Pointed, or,
more commonly, as Gothic architecture.

The fourth group consists of the buildings erected during or since the
Renaissance (_i.e._ revival) period, and is marked by a return to the
styles of past ages or distant countries for the architectural
features and ornaments of buildings; and by that luxury, complexity,
and ostentation which, with other qualities, are well comprehended
under the epithet Modern. This group of buildings forms what is known
as Renaissance architecture, and extends from the epoch of the revival
of letters in the fifteenth century, to the present day.

The first two of these styles--namely, the architecture of the beam,
and that of the round arch--are treated of in this little volume. They
occupy those remote times of pagan civilisation which may be
conveniently included under the broad term Ancient; and the better
known work of the Greeks and Romans--the classic nations--and they
extend over the time of the establishment of Christianity down to the
close of that dreary period not incorrectly termed the Dark ages.
Ancient, Classic, and early Christian architecture is accordingly an
appropriate title for the main subjects of this volume, though, for
the sake of convenience, some notices of Oriental architecture have
been added. Gothic and Renaissance architecture form the subjects of
the companion volume.

It may excite surprise that what appears to be so small a difference
as that which exists between a beam, a round arch, or a pointed arch,
should be employed in order to distinguish three of the four great
divisions. But in reality this is no pedantic or arbitrary grouping.
The mode in which spaces or openings are covered lies at the root of
most of the essential differences between styles of architecture, and
the distinction thus drawn is one of a real, not of a fanciful nature.

Every building when reduced to its elements, as will be done in both
these volumes, may be considered as made up of its (1) floor or plan,
(2) walls, (3) roof, (4) openings, (5) columns, and (6) ornaments, and
as marked by its distinctive (7) character, and the student must be
prepared to find that the openings are by no means the least important
of these elements. In fact, the moment the method of covering openings
was changed, it would be easy to show, did space permit, that all the
other elements, except the ornaments, were directly affected by the
change, and the ornaments indirectly; and we thus find such a
correspondence between this index feature and the entire structure as
renders this primary division a scientific though a very broad one.
The contrast between the trabeated style and the arched style may be
well understood by comparing the illustration of the Parthenon which
forms our frontispiece, or that of the great temple of Zeus at Olympia
(Fig. 4), with the exterior of the Colosseum at Rome (Fig. 5),
introduced here for the purposes of this comparison.

      TO ADLER.]

A division of buildings into such great series as these cannot,
however, supersede the more obvious historical and geographical
divisions. The architecture of every ancient country was partly the
growth of the soil, _i.e._ adapted to the climate of the country, and
the materials found there, and partly the outcome of the national
character of its inhabitants, and of such influences as race,
colonisation, commerce, or conquest brought to bear upon them. These
influences produced strong distinctions between the work of different
peoples, especially before the era of the Roman Empire. Since that
period of universal dominion all buildings and styles have been
influenced more or less by Roman art. We accordingly find the
buildings of the most ancient nations separated from each other by
strongly marked lines of demarcation, but those since the era of the
Empire showing a considerable resemblance to one another. The
circumstance that the remains of those buildings only which received
the greatest possible attention from their builders have come down to
us from any remote antiquity, has perhaps served to accentuate the
differences between different styles, for these foremost buildings
were not intended to serve the same purpose in all countries. Nothing
but tombs and temples have survived in Egypt. Palaces only have been
rescued from the decay of Assyrian and Persian cities; and temples,
theatres, and places of public assembly are the chief, almost the only
remains of architecture in Greece.

A strong contrast between the buildings of different ancient nations
rises also from the differing point of view for which they were
designed. Thus, in the tombs and, to a large extent, the temples of
the Egyptians, we find structures chiefly planned for internal effect;
that is to say, intended to be seen by those admitted to the sacred
precincts, but only to a limited extent appealing to the admiration of
those outside. The buildings of the Greeks, on the other hand, were
chiefly designed to please those who examined them from without, and
though no doubt some of them, the theatres especially, were from their
very nature planned for interior effect, by far the greatest works
which Greek art produced were the exteriors of the temples.

      (NOW IN RUINS.)]

The works of the Romans, and, following them, those of almost all
Western Christian nations, were designed to unite external and
internal effect; but in many cases external was evidently most sought
after, and, in the North of Europe, many expedients--such, for
example, as towers, high-pitched roofs, and steeples--were introduced
into architecture with the express intention of increasing external
effect. On the other hand, the Eastern styles, both Mohammedan and
Christian, especially when practised in sunny climates, show in many
cases a comparative disregard of external effect, and that their
architects lavished most of their resources on the interiors of their

Passing allusions have been made to the influence of climate on
architecture; and the student whose attention has been once called to
this subject will find many interesting traces of this influence in
the designs of buildings erected in various countries. Where the power
of the sun is great, flat terraced roofs, which help to keep buildings
cool, and thick walls are desirable. Sufficient light is admitted by
small windows far apart. Overhanging eaves, or horizontal cornices,
are in such a climate the most effective mode of obtaining
architectural effect, and accordingly in the styles of all Southern
peoples these peculiarities appear. The architecture of Egypt, for
example, exhibited them markedly. Where the sun is still powerful, but
not so extreme, the terraced roof is generally replaced by a sloping
roof, steep enough to throw off water, and larger openings are made
for light and air; but the horizontal cornice still remains the most
appropriate means of gaining effects of light and shade. This
description will apply to the architecture of Italy and Greece. When,
however, we pass to Northern countries, where snow has to be
encountered, where light is precious, and where the sun is low in the
heavens for the greater part of the day, a complete change takes
place. Roofs become much steeper, so as to throw off snow. The
horizontal cornice is to a large extent disused, but the buttress, the
turret, and other vertical features, from which a level sun will cast
shadows, begin to appear; and windows are made numerous and spacious.
This description applies to Gothic architecture generally--in other
words, to the styles which rose in Northern Europe.


The influence of materials on architecture is also worth notice. Where
granite, which is worked with difficulty, is the material obtainable,
architecture has invariably been severe and simple; where soft stone
is obtainable, exuberance of ornament makes its appearance, in
consequence of the material lending itself readily to the carver's
chisel. Where, on the other hand, marble is abundant and good,
refinement is to be met with, for no other building material exists in
which very delicate mouldings or very slight or slender projections
may be employed with the certainty that they will be effective. Where
stone is scarce, brick buildings, with many arches, roughly
constructed cornices and pilasters, and other peculiarities both of
structure and ornamentation, make their appearance, as, for example,
in Lombardy and North Germany. Where materials of many colours abound,
as is the case, for example, in the volcanic districts of France,
polychromy is sought as a means of ornamentation. Lastly, where timber
is available, and stone and brick are both scarce, the result is an
architecture of which both the forms and the ornamentation are
entirely dissimilar to those proper to buildings of stone, marble, or
brick, as may be seen by a glance at our illustration of an early
Scandinavian church built of timber (Fig. 6), which presents forms
appropriate to a timber building as being easily constructed of wood,
but which would hardly be suitable to any other material whatever.

  [Illustration: FIG. 7.--EGYPTIAN CORNICE.]



The origin of Egyptian architecture, like that of Egyptian history, is
lost in the mists of antiquity. The remains of all, or almost all,
other styles of architecture enable us to trace their rude beginnings,
their development, their gradual progress up to a culminating point,
and thence their slow but certain decline; but the earliest remains of
the constructions of the Egyptians show their skill as builders at the
height of its perfection, their architecture highly developed, and
their sculpture at its very best, if not indeed at the commencement of
its decadence; for some of the statuary of the age of the Pyramids was
never surpassed in artistic effect by the work of a later era. It is
impossible for us to conceive of such scientific skill as is evidenced
in the construction of the great pyramids, or such artistic power as
is displayed on the walls of tombs of the same date, or in the statues
found in them, as other than the outcome of a vast accumulation of
experience, the attainment of which must imply the lapse of very long
periods of time since the nation which produced such works emerged
from barbarism. It is natural, where so remote an antiquity is in
question, that we should feel a great difficulty, if not an
impossibility, in fixing exact dates, but the whole tendency of modern
exploration and research is rather to push back than to advance the
dates of Egyptian chronology, and it is by no means impossible that
the dynasties of Manetho, after being derided as apocryphal for
centuries, may in the end be accepted as substantially correct.
Manetho was an Egyptian priest living in the third century B.C., who
wrote a history of his country, which he compiled from the archives of
the temples. His work itself is lost, but Josephus quotes extracts
from it, and Eusebius and Julius Africanus reproduced his lists, in
which the monarchs of Egypt are grouped into thirty-four dynasties.
These, however, do not agree with one another, and in many cases it is
difficult to reconcile them with the records displayed in the
monuments themselves.

The remains with which we are acquainted indicate four distinct
periods of great architectural activity in Egyptian history, viz.: (1)
the period of the fourth dynasty, when the Great Pyramids were erected
(probably 3500 to 3000 B.C.); (2) the period of the twelfth dynasty,
to which belong the remains at Beni-Hassan; (3) the period of the
eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties, when Thebes was in its glory,
which is attested by the ruins of Luxor and Karnak; and (4) the
Ptolemaic period, of which there are the remains at Denderah, Edfou,
and Philæ. The monuments that remain are almost exclusively tombs and
temples. The tombs are, generally speaking, all met with on the east
or right bank of the Nile: among them must be classed those grandest
and oldest monuments of Egyptian skill, the Pyramids, which appear to
have been all designed as royal burying-places. A large number of
pyramids have been discovered, but those of Gizeh, near Cairo, are the
largest and the best known, and also probably the oldest which can be
authenticated.[1] The three largest pyramids are those of Cheops,
Cephren, and Mycerinus at Gizeh (or, as the names are more correctly
written, Suphis, Sensuphis, and Moscheris or Mencheris). These
monarchs all belonged to the fourth dynasty, and the most probable
date to be assigned to them is about 3000 B.C. The pyramid of Suphis
is the largest, and is the one familiarly known as the Great Pyramid;
it has a square base, the side of which is 760 feet long,[2] a height
of 484 feet, and an area of 577,600 square feet. In this pyramid the
angle of inclination of the sloping sides to the base is 51° 51', but
in no two pyramids is this angle the same. There can be no doubt that
these huge monuments were erected each as the tomb of an individual
king, whose efforts were directed towards making it everlasting, and
the greatest pains were taken to render the access to the burial
chamber extremely hard to discover. This accounts for the vast
disproportion between the lavish amount of material used for the
pyramid and the smallness of the cavity enclosed in it (Fig. 8).

The material employed was limestone cased with syenite (granite from
Syene), and the internal passages were lined with granite. The granite
of the casing has entirely disappeared, but that employed as linings
is still in its place, and so skilfully worked that it would not be
possible to introduce even a sheet of paper between the joints.

      OR SUPHIS).]

The entrance D to this pyramid of Suphis was at a height of 47 ft.
6 in. above the base, and, as was almost invariably the case, on the
north face; from the entrance a passage slopes downward at an angle of
26° 27' to a chamber cut in the rock at a depth of about 90 feet below
the base of the pyramid. This chamber seems to have been intended as a
blind, as it was not the place for the deposition of the corpse. From
the point in the above described passage--marked A on our illustration
of this pyramid--another gallery starts upwards, till it reaches the
point C, from which a horizontal passage leads to another small
chamber. This is called the Queen's Chamber, but no reason has been
discovered for the name. From this point C the gallery continues
upwards till, in the heart of the pyramid, the Royal Chamber, B, is
reached. The walls of these chambers and passages are lined with
masonry executed in the hardest stone (granite), and with an accuracy
of fitting and a truth of surface that can hardly be surpassed.
Extreme care seems to have been taken to prevent the great weight
overhead from crushing in the galleries and the chamber. The gallery
from C upwards is of the form shown in Fig. 9, where each layer of
stones projects slightly beyond the one underneath it. Fig. 11 is a
section of the chamber itself, and the succession of small chambers
shown one above the other was evidently formed for the purpose of
distributing the weight of the superincumbent mass. From the point C a
narrow well leads almost perpendicularly downwards to a point nearly
at the bottom of the first-mentioned gallery; and the purpose to be
served by this well was long a subject of debate. The probability is
that, after the corpse had been placed in its chamber, the workmen
completely blocked up the passage from A to C by allowing large blocks
of granite to slide down it, these blocks having been previously
prepared and deposited in the larger gallery; the men then let
themselves down the well, and by means of the lower gallery made their
exit from the pyramid. The entrances to the chamber and to the pyramid
itself were formed by huge blocks of stone which exactly fitted into
grooves prepared for them with the most beautiful mathematical
accuracy. The chief interest attaching to the pyramids lies in their
extreme antiquity, and the scientific method of their construction;
for their effect upon the spectator is by no means proportionate to
their immense mass and the labour bestowed upon them.




In the neighbourhood of the pyramids are found a large number of tombs
which are supposed to be those of private persons. Their form is
generally that of a _mastaba_ or truncated pyramid with sloping walls,
and their construction is evidently copied from a fashion of wooden
architecture previously existing. The same idea of making an
everlasting habitation for the body prevailed as in the case of the
pyramids, and stone was therefore the material employed; but the
builders seem to have desired to indulge in a decorative style, and as
they were totally unable to originate a legitimate stone architecture,
we find carved in stone, rounded beams as lintels, grooved posts,
and--most curious of all--roofs that are an almost exact copy of the
early timber huts when unsquared baulks of timber were laid across
side by side to form a covering. Figs. 12 and 13 show this kind of
stone-work, which is peculiar to the old dynasties, and seems to have
had little influence upon succeeding styles.

A remarkable feature of these early private tombs consists in the
paintings with which the walls are decorated, and which vividly
portray the ordinary every-day occupations carried on during his
lifetime by the person who was destined to be the inmate of the tomb.
These paintings are of immense value in enabling us to form an
accurate idea of the life of the people at this early age.



It may possibly be open to doubt whether the dignified appellation of
architecture should be applied to buildings of the kind we have just
been describing; but when we come to the series of remains of the
twelfth dynasty at Beni-Hassan, in middle Egypt, we meet with the
earliest known examples of that most interesting feature of all
subsequent styles--the column. Whether the idea of columnar
architecture originated with the necessities of quarrying--square
piers being left at intervals to support the superincumbent mass of
rock as the quarry was gradually driven in--or whether the earliest
stone piers were imitations of brickwork or of timber posts, we shall
probably never be able to determine accurately, though the former
supposition seems the more likely. We have here monuments of a date
1400 years anterior to the earliest known Greek examples, with
splendid columns, both exterior and interior, which no reasonable
person can doubt are the prototypes of the Greek Doric order. Fig. 14
is a plan with a section, and Fig. 15 an exterior view, of one of
these tombs, which, it will be seen, consisted of a portico, a chamber
with its roof supported by columns, and a small space at the farther
end in which is formed the opening of a sloping passage or well, at
the bottom of which the vault for the reception of the body was
constructed. The walls of the large chamber are lavishly decorated
with scenes of every-day life, and it has even been suggested that
these places were not erected originally as tombs, but as
dwelling-places, which after death were appropriated as sepulchres.



The columns are surmounted by a small square slab, technically called
an abacus, and heavy square beams or architraves span the spaces
between the columns, while the roof between the architraves has a
slightly segmental form. The tombs of the later period, viz. of the
eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties, are very different from those of
the twelfth dynasty, and present few features of architectural
interest, though they are remarkable for their vast extent and the
variety of form of their various chambers and galleries. They consist
of a series of chambers excavated in the rock, and it appears certain
that the tomb was commenced on the accession of each monarch, and was
driven farther and farther into the rock during the continuance of his
reign till his death, when all work abruptly ceased. All the chambers
are profusely decorated with paintings, but of a kind very different
from those of the earlier dynasties. Instead of depicting scenes of
ordinary life, all the paintings refer to the supposed life after
death, and are thus of very great value as a means of determining the
religious opinions of the Egyptians at this time. One of the most
remarkable of these tombs is that of Manephthah or Sethi I., at
Bab-el-Molouk, and known as Belzoni's tomb, as it was discovered by
him; from it was taken the alabaster sarcophagus now in the Soane
Museum in Lincoln's Inn Fields. To this relic a new interest is given
by the announcement, while these pages are passing through the press,
of the discovery of the mummy of this very Manephthah, with
thirty-eight other royal mummies, in the neighbourhood of Thebes.


Of the Ptolemaic period no tombs, except perhaps a few at Alexandria,
are known to exist.


It is very doubtful whether any remains of temples of the time of the
fourth dynasty--_i.e._ contemporaneous with the pyramids--exist. One,
constructed on a most extraordinary plan, was supposed to have been
discovered about a quarter of a century ago, and it was described by
Professor Donaldson at the Royal Institute of British Architects in
1861, but later Egyptologists rather incline to the belief that this
was a tomb and not a temple, as in one of the chambers of the interior
a number of compartments were discovered one above the other which
were apparently intended for the reception of bodies. This singular
building is close to the Great Sphinx; its plan is cruciform, and
there are in the interior a number of rectangular piers of granite
supporting very simple architraves, but there are no means of
determining what kind of roof covered it in. The walls seem to have
been faced on the interior with polished slabs of granite or
alabaster, but no sculpture or hieroglyphic inscriptions were found on
them to explain the purpose of the building. Leaving this
building--which is of a type quite unique--out of the question,
Egyptian temples can be generally classed under two heads: (1) the
large principal temples, and (2) the small subsidiary ones called
Typhonia or Mammisi. Both kinds of temple vary little, if at all, in
plan from the time of the twelfth dynasty down to the Roman dominion.


The large temples consist almost invariably of an entrance gate
flanked on either side by a large mass of masonry, called a pylon, in
the shape of a truncated pyramid (Fig. 18). The axis of the
ground-plan of these pylons is frequently obliquely inclined to the
axis of the plan of the temple itself; and indeed one of the most
striking features of Egyptian temples is the lack of regularity and
symmetry in their construction. The entrance gives access to a large
courtyard, generally ornamented with columns: beyond this, and
occasionally approached by steps, is another court, smaller than the
first, but much more splendidly adorned with columns and colossi;
beyond this again, in the finest examples, occurs what is called the
Hypostyle Hall, _i.e._ a hall with two rows of lofty columns down the
centre, and at the sides other rows, more or less in number, of lower
columns; the object of this arrangement being that the central portion
might be lighted by a kind of clerestory above the roof of the side
portions. Fig. 17 shows this arrangement. This hypostyle hall stood
with its greatest length transverse to the general axis of the temple,
so that it was entered from the side. Beyond it were other chambers,
all of small size, the innermost being generally the sanctuary, while
the others were probably used as residences by the priests. Homer's
hundred-gated Thebes, which was for so long the capital of Egypt,
offers at Karnak and Luxor the finest remains of temples; what is left
of the former evidently showing that it must have been one of the most
magnificent buildings ever erected in any country. Fig. 16 is a plan
of the temple of Karnak, which was about 1200 feet long and 348 feet
wide. A is the entrance between the two enormous pylons giving access
to a large courtyard, in which is a small detached temple, and another
larger one breaking into the courtyard obliquely. A gateway between a
second pair of pylons admits to B, the grand Hypostyle Hall, 334 feet
by 167 feet. Beyond this are additional gateways with pylons,
separated by a sort of gallery, C, in which were two gigantic
obelisks; D, another grand hall, is called the Hall of the Caryatides,
and beyond is the Hall of the eighteen columns, through which access
is gained to a number of smaller halls grouped round the central
chamber E. Beyond this is a large courtyard, in the centre of which
stood the original sanctuary, which has disappeared down to its
foundations, nothing but some broken shafts of columns remaining. At
the extreme east is another hall supported partly by columns and
partly by square piers, and a second series of pillared courts and
chambers. The pylons and buildings generally decrease in height as we
proceed from the entrance eastwards. This is due to the fact that, the
building grew by successive additions, each one more magnificent than
the last, all being added on the side from which the temple was
entered, leaving the original sanctuary unchanged and undisturbed.



Besides the buildings shown on the plan there were many other temples
to the north, south, and east, entered by pylons and some of them
connected together by avenues of sphinxes, obelisks, and colossi,
which altogether made up the most wonderful agglomeration of buildings
that can be conceived. It must not be imagined that this temple of
Karnak, together with the series of connected temples is the result,
of one clearly conceived plan; on the contrary, just as has been
frequently the case with our own cathedrals and baronial halls,
alterations were made here and additions there by successive kings one
after the other without much regard to connection or congruity, the
only feeling that probably influenced them being that of emulation to
excel in size and grandeur the erections of their predecessors, as the
largest buildings are almost always of latest date. The original
sanctuary, or nucleus of the temple, was built by Usertesen I., the
second or third king of the twelfth dynasty. Omenophis, the first king
of the Shepherd dynasties, built a temple round the sanctuary, which
has disappeared. Thothmes I. built the Hall of the Caryatides and
commenced the next Hall of the eighteen columns, which was finished by
Thothmes II. Thothmes III. built that portion surrounding the
sanctuary, and he also built the courts on the extreme east. The pylon
at C was built by Omenophis III., and formed the façade of the temple
before the erection of the grand hall. Sethi I. built the Hypostyle
Hall, which had probably been originated by Rhamses I., who commenced
the pylon west of it. Sethi II. built the small detached temple, and
Rhamses III. the intersecting temple. The Bubastites constructed the
large front court by building walls round it, and the Ptolemies
commenced the huge western pylon. The colonnade in the centre of the
court was erected by Tahraka.

Extensive remains of temples exist at Luxor, Edfou (Fig. 19), and
Philæ, but it will not be necessary to give a detailed description of
them, as, if smaller in size, they are very similar in arrangement to
those already described. It should be noticed that all these large
temples have the mastaba form, _i.e._ the outer walls are not
perpendicular on the outside, but slope inwards as they rise, thus
giving the buildings an air of great solidity.

  [Illustration: FIG. 19.--PLAN OF THE TEMPLE AT EDFOU.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 20.--PLAN OF ONE OF THE MAMMISI AT EDFOU.]

The Mammisi exhibit quite a different form of temple from those
previously described, and are generally found in close proximity to
the large temples. They are generally erected on a raised terrace,
rectangular on plan and nearly twice as long as it was wide,
approached by a flight of steps opposite the entrance; they consist of
oblong buildings, usually divided by a wall into two chambers, and
surrounded on all sides by a colonnade composed of circular columns or
square piers placed at intervals, and the whole is roofed in. A dwarf
wall is frequently found between the piers and columns, about half the
height of the shaft. These temples differ from the larger ones in
having their outer walls perpendicular. Fig. 20 is a plan of one of
these small temples, and no one can fail to remark the striking
likeness to some of the Greek temples; there can indeed be little
doubt that this nation borrowed the peristylar form of its temples
from the Ancient Egyptians.



Although no rock-cut temples have been discovered in Egypt proper,
Nubia is very rich in such remains. The arrangement of these temples
hewn out of the rock is closely analogous to that of the detached
ones. Figs. 21 and 22 show a plan and section of the largest of the
rock-cut temples at Ipsamboul, which consists of two extensive courts,
with smaller chambers beyond, all connected by galleries. The roof of
the large court is supported by eight huge piers, the faces of which
are sculptured into the form of standing colossi, and the entrance is
adorned by four splendid seated colossi, 68 ft. 6 in. high. As was the
case with the detached temples, it will be noticed that the height of
the various chambers decreases towards the extremity of the




The constructional system pursued by the Egyptians, which consisted in
roofing over spaces with large horizontal blocks of stone, led of
necessity to a columnar arrangement in the interiors, as it was
impossible to cover large areas without frequent upright supports.
Hence the column became the chief means of obtaining effect, and the
varieties of form which it exhibits are very numerous. The earliest
form is that at Beni-Hassan, which has already been noticed as the
prototype of the Doric order. Figs. 23 and 24 are views of two columns
of a type more commonly employed. In these the sculptors appear to
have imitated as closely as possible the forms of the plant-world
around them, as is shown in Fig. 23, which represents a bundle of
reeds or lotus stalks, and is the earliest type known of the lotus
column, which was afterwards developed into a number of forms, one of
which will be observed on turning to our section of the Hypostyle Hall
at Karnak (Fig. 17), as employed for the lateral columns. The stalks
are bound round with several belts, and the capital is formed by the
slightly bulging unopened bud of the flower, above which is a small
abacus with the architrave resting upon it: the base is nothing but a
low circular plinth. The square piers also have frequently a lotus bud
carved on them. At the bottom of the shaft is frequently found a
decoration imitated from the sheath of leaves from which the plant
springs. As a further development of this capital we have the opened
lotus flower of a very graceful bell-like shape, ornamented with a
similar sheath-like decoration to that at the base of the shaft (Fig.
24). This decoration was originally painted only, not sculptured, but
at a later period we find these sheaths and buds worked in stone. Even
more graceful is the palm capital, which also had its leading lines of
decoration painted on it at first (Fig. 25), and afterwards sculptured
(Fig. 26). At a later period of the style we find the plant forms
abandoned, and capitals were formed of a fantastic combination of the
head of Isis with a pylon resting upon it (Fig. 27). Considerable
ingenuity was exercised in adapting the capitals of the columns to the
positions in which they were placed: thus in the hypostyle halls, the
lofty central row of columns generally had capitals of the form shown
in Fig. 24, as the light here was sufficient to illuminate thoroughly
the underside of the overhanging bell; but those columns which were
farther removed from the light had their capitals of the unopened bud
form, which was narrower at the top than at bottom. In one part of the
temple at Karnak is found a very curious capital resembling the open
lotus flower inverted. The proportion which the height of Egyptian
columns bears to their diameter differs so much in various cases that
there was evidently no regular standard adhered to, but as a general
rule they have a heavy and massive character. The wall-paintings of
the Egyptian buildings show many curious forms of columns (Fig. 28),
but we have no reason for thinking that these fantastic shapes were
really executed in stone.

  [Illustration: FIG. 25.--PALM CAPITAL.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 26.--SCULPTURED CAPITAL.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 27.--ISIS CAPITAL FROM DENDERAH.]


Almost the only sculptured ornaments worked on the exteriors of
buildings were the curious astragal or bead at all the angles, and the
cornice, which consisted of a very large cavetto, or hollow moulding,
surmounted by a fillet. These features are almost invariable from the
earliest to the latest period of the style. This cavetto was generally
enriched, over the doorways, with an ornament representing a circular
boss with a wing at each side of it (Fig. 29).

One other feature of Egyptian architecture which was peculiar to it
must be mentioned; namely, the obelisk. Obelisks were nearly always
erected in pairs in front of the pylons of the temples, and added to
the dignity of the entrance. They were invariably monoliths, slightly
tapering in outline, carved with the most perfect accuracy; they must
have existed originally in very large numbers. Not a few of these have
been transported to Europe, and at least twelve are standing in Rome,
one is in Paris, and one in London.

  [Illustration: FIG. 29.--CROWNING CORNICE AND BEAD.]

The most striking features, and the most artistic, in the decoration
of Egyptian buildings, are the mural paintings and sculptured
pictures, which are found in the most lavish profusion, and which
exhibit the highest skill in conventionalising the human figure and
other objects.[3] Tombs and temples, columns and obelisks are
completely covered with graphic representations of peaceful home
pursuits, warlike expeditions and battle scenes, and--though not till
a late period--descriptions of ritual and mythological delineations of
the supposed spirit-world which the soul has entered after death.
These pictures, together with the hieroglyphic inscriptions--which
are in themselves a series of pictures--not only relieve the bare wall
surface, but, what is far more important, enable us to realise the
kind of existence which was led by this ancient people; and as in
nearly every case the cartouche (or symbol representing the name) of
the monarch under whose reign the building was erected was added, we
should be able to fix the dates of the buildings with exactness, were
the chronology of the kings made out beyond doubt.

The following description of the manner in which the Egyptian
paintings and sculptures were executed--from the pen of Owen
Jones--will be read with interest:--"The wall was first chiselled as
smooth as possible, the imperfections of the stone were filled up with
cement or plaster, and the whole was rubbed smooth and covered with a
coloured wash; lines were then ruled perpendicularly and horizontally
with red colour, forming squares all over the wall corresponding with
the proportions of the figure to be drawn upon it. The subjects of the
painting and of the hieroglyphics were then drawn on the wall with a
red line, most probably by the priest or chief scribe, or by some
inferior artist, from a document divided into similar squares; then
came the chief artist, who went over every figure and hieroglyphic
with a black line, and a firm and steady hand, giving expression to
each curve, deviating here and confirming there the red line. The line
thus traced was then followed by the sculptor. The next process was to
paint the figure in the prescribed colours."

Although Egyptian architecture was essentially a trabeated
style,--that is to say, a style in which beams or lintels were usually
employed to cover openings,--there is strong ground for the belief
that the builders of that time were acquainted with the nature of the
arch. Dr. Birch mentions a rudimentary arch of the time of the fifth
dynasty: at Abydos there are also remains of vaulted tombs of the
sixth dynasty; and in a tomb in the neighbourhood of the Pyramids
there is an elementary arch of three stones surmounted by a true arch
constructed in four courses. The probability is that true brick arches
were built at a very early period, but in the construction of their
tombs, where heavy masses of superincumbent masonry or rock had to be
supported, the Egyptians seem to have been afraid to risk even the
remote possibility of their arches decaying; and hence, even when they
preserved the form of the arch in masonry, they constructed it with
horizontal courses of stones projecting one over the other, and then
cut away the lower angles. One dominating idea seems to have
influenced them in the whole of their work--_esto perpetua_ was their
motto; and though they have been excelled by later peoples in grace
and beauty, it is a question whether they have ever been surpassed in
the skill with which they adapted their means to the end which they
always kept in view.



_Floor_ (technically _Plan_).--The early rock-cut tombs were, of
course, only capable of producing internal effects; their floor
presents a series of halls and galleries, varying in size and shape,
leading one out of the other, and intended by their contrast or
combination to produce architectural effect. To this was added in the
later rock-cut tombs a façade to be seen directly in front. Much the
same account can be given of the disposition of the built temples.
They possess one front, which the spectator approaches, and they are
disposed so as to produce varied and impressive interiors, but not to
give rise to external display. The supports, such as walls, columns,
piers, are all very massive and very close together, so that the only
wide open spaces are courtyards.

The circle, or octagon, or other polygonal forms do not appear in the
plans of Egyptian buildings; but though all the lines are straight,
there is a good deal of irregularity in spacing, walls which face one
another are not always parallel, and angles which appear to be right
angles very often are not so.

The later buildings extend over much space. The adjuncts to these
buildings, especially the avenues of sphinxes, are planned so as to
produce an air of stately grandeur, and in them some degree of
external effect is aimed at.


The walls are uniformly thick, and often of granite or of stone,
though brick is also met with; _e.g._ some of the smaller pyramids are
built entirely of brick. In all probability the walls of domestic
buildings were to a great extent of brick, and less thick than those
of the temples; hence they have all disappeared.

The surface of walls, even when of granite, was usually plastered with
a thin fine plaster, which was covered by the profuse decoration in
colour already alluded to.

The walls of the propylons tapered from the base towards the top, and
the same thing sometimes occurred in other walls. In almost all cases
the stone walls are built of very large blocks, and they show an
unrivalled skill in masonry.


The roofing which remains is executed entirely in stone, but not
arched or vaulted. The rock-cut tombs, however, as has been stated,
contain ceilings of an arched shape, and in some cases forms which
seem to be an imitation of timber roofing. The roofing of the
Hypostyle Hall at Karnak provides an arrangement for admitting light
very similar to the clerestory of Gothic cathedrals.


The openings were all covered by a stone lintel, and consequently were
uniformly square-headed. The interspaces between columns were
similarly covered, and hence Egyptian architecture has been, and
correctly, classed as the first among the styles of trabeated
architecture. Window-openings seldom occur.


The columns have been already described to some extent. They are
almost always circular in plan, but the shaft is sometimes channelled.
They are for the most part of sturdy proportions, but great grace and
elegance are shown in the profile given to shafts and capitals. The
design of the capitals especially is full of variety, and admirably
adapts forms obtained from the vegetable kingdom. The general effect
of the Egyptian column, wherever it is used, is that it appears to
have, as it really has, a great deal more strength than is required.
The fact that the abacus (the square block of stone introduced between
the moulded part of the capital and what it carries) is often smaller
in width than the diameter of the column aids very much to produce
this effect.


Mouldings are very rarely employed; in fact, the large bead running up
the angles of the pylons, &c., and a heavy hollow moulding doing duty
as a cornice, are all that are usually met with. Sculpture and carving
occur occasionally, and are freely introduced in later works, where we
sometimes find statues incorporated into the design of the fronts of
temples. Decoration in colour, in the shape of hieroglyphic
inscriptions and paintings of all sorts, was profusely employed (Figs.
27-30), and is executed with a truth of drawing and a beauty of
colouring that have never been surpassed. As has been pointed out,
almost every object drawn is partly conventionalised, in the most
skilful manner, so as to make it fit its place as a piece of a
decorative system.

_Architectural Character._

This is gloomy, and to a certain extent forbidding, owing to the heavy
walls and piers and columns, and the great masses supported by them;
but when in its freshness and quite uninjured by decay or violence,
the exquisite colouring of the walls and ceilings and columns must
have added a great deal of beauty: this must have very much diminished
the oppressive effect inseparable from such massive construction and
from the gloomy darkness of many portions of the buildings. It is also
noteworthy that the expenditure of materials and labour is greater in
proportion to the effect attained than in any other style. The
pyramids are the most conspicuous example of this prodigality. Before
condemning this as a defect in the style, it must be remembered that a
stability which should defy enemies, earthquakes, and the tooth of
time, was far more aimed at than architectural character; and that,
had any mode of construction less lavish of material, and less perfect
in workmanship, been adopted, the buildings of Egypt might have all
disappeared ere this.



[1] Some Egyptologists incline to the opinion that the pyramid of
Saqqára is the most ancient, while others think it much more recent
than those of Gizeh.

[2] Strictly speaking, the base is not an exact square, the four sides
measuring, according to the Royal Engineers, north, 760 ft. 7·5 in.;
south, 761 ft. 8·5 in.; east, 760 ft. 9·5 in.; and west, 764 ft. 1 in.

[3] Conventionalising may be described as representing a part only of
the visible qualities or features of an object, omitting the remainder
or very slightly indicating them. A black silhouette portrait is an
extreme instance of convention, as it displays absolutely nothing but
the outline of a profile. For decorative purposes it is almost always
necessary to conventionalise to a greater or less extent whatever is




The architectural styles of the ancient nations which ruled over the
countries of Western Asia watered by the Tigris and the Euphrates,
from a period about 2200 B.C. down to 330 B.C., are so intimately
connected one with another, and so dependent one upon the other, that
it is almost impossible to attempt an accurate discrimination between
the Babylonian, or ancient Chaldæan, the Assyrian and the Persian. A
more intelligible idea of the architecture of this long period will be
gained by regarding the three styles as modifications and developments
of one original style, than by endeavouring to separate them.[4] Their
sequence can, however, be accurately determined. First comes the old
Chaldæan period, next the Assyrian, during which the great city of
Nineveh was built, and finally the Persian, after Cyrus had subdued
the older monarchies; and remains exist of all these periods. As to
the origin of the Chaldæan Kingdom, however, all is obscure; and the
earliest date which can be fixed with the slightest approach to
probability is 2234 B.C., when Nimrod is supposed to have founded the
old Chaldæan dynasty. This seems to have lasted about 700 years, and
was then overthrown by a conquering nation of which no record or even
tradition remains, the next two and a half centuries being a complete
blank till the rise of the great Assyrian Monarchy about 1290 B.C.,
which lasted till its destruction by Cyrus about 538 B.C. The Persian
Monarchy then endured till the death of Alexander the Great, in 333
B.C., after which great confusion arose, the empire being broken up
among his generals and rapidly falling to pieces.

It is only within a comparatively recent period that we have had any
knowledge of the architecture of these countries; but the explorations
of M. Botta, commenced in 1843 and continued by M. Place, and those of
Mr. (now Sir A. H.) Layard in 1845, combined with the successful
attempts of Prof. Grotefend, Prof. Lassen, and Col. Rawlinson at
deciphering the cuneiform inscriptions, have disclosed a new world to
the architectural student, without which some of the developments of
Greek architecture must have remained obscure. The authentic remains
of buildings of the early Chaldæan period are too few and in too
ruinous a condition to allow of a reproduction of their architectural
features with any certainty. The buildings, whether palaces or
temples, appear to have been constructed on terraces, and to have been
several storeys in height; and in one instance, at Mugheyr, the walls
sloped inwards in a similar manner to those of Egyptian buildings, a
peculiarity which is not met with in other examples of West Asiatic
architecture. The materials employed were bricks, both sun-dried and
kiln-burnt, which seem to have been coated with a vitreous enamel for
purposes of interior decoration. Fragments of carved limestone were
discovered by Sir A. H. Layard, but the fact that the fragments found
have been so few ought not to lead us too hastily to the conclusion
that stone was not used as facing for architectural purposes, as after
the buildings became ruined the stone would eagerly be sought for and
carried away before the brickwork was touched. Bitumen seems to have
been employed as a cement. Although original buildings of this era
cannot be found, it has been shown that in all probability we have, in
a building of a later date--the Birs-i-Nimrud--a type of the old
Babylonian temple. This in its general disposition must have resembled
that of the Tomb of Cyrus, described and figured later on, though on a
vastly larger scale. The lowest storey appears to have been an exact
square of 272 ft.; each of the higher storeys was 42 ft. less
horizontally than the one below it, and was placed 30 ft. back from
the front of the storey below it, but equidistant from the two sides,
where the platforms were 21 ft. wide. The three upper storeys were
45 ft. in height altogether, the two below these were 26 ft. each, and
the height of the lowest is uncertain. The topmost storey probably had
a tower on it which enclosed the shrine of the temple. This edifice
was for a long time a bone of contention among savants, but Colonel
Rawlinson's investigations have brought to light the fact that it was
a temple dedicated to the seven heavenly spheres, viz. Saturn,
Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon, in the order
given, starting from the bottom. Access to the various platforms was
obtained by stairs, and the whole building was surrounded by a walled
enclosure. From remains found at Wurkha we may gather that the walls
of the buildings of this period were covered with elaborate plaster
ornaments, and that a lavish use was made of colour in their

Of the later Assyrian period several ruins of buildings believed to be
palaces have been excavated, of which the large palace at Khorsabad,
the old name of which was Hisir-Sargon, now a small village between 10
and 11 miles north-east of Nineveh, has been the most completely
explored, and this consequently is the best adapted to explain the
general plan of an Assyrian edifice. M. Botta, when French Consul at
Mosul, and M. Victor Place conducted these explorations, and the
following details are taken from their works. Like all other Assyrian
palaces, this was reared on a huge artificial mound, the labour of
forming which must have been enormous. The reason for the construction
of these mounds is not far to seek. Just as the chiefs of a
mountainous country choose the loftiest peaks for their castles, so in
Assyria, which was a very flat country, the extra defensive strength
of elevated buildings was clearly appreciated; and as these absolute
monarchs ruled over a teeming population and had a very large number
of slaves, and only had to direct their taskmasters to impress labour
whenever they wanted it, no difficulty existed in forming elevated
platforms for their palaces. These were frequently close to a river,
and it is by no means improbable that this was turned into the
excavation from which the earth for the mound was taken, and thus
formed a lake or moat as an additional defence. A further reason for
these terraces may be found in the fact that in a hot climate
buildings erected some 20 or 30 ft. above the level of the plain
catch the breezes much more quickly than lower edifices. In the case
of Khorsabad the terrace was made of sun-dried bricks, about 15·7 in.
square and 2 in. thick. These bricks were made of the most carefully
prepared clay. The terrace was faced by a retaining wall of coursed
masonry, nearly 10 ft. in thickness. On this terrace the palace was
built, and it consisted of a series of open courts arranged
unsymmetrically, surrounded by state or private apartments,
storehouses, stables, &c. Great care seems to have been exercised in
the accurate orientation of the building, but in rather a peculiar
manner. Instead of any one façade of the building facing due north,
the corners face exactly towards the four points of the compass. The
courts were all entered by magnificent portals flanked by gigantic
figures, and were approached by flights of steps. Fig. 32 is a plan of
the palace of Khorsabad, which was placed close to the boundary of the
city; in fact it was partly outside the city wall proper, though
surrounded by a wall of its own. The grand south-east portals or
propylæa were adorned with huge human-headed bulls and gigantic
figures, and gave access to a large court, 315 ft. by 280 ft., on the
east side of which are the stables and out-houses, and on the west
side the metal stores. On the north of this court, though not
approached directly from it, was the Seraglio (not to be confounded
with the Harem), the grand entrance to which was from a second large
court, access to which was obtained from a roadway sloping up from the
city. The portals to this portion of the palace were also adorned with
human-headed bulls. From the second court a vaulted passage gave
access to the state apartments, which appear to have had a direct view
across the open country, and were quite outside the city walls. The
Harem has been excavated; it stood just outside the palace proper,
behind the metal stores. The remains of an observatory exist, and the
outlines of what is supposed to have been a temple have also been
unearthed, so that we have here a complete plan of the palace.
Altogether 31 courts and 198 chambers have been discovered.

      ABOUT 710 B.C.

      A, Steps. B, Chief portal. C, Chief entrance-court. D-H, Women's
      apartments (Harem). J, Centre court of building. K, Chief court
      of royal residence. L, Portal with carved bulls as guards. M,
      Centre court of royal residence. N, Temple (?). O, Pyramid of
      steps. S, Entrance to chief court. T, Plan of terraces with wall
      and towers.]

It will be noticed that great disproportion exists between the length
of the various apartments and their breadth, none being more than
40 ft. wide; and it is probable that this was owing to structural
necessities, the Assyrian builders finding it impossible, with the
materials at their disposal, to cover wider spaces than this. The walls
of this palace vary from 5 to 15 ft. in thickness, and are composed of
sun-dried bricks, faced in the principal courts and state apartments
with slabs of alabaster or Mosul gypsum to a height of from 9 to 12 ft.,
above which kiln-burnt bricks were used. The alabaster slabs were
held together by iron, copper, or wooden cramps or plugs, and were
covered with sculptured pictures representing scenes of peace and war,
from which, as was the case with the Egyptian remains, we are able to
reconstruct for ourselves the daily life of the monarchs of those early
times. Above the alabaster slabs plastered decorations were used; in
some cases painted frescoes have been found, or mosaics formed with
enamelled bricks of various colours. In the out-buildings and the more
retired rooms of the palace, the alabaster slabs were omitted, and
plaster decorations used, from the ground upwards. The researches of
MM. Botta and Place have shown that colour was used with a lavishness
quite foreign to our notions, as the alabaster statues as well as the
plaster enrichments were coloured. M. Place says that in no case were
the plain bricks allowed to face the walls of an apartment, the joint
being always concealed either by colour or plaster: in fact, he remarks
that after a time, if he found walls standing showing the brickwork
joints, he invariably searched with success among the débris of the
chamber for remains of the sculptured decorations which had been used
to face the walls.

Not the least interesting of these discoveries was that of the drains
under the palace, portions of which were in very good preservation;
and all were vaulted, so that there can be no doubt whatever that the
Assyrians were acquainted with the use of the arch. This was further
proved by the discovery by M. Place of the great arched gates of the
city itself, with an archivolt of coloured enamelled bricks forming
various patterns, with a semicircular arch springing from plain jambs.
Extreme care was taken by the Assyrian builders in laying the
pavements to ensure their being perfectly level: first a layer of
kiln-burnt bricks was laid on the ordinary sun-dried bricks forming
the terrace; then came a layer of fine sand, upon which the bricks or
slabs of the pavement proper were laid, forming in many cases an
elegant pattern (see Fig. 33).

  [Illustration: FIG. 33.--PAVEMENT FROM KHOYUNJIK.]

Great difference of opinion exists as to the manner in which the
various apartments of the palace were lighted. M. Place suggests that
the rooms were all vaulted on the inside, and the spandrels filled in
with earth afterwards to form perfectly flat roofs, and he gives a
restoration of the building on such an arrangement; but if he is
correct, it is impossible to see how any light at all can have
penetrated into the interior of many of the apartments, and as these
apartments are decorated with a profusion of paintings it is very
difficult to believe that artificial light alone was used in them. M.
Place thinks, however, that in some cylindrical terra-cotta vessels
which he found he has hit upon a species of skylight which passed
completely through the vault over the rooms, and thus admitted the
light from above. This, however, can hardly be considered as settled
yet. Mr. Fergusson, on the other hand, suggests that the thick main
walls were carried to a height of about 18 or 19 ft., and that above
this were two rows of dwarf columns, one on the inner and the other on
the outer edge of the wall, these columns supporting a flat terrace
roof, and the walls thus forming galleries all round the apartments.
Then to cover the space occupied by the apartments themselves it is
necessary to assume the existence of rows of columns, the capitals of
which were at the same level as those of the dwarf columns on the
walls. Where one apartment is surrounded on all sides by others, the
roof over it may have been carried up to a higher level, forming a
sort of clerestory. This theory no doubt accounts for many things
which are very hard to explain otherwise, and derives very strong
support from the analogy of Persepolis, where slender stone columns
exist. Such columns of cedar wood would add enormously to the
magnificence and grandeur of the building; and if, as seems likely,
most of these Assyrian palaces were destroyed by fire, the absence of
the remains of columns offers no difficulty. On the other hand, in
many parts of the palace of Khorsabad no trace of fire remains, and
yet here no suggestion of detached columns can be found, and,
moreover, it is extremely difficult to arrange columns symmetrically
in the various apartments so that doorways are not interfered with.
There is also another difficulty, viz. that if the building called the
Harem at Khorsabad was built in this way, the apartments would have
been open to the view of any one ascending the lofty building called
the observatory. It is quite possible that further explorations may
tend to elucidate this difficult question of roofing, but at present
all that can be said is that none of the theories that have been put
forward is wholly satisfactory.

As no columns at all exist, we cannot say what capitals were employed,
but it is probable that those of Persepolis, which will be shortly
described, were copied from an earlier wooden form, which may have
been that used by the Assyrian builders. There is, however, capping
the terrace on which the temple was erected at Khorsabad, a good
example of an Assyrian cornice, which is very similar indeed to the
forms found in Egypt, and some of the sculptured bas-reliefs which
have been discovered depict rude copies of Assyrian buildings drawn by
the people themselves; and it is most interesting to notice that just
as we found in the Egyptian style the proto-Doric column, so in the
Assyrian we find the proto-Ionic (Figs. 34, 34a), and possibly also
the proto-Corinthian (Fig. 34b).

  [Illustration: FIG. 34.--PROTO-IONIC COLUMN.]



The third branch of West Asiatic architecture is the Persian, which
was developed after Cyrus had conquered the older monarchies, and
which attained its greatest magnificence under Darius and Xerxes. The
Persians were originally a brave and hardy race inhabiting the
mountainous region south of Media, which slopes down to the Persian
Gulf. Until the time of Cyrus, who was the founder of the great
kingdom of Persia, they inhabited small towns, had no architecture,
and were simple barbarians. But after Cyrus had vanquished the wealthy
and luxurious Assyrian monarchs, and his warriors had seen and
wondered at the opulence and splendour of the Assyrian palaces, it was
natural that his successors should strive to emulate for themselves
the display of their vassals. Therefore, having no indigenous style to
fall back upon, the artisans who were summoned to build the tomb of
the founder of the monarchy and the palaces of his successors, simply
copied the forms with which they were acquainted. Fortunately, the
sites for the new palaces were in a locality where building stone was
good and abundant, and the presence of this material had a modifying
effect upon the architecture.

  [Illustration: FIG. 35.--TOMB OF CYRUS.]

The best known of the remains which date as far back as the earlier
Persian dynasties is the so-called tomb of Cyrus at Pasargadæ, near
Murghab (Fig. 35). This may be looked upon as a model in white marble
of an old Chaldæan temple, such as the Birs-i-Nimrud. There are the
same platforms diminishing in area as the top is approached, and on
the topmost platform is a small cella or temple with a gabled stone
roof, which probably originally contained the sarcophagus. It is,
however, at Persepolis, the real capital of the later Persian kings,
whose grandeur and wealth were such that Alexander is said to have
found there treasure to the amount of thirty millions of pounds
sterling, that we find the most magnificent series of ruins. These
were carefully measured and drawn by Baron Texier in 1835, and his
work and that of MM. Flandrin and Coste are those from which the best
information on this subject can be obtained.


Persepolis is about 35 miles north-east of Shiraz, close to the main
highway to Ispahan, at the foot of the mountain range which bounds the
extensive plain of Nurdusht. The modern inhabitants of the district
call the ruins Takht-i-Jamshid (or the building of Jamshid), but the
inscriptions that have been deciphered prove that Darius and Xerxes
were the chief builders. Just as was the case with the Assyrian ruins,
these stand on an immense platform which rises perpendicularly from
the plain and abuts in the rear against the mountain range. Instead,
however, of this platform being raised artificially, it was cut out of
the rock, and levelled into a series of terraces, on which the
buildings were erected. The platform, whose length from north to south
is about 1582 ft., and breadth from east to west about 938 ft., is
approached from the plain by a magnificent double staircase of black
marble, of very easy rise, not more than 4 in. each step. Its general
height above the level of the plain was originally 34 ft. 9 in. The
retaining wall of the platform is not straight, but has in it 40
breaks or set-offs of unequal dimensions. At the top of the staircase
are the remains of a building with four columns in the centre and with
large portals both back and front, each of which is adorned with
gigantic bulls, strikingly resembling those found at Khorsabad. Those
in the front have no wings, but those in the rear have wings and human
heads. It has been suggested that these are the ruins of one of those
large covered gates frequently mentioned in the Bible, under the
shelter of which business was transacted, and which probably formed
the entrance to the whole range of courts and buildings. After passing
through this gateway and turning southwards, at a distance of 177 feet
from it, another terrace is reached, 9 ft. 2 in. higher than the first
one. This terrace also is approached by four flights of steps
profusely decorated with sculptured bas-reliefs, and on it are the
remains of the Chehil Minar, the grand hexastyle Hall of Xerxes,
which must have been one of the most magnificent buildings of ancient
times. This building is marked A on the general plan. It consisted of
a central court, containing thirty-six columns, the distance from
centre to centre of the outside columns being 142 ft. 8 in. This court
was surrounded by walls, of which nothing now remains but the jambs of
three of the doorways. On three sides of this court, to the north,
east and west, were porticoes of twelve columns each, precisely in a
line with those of the central court, the distance from centre to
centre of the columns being 28 ft. 6 in. These columns, both in their
proportions and shape, suggest an imitation of timber construction. On
the south the court was probably terminated by a wall, and Mr.
Fergusson suggests that the corners between the porticoes were filled
up with small chambers. The most striking feature of this hall or
palace must have been its loftiness, the height of the columns varying
from 63 ft. 8 in. to 64 feet from bottom of base to top of capital.
The shafts were slightly tapering and had 48 flutings, and were 4 ft.
6 in. in diameter in the upper part. The bases of the columns show
hardly any variations, and consist of a series of mouldings such as is
shown in Fig. 36; the lowest part of this moulded base is enriched
with leaves, and rests on a low circular plinth at the bottom: the
total height of the base averages 5 feet. The capitals show
considerable variations. Those of the east and west porticoes
represent the heads and fore part of the bodies of two bulls[5] placed
directly on the shaft back to back, with their forelegs doubled under
them, the feet resting on the shaft and the knees projecting; the
total height of these capitals is 7 ft. 4 in. Between the necks of the
bulls rested the wooden girder which supported the cross-bearers of
the roof. In the north portico and, so far as can be ascertained, in
the central court, the shaft of the column was much shorter, and
supported a fantastic elongated capital, consisting of a sort of
inverted cup, supporting an elegant shape much resembling the Egyptian
palm-leaf capital, above which, on all the four sides, are double
spirals resembling the ornaments of the Greek Ionic capital known as
volutes, but placed perpendicularly, and not, as in the Ionic capital,
horizontally. These volutes again may have supported double bulls,
which would make the total height of the columns the same as those of
the east and west porticoes. The doorways have cornices enriched with
leaves, similar to those found at Khorsabad, which have already been
noticed as bearing a decided resemblance to the Egyptian doorways.



On other terraces, slightly raised above the main platform, exist the
remains, in a more or less ruined condition, of numerous other courts
and halls, one of which has no less than one hundred columns to
support its roof, but the height of this building was much inferior to
that of the Chehil Minar. The existence of these columns leaves no
doubt that these buildings were covered with flat roofs; and that over
part of them was a raised talar or prayer-platform is rendered
probable from the introduction of such a feature into the sculptured
representation of a palace façade which forms the entrance to the
rock-tomb of Darius, which was cut out of the mountain at the back of
the terrace of Persepolis. The position of this tomb on the general
plan is marked B, and Fig. 37 is a view of the entrance, which was
probably intended as a copy of one of the halls. All the walls of the
palaces were profusely decorated with sculptured pictures, and various
indications occur which induce the belief that painting was used to
decorate those portions of the walls that were not faced with
sculptured slabs.

  [Illustration: FIG. 37.--THE ROCK-CUT TOMB OF DARIUS.]

The superior lightness and elegance of the Persepolitan ruins to those
of an earlier epoch will not fail to be noticed, but there is still a
certain amount of barbaric clumsiness discernible, and it is not till
we come to Greek architecture that we see how an innate genius for art
and beauty, such as was possessed by that people, could cull from
previous styles everything capable of being used with effect, and
discard or prune off all the unnecessary exuberances of those styles
which offend a critically artistic taste.



The floor-space of a great Assyrian or Medo-Persian building was laid
out on a plan quite distinct from that of an Egyptian temple; for the
rooms are almost always grouped round quadrangles. The buildings are
also placed on terraces, and no doubt would secure external as well as
internal effects, to which the imposing flights of stairs provided
would largely contribute. We find in Assyrian palaces, halls
comparatively narrow in proportion to their great length, but still so
wide that the roofing of them must have been a serious business, and
we find them arranged side by side, often three deep. In the Persian
buildings, halls nearly square on plan, and filled by a multitude of
columns, occur frequently. In the plan of detached buildings like the
Birs-i-Nimrud, we are reminded of the pyramids of Egypt, which no
doubt suggested the idea of pyramidal monuments to all subsequent
building peoples.


The magnificently worked granite and stones of Egypt give place to
brick for the material of the walls, with the result that a far larger
space could be covered with buildings by a given number of men in a
given time, but of course the structures were far more liable to
decay. Accordingly, sturdy as their walls are, we find them at the
present day reduced to mere shapeless mounds, but of prodigious


We can only judge of the roofs by inference, and it has already been
stated that a difference of opinion exists respecting them. It appears
most probable that a large proportion of the buildings must have been
roofed by throwing timber beams from wall to wall and forming a thick
platform of earth on them, and must have been lighted by some sort of
clerestory. At any rate the stone roofs of the Egyptians seem to have
been discarded, and with them the necessity for enormous columns and
piers placed very close together. In some bas-reliefs, buildings with
roofs of a domical shape are represented.


Doorways are the openings chiefly met with, and it is not often that
the superstructure, whether arch or lintel, remains, but it is clear
that in some instances, at least, openings were arched. Great
attention was paid to important doorways, and a large amount of
magnificent sculpture was employed to enrich them.


The columns most probably were of wood in Assyrian palaces. In some of
the Persian ones they were of marble, but of a proportion and
treatment which point to an imitation of forms suitable for wood. The
bases and capitals of these slender shafts are beautiful in
themselves, and very interesting as suggesting the source from which
some of the forms in Greek architecture were derived, and on the
bas-reliefs other architectural forms are represented which were
afterwards used by the Greeks.


Sculptured slabs, painted wall decorations, and terra-cotta
ornamentation were used as enrichments of the walls. These slabs,
which have become familiarly known through the attention roused by the
discoveries of Sir A. H. Layard and the specimens sent by him to the
British Museum, are objects of the deepest interest; so are the carved
bulls from gateways. In the smaller and more purely ornamental
decorations the honeysuckle, and other forms familiar to us from their
subsequent adoption by Greek artists, are met with constantly,
executed with great taste.

_Architectural Character._

A character of lavish and ornate magnificence is the quality most
strongly displayed by the architectural remains of Western Asia, and
could we have beheld any one of the monuments before it was reduced to
ruin, we should probably have seen this predominant to an extent of
which it is almost impossible now to form an adequate idea.


[4] In any such endeavour we should be met by the further difficulty,
that the writers of antiquity differ widely in the precise limits
which they give to the Assyrian Kingdom. Some make it include Babylon,
other writers say that it was bounded on the south by Babylon, and
altogether the greatest confusion exists in the accounts that have
come down to us.

[5] As a matter of fact there is a marked distinction between the
heads of the animals of the east and west porticoes: those of the west
are undoubtedly bulls, but those of the east are grotesque
mythological creatures somewhat resembling the fabled unicorn.




_Hindu Architecture._

Hindu architecture is not only unfamiliar but uncongenial to Western
tastes; and as it has exercised no direct influence upon the later
styles of Europe, it will be noticed in far less detail than the
magnitude and importance of many Indian buildings which have been
examined and measured during the last few years would otherwise claim,
although the exuberant wealth of ornament exhibited in these buildings
denotes an artistic genius of very high order, if somewhat uncultured
and barbaric. As by far the largest number of Hindu buildings are of a
date much later than the commencement of our era, a strict adherence
to chronological sequence would scarcely allow the introduction of
this style so early in the present volume; but we know that several
centuries before Christ powerful kingdoms and wealthy cities existed
in India; and as it seems clear also that in architecture and art, as
well as in manners and customs, hardly any change[6] has occurred
from remote antiquity, it appeared allowable, as well as convenient,
that the short description we have to offer should precede rather than
follow that of the classical styles properly so called. Here, as
always when we attempt to penetrate farther back than a certain date,
all is obscure and mythical. We find lists of kings and dynasties
going back thousands of years before our era, but nothing at all to
enable us to judge how much of this may be taken as solid fact. Mr.
Fergusson believes he has discovered in one date, viz. 3101 B.C., the
first Aryan settlement; but be this as it may, it is useless to look
for any architectural remains until after the death of Gotama Buddha
in 543 B.C.; in fact, it is very doubtful whether remains can be
authenticated until the reign of King Asoka (B.C. 272 to B.C. 236),
when Buddhism had spread over almost the whole of the country, where
it remained the predominant cult until Brahmanism again asserted its
supremacy in the 14th century A.D.

The earliest, or among the earliest, architectural remains are the
inscribed pillars called Lâts, which are found in numerous localities,
but have been almost always overthrown. Many of these were erected by
the above-named Asoka: they were ornamented with bands and mouldings
separating the inscriptions, and crowned by a sort of capital, which
was generally in the form of an animal. One very curious feature in
these pillars is the constant occurrence of a precise imitation of
the well-known honeysuckle ornament of the Greeks; this was probably
derived from the same source whence the Greeks obtained it, namely
Assyria. It is most probable that these pillars served to ornament the
approaches to some kind of sacred enclosure or temple, of which,
however, no remains have been found.

  [Illustration: FIG. 39.--DAGOBA FROM CEYLON.]

Extremely early in date are some of the tumuli or topes which exist in
large numbers in various parts of India. These are of two kinds,--the
topes or stupas proper, which were erected to commemorate some
striking event or to mark a sacred spot; and the dagobas, which were
built to cover the relics of Buddha himself or some Buddhist saint.
These topes consist of a slightly stilted hemispherical dome
surmounting a substructure, circular in plan, which forms a sort of
terrace, access to which is obtained by steps. The domical shape was,
however, external only, as on the inside the masonry was almost
solid, a few small cavities only being left for the protection of
various jewels, &c. The dome was probably surmounted by a pinnacle, as
shown in Fig. 39. In the neighbourhood of Bhilsa, in Central India,
there are a large number of these topes, of which the largest, that of
Sanchi, measures 121 ft. in diameter and 55 ft. in height; it was
erected by King Asoka.

Two kinds of edifices which are not tombs remain, the chaityas
(temples or halls of assembly) and viharas or monasteries, which were
generally attached to the chaityas. These erections were either
detached or cut in the rock, and it is only the rock-cut ones of which
remains exist of an earlier date than the commencement of the
Christian era. The earliest specimen of a rock-cut chaitya is in the
Nigope cave, near Behar, constructed about 200 B.C. This consists of
two compartments, an outer rectangular one 32 ft. 9 in. by 19 ft.
1 in., and an inner circular one 19 ft. in diameter. The Lomas Rishi
cave is of a slightly later date: both of these rock-cut temples
exhibit in every detail a reproduction of wooden forms. In the doorway
the stone piers slope inwards, just like raking wooden struts, and the
upper part represents the ends of longitudinal rafters supporting a
roof. Later on the builders emancipated themselves to a certain extent
from this servile adhesion to older forms, and Fig. 40 gives a plan
and section of a later chaitya at Karli, near Poona. This bears a
striking resemblance to a Christian basilica:[7] there is first the
forecourt; then a rectangular space divided by columns into nave and
aisles, and terminated by a semicircular apse. The nave is 25 ft.
7 in. wide, and the aisles 10 ft. each, the total length is 126 ft.
Fifteen columns separate the nave from the aisles, and these have
bases, octagonal shafts, and rich capitals. Round the apse the columns
are replaced by piers. The side aisles have flat roofs, and the
central nave a stilted semicircular one, practically a vault, which at
the apse becomes a semicircular dome, under which is the dagoba, the
symbol of Buddhism. The screen separating the forecourt from the
temple itself is richly ornamented with sculpture.

  [Illustration: FIG. 40.--CHAITYA NEAR POONA.]

The older viharas or monasteries were also cut in the rock (Figs. 41,
42), and were divided into cells or chambers; they were several
storeys in height, and it is probable that the cells were used by
devout Buddhists as habitations for the purposes of meditation.



Among the most remarkable, and in fact almost unique features of
Hindu Architecture are the so-called rails which form enclosures
sometimes round the topes and sometimes round sacred trees.
Occasionally they are found standing alone, though when this is the
case it is probably on account of the object which was the cause of
their erection having perished. They are built of stone, carved so as
to represent a succession of perpendicular and horizontal bands or
rails, separated by a sort of pierced panels. The carving is of the
most elaborate description, both human and animal forms being
depicted with great fidelity, and representations occur of various
forms of tree worship which have been of the greatest use in
elucidating the history of this phase of religious belief.
Occasionally the junctions of the rails are carved into a series of
discs, separated by elaborate scroll-work. These rails are
frequently of very large dimensions, that at Bharhut--which is one of
the most recently discovered--measuring 275 ft. in circumference,
with a height of 22 ft. 6 in. The date of these erections is
frequently very difficult to determine, but the chief authorities
generally concur in the opinion that none are found dating earlier
than about 250 B.C., nor later than 500 A.D., so that it is pretty
certain they must have been appropriated to some form of Buddhist

  [Illustration: FIG. 43.--VIMANA FROM MANASARA.]

All the buildings that we have mentioned were devoted to the worship
of Buddha, but the Jain schism, Brahmanism, and other cults had their
representative temples and buildings, a full description of which
would require a volume many times larger than the present one. Many of
the late detached buildings display rich ornamentation and elaborate
workmanship. They are generally of a pyramidal shape, several storeys
in height, covered with intricately cut mouldings and other fantastic

Columns are of all shapes and sizes, brackets frequently take the
place of capitals, and where capitals exist almost every variety of
fantastic form is found. It has been stated that no fixed laws govern
the plan or details of Indian buildings, but there exists an essay on
Indian Architecture by Ram Raz--himself a Hindoo--which tends to show
that such a statement is erroneous, as he quotes original works of
considerable antiquity which lay down stringent rules as to the
planning of buildings, their height, and the details of the columns.
It is probable that a more extended acquaintance with Hindu literature
will throw further light on these rules.

Of the various invasions which have occurred some have left traces in
the architecture of India. None of these are more interesting than
certain semi-Greek forms which are met with in the Northern Provinces,
and which without doubt are referable to the influence of the invasion
under Alexander the Great. A far more conspicuous and widespread
series of changes followed in the wake of the Mohammedan invasions. We
shall have an opportunity later on of recurring to this subject,[8]
but it is one to which attention should be called at this early stage,
lest it should be thought that a large and splendid part of Indian
architecture had been overlooked.

  [Illustration: FIG. 44.--BRACKET CAPITAL.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 45.--COLUMN FROM AJUNTA.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 46.--COLUMN FROM ELLORA.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 47.--COLUMN FROM AJUNTA.]

_Chinese and Japanese Architecture._

Although the Chinese have existed as a nation, continuously for
between two and three thousand years, if not longer, and at a very
early period had arrived at a high state of artistic and scientific
cultivation, yet none of their buildings with which we are acquainted
has any claim on our attention because of its antiquity. Several
reasons may be assigned for this, the principal being that the Chinese
seem to be as a race singularly unsusceptible to all emotions.
Although they reverence their dead ancestors, yet this reverence never
led them, as did that of the Egyptians, Etruscans, and other nations,
to a lavish expenditure of labour or materials, to render their tombs
almost as enduring as the everlasting hills. Though waves of religious
zeal must have flowed over the country when Confucius inculcated his
simple and practical morality and gained an influential following, and
again when Buddhism was introduced and speedily became the religion of
the greater portion of the people, their religious emotion never led
them, as it did the Greeks and the Mediæval builders, to erect grand
and lasting monuments of sacred art. When most of the Western nations
were still barbarians, the Chinese had attained a settled system of
government, and were acquainted with numerous scientific truths which
we have prided ourselves on rediscovering within the last two
centuries; but no thought ever seems to have occurred to them, as it
did to the Romans, of commemorating any event connected with their
life as a nation, or of handing down to posterity a record of their
great achievements. Peaceful and prosperous, they have pursued the
even tenor of their way at a high level of civilisation certainly, but
at a most monotonous one.

The Buddhist temples of China have a strong affinity to those of
India. The largest is that at Honan, the southern suburb of Canton.
This is 306 ft. long by 174 ft. wide, and consists of a series of
courts surrounded by colonnades and cells for the _bonzes_ or priests.
In the centre of the courtyard is a series of pavilions or temples
connected by passages, and devoted to the worship of the idols
contained in them. On each side of the main court, against the outer
wall, is another court, with buildings round it, consisting of kitchen
and refectories on the one side, and hospital wards on the other. It
is almost certain that this is a reproduction of the earlier forms of
chaityas and viharas which existed in India, and have been already
referred to. The temple of Honan is two storeys in height, the
building itself being of stone, but the colonnade surrounding it is of
wood on marble bases. On the second storey the columns are placed on
two sides only, and not all round. The columns have no capitals, but
have projecting brackets. The roof of each storey projects over the
columns, and has a curved section, which is, in fact, peculiar to
Chinese roofs, and it is enriched at the corners with carved beasts
and foliage. This is a very common form of temple throughout China.

The Taas or Pagodas are the buildings of China best known to
Europeans. These are nearly always octagonal in plan, and consist
generally of nine storeys, diminishing both in height and breadth as
they approach the top. Each storey has a cornice composed of a fillet
and large hollow moulding, supporting a roof which is turned up at
every corner and ornamented with leaves and bells. On the top of all
is a long pole, forming a sort of spire, surrounded by iron hoops, and
supported by eight chains attached to the summit and to each angle of
the roof of the topmost storey. The best known pagoda is that of
Nankin, which is 40 ft. in diameter at its base, and is faced inside
and outside with white glazed porcelain slabs keyed into the brick
core. The roof tiles are also of porcelain, in bands of green and
yellow, and at each angle is a moulding of larger tiles, red and green
alternately. The effect of the whole is wonderfully brilliant and
dazzling. Apart from the coloured porcelain, nearly every portion of a
Chinese temple or pagoda is painted, colour forming the chief means of
producing effect; but as nearly everything is constructed of wood,
there was and is no durability in these edifices.

  [Illustration: FIG. 48.--A SMALL PAGODA.]

In public works of utility, such as roads, canals--one of which is
nearly 700 miles in length--and boldly designed bridges, the Chinese
seem to have shown a more enlightened mind; and the Great Wall, which
was built to protect the northern boundary of the kingdom, about 200
B.C., is a wonderful example of engineering skill. This wall, which
varies from 15 to 30 ft. in height, is about 25 ft. thick at the base,
and slopes off to 20 ft. at the top. It is defended by bastions placed
at stated intervals, which are 40 ft. square at the base, and about
the same in height; the wall is carried altogether through a course of
about 1400 miles, following all the sinuosities of the ground over
which it passes. It is a most remarkable fact that a nation should
have existed 2000 years ago capable of originating and completing so
great a work; but it is still more remarkable that such a nation,
possessing moreover, as it does, a great faculty in decorative art
applied to small articles of use and fancy, should be still leading a
populous and prosperous existence, and yet should have so little to
show in the way of architecture, properly so termed, at the present

Japan, like China, possesses an architecture, but one exclusively of
wood; for although the use of stone for bridges, walls, &c., had been
general, all houses and temples were invariably built of wood until
the recent employment of foreigners led to the erection of brick and
stone buildings. The consequence has been that nearly all the old
temples have been burnt down and rebuilt several times; and though it
is probable that the older forms were adhered to when the buildings
were re-erected, it is only by inference that we can form an idea of
the ancient architecture of the country. The heavy curved roofs which
are so characteristic of Chinese buildings are found also in Japan,
but only in the Buddhist temples, and this makes it probable that this
form of roof is not of native origin, but was introduced with the
Buddhist cult. The earlier Shinto temples have a different form of
roof, which is without the upward curve, but which has nearly as much
projection at the eaves as the curved roofs. Where the buildings are
more than one storey in height the upper one is always set somewhat
back, as we saw was the case in the Chinese pagodas, and considerable
and pleasing variety is obtained by treating the two storeys
differently. Very great skill in carving is shown, all the posts,
brackets, beams, and projecting rafters being formed into elaborate
representations of animals and plants, or quaintly conceived
grotesques; and the flat surfaces have frequently a shallow incised
arabesque pattern intertwined with foliage. The roofs are always
covered with tiles, and a curious effect is produced by enriching the
hips and ridges with several courses of tiles in cement, thus making
them rise considerably above the other portions of the roof. A
peculiar feature of Japanese houses is that the walls, whether
external or internal, are not filled in with plaster, but are
constructed of movable screens which slide in grooves formed in the
framing of the partitions. Thus all the rooms can easily be thrown
together or laid open to the outer air in hot weather. All travellers
in Japan remark upon the impossibility of obtaining privacy in the
hotels in consequence of this.

The Shinto temples are approached through what might be termed an
archway, only that the arch does not enter into its composition. This
erection is called a Torii, and is thus described by Professor
Conder:[9]--"It is composed of two upright posts of great thickness,
each consisting of the whole trunk of a tree rounded, about 15 ft.
high, and placed 12 ft. apart. Across the top of these is placed a
wooden lintel, projecting considerably and curving upwards at the
ends. Some few feet below this another horizontal piece is tenoned
into the uprights, having a little post in the centre helping to
support the upper lintel." These erections occasionally occur in front
of a Buddhist temple, when they are built of stone, exactly imitating,
however, the wooden originals. This is interesting, as offering
another proof, were one needed, that the curious forms of masonry
exhibited in much of the work of the early nations, some of which has
been described, is the result of an imitation of earlier wooden forms.

The chief effect in the buildings of the Japanese is intended to be
produced by colour, which is profusely used; and they have attained to
a height of perfection in the preparation of varnishes and lacquers
that has never been equalled. Their lacquer is used all over their
buildings, besides forming their chief means of decorating small
objects. It is, however, beginning to be questioned whether the old
art of lacquering is not becoming lost by the Japanese themselves, as
the modern work appears by no means equal to the old. One curious form
of decoration, of which the Japanese are much enamoured, consists in
forming miniature representations of country scenes and landscapes;
waterfalls, bridges, &c., being reproduced on the most diminutive
scale. It is much to be feared that our small stock of knowledge of
ancient Japanese art will never be greatly increased, as the whole
country and the people are becoming modernised and Europeanised to
such an extent that it appears probable there will soon be little
indigenous art left in the country.

       *       *       *       *       *

It has not been thought necessary to append to this chapter analyses
of the Eastern styles similar to those which are given in the case of
the great divisions of Western Architecture. The notice of these
styles must unavoidably be condensed into very small space.


[6] It is not intended to imply that Hindustan has been without change
in her ruling dynasties. These have been continually changing; but the
remarkable fact is that, numerous as have been the nations that have
poured across the Indus attracted by "the wealth of Ind," there has
been no reflux, as it were: the various peoples, with their arts,
religions, and manners, have been swallowed up and assimilated,
leaving but here and there slight traces of their origin.

[7] See Chap. X. for an illustration of a Christian Basilica.

[8] See chapter on Saracenic Architecture.

[9] Paper communicated to the Royal Institute of Architects.




_Buildings of the Doric Order._

The architecture of Greece has a value far higher than that attaching
to any of the styles which preceded it, on account of the beauty of
the buildings and the astonishing refinement which the best of them
display. This architecture has a further claim on our attention, as
being virtually the parent of that of all the nations of Western
Europe. We cannot put a finger upon any features of Egyptian,
Assyrian, or Persian architecture, the influence of which has survived
to the present day, except such as were adopted by the Greeks. On the
other hand, there is no feature, no ornament, nor even any principle
of design which the Greek architects employed, that can be said to
have now become obsolete. Not only do we find direct reproductions of
Greek architecture forming part of the practice of every European
country, but we are able to trace to Greek art the parentage of many
of the forms and features of Roman, Byzantine, and Gothic
architecture, especially those connected with the column and which
grew out of its artistic use. Greek architecture did not include the
arch and all the forms allied to it, such as the vault and the dome;
and, so far as we know, the Greeks abstained from the use of the
tower. Examples of both these features were, it is almost certain, as
fully within the knowledge of the Greeks as were those features of
Egyptian, Assyrian, and Persian buildings which they employed;
consequently it is to deliberate selection that we must attribute this
exclusion. Within the limits by which they confined themselves, the
Greeks worked with such power, learning, taste, and skill that we may
fairly claim for their highest achievement--the Parthenon--that it
advanced as near to absolute perfection as any work of art ever has
been or ever can be carried.

Greek architecture seems to have begun to emerge from the stage of
archaic simplicity about the beginning of the sixth century before the
Christian era (600 B.C. is the reputed date of the old Doric Temple at
Corinth). All the finest examples were erected between that date and
the death of Alexander the Great (333 B.C.), after which period it
declined and ultimately gave place to Roman.

The domestic and palatial buildings of the Greeks have decayed or been
destroyed, leaving but few vestiges. We know their architecture
exclusively from ruins of public buildings, and to a limited extent of
sepulchral monuments remaining in Greece and in Greek colonies. By far
the most numerous and excellent among these buildings are temples. The
Greek idea of a temple was different from that entertained by the
Egyptians. The building was to a much greater extent designed for
external effect than internal. A comparatively small sacred cell was
provided for the reception of the image of the divinity, usually with
one other cell behind it, which seems to have served as treasury or
sacristy; but there were no surrounding chambers, gloomy halls, or
enclosed courtyards, like those of the Egyptian temples, visible only
to persons admitted within a jealously guarded outer wall. The temple,
it is true, often stood within some sort of precinct, but it was
accessible to all. It stood open to the sun and air; it invited the
admiration of the passer-by; its most telling features and best
sculpture were on the exterior. Whether this may have been, to some
extent, the case with Persian buildings, we have few means of knowing,
but certainly the attention paid by the Greeks to the outside of their
temples offers a striking contrast to the practice of the Egyptians,
and to what we know of that of the Assyrians.


The temple, however grand, was always of simple form, with a gable at
each end, and in this respect differed entirely from the series of
halls, courts, and chambers of which a great Egyptian temple
consisted. In the very smallest temple at least one of the gables was
made into a portico by the help of columns and two pilasters (Fig.
50). More important temples had a larger number of columns, and
often a portico at each end (Figs. 50a and 55). The most important
had columns on the flanks as well as at the front and rear, the
sacred cell being, in fact, surrounded by them. It will be apparent
from this that the column, together with the superstructure which
rested upon it, must have played a very important part in Greek
temple-architecture, and an inspection of any representations of
Greek buildings will at once confirm the impression.

  [Illustration: FIG. 50a.--PLAN OF A SMALL GREEK TEMPLE.]

We find in Greece three distinct manners, distinguished largely by the
mode in which the column is dealt with. These it would be quite
consistent to call "styles," were it not that another name has been so
thoroughly appropriated to them, that they would hardly now be
recognised were they to be spoken of as anything else than "orders."
The Greek orders are named the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Each of
them presents a different series of proportions, mouldings, features,
and ornaments, though the main forms of the buildings are the same in
all. The column and its entablature (the technical name for the
frieze, architrave, and cornice, forming the usual superstructure)
being the most prominent features in every such building, have come
to be regarded as the index or characteristic from an inspection of
which the order and the degree of its development can be recognised,
just as a botanist recognises plants by their flowers. By reproducing
the column and entablature, almost all the characteristics of either
of the orders can be copied; and hence a technical and somewhat
unfortunate use of the word "order" to signify these features only has
crept in, and has overshadowed and to a large extent displaced its
wider meaning. It is difficult in a book on architecture to avoid
employing the word "order" when we have to speak of a column and its
entablature, because it has so often been made use of in this sense.
The student must, however, always bear in mind that this is a
restricted and artificial sense of the word, and that the column
belonging to any order is always accompanied by the use throughout the
building of the appropriate proportions, ornaments, and mouldings
belonging to that order.

The origin of Greek architecture is a very interesting subject for
inquiry, but, owing to the disappearance of almost all very early
examples of the styles, it is necessarily obscure. Such information,
however, as we possess, taken together with the internal evidence
afforded by the features of the matured style, points to the influence
of Egypt, to that of Assyria and Persia, and to an early manner of
timber construction--the forms proper to which were retained in spite
of the abandonment of timber for marble--as all contributing to the
formation of Greek architecture.

In Asia Minor a series of monuments, many of them rock-cut, has been
discovered, which throw a curious light upon the early growth of
architecture. We refer to tombs found in Lycia, and attributed to
about the seventh century B.C. In these we obviously have the first
work in stone of a nation of ship builders. A Lycian tomb--such as the
one now to be seen, accurately restored, in the British
Museum--represents a structure of beams of wood framed together,
surmounted by a roof which closely resembles a boat turned upside
down. The planks, the beams to which they were secured, and even a
ridge similar to the keel of a vessel, all reappear here, showing that
the material in use for building was so universally timber, that when
the tomb was to be "graven in the rock for ever" the forms of a timber
structure were those that presented themselves to the imagination of
the sculptor. In other instances the resemblance to shipwrights' work
disappears, and that of a carpenter is followed by that of the mason.
Thus we find imitations of timber beams framed together and of
overhanging low-pitched roofs, in some cases carried on unsquared
rafters lying side by side, in several of these tombs.

What happened on the Asiatic shore of the Egean must have occurred on
the Greek shores, and though none of the very earliest specimens of
reproduction in stone of timber structures has come down to us, there
are abundant traces, as we shall presently see, of timber originals in
buildings of the Doric order. Timber originals were not, however, the
only sources from which the early inhabitants of Greece drew their

Constructions of extreme antiquity, and free from any appearance of
imitating structures of timber, mark the sites of the oldest cities of
Greece, Mycenæ and Orchomenos for example, the most ancient being
Pelasgic city walls of unwrought stone (Fig. 51). The so-called
Treasury of Atreus at Mycenæ, a circular underground chamber 48 ft.
6 in. in diameter, and with a pointed vault, is a well-known specimen
of more regular yet archaic building. Its vault is constructed of stones
corbelling over one another, and is not a true arch (Figs. 52, 52a).
The treatment of an ornamental column found here, and of the remains
of sculptured ornaments over a neighbouring gateway called the Gate of
the Lions, is of very Asiatic character, and seems to show that
whatever influences had been brought to bear on their design were







A wide interval of time and a great contrast in taste separate the
early works of Pelasgic masonry and even the chamber at Mycenæ from
even the rudest and most archaic of the remaining Hellenic works of
Greece. The Doric temple at Corinth is attributed, as has been stated,
to the seventh century B.C. This was a massive masonry structure with
extremely short, stumpy columns, and strong mouldings, but presenting
the main features of the Doric style, as we know it, in its earliest
and rudest form. Successive examples (Figs. 53 to 53b) show
increasing slenderness of proportions and refinement of treatment, and
are accompanied by sculpture which approaches nearer and nearer to
perfection; but in the later and best buildings, as in the earliest
and rudest, certain forms are retained for which it seems impossible
to account, except on the supposition that they are reproductions in
stone or marble of a timber construction. These occur in the
entablature, while the column is of a type which it is hard to believe
is not copied from originals in use in Egypt many centuries earlier,
and already described (chap. II.).

We will now proceed to examine a fully-developed Greek Doric temple of
the best period, and in doing so we shall be able to recognise the
forms referred to in the preceding paragraph as we come to them. The
most complete Greek Doric temple was the Parthenon, the work of the
architect Ictinus, the temple of the Virgin Goddess Athene (Minerva)
at Athens, and on many accounts this building will be the best to
select for our purpose.[10]


The Parthenon at Athens stood on the summit of a lofty rock, and
within an irregularly shaped enclosure, something like a cathedral
close; entered through a noble gateway.[11] The temple itself was of
perfectly regular plan, and stood quite free from dependencies of any
sort. It consisted of a cella, or sacred cell, in which stood the
statue of the goddess, with one chamber (the treasury) behind. In the
cella, and also in the chamber behind, there were columns. A series of
columns surrounded this building, and at either end was a portico,
eight columns wide, and two deep. There were two pediments, or gables,
of flat pitch, one at each end. The whole stood on a basement of
steps; the building, exclusive of the steps, being 228 ft. long by
101 ft. wide, and 64 ft. high. The columns were each 34 ft. 3 in. high,
and more than 6 ft. in diameter at the base; a portion of the shaft
and of the capital of one is in the British Museum, and a magnificent
reproduction, full size, of the column and its entablature may be seen
at the École des Beaux Arts, Paris. The ornaments consisted almost
exclusively of sculpture of the very finest quality, executed by or
under the superintendence of Pheidias. Of this sculpture many
specimens are now in the British Museum.

  [Illustration: FIG. 55.--PLAN OF THE PARTHENON AT ATHENS.]


The construction of this temple was of the most solid and durable
kind, marble being the material used; and the workmanship was most
careful in every part of which remains have come down to us. The roof
was, no doubt, made of timber and covered with marble tiles (Fig. 56),
carried on a timber framework, all traces of which have entirely
perished; and the mode in which it was constructed is a subject upon
which authorities differ, especially as to what provision was made
for the admission of light. The internal columns, found in other
temples as well as in the Parthenon, were no doubt employed to support
this roof, as is shown in Bötticher's restoration of the Temple at
Pæstum which we reproduce (Fig. 56a), though without pledging
ourselves to its accuracy; for, indeed, it seems probable that
something more or less like the clerestory of a Gothic church must
have been employed to admit light to these buildings, as we know was
the case in the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak. But this structure, if it
existed, has entirely disappeared.[12]



The order of the Parthenon was Doric, and the leading proportions were
as follows:--The column was 5·56 diameters high; the whole height,
including the stylobate or steps, might be divided into nine parts, of
which two go to the stylobate, six to the column, and one to the

  [Illustration: FIG. 58.--PLAN OF A GREEK DORIC COLUMN.]


The Greek Doric order is without a base; the shaft of the column
springs from the top step and tapers towards the top, the outline
being not, however, straight, but of a subtle curve, known technically
as the entasis of the column. This shaft is channelled with twenty
shallow channels,[13] the ridges separating one from another being
very fine lines. A little below the moulding of the capital, fine
sinkings, forming lines round the shaft, exist, and above these the
channels of the flutes are stopped by or near the commencement of the
projecting moulding of the capital. This moulding, which is of a
section calculated to convey the idea of powerful support, is called
the echinus, and its lower portion is encircled by a series of fillets
(Fig. 59), which are cut into it. Above the echinus, which is
circular, like the shaft, comes the highest member--the abacus, a
square stout slab of marble, which completes the capital of the
column. The whole is most skilfully designed to convey the idea of
sturdy support, and yet to clothe the support with grace. The strong
proportions of the shaft, the slight curve of its outline, the lines
traced upon its surface by the channels, and even the vigorous
uncompromising planting of it on the square step from which it
springs, all contribute to make the column look strong. The check
given to the vigorous upward lines of the channels on the shaft by the
first sinkings, and their arrest at the point where the capital
spreads out, intensified as it is by the series of horizontal lines
drawn round the echinus by the fillets cut into it, all seem to convey
the idea of spreading the supporting energy of the column outwards;
and the abacus appears naturally fitted, itself inert, to receive a
burden placed upon it and to transmit its pressure to the capital and
shaft below.




The entablature which formed the superstructure consisted first of a
square marble beam--the architrave, which, it may be assumed,
represents a square timber beam that occupied the same position in
the primitive structures. On this rests a second member called the
frieze, the prominent feature of which is a series of slightly
projecting features, known as triglyphs (three channels) (Fig. 63),
from the channels running down their face. These closely resemble, and
no doubt actually represent, the ends of massive timber beams, which
must have connected the colonnade to the wall of the cell in earlier
buildings. At the bottom of each is a row of small pendants, known as
guttæ, which closely resemble wooden pins, such as would be used to
keep a timber beam in place. The panels between the triglyphs are
usually as wide as they are high. They are termed metopes and
sculpture commonly occupies them. The third division of the
entablature, the cornice represents the overhanging eaves of the roof.

  [Illustration: FIG. 63.--DETAILS OF THE TRIGLYPH.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 64.--DETAILS OF THE MUTULES.]

The cornices employed in classic architecture may be almost invariably
subdivided into three parts: the supporting part, which is the
lowest,--the projecting part, which is the middle,--and the crowning
part, which is the highest division of the cornice. The supporting
part in a Greek Doric cornice is extremely small. There are no
mouldings, such as we shall find in almost every other cornice,
calculated to convey the idea of contributing to sustain the
projection of the cornice, but there are slabs of marble, called
mutules (Fig. 64), dropping towards the outer end, of which one is
placed over each triglyph and one between every two. These seem to
recall, by their shape, their position, and their slope alike, the
ends of the rafters of a timber roof; and their surface is covered
with small projections which resemble the heads of wooden pins,
similar to those already alluded to. The projecting part, in this as
in almost all cornices, is a plain upright face of some height, called
"the corona," and recalling probably a "facia" or flat narrow board
such as a carpenter of the present day would use in a similar
position, secured in the original structure to the ends of the rafters
and supporting the eaves. Lastly, the crowning part is, in the Greek
Doric, a single convex moulding, not very dissimilar in profile to the
ovolo of the capital, and forming what we commonly call an

At the ends of the building the two upper divisions of the
cornice--namely, the projecting corona and the crowning ovolo--are
made to follow the sloping line of the gable, a second corona being
also carried across horizontally in a manner which can be best
understood by inspecting a diagram of the corner of a Greek Doric
building (Fig. 57); and the triangular space thus formed was termed a
pediment, and was the position in which the finest of the sculpture
with which the building was enriched was placed.

In the Parthenon a continuous band of sculpture ran round the exterior
of the cell, near the top of the wall.

One other feature was employed in Greek temple-architecture. The
_anta_ was a square pillar or pier of masonry attached to the wall,
and corresponded very closely to our pilaster; but its capital always
differed from that of the columns in the neighbourhood of which it was
employed. The antæ of the Greek Doric order, as employed in the
Parthenon, have a moulded base, which it will be remembered is not the
case with the column, and their capital has for its principal feature
an under-cut moulding, known as the bird's beak, quite dissimilar from
the ovolo of the capital of the column (Fig. 65). Sometimes the
portico of a temple consisted of the side walls prolonged, and ending
in two antæ, with two or more columns standing between them. Such a
portico is said to be in antis.


The Parthenon presents examples of the most extraordinary refinements
in order to correct optical illusions. The delicacy and subtlety of
these are extreme, but there can be no manner of doubt that they
existed. The best known correction is the diminution in diameter or
taper, and the _entasis_ or convex curve of the tapered outline of the
shaft of the column. Without the taper, which is perceptible enough in
the order of this building, and much more marked in the order of
earlier buildings, the columns would look top-heavy; but the entasis
is an additional optical correction to prevent their outline from
appearing hollowed, which it would have done had there been no curve.
The columns of the Parthenon have shafts that are over 34 ft. high,
and diminish from a diameter of 6·15 ft. at the bottom to 4·81 ft. at
the top. The outline between these points is convex, but so slightly
so that the curve departs at the point of greatest curvature not more
than ¾ in. from the straight line joining the top and bottom. This
is, however, just sufficient to correct the tendency to look hollow in
the middle.

A second correction is intended to overcome the apparent tendency of a
building to spread outwards towards the top. This is met by inclining
the columns slightly inwards. So slight, however, is the inclination,
that were the axes of two columns on opposite sides of the Parthenon
continued upwards till they met, the meeting-point would be 1952
yards, or, in other words, more than one mile from the ground.

Another optical correction is applied to the horizontal lines. In
order to overcome a tendency which exists in all long lines to seem as
though they droop in the middle, the lines of the architrave, of the
top step, and of other horizontal features of the building, are all
slightly curved. The difference between the outline of the top step of
the Parthenon and a straight line joining its two ends is at the
greatest only just over 2 inches.

The last correction which it is necessary to name here was applied to
the vertical proportions of the building. The principles upon which
this correction rests have been demonstrated by Mr. John
Pennethorne;[14] and it would hardly come within the scope of this
volume to attempt to state them here: suffice it to say, that small
additions, amounting in the entire height of the order to less than 5
inches, were made to the heights of the various members of the order,
with a view to secure that from one definite point of view the effect
of foreshortening should be exactly compensated, and so the building
should appear to the spectator to be perfectly proportioned.

The Parthenon, like many, if not all Greek buildings, was profusely
decorated with coloured ornaments, of which nearly every trace has now
disappeared, but which must have contributed largely to the splendid
beauty of the building as a whole, and must have emphasised and set
off its parts. The ornaments known as Doric frets were largely
employed. They consist of patterns made entirely of straight lines
interlacing, and, while preserving the severity which is
characteristic of the style, they permit of the introduction of
considerable richness.

The principal remaining examples or fragments of Greek Doric may be
enumerated as follows:--


  Temple of (?) Athena, at Corinth, ab. 650 B.C.
  Temple of (?) Zeus, in the island of Ægina, ab. 550 B.C.
  Temple of Theseus (Theseum), at Athens, 465 B.C.
  Temple of Athena (Parthenon), on the Acropolis at Athens, fin. 438 B.C.
  The Propylæa, on the Acropolis at Athens, 436-431 B.C.
  Temple of Zeus at Olympia.
  Temple of Apollo Epicurius, at Bassæ,[15] in Arcadia (designed by
  Temple of Apollo Epicurius, at Phigaleia, in Arcadia (built by
  Temple of Athena, on the rock of Sunium, in Attica.
  Temple of Nemesis, at Rhamnus, in Attica.
  Temple of Demeter (Ceres), at Eleusis, in Attica.


  Temple of (?) Zeus, at Agrigentum, in Sicily (begun B.C. 480).
  Temple at Ægesta (or Segesta), in Sicily.
  Temple of (?) Zeus, at Selinus, in Sicily (? ab. 410 B.C.).
  Temple of (?) Athena, at Syracuse, in Sicily.
  Temple of Poseidon, at Pæstum, in South of Italy (? ab. 550 B.C.).


[10] See Frontispiece and Figs. 54 and 55.

[11] The Propylæa.

[12] Mr. Fergusson's investigations, soon, it is understood, to be
published in a complete form, clearly show that the clerestory and
roof can be restored with the greatest probability.

[13] In a few instances a smaller number is found.

[14] 'Geometry and Optics of Ancient Architecture.'

[15] ? Exterior Doric--Interior Ionic.

  [Illustration: FIG. 66.--PALMETTE AND HONEYSUCKLE.]



_Buildings of the Ionic and Corinthian Orders._

The Doric was the order in which the full strength and the complete
refinement of the artistic character of the Greeks were most
completely shown. There was a great deal of the spirit of severe
dignity proper to Egyptian art in its aspect; but other nationalities
contributed to the formation of the many-sided Greek nature, and we
must look to some other country than Egypt for the spirit which
inspired the Ionic order. This seems to have been brought into Greece
by a distinct race, and shows marks of an Asiatic origin. The feature
which is most distinctive is the one most distinctly Eastern--the
capital of the column, ornamented always by volutes, _i.e._ scrolls,
which bear a close resemblance to features similarly employed in the
columns found at Persepolis. The same resemblance can be also detected
in the moulded bases, and even the shafts of the columns, and in many
of the ornaments employed throughout the buildings.



  [Illustration: FIG. 69.--IONIC CAPITAL. SIDE ELEVATION.]

In form and disposition an ordinary Ionic temple was similar to one of
the Doric order, but the general proportions are more slender, and the
mouldings of the order are more numerous and more profusely enriched.
The column in the Ionic order had a base, often elaborately and
sometimes singularly moulded (Figs. 74, 75). The shaft (Figs. 67, 70)
is of more slender proportions than the Doric shaft. It was fluted,
but its channels are more numerous, and are separated from one another
by broader fillets than in the Doric. The distinctive feature, as in
all the orders, is the capital (Figs. 68, 69), which is recognised at
a glance by the two remarkable ornaments already alluded to as like
scrolls, and known as volutes. These generally formed the faces of a
pair of cushion-shaped features, which could be seen in a side view of
the capital; but sometimes volutes stand in a diagonal position, and
in almost every building they differ slightly. The abacus is less deep
than in the Greek Doric, and it is always moulded at the edge, which
was never the case with the Doric abacus. The entablature (Fig. 70)
is, generally speaking, richer than that of the Doric order. The
architrave, for example, has three facias instead of being plain. On
the other hand, the frieze has no triglyphs, and but rarely sculpture.
There are more members in the cornice, several mouldings being
combined to fortify the supporting portion. These have sometimes been
termed "the bed mouldings," and among them occurs one which is almost
typical of the order, and is termed a dentil band. This moulding
presents the appearance of a plain square band of stone, in which a
series of cuts had been made dividing it into blocks somewhat
resembling teeth, whence the name. Such an ornament is more naturally
constructed in wood than in stone or marble, but if the real
derivation of the Ionic order, as of the Doric, be in fact from timber
structures, the dentil band is apparently the only feature in which
that origin can now be traced. The crowning member of the cornice is a
partly hollow moulding, technically called a "cyma recta," less
vigorous than the convex ovolo, of the Doric: this moulding, and some
of the bed mouldings, were commonly enriched with carving. Altogether
more slenderness and less vigour, more carved enrichment and less
painted decoration, more reliance on architectural ornament and
less on the work of the sculptor, appear to distinguish those examples
of Greek Ionic which have come down to us, as compared with Doric




The most numerous examples of the Ionic order of which remains exist
are found in Asia Minor, but the most refined and complete is the
Erechtheium at Athens (Figs. 72, 73), a composite structure containing
three temples built in juxtaposition, but differing from one another
in scale, levels, dimensions, and treatment. The principal order from
the Erechtheium (Fig. 71) shows a large amount of enrichment
introduced with the most refined and severe taste. Specially
remarkable are the ornaments (borrowed from the Assyrian honeysuckle)
which encircle the upper part of the shaft at the point where it
passes into the capital, and the splendid spirals of the volutes
(Figs. 68, 69). The bases of the columns in the Erechtheium example
are models of elegance and beauty. Those of some of the examples from
Asia Minor are overloaded with a vast number of mouldings, by no
means always producing a pleasing effect (Figs. 74, 75). Some of them
bear a close resemblance to the bases of the columns at Persepolis.

  [Illustration: FIG. 73.--PLAN OF THE ERECHTHEIUM.]



The most famous Greek building which was erected in the Ionic style
was the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. This temple has been all but
totally destroyed, and the very site of it had been for centuries lost
and unknown till the energy and sagacity of an English architect (Mr.
Wood) enabled him to discover and dig out the vestiges of the
building. Fortunately sufficient traces of the foundation have
remained to render it possible to recover the plan of the temple
completely; and the discovery of fragments of the order, together with
representations on ancient coins and a description by Pliny, have
rendered it possible to make a restoration on paper, of the general
appearance of this famous temple, which must be very nearly, if not
absolutely, correct.

The walls of this temple enclosed, as usual, a cella (in which was the
statue of the goddess), with apparently a treasury behind it: they
were entirely surrounded by a double series of columns, with a
pediment at each end. The exterior of the building, including these
columns, was about twice the width of the cella. The whole structure,
which was of marble, was planted on a spacious platform with steps.
The account of Pliny refers to thirty-six columns, which he describes
as "_columnæ celatæ_" (sculptured columns), adding that one was by
Scopas, a very celebrated artist. The fortunate discovery by Mr. Wood
of a few fragments of these columns shows that the lower part of the
shaft immediately above the base was enriched by a group of
figures--about life-size--carved in the boldest relief and encircling
the column. One of these groups has been brought to the British
Museum, and its beauty and vigour enable the imagination partly to
restore this splendid feature, which certainly was one of the most
sumptuous modes of decorating a building by the aid of sculpture which
has ever been attempted; and the effect must have been rich beyond

It is worth remark that the Erechtheium, which has been already
referred to, contains an example of a different, and perhaps a not
less remarkable, mode of combining sculpture with architecture. In one
of its three porticoes (Fig. 72) the columns are replaced by standing
female figures, known as caryatidæ, and the entablature rests on their
heads. This device has frequently been repeated in ancient and in
modern architecture, but, except in some comparatively obscure
examples, the sculptured columns of Ephesus do not appear to have been

Another famous Greek work of art, the remains of which have been, like
the Temple of Diana, disinterred by the energy and skill of a learned
Englishman, belonged to the Ionic order. To Mr. Newton we owe the
recovery of the site, and considerable fragments of the architectural
features, of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the ancient
wonders of the world. The general outline of this monument must have
resembled other Greek tombs which have been preserved, such, for
example, as the Lion Tomb at Cnidus; that is to say, the plan was
square: there was a basement, above this an order, and above that a
steep pyramidal roof rising in steps, not carried to a point, but
stopping short to form a platform, on which was placed a quadriga (or
four-horsed chariot). This building is known to have been richly
sculptured, and many fragments of great beauty have been recovered.
Indeed it was probably its elaboration, as well as its very unusual
height (for the Greek buildings were seldom lofty), which led to its
being so celebrated.



The Corinthian order, the last to make its appearance, was almost as
much Roman as Greek, and is hardly found in any of the great temples
of the best period of which remains exist in Greece, though we hear of
its use. For example, Pausanias states that the Corinthian order was
employed in the interior of the Temple of Athena Alea at Tegea, built
by Scopas, to which a date shortly after the year 394 B.C. is
assigned. The examples which we possess are comparatively small works,
and in them the order resembles the Ionic, but with the important
exceptions that the capital of the column is quite different, that the
proportions are altogether a little slenderer, and that the
enrichments are somewhat more florid.


The capital of the Greek Corinthian order, as seen in the Choragic
Monument of Lysicrates at Athens (Fig. 78)--a comparatively miniature
example, but the most perfect we have--is a work of art of marvellous
beauty (Fig. 77). It retains a feature resembling the Ionic volute,
but reduced to a very small size, set obliquely and appearing to
spring from the sides of a kind of long bell-shaped termination to the
column. This bell is clothed with foliage, symmetrically arranged and
much of it studied, but in a conventional manner, from the graceful
foliage of the acanthus; between the two small volutes appears an
Assyrian honeysuckle, and tendrils of honeysuckle, conventionally
treated, occupy part of the upper portion of the capital. The abacus
is moulded, and is curved on plan, and the base of the capital is
marked by a very unusual turning-down of the flutes of the columns.
The entire structure to which this belonged is a model of elegance,
and the large sculptured mass of leaves and tendrils with which it is
crowned is especially noteworthy.


A somewhat simpler Corinthian capital, and another of very rich
design, are found in the Temple of Apollo Didymæus at Miletus, where
also a very elegant capital for the antæ--or pilasters--is employed
(Figs. 79, 81). A more ornamental design for a capital could hardly be
adopted than that of the Lysicrates example, but there was room for
more elaboration in the entablature, and accordingly large
richly-sculptured brackets seem to have been introduced, and a
profusion of ornament was employed. The examples of this treatment
which remain are, however, of Roman origin rather than Greek.


The Greek cities must have included structures of great beauty and
adapted to many purposes, of which in most cases few traces, if any,
have been preserved. We have no remains of a Greek palace, or of Greek
dwelling-houses, although those at Pompeii were probably erected and
decorated by Greek artificers, for Roman occupation. The agora of a
Greek city, which was a place of public assembly something like the
Roman Forum, is known to us only by descriptions in ancient writers,
but we possess some remains of Greek theatres; and from these, aided
by Roman examples and written descriptions, can understand what these
buildings were. The auditory was curved in plan, occupying rather more
than a semicircle; the seats rose in tiers one behind another; a
circular space was reserved for the chorus in the centre of the seats,
and behind it was a raised stage, bounded by a wall forming its back
and sides: a rough notion of the arrangement can be obtained from the
lecture theatre of many modern colleges, and our illustration (Fig.
80) gives a general idea of what must have been the appearance of one
of these structures. Much of the detail of these buildings is,
however, a matter of pure speculation, and consequently does not enter
into the scheme of this manual.

  [Illustration: FIG. 81.--CAPITAL OF ANTÆ FROM MILETUS.]




The _Plan_ or floor-disposition of a Greek building was always simple
however great its extent, was well judged for effect, and capable of
being understood at once. The grandest results were obtained by simple
means, and all confusion, uncertainty, or complication were
scrupulously avoided. Refined precision, order, symmetry, and
exactness mark the plan as well as every part of the work.

The plan of a Greek temple may be said to present many of the same
elements as that of an Egyptian temple, but, so to speak, turned
inside out. Columns are relied on by the Greek artist, as they were by
the Egyptian artist, as a means of giving effect; but they are placed
by him outside the building instead of within its courts and halls.
The Greek, starting with a comparatively small nucleus formed by the
cell and the treasury, encircles them by a magnificent girdle of
pillars, and so makes a grand structure, the first hint or suggestion
being in all probability to be found in certain small Egyptian
buildings to which reference has already been made. The disposition of
these columns and of the great range of steps, or stylobate, is the
most marked feature in Greek temple plans. Columns also existed, it is
true, in the interior of the building, but these were of smaller size,
and seem to have been introduced to aid in carrying the roof and the
clerestory, if there was one. They have in several instances
disappeared, and there is certainly no ground for supposing that in
any Greek interior the grand but oppressive effect of a hypostyle hall
was attempted to be reproduced. That was abandoned, together with the
complication, seclusion, and gloom of the long series of chambers,
cells, &c., placed one behind another, just as the contrasts and
surprises of the series of courts and halls following in succession
were abandoned for the one simple but grand mass built to be seen from
without rather than from within. In the greater number of Greek
buildings a degree of precision is exhibited, to which the Egyptians
did not attain. All right angles are absolutely true; the setting-out
(or spacing) of the different columns, piers, openings, &c., is
perfectly exact; and, in the Parthenon, the patient investigations of
Mr. Penrose and other skilled observers have disclosed a degree of
accuracy as well as refinement which resembles the precision with
which astronomical instruments are adjusted in Europe at the present
day, rather than the rough-and-ready measurements of a modern mason or

What the plans of Greek palaces might have exhibited, did any remains
exist, is merely matter for inference and conjecture, and it is not
proposed in this volume to pass far beyond ascertained and observed
facts. There can be, however, little doubt that the palaces of the
West Asiatic style must have at least contributed suggestions as to
internal disposition of the later and more magnificent Greek mansions.
The ordinary dwelling-houses of citizens, as described by ancient
writers, resembled those now visible in the disinterred cities of
Pompeii and Herculaneum, which will be referred to under Roman
Architecture.[16] The chief characteristic of the plan of these is
that they retain the disposition which in the temples was discarded;
that is to say, all the doors and windows looked into an inner court,
and the house was as far as possible secluded within an encircling
wall. The contrast between the openness of the public life led by the
men in Greek cities, and the seclusion of the women and the families
when at home, is remarkably illustrated by this difference between the
public and private buildings.

The plan of the triple building called the Erechtheium (Fig. 72)
deserves special mention, as an example of an exceptional arrangement
which appears to set the ordinary laws of symmetry at defiance, and
which is calculated to produce a result into which the picturesque
enters at least as much as the beautiful. Though the central temple is
symmetrical, the two attached porticoes are not so, and do not, in
position, dimensions, or treatment, balance one another. The result is
a charming group, and we cannot doubt that other examples of freedom
of planning would have been found, had more remains of the
architecture of the great cities of Greece come down to our own day.

In public buildings other than temples--such as the theatre, the
agora, and the basilica--the Greek architects seem to have had great
scope for their genius; the planning of the theatres shows skilful and
thoroughly complete provisions to meet the requirements of the case. A
circular disposition was here introduced--not, it is true, for the
first time, since it is rendered probable by the representations on
sculptured slabs that some circular buildings existed in Assyria, and
circular buildings remain in the archaic works at Mycenæ; but it was
now elaborated with remarkable completeness, beauty, and mastery over
all the difficulties involved. Could we see the great theatre of
Athens as it was when perfect, we should probably find that as an
interior it was almost unrivalled, alike for convenience and for
beauty; and for these excellences it was mainly indebted to the
elegance of its planning. The actual floor of many of the Greek
temples appears to have been of marble of different colours.

_The Walls._

The construction of the walls of the Greek temples rivalled that of
the Egyptians in accuracy and beauty of workmanship, and resembled
them in the use of solid materials. The Greeks had within reach
quarries of marble, the most beautiful material which nature has
provided for the use of the builder; and great fineness of surface and
high finish were attained. Some interesting examples of hollow walling
occur in the construction of the Parthenon. The wall was not an
element of the building on which the Greek architect seemed to dwell
with pleasure; much of it is almost invariably overshadowed by the
lines of columns which form the main features of the building.

The pediment (or gable) of a temple is a grand development of the
walls, and perhaps the most striking of the additions which the Greeks
made to the resources of the architect. It offers a fine field for
sculpture, and adds real and apparent height beyond anything that the
Egyptians ever attempted since the days of the Pyramid-builders; and
it has remained in constant use to the present hour.

We do not hear of towers being attached to buildings, and, although
such monumental structures as the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
approached the proportions of a tower, height does not seem to have
commended itself to the mind of the Greek architect as necessary to
the buildings which he designed. It was reserved for Roman and
Christian art to introduce this element of architectural effect in all
its power. On the other hand, the Greek, like the Persian architect,
emphasised the base of his building in a remarkable manner, not only
by base mouldings, but by planting the whole structure on a great
range of steps which formed an essential part of the composition.

_The Roof._

The construction of the roofs of Greek temples has been the subject of
much debate. It is almost certain that they were in some way so made
as to admit light. They were framed of timber and covered by tiles,
often, if not always, of marble. Although all traces of the timber
framing have disappeared, we can at least know that the pitch was not
steep, by the slope of the outline of the pediments, which formed, as
has already been said, perhaps the chief glory of a Greek temple. The
flat stone roofs sometimes used by the Egyptians, and necessitating
the placing of columns or other supports close together, seem to have
become disused, with the exception that where a temple was surrounded
by a range of columns the space between the main wall and the columns
was so covered.

The vaulted stone roofs of the archaic buildings, of which the
treasury of Atreus (Figs. 52, 52a) was the type, do not seem to have
prevailed in a later period, or, so far as we know, to have been
succeeded by any similar covering or vault of a more scientific

It is hardly necessary to add that the Greek theatres were not roofed.
The Romans shaded the spectators in their theatres and amphitheatres
by means of a velarium or awning, but it is extremely doubtful whether
even this expedient was in use in Greek theatres.

_The Openings._

The most important characteristic of the openings in Greek buildings
is that they were flat-topped,--covered by a lintel of stone or
marble,--and never arched. We have already[17] shown that this
circumstance is really of the first importance as determining the
architectural character of buildings. Doors and window openings were
often a little narrower at the top than the bottom, and were marked by
a band of mouldings, known as the architrave, on the face of the wall,
and, so to speak, framing in the opening. There was often also a small
cornice over each (Figs. 82, 83). Openings were seldom advanced into
prominence or employed as features in the exterior of a building; in
fact, the same effects which windows produce in other styles were in
Greek buildings created by the interspaces between the columns.

_The Columns._

These features, together with the superstructure or entablature, which
they customarily carried, were the prominent parts of Greek
architecture, occupying as they did the entire height of the building.
The development of the orders (which we have explained to be really
decorative systems, each of which involved the use of one sort of
column, though the term is constantly understood as meaning merely the
column and entablature) is a very interesting subject, and illustrates
the acuteness with which the Greeks selected from those models which
were accessible to them, exactly what was suited to their purpose, and
the skill with which they altered and refined, and almost redesigned,
everything which they so selected.



During the whole period when Greek art was being developed, the
ancient and polished civilisation of Egypt constituted a most
powerful and most stable influence, always present,--always,
comparatively speaking, within reach,--and always the same. Of all the
forms of column and capital existing in Egypt, the Greeks, however,
only selected that straight-sided fluted type of which the Beni-Hassan
example is the best known, but by no means the only instance. We first
meet with these fluted columns at Corinth, of very sturdy proportions,
and having a wide, swelling, clumsy moulding under the abacus by way
of a capital. By degrees the proportions of the shaft grew more
slender, and the profile of the capital more elegant and less bold,
till the perfected perfections of the Greek Doric column were
attained. This column is the original to which all columns with
moulded capitals that have been used in architecture, from the age of
Pericles to our own, may be directly or indirectly referred; while the
Egyptian types which the Greeks did not select--such, for example, as
the lotus-columns at Karnak--have never been perpetuated.

A different temper or taste, and partly a different history, led to
the selection of the West Asiatic types of column by a section of the
Greek people; but great alterations in proportion, in the treatment of
the capital, and in the management of the moulded base from which the
columns sprang, were made, even in the orders which occur in the Ionic
buildings of Asia Minor. This was carried further when the Ionic order
was made use of in Athens herself, and as a result the Attic base and
the perfected Ionic capital are to be found at their best in the
Erechtheium example. The Ionic order and the Corinthian, which soon
followed it, are the parents,--not, it is true, of all, but of the
greater part of the columns with foliated capitals that have been used
in all styles and periods of architecture since. It will not be
forgotten that rude types of both orders are found represented on
Assyrian bas-reliefs, but still the Corinthian capital and order must
be considered as the natural and, so to speak, inevitable development
of the Ionic. From the Corinthian capital an unbroken series of
foliated capitals can be traced down to our own day; almost the only
new ornamented type ever devised since being that which takes its
origin in the Romanesque block capital, known to us in England as the
early Norman cushion capital: this was certainly the parent of a
distinct series, though even these owe not a little to Greek

We have alluded to the Ionic base. It was derived from a very tall one
in use at Persepolis, and we meet with it first in the rich but clumsy
forms of the bases in the Asia Minor examples. In them we find the
height of the feature as used in Persia compressed, while great, and
to our eyes eccentric, elaboration marked the mouldings: these the
refinement of Attic taste afterwards simplified, till the profile of
the well-known Attic base was produced--a base which has had as wide
and lasting an influence as either of the original forms of capital.

The Corinthian order, as has been above remarked, is the natural
sequel of the Ionic. Had Greek architecture continued till it fell
into decadence, this order would have been the badge of it. As it was,
the decadence of Greek art was Roman art, and the Corinthian order was
the favourite order of the Romans; in fact all the important examples
of it which remain are Roman work.

If we remember how invariably use was made of one or other of the two
great types of the Greek order in all the buildings of the best Greek
time, with the addition towards its close of the Corinthian order, and
that these orders, a little more subdivided and a good deal modified,
have formed the substratum of Roman architecture and of that in use
during the last three centuries; and if we also bear in mind that
nearly all the columnar architecture of Early Christian, Byzantine,
Saracenic, and Gothic times, owes its forms to the same great source,
we may well admit that the invention and perfecting of the orders of
Greek architecture has been--with one exception--the most important
event in the architectural history of the world. That exception is, of
course, the introduction of the Arch.

_The Ornaments._

Greek Ornaments have exerted the same wide influence over the whole
course of Western art as Greek columns; and in their origin they are
equally interesting as specimens of Greek skill in adapting existing
types, and of Greek invention where no existing types would serve.

Few of the mouldings of Greek architecture are to be traced to
anterior styles. There is nothing like them in Egyptian work, and
little or nothing in Assyrian; and though a suggestion of some of them
may no doubt be found in Persian examples, we must take them as having
been substantially originated by Greek genius, which felt that they
were wanted, designed them, and brought them far towards absolute
perfection. They were of the most refined form, and when enriched were
carved with consummate skill. They were executed, it must be
remembered, in white marble,--a material having the finest surface,
and capable of responding to the most delicate variations in contour
by corresponding changes in shade or light in a manner and to a degree
which no other material can equal. In the Doric, mouldings were few,
and almost always convex; they became much more numerous in the later
styles, and then included many of concave profile. The chief are the
OVOLO, which formed the curved part of the Doric capital, and the
crowning moulding of the Doric cornice; the CYMA; the BIRD'S BEAK,
employed in the capitals of the antæ; the FILLETS under the Doric
capital; the hollows and TORUS mouldings of the Ionic and Corinthian

The profiles of these mouldings were very rarely segments of circles,
but lines of varying curvature, capable of producing the most delicate
changes of light and shade, and contours of the most subtle grace.
Many of them correspond to conic sections, but it seems probable that
the outlines were drawn by hand, and not obtained by any mechanical or
mathematical method.

The mouldings were some of them enriched, to use the technical word,
by having such ornaments cut into them or carved on them as, though
simple in form, lent themselves well to repetition.[18] Where more
room for ornament existed, and especially in the capitals of the Ionic
and Corinthian orders, ornaments were freely and most gracefully
carved, and very symmetrically arranged. Though these were very
various, yet most of them can be classed under three heads. (1.) FRETS
(Figs. 116 to 120). These were patterns made up of squares or L-shaped
lines interlaced and made to seem intricate, though originally simple.
Frequently these patterns are called Doric frets, from their having
been most used in buildings of the Doric order. (2.) HONEYSUCKLE
(Figs. 94 and 111 to 114). This ornament, admirably conventionalised,
had been used freely by the Assyrians, and the Greeks only adopted
what they found ready to their hand when they began to use it; but
they refined it, at the same time losing no whit of its vigour or
effectiveness, and the honeysuckle has come to be known as a typical
Greek decorative _motif_. (3.) ACANTHUS (Figs. 84 and 85). This is a
broad-leaved plant, the foliage and stems of which, treated in a
conventional manner, though with but little departure from nature,
were found admirably adapted for floral decorative work, and
accordingly were made use of in the foliage of the Corinthian capital,
and in such ornaments as, for example, the great finial which forms
the summit of the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates.

  [Illustration: FIG. 84.--THE ACANTHUS LEAF AND STALK.]

The beauty of the carving was, however, eclipsed by that highest of
all ornaments--sculpture. In the Doric temples, as, for example, in
the Parthenon, the architect contented himself with providing suitable
spaces for the sculptor to occupy; and thus the great pediments, the
metopes (Fig. 86) or square panels, and the frieze of the Parthenon
were occupied by sculpture, in which there was no necessity for more
conventionalism than the amount of artificial arrangement needed in
order fitly to occupy spaces that were respectively triangular,
square, or continuous. In the later and more voluptuous style of the
Ionic temples we find sculpture made into an architectural feature, as
in the famous statues, known as the Caryatides, which support the
smallest portico of the Erechtheium, and in the enriched columns of
the Temple of Diana at Ephesus. Sculpture had already been so employed
in Egypt, and was often so used in later times; but the best
opportunity for the display of the finest qualities of the sculptor's
art is such an one as the pediments, &c., of the great Doric temples

  [Illustration: FIG. 85.--THE ACANTHUS LEAF.]

There is little room for doubting that all the Greek temples were
richly decorated in colours, but traces and indications are all that
remain: these, however, are sufficient to prove that a very large
amount of colour was employed, and that probably ornaments (Figs. 105
to 120) were painted upon many of those surfaces which were left plain
by the mason, especially on the cornices, and that mosaics (Fig. 87)
and coloured marbles, and even gilding, were freely used. There is
also ground for believing that as the use of carved enrichments
increased with the increasing adoption of the Ionic and Corinthian
styles, less use was made of painted decorations.

_Architectural Character._

Observations which have been made during the course of this and the
previous chapters will have gone far to point out the characteristics
of Greek art. An archaic and almost forbidding severity, with heavy
proportions and more strength than grace, marks the earliest Greek
buildings of which we have any fragments remaining. Dignity, sobriety,
refinement, and beauty are the qualities of the works of the best
period. The latest buildings were more rich, more ornate, and more
slender in their proportions and to a certain extent less severe.



Most carefully studied proportions prevailed, and were wrought out to
a pitch of completeness and refinement which is truly astounding.
Symmetry was the all but invariable law of composition. Yet in certain
respects--as, for example, the spacing and position of the columns--a
degree of freedom was enjoyed which Roman architecture did not
possess. Repetition ruled to the almost entire suppression of variety.
Disclosure of the arrangement and construction of the building was
almost complete, and hardly a trace of concealment can be detected.
Simplicity reigns in the earliest examples; the elaboration of even
the most ornamental is very chaste and graceful; and the whole effect
of Greek architecture is one of harmony, unity, and refined power.





A general principle seldom pointed out which governs the application
of enrichments to mouldings in Greek architecture may be cited as a
good instance of the subtle yet admirable concord which existed
between the different features: it is as follows. _The outline of each
enrichment in relief was ordinarily described by the same line as the
profile of the moulding to which it was applied._ The egg enrichment
(Fig. 91) on the ovolo, the water-leaf on the cyma reversa (Figs. 92
and 97), the honeysuckle on the cyma recta (Fig. 94), and the
guilloche (Fig. 100) on the torus, are examples of the application of
this rule,--one which obviously tends to produce harmony.



      FIG. 91.--EGG AND DART.

      FIG. 92.--LEAF AND DART.

      FIG. 93.--HONEYSUCKLE.

      FIG. 94.--HONEYSUCKLE.

      FIG. 95.--ACANTHUS.

      FIG. 96.--ACANTHUS.

      FIG. 97.--LEAF AND TONGUE.

      FIG. 98.--LEAF AND TONGUE.

      FIG. 99.--GARLAND.

      FIG. 100.--GUILLOCHE.

      FIG. 101.--BEAD AND FILLET.

      FIG. 102.--BEAD AND FILLET.

      FIG. 103.--TORUS MOULDING.

      FIG. 104.--TORUS MOULDING.]


      FIG. 105.--HONEYSUCKLE.


      FIG. 106.

      FIG. 107.--HONEYSUCKLE.

      FIG. 108.

      FIG. 109.--LEAF AND DART.

      FIG. 110.--EGG AND DART.


      FIG. 111.

      FIG. 112.

      FIG. 113.


      FIG. 114.

      FIG. 115.--GUILLOCHE.

      FIGS. 116 TO 120.--EXAMPLES OF THE FRET.

      FIG. 116.

      FIG. 117.

      FIG. 118.

      FIG. 119.

      FIG. 120.]


[16] See Chap. IX.

[17] Chap. I.

[18] For a statement of the general rule governing such enrichments,
see page 133.




_Historical and General Sketch._

The few grains of truth that we are able to sift from the mass of
legend which has accumulated round the early history of Rome seem to
indicate that at a very early period--which the generally received
date of 753 B.C. may be taken to fix as nearly as is now possible--a
small band of outcasts and marauders settled themselves on the
Palatine Hill and commenced to carry on depredations against the
various cities of the tribes whose territories were in the immediate
neighbourhood, such as the Umbrians, Sabines, Samnites, Latins, and
Etruscans. A walled city was built, which from its admirable situation
succeeded in attracting inhabitants in considerable numbers, and
speedily began to exercise supremacy over its neighbours. The most
important of the neighbouring nations were the Etruscans, who called
themselves Rasena, and who must have settled on the west coast of
Italy, between the rivers Arno and Tiber, at a very early period.
Their origin is, however, very obscure, some authorities believing,
upon apparently good grounds, that they came from Asia Minor, while
others assert that they descended from the north over the Rhætian
Alps. But whatever that origin may have been, they had at the time of
the founding of Rome as a city attained a high degree of civilisation,
and showed a considerable amount of architectural skill; and their
arts exercised a very great influence upon Roman art.

Considerable remains of the city walls of several Etruscan towns still
exist. These show that the masonry was of what has been termed a
Cyclopean character,--that is to say, the separate stones were of an
enormous size; in the majority of examples these stones were of a
polygonal shape, though in a few instances they were rectangular,
while in all cases they were fitted together with the most consummate
accuracy of workmanship, which, together with their great massiveness,
has enabled much of this masonry to endure to the present day.
Cortona, Volterra, Fiesole, and other towns exhibit instances of this
walling. The temples, palaces, or dwelling-houses which went to make
up the cities so fortified have all disappeared, and the only existing
structural remains of Etruscan buildings are tombs. These are found in
large numbers, and consist--as in the earlier instances which have
already been described--both of rock-cut and detached erections. Of
the former, the best known group is at Castel d'Asso, where we find
not only chambers cut into the rock, each resembling an ordinary room
with an entrance in the face of the rock, but also monuments cut
completely out and standing clear all round; and we cannot fail to
detect in the forms into which the rock has been cut, especially those
of the roof, imitations of wooden buildings, heavy square piers being
left at intervals supporting longitudinal beams which hold up the
roof. Fig. 122 is an illustration of the interior of a chamber in the
rock. Occasionally there were a cornice and pediment over the

  [Illustration: FIG. 122.--SEPULCHRE AT CORNETO.]

The other class of tombs are circular tumuli, similar to the Pelasgic
tombs of Asia Minor; of these large numbers exist, but not
sufficiently uninjured to enable us to restore them completely. They
generally consisted of a substructure of stone, upon which was raised
a conical elevation. In the case of the Regulini Galeassi tomb there
were an inner and an outer tumulus, the latter of which covered
several small tombs, while the inner enclosed one only, which had
fortunately never been opened till it was lately discovered. This tomb
was vaulted on the horizontal system--that is to say, its vault was
not a true arch, but was formed of courses of masonry, each
overhanging the one below, as in the Treasury of Atreus, and it had a
curious recess in the roof, in which were found numerous interesting
examples of Etruscan pottery. It is, however, clear from the city
gates, sewers, aqueducts, &c., that the Etruscans were acquainted with
and extensively used the true radiating arch composed of wedge-shaped
stones (voussoirs), and that they constructed it with great care and
scientific skill. The gate at Perugia, and the Cloacæ or Sewers at
Rome, constructed during the reign of the Tarquins,[19] at the
beginning of the sixth century B.C., are examples of the true arch,
and this makes it certain that it was from the Etruscans that the
Romans learned the arched construction which, when combined with the
trabeated or lintel mode of construction which they copied from the
Greeks, formed the chief characteristic of Roman architecture. The
Cloaca Maxima (Fig. 123), which is roofed over with three concentric
semicircular rings of large stones, still exists in many places with
not a stone displaced, as a proof of the skill of these early
builders. There are remains of an aqueduct at Tusculum which are
interesting from the fact of the horizontal being combined with the
true arch in its construction.

  [Illustration: FIG. 123.--CLOACA MAXIMA.]

No Etruscan temples remain now, but we know from Vitruvius that they
consisted of three cells with one or more rows of columns in front,
the intercolumniation or interval between the columns being excessive.
The largest Etruscan temple of which any record remains was that of
Jupiter Capitolinus at Rome, which, under the Empire, became one of
the most splendid temples of antiquity. It was commenced by Tarquinius
Superbus, and is said to have derived its name from the fact of the
builders, when excavating the foundations, coming upon a freshly
bleeding head (_caput_), indicating that the place would eventually
become the chief city of the world. Another form of Etruscan temple is
described by Vitruvius, consisting of one circular cell only, with a
porch. This form was probably the origin of the series of circular
Roman buildings which includes such forms of temples as that at
Tivoli, and many of the famous mausolea, _e.g._ that of Hadrian, and
the culmination of which style is seen in the Pantheon. It is
interesting to notice that the Romans never entirely gave up the
circular form, one instance of its use in Britain at a late period of
the Roman occupation having been discovered in the ruins of Silchester
near Basingstoke; and we shall find that it was perpetuated in
Christian baptisteries, tombs, and occasionally churches.

We know from the traces of such buildings which exist, that the
Etruscans must have constructed theatres and amphitheatres, and it is
recorded that the first Tarquin laid out the Circus Maximus and
instituted the great games held there. At Sutri there are ruins of an
amphitheatre which is nearly a perfect circle, measuring 265 ft. in
its greatest breadth and 295 ft. in length.

There are no remains of other buildings which would enable us to form
an opinion as to the civic architecture of the Etruscans: they must,
however, have attained to a considerable skill in sculpture, as in
some of the tombs figures are represented in high relief which show no
small power of expression. They, too, like the Egyptians, embellished
their tombs with mural paintings. These are generally in outline, and
represent human figures and animals in scenes of every-day life, with
conventionalised foliage, or mythological scenes such as the passage
of the soul after death to the judgment-seat where its actions in life
are to be adjudicated upon. In the plastic arts the Etruscans made
great progress, many of their vases showing a delicacy and grace which
have never been surpassed, and exhibiting in their decorations traces
of both Greek and Egyptian influence.

       *       *       *       *       *

We now reach the last of the classical styles of antiquity, the
Roman,--a style which, however, is rather an adaptation or
amalgamation of other styles than an original and independent creation
or development. The contrast is very great between the "lively
Grecian," imaginative and idealistic in the highest degree--who seemed
to have an innate genius for art and beauty, and who was always eager
to perpetuate in marble his ideal conception of the "hero from whose
loins he sprung," or to immortalise with some splendid work of art the
name of his mother-city--and the stern, practical Roman, realistic in
his every pore, eager for conquest, and whose one dominant idea was to
bring under his sway all the nations who were brought into contact
with him, and to make his city--as had been foretold--the capital of
the whole world. With this idea always before him, it is no wonder
that such a typical Roman as M. Porcius Cato should look with disdain
upon the fine arts in all their forms, and should regard a love for
the beautiful, whether in literature or art, as synonymous with
effeminacy. Mummius, also, who destroyed Corinth, is said to have been
so little aware of the value of the artistic treasures which he
carried away, as to stipulate with the carriers who undertook to
transport them to Rome, that if any of the works of art were lost they
should be replaced by others of equal value.

When the most prominent statesmen displayed such indifference, it is
not surprising that for nearly 500 years no single trace of any
architectural building of any merit at all in Rome can now be
discovered, and that history is silent as to the existence of any
monuments worthy of being mentioned. Works of public utility of a
very extensive nature were indeed carried out during this period;
such, for example, as the Appian Way from Rome to Capua, which was the
first paved road in Rome, and was constructed by the Censor Appius
Claudius in B.C. 309. This was 14 ft. wide and 3 ft. thick, in three
layers: 1st, of rough stones grouted together; 2nd, of gravel; and
3rd, of squared stones of various dimensions. The same Censor also
brought water from Præneste to Rome by a subterranean channel 11 miles
long. Several bridges were also erected, and Cato the Censor is said
to have built a basilica.

Until about 150 B.C. all the buildings of Rome were constructed either
of brick or the local stone; and though we hear nothing of
architecture as a fine art, we cannot hesitate to admit that during
this period the Romans carried the art of construction, and especially
that of employing materials of small dimensions and readily
obtainable, in buildings of great size, to a remarkable pitch of
perfection. It was not till after the fall of Carthage and the
destruction of Corinth, when Greece became a Roman province under the
name of Achaia--both which events occurred in the year 146 B.C.--that
Rome became desirous of emulating, to a certain extent, the older
civilisation which she had destroyed; and about this time she became
so enormously wealthy that vast sums of money were expended, both
publicly and privately, in the erection of monuments, many of which
remain to the present day, more or less altered. The first marble
temple in Rome was built by the Consul Q. Metellus Macedonicus, who
died B.C. 115. Roman architecture from this period began to show a
wonderful diversity in the objects to which it was directed,--a
circumstance perhaps as interesting as its great scientific and
structural advance upon all preceding styles. In the earlier styles
temples, tombs, and palaces were the only buildings deemed worthy of
architectural treatment; but under the Romans baths, theatres,
amphitheatres, basilicas, aqueducts, triumphal arches, &c., were
carried out just as elaborately as the temples of the gods.

It was under the Emperors that the full magnificence of Roman
architectural display was reached. The famous boast of Augustus, that
he found Rome of brick and left her of marble, gives expression in a
few words to what was the great feature of his reign. Succeeding
emperors lavished vast sums on buildings and public works of all
kinds; and thus it comes to pass that though the most destructive of
all agencies, hostile invasions, conflagrations, and long periods of
neglect, have each in turn done their utmost to destroy the vestiges
of Imperial Rome, there still remain fragments, and in one or two
instances whole monuments, enough to make Rome, after Athens, the
richest store of classic architectural antiquities in the world.

But it was not in Rome only that great buildings were erected. The
whole known civilised world was under Roman dominion, and wherever a
centre of government or even a flourishing town existed there sprang
up the residences of the dominant race, and their places of business,
public worship, and public amusement. Consequently, we find in our own
country, and in France, Spain, Germany, Italy, North Africa, and
Egypt--in short, in all the countries where Roman rule was
established--examples of temples, amphitheatres, theatres, triumphal
arches, and dwelling-houses, some of them of great interest and
occasionally in admirable preservation.


[19] The story of the Tarquins probably points to a period when the
chief supremacy at Rome was in the hands of an Etruscan family, and is
interesting for this reason.

  [Illustration: FIG. 124.--"INCANTADA" IN SALONICA.]



The temples in Rome were not, as in Greece and Egypt, the structures
upon which the architect lavished all the resources of his art and his
science. The general form of them was copied from that made use of by
the Greeks, but the spirit in which the original idea was carried out
was entirely different. In a word, the temples of Rome were by no
means worthy of her size and position as the metropolis of the world,
and very few remains of them exist.


Ten columns are still standing of the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina
(now the church of San Lorenzo in Miranda): it occupied the site of a
previous temple and was dedicated by Antoninus Pius to his wife
Faustina. The Temple (supposed) of Fortuna Virilis, in the Ionic style
(Fig. 125), still exists as the church of Santa Maria Egiziaca: this
was tetrastyle, with half-columns all round it, and this was of the
kind called by Vitruvius "pseudo-peripteral." A few fragmentary
remains of other temples exist in Rome, but in some of the Roman
provinces far finer specimens of temples remain, of which perhaps the
best is the Maison Carrée at Nîmes (Fig. 126). Here we find the Roman
plan of a single cell and a deep portico in front, while the sides and
rear have the columns attached. The intercolumniations and the details
of the capitals and entablature are, however, almost pure Greek. The
date of this temple is uncertain, but it is most probable that it was
erected during the reign of Hadrian. The same emperor is said to have
completed the magnificent Temple of Jupiter Olympius at Athens, which
was 354 ft. long by 171 ft. wide. It consisted of a cell flanked on
each side by a double row of detached columns; in front was one row of
columns in antis, and three other rows in front of these, while there
were also three rows in the rear: as the columns were of the
Corinthian order, and nearly 60 ft. in height, it may be imagined that
it was a splendid edifice.


The ruins of another magnificent provincial Roman temple exist at
Baalbek--the ancient Heliopolis--in Syria, not far from Damascus. This
building was erected during the time of the Antonines, probably by
Antoninus Pius himself, and originally it must have been of very
extensive dimensions, the portico alone being 180 ft. long and about
37 ft. deep. This gives access to a small hexagonal court, on the
western side of which a triple gateway opens into the Great Court,
which is a vast quadrangle about 450 ft. long by 400 ft. broad, with
ranges of small chambers or niches on three sides, some of which
evidently had at one time beautifully groined roofs. At the western
end of this court, on an artificial elevation, stand the remains of
what is called the Great Temple. This was originally 290 ft. long by
160 ft. wide, and had 54 columns supporting its roof, six only of
which now remain erect. The height of these columns, including base
and capital, is 75 ft., and their diameter is 7 ft. at base and about
6 ft. 6 in. at top; they are of the Corinthian order, and above them
rises an elaborately moulded entablature, 14 ft. in height. Each of
the columns is composed of three stones only, secured by strong iron
cramps; and indeed one of the most striking features of this group of
buildings is the colossal size of the stones used in their
construction. The quarries from which these stones were hewn are close
at hand, and in them is one stone surpassing all the others in
magnitude, its dimensions being 68 ft. by 14 ft. 2 in. by 13 ft.
11 in. It is difficult to imagine what means can have existed for
transporting so huge a mass, the weight of which has been calculated
at 1100 tons.


      AT TIVOLI.]

Other smaller temples exist in the vicinity, all of which are lavishly
decorated, but on the whole the ornamentation shows an exuberance of
detail which somewhat offends a critical artistic taste.


Circular temples were an elegant variety, which seems to have been
originated by the Romans, and of which two well-known examples
remain--the Temples of Vesta at Rome and at Tivoli. The columns of the
temple at Tivoli (Fig. 128) form a well-known and pleasing variety of
the Corinthian order, and the circular form of the building as shown
on the plan (Fig. 127) gives excellent opportunities for good
decorative treatment, as may be judged of by the enlarged diagram of
part of the peristyle (Fig. 129).


Among the most remarkable of the public buildings of Roman times, both
in the mother-city and in the provinces, were the Basilicas or Halls
of Justice, which were also used as commercial exchanges. It is also
believed that Basilicas existed in some Greek cities, but no clue to
their structural arrangements exists, and whence originated the idea
of the plan of these buildings we are unable to state; their striking
similarity to some of the rock-cut halls or temples of India has been
already pointed out. They were generally (though not always) covered
halls, oblong in shape, divided into three or five aisles by two or
more rows of columns, the centre aisle being much wider than those at
the sides: over the latter, galleries were frequently erected. At one
end was a semicircular recess or apse, the floor of which was raised
considerably above the level of the rest of the building, and here the
presiding magistrate sat to hear causes tried. Four[20] of these
buildings are mentioned by ancient writers as having existed in
republican times, viz. the Basilica Portia, erected in B.C. 184, by
Cato the Censor; the Basilica Emilia et Fulvia, erected in B.C. 179 by
the censors M. Fulvius Nobilior and M. Æmilius Lepidus, and afterwards
enlarged and called the Basilica Paulli; the Basilica Sempronia,
erected in B.C. 169 by Tib. Sempronius Gracchus; and the Basilica
Julia, erected by Julius Cæsar, B.C. 46. All these buildings had
wooden roofs, and were of no great architectural merit, and they
perished at a remote date. Under the Empire, basilicas of much greater
size and magnificence were erected; and remains of that of Trajan,
otherwise called the Basilica Ulpia, have been excavated in the Forum
of Trajan. This was about 360 ft. long by 180 ft. wide, had four rows
of columns inside, and it supposed to have been covered by a
semicircular wooden roof. Apollodorus of Damascus was the architect of
this building. Another basilica of which remains exist is that of
Maxentius, which after his overthrow by Constantine in A.D. 312, was
known as the Basilica Constantiniana. This structure was of stone, and
had a vaulted roof; it was 195 ft. between the walls, and was divided
into three aisles by piers with enormous columns standing in front of


One provincial basilica, that at Trèves, still stands; and although it
must have been considerably altered, it is by far the best existing
example of this kind of building. The internal columns do not exist
here, and it is simply a rectangular hall about 175 ft. by 85 ft.,
with the usual semicircular apse.

The chief interest attaching to these basilicas lies in the fact that
they formed the first places of Christian assembly, and that they
served as the model upon which the first Christian churches were

_Theatres and Amphitheatres._

Although dramas and other plays were performed in Rome as early as 240
B.C., there seems to have been a strong prejudice against permanent
buildings for their representation, as it is recorded that a decree
was passed in B.C. 154 forbidding the construction of such buildings.
Mummius, the conqueror of Corinth, obtained permission to erect a
wooden theatre for the performance of dramas as one of the shows of
his triumph, and after this many buildings of the kind were erected,
but all of a temporary nature; and it was not till B.C. 61 that the
first permanent theatre was built by Pompey. This, and the theatres of
Balbus and Marcellus, appear to have been the only permanent theatres
that were erected in Imperial Rome; and there are no remains of any
but the last of these, and this is much altered. So that, were it not
for the remains of theatres found at Pompeii, it would be almost
impossible to tell how they were arranged; but from these we can see
that the stage was raised and separated from the part appropriated to
the spectators by a semicircular area, much like that which in Greek
theatres was allotted to the chorus: in the Roman ones this was
assigned for the use of the senators. The portion devoted to the
spectators--called the Cavea--was also semicircular on plan, and
consisted of tiers of steps rising one above the other, and divided at
intervals by wide passages and converging staircases communicating
with the porticoes, which ran round the whole theatre at every story.

  [Illustration: FIG. 131.--PLAN OF THE COLOSSEUM, ROME.]

At Orange, in the South of France, are the remains of a very fine
theatre, similar in plan to that described. The great wall which
formed the back of the scene in this building is still standing, and
is one of the most magnificent pieces of masonry existing.


Although the Romans were not particularly addicted to dramatic
representations, yet they were passionately fond of shows and games of
all kinds: hence, not only in Rome itself, but in almost every Roman
settlement, from Silchester to Verona, are found traces of their
amphitheatres, and the mother-city can claim the possession of the
most stupendous fabric of the kind that was ever erected--the
Colosseum or Flavian Amphitheatre, which was commenced by Vespasian
and finished by his son Titus. An amphitheatre is really a double
theatre without a stage, and with the space in the centre unoccupied
by seats. This space, which was sunk several feet below the first row
of seats, was called the arena, and was appropriated to the various
exhibitions which took place in the building. The plan was elliptical
or oval, and this shape seems to have been universal.

The Colosseum, whose ruins still remain to attest its pristine

    "Arches on arches, as it were that Rome,
    Collecting the chief trophies of her line,
    Would build up all her triumphs in one dome"[21]--

was 620 ft. long and 513 wide, and the height was about 162 ft. It was
situated in the hollow between the Esquiline and Cælian hills. The
ranges of seats were admirably planned so as to enable all the
audience to have a view of what was going on in the arena, and great
skill was shown both in the arrangement of the approaches to the
different tiers and in the structural means for supporting the seats,
and double corridors ran completely round the building on each floor,
affording ready means of exit. Various estimates have been made of the
number of spectators that could be accommodated, and these range from
50,000 to 100,000, but probably 80,000 was the maximum. Recent
excavations have brought to light the communications which existed
between the arena and the dens where the wild animals and human slaves
and prisoners were confined, and some of the water channels used when
mimic sea-fights were exhibited. The external façade is composed of
four stories, separated by entablatures that run completely round the
building without a break. The three lower stories consist of a series
of semicircular arched openings, eighty in number, separated by piers
with attached columns in front of them, the Doric order being used in
the lowest story, the Ionic in the second, and the Corinthian in the
third; the piers and columns are elevated on stylobates; the
entablatures have a comparatively slight projection, and there are no
projecting keystones in the arches. In the lowest range these openings
are 13 ft. 4 in. wide, except the four which are at the ends of the
two axes of the ellipse, and these are 14 ft. 6 in. wide. The diameter
of the columns is 2 ft. 8¾ in. The topmost story, which is
considerably more lofty than either of the lower ones, was a nearly
solid wall enriched by Corinthian pilasters. In this story occur two
tiers of small square openings in the alternate spaces between the
pilasters. These openings are placed accurately over the centres of
the arches of the lower stories. Immediately above the higher range of
square openings are a series of corbels--three between each pair of
pilasters--which probably received the ends of the poles carrying the
huge awning which protected the spectators from the sun's rays. The
whole is surmounted by a heavy cornice, in which, at intervals
immediately over each corbel, are worked square mortise holes, forming
sockets through which the poles of the awning passed. The stone of
which the façade of the Colosseum is built is a local stone, called
travertine, the blocks of which are secured by iron cramps without
cement. Nearly all the internal portion of the building is of brick,
and the floors of the corridors, &c., are paved with flat bricks
covered with hard stucco. These amphitheatres were occasionally the
scene of imitations of marine conflicts, when the arena was flooded
with water and mimic vessels of war engaged each other. Very complete
arrangements were made, by means of small aqueducts, for leading the
water into the arena and for carrying it off.

Apart from theatrical representations and gladiatorial combats, the
Romans had an inordinate passion for chariot races. For those the
circi were constructed, of which class of buildings the Circus Maximus
was the largest. This, originally laid out by Tarquinius Priscus, was
reconstructed on a larger scale by Julius Cæsar. It was circular at
one end and rectangular at the other, at which was the entrance. On
both sides of the entrance were a number of small arched chambers,
called _carceres_, from which the chariots started. The course was
divided down the centre by a low wall, called the _spina_, which was
adorned with various sculptures. The seats rose in a series of covered
porticoes all round the course, except at the entrance. As the length
of the Circus Maximus was nearly 700 yards, and the breadth about 135
yards, it is possible that Dionysius may not have formed an
exaggerated notion of its capacity when he says it would accommodate
150,000 spectators.

In the Roman provinces amphitheatres were often erected; and at Pola
in Istria, Verona in Italy, and Nîmes and Arles in France, fine
examples remain. A rude Roman amphitheatre, with seats cut in the turf
of a hill-side, exists to this day at the old town of Dorchester in
Dorset, which was anciently a Roman settlement.

_Baths (Thermæ)._

Nothing can give us a more impressive idea of the grandeur and lavish
display of Imperial Rome than the remains of the huge Thermæ, or
bathing establishments, which still exist. Between the years 10 A.D.,
when Agrippa built the first public baths, and 324 A.D., when those
of Constantine were erected, no less than twelve of these vast
establishments were erected by various emperors, and bequeathed to the
people. Of the whole number, the baths of Caracalla and of Diocletian
are the only ones which remain in any state of preservation, and these
were probably the most extensive and magnificent of all. All these
splendid buildings were really nothing more than bribes to secure the
favour of the populace; for it seems quite clear that the public had
practically free entrance to them, the only charge mentioned by
writers of the time being a quadrans, about a farthing of our money.
Gibbon says, "The meanest Roman could purchase with a small copper
coin the daily enjoyment of a scene of pomp and luxury which might
excite the envy of the kings of Asia." And this language is not
exaggerated. Not only were there private bath-rooms, swimming-baths,
hot baths, vapour-baths, and, in fact, all the appurtenances of the
most approved Turkish baths of modern times, but there were also
gymnasia, halls for various games, lecture-halls, libraries, and
theatres in connection with the baths, all lavishly ornamented with
the finest paintings and sculpture that could be obtained. Stone seems
to have been but sparingly used in the construction of these
buildings, which were almost entirely of brick faced with stucco: this
served as the ground for an elaborate series of fresco paintings.


The baths of Caracalla, at the foot of the Aventine hill, erected A.D.
217, comprised a quadrangular block of buildings of about 1150 ft.
(about the fifth of a mile) each way. The side facing the street
consisted of a portico the whole length of the façade, behind which
were numerous ranges of private bath-rooms. The side and rear blocks
contained numerous halls and porticoes, the precise object of which
it is now very difficult to ascertain. As Byron says:

    "Temples, baths, or halls?
      Pronounce who can."

This belt of buildings surrounded an open courtyard or garden, in
which was placed the principal bathing establishment (Fig. 133), a
building 730 ft. by 380 ft., which contained the large piscina, or
swimming-bath, various hot baths, dressing-rooms, gymnasia, and other
halls for athletic exercises. In the centre of one of the longer sides
was a large semicircular projection, roofed with a dome, which was
lined with brass: this rotunda was called the solar cell. From the
ruins of these baths were taken some of the most splendid specimens of
antique sculpture, such as the Farnese Hercules and the Flora in the
Museum of Naples.

The baths of Diocletian, erected just at the commencement of the
fourth century A.D., were hardly inferior to those of Caracalla, but
modern and ancient buildings are now intermingled to such an extent
that the general plan of the buildings cannot now be traced with
accuracy. There are said to have been over 3000 marble seats in these
baths; the walls were covered with mosaics, and the columns were of
Egyptian granite and green Numidian marble. The Ephebeum, or grand
hall, still exists as the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, having
been restored by Michelangelo. It is nearly 300 ft. long by 90 ft.
wide, and is roofed by three magnificent cross vaults, supported on
eight granite columns 45 ft. in height. (Fig. 134.)

There is one ancient building in Rome more impressive than any other,
not only because it is in a better state of preservation, but because
of the dignity with which it has been designed, the perfection with
which it has been constructed, and the effectiveness of the mode in
which its interior is lighted. We allude to the Pantheon. Opinions
differ as to whether this was a Hall attached to the thermæ of
Agrippa, or whether it was a temple. Without attempting to determine
this point, we may at any rate claim that the interior of this
building admirably illustrates the boldness and telling power with
which the large halls forming part of the thermæ were designed; and,
whether it belonged to such a building or not, it is wonderfully well
fitted to illustrate this subject.


  [Illustration: FIG. 135.--THE PANTHEON, ROME. GROUND-PLAN.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 136.--THE PANTHEON, ROME. EXTERIOR.]

The Pantheon is the finest example of a domed hall which we have
left. The building, which forms the church of Santa Maria ad Martyres,
has been considerably altered at various times since its erection, and
now consists of a rotunda with a rectangular portico in front of it.
The rotunda was most probably erected by Agrippa, the son-in-law of
Augustus, in B.C. 27, and is a most remarkable instance of clever
construction at so early a date. The diameter of the interior is
145 ft. 6 in., and the height to the top of the dome is 147 ft. In
addition to the entrance, the walls are broken up by seven large
niches, three of which are semicircular on plan, and the others,
alternating with them, rectangular. The walls are divided into two
stories by an entablature supported by columns and pilasters; but
although this is now cut through by the arches of the niches, it is at
least probable that originally this was not the case, and that the
entablature ran continuously round the walls, as shown in Fig. 137,
which is a restoration of the Pantheon by Adler. Above the attic story
rises the huge hemispherical dome, which is pierced at its summit by a
circular opening 27 ft. in diameter, through which a flood of light
pours down and illuminates the whole of the interior. The dome is
enriched by boldly recessed panels, and these were formerly covered
with bronze ornaments, which have been removed for the sake of the
metal. The marble enrichments of the attic have also disappeared, and
their place has been taken by common and tawdry decorations more
adapted to the stage of a theatre. But notwithstanding everything that
has been done to detract from the imposing effect of the building by
the alteration of its details, there is still, taking it as a whole, a
simple grandeur in the design, a magnificence in the material
employed, and a quiet harmony in the illumination, that impart to the
interior a character of sublimity which nothing can impair. The
rectangular portico was added at some subsequent period, and consists
of sixteen splendid Corinthian columns (Fig. 138), eight in front
supporting the pediment, and the other eight dividing the portico into
three bays, in precisely the same way as if it formed the pronaos to
the three cells of an Etruscan temple.

  [Illustration: FIG. 137.--THE PANTHEON, ROME. INTERIOR.]


_Bridges and Aqueducts._

The earliest Roman bridges were of wood, and the Pons Sublicius,
though often rebuilt, continued to be of this material until the time
of Pliny, but it was impossible for a people who made such use of the
arch to avoid seeing the great advantage this form gave them in the
construction of bridges, and several of these formed of stone spanned
the Tiber even before the time of the Empire. The finest Roman
bridges, however, were built in the provinces. Trajan constructed one
over the Danube which was 150 ft. high and 60 ft. wide, and the arches
of which were of no less than 170 ft. span. This splendid structure
was destroyed by his successor, Hadrian, who was probably jealous of
it. The bridge over the Tagus at Alcantara, which was constructed by
Hadrian, is another very fine example. There were six arches here, of
which the two centre ones had a span of 100 ft.

The Roman aqueducts afford striking evidence of the building
enterprise and architectural skill of the people. Pliny says of these
works: "If any one will carefully consider the quantity of water used
in the open air, in private baths, swimming-baths, houses, gardens,
&c., and thinks of the arches that have been built, the hills that
have been tunnelled, and the valleys that have been levelled for the
purpose of conducting the water to its destination, he must confess
that nothing has existed in the world more calculated to excite
admiration." The same sentiment strikes an observer of to-day when
looking at the ruins of these aqueducts. At the end of the first
century A.D. we read of nine aqueducts in Rome, and in the time of
Procopius (A.D. 550) there were fourteen in use. Of these, the Aqua
Claudia and the Anio Novus were the grandest and most costly. Those
were constructed about the year 48 A.D., and entered the city upon the
same arches, though at different levels, the Aqua Claudia being the
lower. The arches carrying the streams were over nine miles long, and
in some cases 109 ft. high. They were purely works of utility, and had
no architectural decorations; but they were most admirably adapted for
their purpose, and were so solidly constructed, that portions of them
are still in use. Some of the provincial aqueducts, such as those of
Tarragona and Segovia in Spain, were more ornamental, and had a double
tier of arches. The Pont du Gard, not far from Nîmes, in France, is a
well-known and very picturesque structure of this character.

_Commemorative Monuments._

These comprise triumphal arches, columns, and tombs. The former
consisted of a rectangular mass of masonry having sculptured
representations of the historical event to be commemorated, enriched
with attached columns on pedestals, supporting an entablature crowned
with a high attic, on which there was generally an inscription. In the
centre was the wide and lofty arched opening. The Arch of Titus,
recording the capture of Jerusalem, is one of the finest examples.
Later on triumphal arches were on a more extended scale, and comprised
a small arch on each side of the large one; examples of which may be
seen in the arches of Septimius Severus and of Constantine (Fig. 139).
The large arched gateways which are met with in various parts of
Europe--such as the Porte d'Arroux at Autun, and the Porta Nigra at
Trèves--are monuments very similar to triumphal arches. There remain
also smaller monuments of the same character, such as the so-called
Arch of the Goldsmiths in Rome (Fig. 1).

  [Illustration: FIG. 139.--THE ARCH OF CONSTANTINE, ROME.]

Columns were erected in great numbers during the time of the Emperors
as memorials of victory. Of these the Column of Trajan and that of
Marcus Aurelius are the finest. The former was erected in the centre
of Trajan's Forum, in commemoration of the Emperor's victory over the
Dacians. It is of the Doric order, 132 ft. 10 in. high, including the
statue. The shaft is constructed of thirty-four pieces of marble
joined with bronze cramps. The figures on the pedestal are very finely
carved, and the entire shaft is encircled by a series of elaborate
bas-reliefs winding round it in a spiral from its base to its capital.
The beauty of the work on this shaft may be best appreciated by a
visit to the cast of it set up--in two heights, unfortunately--at the
South Kensington Museum. The Column of Marcus Aurelius, generally
known as the Antonine Column, is similarly enriched, but is not equal
to the Trajan Column.

The survival of Etruscan habits is clearly seen in the construction of
Roman tombs, which existed in enormous numbers outside the gates of
the city. Merivale says: "The sepulchres of twenty generations lined
the sides of the high-roads for several miles beyond the gates, and
many had considerable architectural pretensions." That of Cecilia
Metella is a typical example. Here we find a square basement
surmounted by a circular tower-like structure, with a frieze and
cornice. This was erected about B.C. 60, by Crassus. The mausoleum of
Augustus was on a much more extensive scale, and consisted of four
cylindrical stories, one above the other, decreasing in diameter as
they ascended, and the topmost of all was crowned with a colossal
statue of the Emperor. The tomb of Hadrian, on the banks of the
Tiber--now known as the Castle of Sant' Angelo--was even more
magnificent. This comprised a square base, 75 ft. high, the side of
which measured about 340 ft.; above this was a cylindrical building
surmounted by a circular peristyle of thirty-four Corinthian columns.
On the top was a quadriga with a statue of the Emperor. These mausolea
were occasionally octagonal or polygonal in plan, surmounted by a
dome, and cannot fail to remind us of the Etruscan tumuli.

Another kind of tomb, of less magnificence, was the columbarium, which
was nothing more than a subterranean chamber, the walls of which had a
number of small apertures in them for receiving the cinerary urns
containing the ashes of the bodies which had been cremated. In the
eastern portion of the Empire, in rocky districts, the tombs were cut
in the rock, and the façade was elaborately decorated with columns and
other architectural features.

_Domestic Architecture._

Of all the palaces which the Roman emperors built for themselves, and
which we know from historical records to have been of the most
magnificent description, nothing now remains in Rome itself that is
not too completely ruined to enable any one to restore its plan with
accuracy, though considerable remains exist of the Palace of the
Cæsars on the Palatine Hill. In fact, the palace of Diocletian at
Spalatro, in Dalmatia, is the only remaining example in the whole of
the Roman empire of the dwelling-house of an emperor, and even this
was not built till after Diocletian had resigned the imperial
dignity, so that its date is the early part of the fourth century A.D.
This palace is a rectangle, measuring about 700 ft. one way and 590 ft.
the other, and covers an area of nearly 10 acres. It is surrounded
by high walls, broken at intervals by square and octagonal towers, and
contains temples, baths, and extensive galleries, besides the private
apartments of the Emperor and dwellings for the principal officers of
the household. The architect of this building broke away from
classical traditions to a great extent; for example, the columns stand
on corbels instead of pedestals, the entablatures being much broken,
and the arches spring directly from the capitals of the columns (Fig.

The private houses in Borne were of two kinds: the _insula_ and the
_domus_. The insula was a block of buildings several stories high,
frequently let out to different families in flats. The ground-floor
was generally given up to shops, which had no connection with the
upper parts of the building; and one roof covered the whole. This kind
of house was generally tenanted by the poorer class of tradesmen and
artificers. The other kind of house, the domus, was a detached
mansion. The excavations at Pompeii have done much to elucidate a
number of points in connection with Roman dwellings which had been the
subject of much discussion by scholars, but we must not too hastily
assume that the Pompeian houses are the exact counterpart of those of
ancient Rome, as Pompeii was what may be called a Romano-Greek city.



The general arrangements of a Roman house were as follows: next the
street an open space was frequently left, with porticoes on each side
of it provided with seats: this constituted the vestibule, and was
entirely outside the house;[22] the entrance-door opened into a
narrow passage, called the _prothyrum_, which led to the _atrium_,[23]
which in the houses of Republican Rome was the principal apartment,
though afterwards it served as a sort of waiting-room for the clients
and retainers of the house; it was an open court, roofed in on all
the four sides, but open to the sky in the centre. The simplest form
was called the Tuscan atrium, where the roof was simply a lean-to
sloping towards the centre, the rafters being supported on beams, two
of which rested on the walls of the atrium, and had two other
cross-beams trimmed into them. The centre opening was called the
_impluvium_, and immediately under it a tank, called the _compluvium_,
was formed in the pavement to collect the rain-water (Fig. 142). When
the atrium became larger, and the roof had to be supported by
columns, it was called a _cavædium_.[24] At the end of this apartment
were three others, open in front, the largest, in the centre, called
_tablinum_, and the two side ones _alæ_;[25] these were
muniment-rooms, where all the family archives were kept, and their
position is midway between the semi-public part of the house, which
lay towards the front, and the strictly domestic and private part,
which lay in the rear. At the sides of the atrium in the larger houses
were placed small rooms, which served as sleeping chambers.

  [Illustration: FIG. 142.--THE ATRIUM OF A POMPEIAN HOUSE.]

From the end of the atrium a passage, or sometimes two passages,
called the _fauces_, running by the side of the tablinum, led to the
_peristylium_,[26] which was the grand private reception-room; this
also was a court open to the sky in the centre, and among the wealthy
Romans its roof was supported by columns of the rarest marbles. Round
the peristyle were grouped the various private rooms, which varied
according to the size of the house and the taste of the owner. There
was always one dining-room (_triclinium_), and frequently two or more,
which were arranged with different aspects, for use in different
seasons of the year. If several dining-rooms existed, they were of
various sizes and decorated with various degrees of magnificence; and
a story is told of one of the most luxurious Romans of Cicero's time,
that he had simply to tell his slaves which room he would dine in for
them to know what kind of banquet he wished to be prepared. In the
largest houses there were saloons (_æci_), parlours (_exedræ_),
picture galleries (_pinacothecæ_), chapels (_lararia_), and various
other apartments. The kitchen, with scullery and bakehouse attached,
was generally placed in one angle of the peristyle, round which
various sleeping-chambers, according to the size of the house, were
arranged. Most of the rooms appear to have been on the ground-floor,
and probably depended for their light upon the doorway only; though
in some instances at Pompeii small windows exist high up in the walls.

  [Illustration: FIG. 143.--WALL DECORATION FROM POMPEII.]

In the extreme rear of the larger houses there was generally a garden;
and in those which were without this, the dead walls in the rear were
frequently painted so as to imitate a garden. The houses of the
wealthy Romans were decorated with the utmost magnificence: marble
columns, mosaic pavements, and charming pieces of sculpture adorned
their apartments, and the walls were in all cases richly painted (Fig.
143), being divided into panels, in the centre of which were
represented sometimes human figures, sometimes landscapes, and
sometimes pictures of historical events. All the decoration of Roman
houses was internal only: the largest and most sumptuous mansion had
little to distinguish it, next the street, from a comparatively humble
abode; and, with the exception of the space required for the vestibule
and entrance doorway, nearly the whole of the side of the house next
the street was most frequently appropriated to shops. All that we are
able to learn of the architecture of Roman private houses, whether
from contemporary descriptions or from the uncovered remains of
Pompeii and Herculaneum,[27] points to the fact that it, even in a
greater measure than the public architecture, was in no sense of
indigenous growth, but was simply a copy of Greek arrangement and
Greek decoration.


[20] The passage in Varro, which is the sole authority for the
Basilica Opimia, is generally considered to be corrupt.

[21] Byron.

[22] This does not occur in the Pompeian houses.

[23] Marked _a_, _a_, on the plans.

[24] Vitruvius, however, seems to use the terms _atrium_ and
_cavædium_ as quite synonymous.

[25] Marked respectively _c_, and _f_, _f_, on the plan of the House
of Pansa.

[26] Marked _b_, _b_, on the plans.

[27] At the Crystal Palace can be seen an interesting reproduction of
a Pompeian house, which was designed by the late Sir Digby Wyatt. It
gives a very faithful reproduction of the arrangement and the size of
an average Pompeian house; and though every part is rather more fully
covered with decoration than was usual in the originals, the
decorations of each room faithfully reproduce the treatment of some
original in Pompeii or Herculaneum.





_The Plan_ (_or floor-disposition_).--The plans of Roman buildings are
striking from their variety and the vast extent which in some cases
they display, as well as from a certain freedom, mastery, and facility
of handling which are not seen in earlier work. Their variety is
partly due to the very various purposes which the buildings of the
Romans were designed to serve: these comprised all to which Greek
buildings had been appropriated, and many others, the product of the
complex and luxurious civilisation of the Empire. But independent of
this circumstance, the employment of such various forms in the plans
of buildings as the ellipse, the circle, and the octagon, and their
facile use, seem to denote a people who could build rapidly, and who
looked carefully to the general masses and outlines of what they
built, however carelessly they handled the minute details. The freedom
with which these new forms were employed arises partly also from the
fact that the Romans were in possession of a system of construction
which rendered them practically independent of most of the
restrictions which had fettered the genius of the Egyptians,
Assyrians, and Greeks. Their vaulted roofs could be supported by a
comparatively small number of piers of great solidity, placed far
apart; and accordingly in the great halls of the Thermæ and elsewhere
we find planning in which, a few stable points of support being
secured, the outline of the spaces between them is varied at the
pleasure of the architect in the most picturesque and pleasing manner.

The actual floor received a good deal of attention from the Romans. It
was generally covered with tesselated pavement, often with mosaic, and
its treatment entered into the scheme of the design for most

_The Walls._

The construction of these was essentially different from that adopted
by most earlier nations. The Romans rather avoided than cultivated the
use of large blocks of stone; they invented methods by which very
small materials could be aggregated together into massive and solid
walls. They used mortar of great cementing power, so much so that many
specimens of Roman walling exist in this country as well as in Italy
or France, where the mortar is as hard as the stones which it unites.
They also employed a system of binding together the small materials so
employed by introducing, at short distances apart, courses of flat
stones or bricks, called "bond courses," and they further fortified
such walls by bands of flat materials placed edgeways after the manner
popularly known as herring-bone work. The result of these methods of
construction was that the Roman architect could build anywhere, no
matter how unpromising the materials which the locality afforded; that
he could put the walls of his building together without its being
requisite to employ exclusively the skilled labour of the mason, and
that both time and expense were thus saved. This economy and speed
were not pushed so far as to render the work anything but durable;
they had, however, a bad effect in another direction, for these rough
rubble walls were habitually encased in some more sightly material, in
order to make them look as though they were something finer than they
really were; and accordingly, the exterior was often faced with a thin
skin of masonry, and not infrequently plastered. The interior was also
almost invariably plastered, but to this little exception can be
taken. This casing of the exteriors was, however, the beginning of a
system of what may be called false architecture, and one which led to
much that was degrading to the art.

The walls were in many cases, it has been already observed, gathered
into strong masses, such as it is customary to term piers, in order to
support the vaulted roofs at the proper points. They were often
carried to a much greater height than in Greek buildings, and they
played altogether a far more important part in the design of Roman
buildings than they had done in that of the Greeks.

_The Roofs._

As has been already stated, the Romans, in their possession of a new
system of construction, enjoyed a degree of freedom which was unknown
before. This system was based upon the use of the arch, and arched
roofs and domes, and it enabled the Romans to produce interiors
unapproached before for size and splendour, and such as have hardly
been surpassed since, except by the vaulted churches of the Middle
Ages,--buildings which are themselves descended from Roman originals.
The art of vaulting was, in short, the key to the whole system of
Roman architecture, just as the Orders were to that of the Greeks.

The well-known arch over the Cloaca Maxima at Rome (Fig. 123, p. 142)
may be taken as an illustration of the most ancient and most simple
kind of vault, the one which goes by the significant name of "barrel
or waggon-head vault." This is simply a continuous arched vault
springing from the top of two parallel walls; in fact, like the arch
of a railway tunnel. Such a vault may be constructed of very great
span, and affords a means of putting a permanent roof over a floor the
outline of which is a parallelogram; but it is heavy and uninteresting
in appearance. It was soon found to be possible to introduce a cross
vault running at right angles to the original one; and where such an
intersecting vault occurs the side walls of the original vault may be
dispensed with, for so much of their length as the newly-added vault

The next step was to introduce a succession of such cross vaults close
to one another, so that large portions of the original main wall might
be dispensed with. What remained of the side walls was now only a
series of oblong masses or piers, suitably fortified so as to carry
the great weight resting upon them, but leaving the architect free to
occupy the space between them as his fancy might dictate, or to leave
it quite open. In this way were constructed the great halls of the
Thermæ; and the finest halls of modern classic architecture--such, for
example, as the Madeleine at Paris, or St. George's Hall at
Liverpool--are only a reproduction of the splendid structures which
such a system of vaulting rendered possible.

When the floor of the space to be vaulted was circular, the result of
covering it with an arched roof was the dome--a familiar feature of
Roman architecture, and the noblest of all forms of roof. We possess
in the dome of the Pantheon a specimen, in fairly good preservation,
of this kind of roof on the grandest scale.

We shall find that in later ages the dome and the vault were adopted
by the Eastern and the Western schools of Christian architecture
respectively. In Rome we have the origin of both.

_The Openings._

These were both square-headed and arched; but the arched ones occur
far more frequently than the others, and, when occasion required,
could be far bolder. The openings became of much greater importance
than in earlier styles, and soon disputed with the columns the dignity
of being the feature of the building: this eventually led, as will be
related under the next head, to various devices for the fusion of the

The adoption of the arch by the Romans led to a great modification in
classic architecture; for its influence was to be traced in every part
of the structure where an opening of any sort had to be spanned.
Formerly the width of such openings was very limited, owing to the
difficulty of obtaining lintels of great length. Now their width and
height were pure matters of choice, and doorways, windows, and arcades
naturally became very prominent, and were often very spacious.

_The Columns._

These necessarily took an altered place as soon as buildings were
carried to such a height that one order could not, as in Greek
temples, occupy the whole space from pavement to roof. The Greek
orders were modified by the Romans in order to fit these altered
circumstances, but columnar construction was by no means disused when
the arch came to play so important a part in building. The Roman Doric
order, and a very simple variety of it called Tuscan, were but rarely
used. The chief alteration from the Greek Doric, in addition to a
general degradation of all the mouldings and proportions, was the
addition of a base, which sometimes consists of a square plinth and
large torus, sometimes is a slightly modified Attic base; the capital
has a small moulding round the top of the abacus, and under the ovolo
are two or three small fillets with a necking below; the shaft was
from 6 to 7 diameters in height, and was not fluted; the frieze was
ornamented with triglyphs, and the metopes between these were
frequently enriched with sculptured heads of bulls: the metopes were
exact squares, and the triglyphs at the angles of buildings were
placed precisely over the centre of the column.

The Ionic order was but slightly modified by the Romans, the chief
alteration being made in the capital. Instead of forming the angular
volutes so that they exhibited a flat surface on the two opposite
sides of the capital, the Romans appear to have desired to make the
latter uniform on all the four sides; they therefore made the sides of
the abacus concave on plan, and arranged the volutes so that they
seemed to spring out of the mouldings under the abacus and faced
anglewise. The capital altogether seems compressed and crowded up,
and by no means elegant; in fact, both this and the Doric order were
decidedly deteriorations from the fine forms of Greek architecture.


  [Illustration: FIG. 145a.--THE ROMAN COMPOSITE CAPITAL.]

The Corinthian order was much more in accordance with the later Roman
taste for magnificence and display, and hence we find its use very
general both in Rome and in other cities of the Empire. Its
proportions did not greatly differ from those of the Greek Corinthian,
but the mouldings in general were more elaborate. Numerous variations
of the capital exist (Figs. 145, 145a), but the principal one was an
amalgamation of the large Ionic volutes in the upper with the acanthus
leaves of the lower portion of the capital: this is known as the
Composite order, and the capital thus treated has a strength and
vigour which was wanting to the Greek order (see Fig. 145a). The
shafts of the columns were more often fluted than not, though
sometimes the lower portion was left plain and the upper only fluted.
The Attic base was generally used, but an example has been found of an
adaptation of the graceful Persepolitan base to the Corinthian column.
This was the happiest innovation that the Romans made; it seems,
however, to have been but an individual attempt, and, as it was
introduced very shortly before the fall of the Empire, the idea was
not worked out.

The orders thus changed were employed for the most part as mere
decorative additions to the walls. In many cases they did not even
carry the eaves of the roof, as they always did in a Greek temple; and
it was not uncommon for two, three, or more orders to be used one
above another, marking the different stories of a lofty building.

The columns, or pilasters which took their place, being reduced to the
humble function of ornaments added to the wall of a building, it
became very usual to combine them with arched openings, and to put an
arch in the interspace between two columns, or, in other words, to add
a column to the pier between two arches (Fig. 146). These arched
openings being often wide, a good deal of disproportion between the
height of the columns and their distance apart was liable to occur;
and, partly to correct this, the column was often mounted upon a
pedestal, to which the name of "stylobate" has been given.

It was also sometimes customary to place above the order, or the
highest order where more than one was employed, what was termed an
attic--a low story ornamented with piers or pilasters. The exterior of
the Colosseum (Fig. 5), the triumphal arches of Constantine (Fig. 139)
and Titus, and the fragments of the upper part of the Forum of Nerva
(Fig. 147) may be consulted as illustrations of the combination of an
order and an arched opening, and of the use of pedestals and attics.



Another peculiarity, of which we give an illustration from the baths
of Diocletian (Fig. 148), was the surmounting a column or pilaster
with a square pillar of stone, moulded in the same way as an
entablature, _i.e._ with the regular division into architrave, frieze,
and cornice. This was a decided perversion of the use of the order;
it occurs in examples of late date. So also do various other
arrangements for making an arch spring from the capital of a column;
one of these, from the palace of Diocletian at Spalatro, we are able
to illustrate (Fig. 149).



In conclusion, it may be worth while to say that the Roman writers and
architects recognised five orders: the Tuscan, Doric, Ionic,
Corinthian, and Composite, the first and last in this list being,
however, really only variations; and that when they placed the
orders above one another, they invariably used those of them which
they selected in the succession in which they have been named; that is
to say, the Tuscan or Doric lowest, and so on in succession.


_The Ornaments._

  [Illustration: FIG. 151.--ROMAN CARVING. AN ACANTHUS LEAF.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 152.--THE EGG AND DART ENRICHMENT. ROMAN.]

The mouldings with which Roman buildings are ornamented are all
derived from Greek originals, but are often extremely rough and
coarse. It is true that in some old Roman work, especially in those of
the tombs which are executed in marble, mouldings of considerable
delicacy and refinement of outline occur, but these are exceptional.
The profiles of the mouldings are, as a rule, segments of circles,
instead of being more subtle curves, and the result is that violent
contrasts of light and shade are obtained, telling enough at a
distance, but devoid of interest if the spectator come near.


Carving is executed exactly on the same principles as those which
govern the mouldings--that is to say, with much more coarseness than
in Greek work; not lacking in vigour, or in a sort of ostentatious
opulence of ornament, but often sadly deficient in refinement and

Statues, many of them copies of Greek originals, generally executed
with a heavy hand, but sometimes clearly of Greek work, were employed,
as well as bronzes, inlaid marbles, mosaics, and various devices to
ornament the interiors of Greco-Roman buildings; and free use was made
of ornamental plaster-work, both on walls and vaults.

Coloured decoration was much in vogue, and, to judge from what has
come down to us, must have been executed with great taste and much
spirit. The walls of a Roman dwelling-house of importance seem to have
been all painted, partly with that light kind of decoration to which
the somewhat inappropriate name of arabesque has been given, and
partly with groups or single figures, relieved by dark or black
backgrounds. The remains of the Palace of the Cæsars in Rome, much of
it not now accessible, and the decorations visible at Pompeii, give a
high idea of the skill with which this mural ornamentation was
executed; our illustration (Fig. 154) may be taken as affording a good
example of the combined decorations in relief and colour often applied
to vaulted ceilings.

It is, however, characteristic of the lower level at which Roman art
stood as compared with Greek that, though statues abounded, we find no
traces of groups of sculpture designed to occupy the pediments of
temples, or of bas-reliefs fitted to special localities in the
buildings, such as were all but universal in the best Greek works.

_Architectural Character._

The nature of this will have been to a large extent gathered from the
observations already made. Daring, energy, readiness, structural
skill, and a not too fastidious taste were characteristic of the Roman
architect and his works. We find traces of vast spaces covered, bold
construction successfully and solidly carried out, convenience
studied, and a great deal of magnificence attained in those buildings
the remains of which have come down to us; but we do not discover
refinement or elegance, a fine feeling for proportion, or a close
attention to details, to a degree at all approaching the extent to
which these qualities are to be met with in Greek buildings. We are
thus sometimes tempted to regret that it was not possible to combine a
higher degree of refinement with the great excellence in construction
and contrivance exhibited by Roman architecture.





_Basilicas in Rome and Italy._

During the first three centuries the Christian religion was
discredited and persecuted; and though many interesting memorials of
this time (some of them having an indirect bearing upon architectural
questions) remain in the Catacombs, it is chiefly for their paintings
that the touching records of the past which have been preserved to us
in these secluded excavations should be studied. Early in the fourth
century Constantine the Great became Emperor, and in the course of his
reign (from A.D. 312 to 337) he recognised Christianity, and made it
the religion of the State. It then, of course, became requisite to
provide places of public worship. Probably the Christians would have
been, in many cases, reluctant to make use of heathen temples, and few
temples, if any, were adapted to the assembling of a large
congregation. But the large halls of the baths and the basilicas were
free from associations of an objectionable character, and well fitted
for large assemblages of worshippers. These and other such places were
accordingly, in the first instance, employed as Christian churches.
The basilica, however, became the model which, at least in Italy, was
followed, to the exclusion of all others, when new buildings were
erected for the purpose of Christian worship; and during the fourth
century, and several succeeding ones, the churches of the West were
all of the basilica type. What occurred at Constantinople, the seat of
the Eastern Empire and the centre of the Eastern Church, will be
considered presently.

There is probably no basilica actually standing which was built during
the reign of Constantine, or near his time; but there are several
basilica churches in Rome, such as that of San Clemente, which were
founded near his time, and which, though they have been partially or
wholly rebuilt, exhibit what is believed to be the ancient disposition
without modification.

      _Restored, from descriptions by various authors._]

Access is obtained to San Clemente through a forecourt to which the
name of the atrium is given. This is very much like the atrium of a
Roman house, being covered with a shed roof round all four sides and
open in the centre, and so resembling a cloister. The side next the
church was called the narthex or porch; and when an atrium did not
exist, a narthex at least was usually provided. The basilica has
always a central avenue, or nave, and sides or aisles, and was
generally entered from the narthex by three doors, one to each
division. The nave of San Clemente is lofty, and covered by a simple
wooden roof; it is separated from the side aisles by arcades, the
arches of which spring from the capitals of columns; and high up in
its side walls we find windows. The side aisles, like the nave, have
wooden roofs. The nave terminates in a semicircular recess called "the
apse," the floor of which is higher than that of the general
structure, and is approached by steps. A large arch divides this apse
from the nave. A portion of the nave floor is occupied by an enclosed
space for the choir, surrounded by marble screens, and having a pulpit
on either side of it. These pulpits are termed "ambos." Below the
Church of San Clemente is a vaulted structure or crypt extending under
the greater part, but not the whole, of the floor of the main

The description given above would apply, with very slight variations,
to any one of the many ancient basilica churches in Rome, Milan,
Ravenna, and the other older cities of Italy; the principal variations
being that in many instances, including the very ancient basilica of
St. Peter, now destroyed, the avenues all stopped short of the end
wall of the basilica, and a wide and clear transverse space or
transept ran athwart them in front of the apse. San Clemente indeed
shows some faint traces of such a feature. In one or two very large
churches five avenues occur,--that is to say, a nave and double
aisles; and in Santa Agnese (Fig. 156a) and at least one other, we
find a gallery over the side aisles opening into the nave, or, as Mr.
Fergusson puts it, "the side aisles in two stories." In many instances
we should find no atrium, but in all cases we meet with the nave and
aisles, and the apse at the end of the nave, with its arch and its
elevated floor; and the entrances are always at the end of the
building farthest from the apse, with some sort of porch or portal.


The interest of these buildings lies not so much in their venerable
antiquity as in the fact that the arrangements of all Christian
churches in Western Europe down to the Reformation, and of very many
since, are directly derived from these originals. If the reader will
refer to the description of a Gothic cathedral in the companion volume
of this series,[28] it will not be difficult for him to trace the
correspondence between its plan and its general structure and those of
the primitive basilica. The atrium no longer forms the access to a
cathedral, but it still survives in the cloister, though in a changed
position. The narthex or porch is still more or less traceable in the
great western portals, and in a kind of separation which often, but
not always, exists between the westernmost bay of a cathedral and the
rest of the structure. The division into nave and aisles remains, and
in very large churches and cathedrals there are double aisles, as
there were in the largest basilicas. The nave roof is still higher
than the aisles--the arcade, in two stories, survives in the usual
arcade and triforium; the windows placed high in the nave are the
present clerestory. The apsidal termination of the central avenue is
still retained in almost all Continental architecture, though in Great
Britain, from an early date, it was abandoned for a square east end;
but square-ended or apsidal, a recess with a raised floor and a
conspicuous arch, marking it off from the nave, always occupies this
end of the church; and the under church, or crypt, is commonly, though
not always, met with. The enclosure for the choir has, generally
speaking, been moved farther east than it was in the basilica
churches; though in Westminster Abbey, and in most Spanish cathedrals,
we have examples of its occupying a position closely analogous to that
of the corresponding enclosure at the basilica of San Clemente. The
cross passage to which we have referred as having existed in the old
basilica of St. Peter, and many others, is the original of the
transept which in later churches has been made more conspicuous than
it was in the basilica by being lengthened so as to project beyond the
side walls of the church, and by being moved more westward. Lastly,
the two ambos, or pulpits, survive in two senses. They are represented
by the reading desk and the pulpit, and their situation and purpose
are continued in the epistle and gospel sides of the choir.

The one point in which an essential difference occurs is the position
of the altar, or communion table, and that of the Bishop's chair, or
throne. In the classic basilica the apse was the tribunal, and a
raised seat with a tesselated pavement occupied the central position
in it, and was the justice-seat of the presiding judge; and in the
sweep of the apse, seats right and left, at a lower elevation, were
provided for assessors or assistant-judges. In front of the president
was placed a small altar. The whole of these arrangements were copied
in the basilica churches. The seat of the president became the
bishop's throne, the seats for assessors were appropriated to the
clergy, and the altar retained substantially its old position in front
of the apse, generally with a canopy erected over it. This disposition
continues in basilica churches to the present day. At St. Peter's in
Rome, for example, the Pope occupies a throne in the middle of the
apse, and says mass with his face turned towards the congregation at
the high altar, which stands in front of his throne under a vast
baldacchino or canopy; but in Western Christendom generally a change
has been made,--the altar has been placed in the apse where the
bishop's throne formerly stood, and the throne of the bishop and
stalls of his clergy have been displaced, and are to be found at the
sides of the choir or presbytery.


Many basilica churches were erected out of fragments taken from older
buildings, and present a curious mixture of columns, capitals, &c.;
others, especially those at Ravenna, exhibit more care, and are noble
specimens of ancient and severe architectural work. The illustration
which we give of part of the nave, arcade, and apse of one of these,
Sant' Apollinare in Classe, shows the dignified yet ornate aspect of
one of the most carefully executed of these buildings (Fig. 157).

In some of these churches the decorations are chiefly in mosaic, and
are extremely striking. Our illustration of the apse of the great
basilica of St. Paul without the walls (Fig. 158) may be taken as a
fair specimen of the general arrangement and treatment of the crowd of
sacred figures and subjects which it is customary to represent in
these situations; but it can of course convey no idea of the brilliant
effect produced by powerful colouring executed in mosaic, the most
luminous of all methods of enrichment. The floor of most of them was
formed in the style of mosaic known as "opus Alexandrinum," and the
large sweeping, curved bands of coloured material with which the main
outlines of the patterns are defined, and the general harmony of
colour among the porphyries and other hard stones with which these
pavements were executed, combine to satisfy the eye. A splendid
specimen of opus Alexandrinum, the finest north of the Alps, exists in
the presbytery of Westminster Abbey.


Another description of building is customarily met with in connection
with early Christian churches,--the baptistery. This is commonly a
detached building, and almost always circular or polygonal. In some
instances the baptistery adjoins the atrium or forecourt; but it soon
became customary to erect detached baptisteries of considerable size.
These generally have a high central portion carried by a ring of
columns, and a low aisle running round, the receptacle for water being
in the centre. The origin of these buildings is not so clear as that
of the basilica churches; they bear some resemblance to the Roman
circular temples; but it is more probable that the form was suggested
by buildings similar in general arrangement, and forming part of a
Roman bath. The octagonal building known as the baptistery of
Constantine, and the circular building now used as a church and
dedicated to Santa Costanza in Rome, and the celebrated baptistery of
Ravenna, are early examples of this class of structure. Somewhat more
recent, and very well known, are the great baptisteries of Florence
and Pisa.

A few ancient circular or polygonal churches remain which do not
appear to have been built as baptisteries. One of these is at Rome,
the church of San Stefano Rotondo; but another, more remarkable in
every way, is at Ravenna, the church of San Vitale. This is an
octagonal building, with a large vestibule and a small apsidal choir.
The central portion, carried by eight arches springing from as many
lofty and solid piers, and surmounted by a hemispherical dome, rises
high above the aisle which surrounds it. Much elegance is produced by
the arrangement of smaller columns so as to form a kind of apsidal
recess in each of the interspaces between the eight main piers.

Another feature which has become thoroughly identified with church
architecture is the bell-tower, or campanile. This appendage, there
can be no doubt, originated with the basilicas of Italy. The use of
bells as a call to prayer is said to have been introduced not later,
at any rate, than the sixth century, and to this era is attributed a
circular campanile belonging to Sant' Apollinare in Classe at Ravenna,
a basilica already alluded to. The circular plan was, however,
exceptional; the ancient campaniles remaining in Rome are all square;
they are usually built of brick, many stories in height, and with a
group of arched openings in each story, and are generally surmounted
by a low conical roof.

The type of church which we have described influenced church
architecture in Italy down to the eleventh century, and such buildings
as the beautiful church (Fig. 155) of San Miniato, near Florence (A.D.
1013), and the renowned group of Cathedral, Baptistery, Campanile, and
Campo Santo (a kind of cloistered cemetery) at Pisa, bear a very
strong resemblance in many respects to these originals; though they
belong rather to the Romanesque than to the Basilican division of
early Christian architecture.


[28] 'Gothic and Renaissance Architecture,' chap. ii. p. 6.




Constantine the Great, who by establishing the Christian religion had
encouraged the erection of basilicas for Christian worship in Rome and
Italy, effected a great political change, and one destined to exert a
marked influence upon Christian architecture, when he removed the seat
of empire from Rome to Byzantium, and called the new capital
Constantinople,[29] after his own name. Byzantium had been an ancient
place, but was almost in ruins when Constantine, probably attracted by
the unrivalled advantages of its site,[30] rebuilt it, or at least
re-established it as a city. The solemn inauguration of Constantinople
as the new capital took place A.D. 330; and when, under Theodosius,
the empire was divided, this city became the capital of the East.

With a new point of departure among a people largely of Greek race,
we might expect that a new development of the church from some other
type than the basilica might be likely to show itself. This, in fact,
is what occurred; for while the most ancient churches of Rome all
present, as we have seen, an almost slavish copy of an existing type
of building, and do not attempt the use of vaulted roofs, in Byzantium
buildings of most original design sprang up, founded, it is true, on
Roman originals, but by no means exact copies of them. In the erection
of these churches the most difficult problems of construction were
successfully encountered and solved. What may have been the course
which architecture ran during the two centuries between the refounding
of Byzantium and the building of Santa Sophia under Justinian, we can,
however, only infer from its outcome. It is doubtful if any church
older than the sixth century now remains in Constantinople; but it is
certain that, to attain the power of designing and erecting so great a
work as Santa Sophia, the architects of Constantinople must have
continued and largely modified the Roman practice of building vaults
and domes. There is every probability that if some of the early
churches in Byzantium were domed structures others may have been
vaulted basilicas; the more so as the very ancient churches in Syria,
which owed their origin to Byzantium rather than to Rome, are most of
them of the basilica type.

      COMPLETED A.D. 537.]

A church which had been erected by Constantine, dedicated to Santa
Sophia (holy wisdom), was burnt early in the reign of Justinian (A.D.
527 to 565); and in rebuilding it his architects, Anthemios of
Thralles, and Isidoros of Miletus, succeeded in erecting one of the
most famous buildings of the world, and one which is the typical and
central embodiment of a distinct and very strongly marked
well-defined style. The basis of this style may be said to be the
adoption of the dome, in preference to the vault or the timber roof,
as the covering of the space enclosed within the walls; with the
result that the general disposition of the plan is circular or square,
rather than oblong, and that the structure recalls the Pantheon more
than the great Hall of the Thermæ of Diocletian, or the Basilica of
St. Paul. In Santa Sophia one vast flattish dome dominates the central
space. This dome is circular in plan, and the space over which it is
placed is a square, the sides of which are occupied by four massive
semicircular arches of 100 ft. span each, springing from four vast
piers, one at each of the four corners. The four triangular spaces
between the corners of the square so enclosed and the circle or ring
resting upon it are filled by what are termed "pendentives"--features
which may, perhaps, be best described as portions of a dome, each just
sufficient to fit into one corner of the square, and the four uniting
at their upper margin to form a ring. From this ring springs the main
dome. It rises to a height of 46 ft., and is 107 ft. in clear
diameter. East and west of the main dome are two half-domes, each
springing from a wall apsidal (_i.e._ semicircular) in plan. Smaller
apses again, domed over at a lower level, are introduced, and vaulted
aisles two stories in height occupy the sides of the space within the
outer walls till the outline of the building is brought to very nearly
an exact square. Externally this church is uninteresting,[31] but its
interior is of surpassing beauty, and can be better described in the
eloquent language of Gilbert Scott[32] than in any other: "Simple as
is the primary ideal, the actual effect is one of great intricacy, and
of continuous gradation of parts, from the small arcades up to the
stupendous dome, which hangs with little apparent support like a vast
bubble over the centre, or as Procopius, who witnessed its erection,
described it, 'as if suspended by a chain from heaven.'

"The dome is lighted by forty small windows, which pierce it
immediately above the cornice which crowns its pendentives, and which,
by subdividing its lower part into narrow piers, increases the feeling
of its being supported by its own buoyancy.

"The interior thus generated, covered almost wholly by domes, or
portions of them, each rising in succession higher and higher towards
the floating hemisphere in the centre, and so arranged that one shall
open out the view to others, and that nearly the entire system of
vaulting may be viewed at a single glance, appears to me to be in some
respects the noblest which has ever been designed, as it was certainly
the most daring which, up to that time at least, if not absolutely,
had ever been constructed." After pointing out how the smaller arcades
and apsidal projections, and the vistas obtained through the various
arched openings, introduced intricate effects of perspective and
constant changes of aspect, Scott continues: "This union of the more
palpable with the more mysterious, of the vast unbroken expanse with
the intricately broken perspective, must, as it appears to me, and as
I judge from representations, produce an impression more astounding
than that of almost any other building: but when we consider the whole
as clothed with the richest beauties of surface,--its piers encrusted
with inlaid marbles of every hue, its arcades of marble gorgeously
carved, its domes and vaultings resplendent with gold mosaic
interspersed with solemn figures, and its wide-spreading floors rich
with marble tesselation, over which the buoyant dome floats
self-supported, and seems to sail over you as you move,--I cannot
conceive of anything more astonishing, more solemn, and more

The type of church of which this magnificent cathedral was the great
example has continued in Eastern Christendom to the present day, and
has undergone surprisingly little variation. A certain distinctive
character in the foliage (Fig. 163) employed in capitals and other
decorative carving, and mosaics of splendid colour but somewhat gaunt
and archaic design, though often solemn and dignified, were typical of
the work of Justinian's day, and could long afterwards be recognised
in Eastern Christian churches.

Between Rome and Constantinople, and well situated for receiving
influence from both those cities, stood Ravenna, and here a series of
buildings, all more or less Byzantine, were erected. The most
interesting of these is the church of San Vitale (Figs. 160, 161).
This building is octagonal in plan, and thus belongs to the series of
round and polygonal churches and baptisteries for which the circular
buildings of the Romans furnished a model; but in its high central
dome, lighted by windows placed high up, its many subsidiary arcades
and apses, the latter roofed by half-domes, and its vaulted aisles in
two stories, it recalls Santa Sophia; and its sculpture, carving, and
mosaic decorations are hardly less famous and no less characteristic.

  [Illustration: FIG. 160.--PLAN OF SAN VITALE AT RAVENNA.]


One magnificent specimen of Byzantine architecture, more within the
reach of ordinary travellers, and consequently better known than San
Vitale or Santa Sophia, must not be omitted, and can be studied easily
by means of numberless photographic illustrations--St. Mark's at
Venice. This cathedral was built between the years 977-1071, and, it
is said, according to a design obtained from Constantinople. It has
since been altered in external appearance by the erection of bulbous
domical roofs over its domes, and by additions of florid Gothic
character; but, disregarding these, we have alike in plan, structure,
and ornament, a Byzantine church of the first class.

  [Illustration: FIG. 162.--PLAN OF ST. MARK'S AT VENICE.]

The ground-plan of St. Mark's (Fig. 162) presents a Greek cross,
_i.e._ one in which all the arms are equal, and it is roofed by five
principal domes, one at the crossing and one over each of the four
limbs of the cross. Aisles at a low level, and covered by a series of
small flat domes, in lieu of vaulting, fill up the angles between the
arms of the cross, so as to make the outline of the plan nearly

The rich colouring of St. Mark's, due to a profuse employment of
mosaics and of the most costly marbles, and the splendid effects
produced by the mode of introducing light, which is admitted much as
at Santa Sophia, are perhaps its greatest charm; but there is beauty
in every aspect of its interior which has furnished a fit theme for
the pen of the most eloquent writer on art and architecture of the
present or perhaps of any day.

From Venice the influence of Byzantine art spread to a small extent in
North Italy; in that city herself as well as in neighbouring towns,
such as Padua, buildings and fragments of buildings exhibiting the
characteristics of the style can be found. Remarkable traces of the
influence of Byzantium as a centre, believed to be due to intercourse
with Venice, can also be found in France. Direct communication with
Constantinople by way of the Mediterranean has also introduced
Byzantine taste into Sicily. One famous French church, St. Front in
Périgueux, is identical (or nearly so) with St. Mark's in its plan;
but all its constructive arches being pointed (Fig. 3, page 5), its
general appearance differs a good deal from that of Eastern
churches--a difference which is accentuated by the absence of the
mosaics and other coloured ornaments which enrich the walls of St.
Mark's. Many very old domed churches and much sculpture of the
Byzantine type are moreover to be found in Central and Southern
France--Anjou, Aquitaine, and Auvergne. These are, however, isolated
examples of the style having taken root in spite of adverse
circumstances; it is in those parts of Europe where the Greek Church
prevails, or did prevail, that Byzantine architecture chiefly
flourishes. In Greece and Asia Minor many ancient churches of
Byzantine structure remain, while in Russia churches are built to the
present day corresponding to the general type of those which have just
been described.

      JUSTINIAN. A.D. 560.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 164.--CHURCH AT TURMANIN IN SYRIA. 4TH AND 5TH

In ancient buildings of Syria the influence of both the Roman and the
Byzantine models can be traced. No more characteristic specimens of
Byzantine foliage can be desired than some to be found in Palestine,
as for example the Golden Gate at Jerusalem, which we illustrate
(Fig. 163); but in the deserted cities of Central Syria a group of
exceptional and most interesting buildings, both secular and sacred,
exists, which, as described by De Vogüé,[33] seem to display a free
and very original treatment based upon Roman more than Byzantine
ideas. We illustrate the exterior of one of these, the church at
Turmanin (Fig. 164). This is a building divided into a nave and aisles
and with a vestibule. Two low towers flank the central gable, and it
will be noticed that openings of depressed proportion, mostly
semicircular headed, and with the arches usually springing from square
piers, mark the building; while the use made of columns strongly
resembles the manner in which in later times they were introduced by
the Gothic architects.

  [Illustration: FIG. 165.--TOWER OF A RUSSIAN CHURCH.]


[29] _I.e._ the City of Constantine.

[30] "The edge of the world: the knot which links together East and
West; the centre in which all extremes combine," was the not
overcharged description given of Constantinople by one of her own

[31] For an illustration see Fig. 187.

[32] 'Lectures on Mediæval Architecture.'

[33] 'Syrie Centrale.'



The term Romanesque is here used to indicate a style of Christian
architecture, founded on Roman art, which prevailed throughout Western
Europe from the close of the period of basilican architecture to the
rise of Gothic; except in those isolated districts where the influence
of Byzantium is visible. By some writers the significance of the word
is restricted within narrower limits; but excellent authorities can be
adduced for the employment of it in the wide sense here indicated.
Indeed some difficulty exists in deciding what shall and what shall
not be termed Romanesque, if any more restricted definition of its
meaning is adopted; while under this general term, if applied broadly,
many closely allied local varieties--as, for example, Lombard,
Rhenish, Romance, Saxon, and Norman--can be conveniently included.

The spectacle which Europe presented after the removal of the seat of
empire to Byzantium and the incursions of the Northern tribes was
melancholy in the extreme. Nothing but the church retained any
semblance of organised existence; and when at last some kind of order
began to emerge from a chaos of universal ruin, and churches and
monastic buildings began to be built in Western Europe, all of them
looked to Rome, and not to Constantinople, as their common
ecclesiastical centre. It is not surprising that, as soon as
differences between the ritual of the Eastern and the Western Church
sprang up, a contrast between Eastern and Western architecture should
establish itself, and that the early structures of the many countries
where the Roman Church flourished never wandered far from the Roman
type, with the exception of localities where circumstances favoured
direct intercourse with the East. The architecture of the Eastern
Church, on the other hand, adhered quite as closely to the models of

  [Illustration: FIG. 166.--TOWER OF EARL'S BARTON CHURCH.]

The style, so far as is known, was for a long time almost, if not
absolutely, the same over a very large part of Western Christendom,
and it has received from Mr. Freeman the appropriate designation of
Primitive Romanesque. It was not till the tenth century, or later,
that distinctive varieties began to make their appearance; and though
that which was built earlier than that date has, through rebuildings
and enlargements as well as natural decay, been in many cases swept
away, still enough may be met with to show us what the buildings of
that remote time were like.

The churches are usually small, and have an apsidal east end. The
openings are rude, with round-headed arches and small single or
two-light windows, and the outer walls are generally marked by flat
pilasters of very slight projection. Towers are common, and the
openings in them are often divided into two or more lights by rude
columns. The plan of these churches was founded on the basilica type,
but they do not exhibit the same internal arrangement; and it is very
noteworthy that many of them show marks of having been vaulted, or at
least partly vaulted; and not covered, as the basilicas usually were,
by timber roofs. Even a country so remote as Great Britain possessed
in the 10th century many buildings of Primitive Romanesque character;
and in such Saxon churches as those of Worth, Brixworth, Dover, or
Bradford, and such towers as those of Earl's Barton (Fig. 166),
Trinity Church Colchester, Barnack, or Sompting, we have specimens of
the style remaining to the present day.

By degrees, as buildings of greater extent and more ornament were
erected, the local varieties to which reference has been made began to
develop themselves. In Lombardy and North Italy, for example, a
Lombard Romanesque style can be recognised distinctly; here a series
of churches were built, many of them vaulted, but not many of the
largest size. Most of them were on substantially the same plan as the
basilicas, though a considerable number of circular or polygonal
churches were also built. Sant' Ambrogio at Milan, and some of the
churches at Brescia, Pavia, and Lucca, may be cited as well-known
examples of early date, and a little later the cathedrals of Parma,
Modena, and Piacenza (Fig. 167), and San Zenone at Verona. These
churches are all distinguished by the free use of small ornamental
arches and narrow pilaster-strips externally, and the employment of
piers with half-shafts attached to them, rather than columns, in the
arcades; they have fine bell-towers; circular windows often occupy
the gables, and very frequently the walls have been built of, or
ornamented with, coloured materials. The sculpture--grotesque,
vigorous, and full of rich variety--which distinguishes many of these
buildings, and which is to be found specially enriching the doorways,
is of great interest, and began early to develop a character that is
quite distinctive.

  [Illustration: FIG. 167.--CATHEDRAL AT PIACENZA.]

Turning to Germany, we find that a very strong resemblance existed
between the Romanesque churches of that country and those of North
Italy. At Aix-la-Chapelle a polygonal church exists, built by
Charlemagne, and which tradition asserts was designed on the model of
San Vitale at Ravenna. The resemblance is undoubted, but the German
church is by no means an exact copy of Justinian's building. Early
examples of German Romanesque exist in the cathedrals of Mayence,
Worms, and Spires, and a steady advance was made till a point was
reached (in the twelfth century) at which the style may be said to
have attained the highest development which Romanesque architecture
received in any country of Europe.

The arcaded ornament (the arches being very frequently open so as to
form a real arcade) which was noticed as occurring in Lombard
churches, belongs also to German ones, though the secondary internal
arcade (triforium) is absent from some of the early examples. Piers
are used more frequently than columns in the interiors, and are often
very plain. From an early date the use of a western as well as an
eastern apse seems to have been common in Germany, and high western
façades extending between two towers were features specially met with
in that country. For a notice and some illustrations of the latest and
best phase of German Romanesque, which may with propriety be termed
"round-arched Gothic," the reader is referred to the companion volume
of this series.[34]

France exhibits more than one variety of Romanesque; for not only, as
remarked in the chapter on Byzantine Art, is the influence of Greek or
Venetian artists traceable in the buildings of certain districts,
especially Périgueux, but it is clear that in others the existence of
fine examples of Roman architecture (Fig. 168) affected the design of
buildings down to and during the eleventh century. This influence may,
for example, be detected in the use, in the churches at Autun,
Valence, and Avignon, of capitals, pilasters, and other features
closely resembling classic originals, and in the employment through a
great part of Central and Northern France of vaulted roofs.


A specially French feature is the chevet, a group of apsidal chapels
which were built round the apse itself, and which combined with it to
make of the east end of a great cathedral a singularly rich and ornate
composition. This feature, originating in Romanesque churches, was
retained in France through the whole of the Gothic period, and a good
example of it may be seen in the large Romanesque church of St. Sernin
at Toulouse, which we illustrate (Fig. 169). The transepts were
usually well marked. The nave arcades generally sprang from piers
(Fig. 170), more rarely from columns. Arches are constantly met with
recessed, _i.e._ in receding planes,[35] the first stage of progress
towards a Gothic treatment, and are occasionally slightly moulded
(Fig. 171). Western doorways are often highly enriched with sculpture;
and the carving and sculpture generally, though often rude, are full
of vitality. Towers occur, usually square, more rarely octagonal.
Window-lights are frequently grouped two or more under one arch.
Capitals of a basket-shape, and with a square abacus, often richly
sculptured, are employed.

  [Illustration: FIG. 169.--CHURCH OF ST. SERNIN, TOULOUSE.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 170.--NAVE ARCADE AT ST. SERNIN, TOULOUSE.]


In Normandy, and generally in the North of France, round-arched
architecture was excellently carried out, and churches remarkable both
for their extent and their great dignity and solidity were erected.
Generally speaking, however, Norman architecture, especially as met
with in Normandy itself, is less ornate than the Romanesque of
Southern France; in fact some of the best examples seem to suffer from
a deficiency of ornament. The large and well-known churches at Caen,
St. Etienne, otherwise the Abbaye aux Hommes--interesting to
Englishmen as having been founded by William the Conqueror
immediately after the Conquest--and the Trinité, or Abbaye aux Dames,
are excellent examples of early Norman architecture, but the student
must not forget that additions have been made to them, which, if they
add to their beauty, at the same time alter their character. For
example, in St. Etienne, the upper part of the western towers and the
fine spires with which they are crowned were built subsequent to the
original structure, as was also, in all probability, the chevet, or
eastern limb. It seems probable also that the vaulting may not be what
was contemplated in the original plan.

St. Etienne is 364 ft. long, and is lofty in its proportions. It has a
nave and aisles, arcades resting on piers, and strongly-marked
transepts, and has two western towers with the gable of the nave
between them. The west front is well designed in three stories, having
strongly-marked vertical divisions in the buttresses of the towers,
and equally distinct horizontal divisions in the three doorways below,
and two ranges of windows, each of five lights, above. There is no
circular west window. The nave and aisles are vaulted.

Besides other cathedral churches, such for example as those of Bayeux
and Evreux, in which considerable parts of the original structures
remain, there exist throughout Normandy and Brittany many parochial
churches and monastic buildings, exhibiting, at least in some portions
of their structure, the same characteristics as those of St. Etienne;
and it is clear that an immense number of buildings, the beauty and
even refinement of which are conspicuous, must have been erected in
Northern France during the eleventh and the early years of the twelfth
centuries, the period to which Norman architecture in France may be
said to belong.

In Great Britain, as has been already pointed out, enough traces of
Saxon--that is to say, Primitive Romanesque--architecture remain to
show that many simple, though comparatively rude, buildings must have
been erected previous to the Norman Conquest. Traces exist also of an
influence which the rapid advance that had been made by the art of
building as practised in Normandy was exerting in our island. The
buildings at Westminster Abbey raised by Edward the Confessor, though
they have been almost all rebuilt, have left just sufficient traces
behind to enable us to recognise that they were of bold design. The
plan of the Confessor's church was laid out upon a scale almost as
large as that of the present structure. The monastic buildings were
extensive. The details of the work were, some of them, refined and
delicate, and resembled closely those employed in Norman buildings at
that time. Thus it appears that, even had the Conquest not taken
place, no small influence would have been exerted upon buildings in
England by the advance then being made in France; but instead of a
gradual improvement being so produced, a sudden and rapid revolution
was effected by the complete conquest of the country and its
occupation by nobles and ecclesiastics from Normandy, who, enriched by
the plunder of the conquered country, were eager to establish
themselves in permanent buildings.

Shortly after the Conquest distinctive features began to show
themselves. Norman architecture in England soon became essentially
different from what it was in Normandy, and we possess in this country
a large series of fine works showing the growth of this imported
style, from the early simplicity of the chapel in the Tower of London
to such elaboration as that of the later parts of Durham Cathedral.

The number of churches founded or rebuilt soon after the Norman
Conquest must have been enormous, for in examining churches of every
date and in every part of England it is common to find some fragment
of Norman work remaining from a former church: this is very frequently
a doorway left standing or built into walls of later date: and, in
addition to these fragments, no small number of churches, and more
than one cathedral, together with numerous castles, remain in whole or
in part as they were erected by the original builders.

Norman architecture is considered to have prevailed in England for
more than a century; that is to say, from the Conquest (1066) to the
accession of Richard I. (1189). For some details of the marks by which
Norman work can be recognised the reader is referred to the companion
volume;[36] we propose here to give an account of the broader
characteristics of the buildings erected during the prevalence of the

       *       *       *       *       *

The oldest remaining parts of Canterbury Cathedral are specimens of
Norman architecture executed in England immediately after the
Conquest. This great church was rebuilt by Archbishop Lanfranc (whose
episcopate lasted from 1070 to 1089), and in extent as laid out by him
was very nearly identical with the existing structure; almost every
portion has, however, been rebuilt, so that of his work only the
towers forming transepts to the choir, and some other fragments, now
remain. More complete and equally ancient is the chapel in the Tower
of London, which consists of a small apsidal church with nave and
aisles, vaulted throughout, and in excellent preservation. This
building, though very charming, is almost destitute of ornament. A
little more ornate, and still a good example of early Norman, is St.
Peter's Church, Northampton (Fig. 172), the interior of which we
illustrate. To these examples of early Norman we may add a large part
of Rochester Cathedral, and the transepts of Winchester. The transepts
of Exeter present a specimen of rather more advanced Norman work; and
in the cathedrals of Peterborough and Durham the style can be seen at
its best.

  [Illustration: FIG. 172.--NORMAN ARCHES IN ST. PETER'S CHURCH,

In most Norman buildings we find very excellent masonry and massive
construction. The exteriors of west fronts, transepts, and towers
show great skill and care in their composition, the openings being
always well grouped, and contrasted with plain wall-spaces; and a keen
sense of proportion is perceptible. The Norman architects had at
command a rich, if perhaps a rather rude, ornamentation, which they
generally confined to individual features, especially doorways; on
these they lavished mouldings and sculpture, the elaboration of which
was set off by the plainness of the general structure. In the interior
of the churches we usually meet with piers of massive proportion,
sometimes round, sometimes octagonal, sometimes rectangular, and a
shaft is sometimes carried up the face of the piers; as, for example,
in Peterborough Cathedral (Fig. 173). The capitals of the columns and
piers have a square abacus, and, generally speaking, are of the
cushion-shaped sort, commonly known as basket-capitals, and are
profusely carved. The larger churches have the nave roofed with a
timber roof, and at Peterborough there is a wooden ceiling; in these
cases the aisles only are vaulted, but in some small churches the
whole building has been so covered. Buttresses are seldom required,
owing to the great mass of the walls; when employed they have a very
slight projection, but the same strips or pilasters which are used in
German Romanesque occur here also. Low towers were common, and have
been not unfrequently preserved in cases where the rest of the
building has been removed. As the style advanced, the proportions of
arcades became more lofty, and shafts became more slender, decorative
arcades (Fig. 174) became more common, and in these and many other
changes the approaching transition to Gothic may be easily detected.

We have already alluded to the many Norman doorways remaining in
parish churches of which all other parts have been rebuilt. These
doorways are generally very rich; they possess a series of mouldings
sometimes springing from shafts, sometimes running not only round the
arched head, but also up the jambs of the opening; and each moulding
is richly carved, very often with a repetition of the same ornament on
each voussoir of the arch. Occasionally, but not frequently, large
portions of wall-surface are covered by a diaper; that is to say, an
ornament constantly repeated so as to produce a general sense of



Norman castles, as well as churches, were built in great numbers
shortly after the Conquest, and not a few remain. The stronghold
which a follower of the Conqueror built in order to establish himself
on the lands granted him was always a very sturdy massive square
tower, low in proportion to its width, built very strongly, and with
every provision for sustaining an attack or even a siege. Such a tower
is called "a keep;" and in many famous castles, as for example the
Tower of London, the keep forms the nucleus round which buildings and
courtyards of later date have clustered. In some few instances,
however, as for example at Colchester, the keep is the only part now
standing, and it is probable that when originally built these Norman
castles were not much encumbered with out-buildings. Rochester Castle
is a fine example of a Norman keep, though it has suffered much from
decay and injury. The very large Norman keep of the Tower of London,
known as the White Tower, and containing the chapel already described,
has been much modernised and altered, but retains the fine mass of its
original construction. Perhaps the best (and best-preserved) example
is Hedingham Castle in Essex, which we illustrate (Figs. 175 and 176).
From the remains of this building some idea of the interior of the
hall--the chief room within a Norman keep--may be obtained, as well as
of the general external appearance of such a structure.

  [Illustration: FIG. 175.--HEDINGHAM CASTLE.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 176.--INTERIOR OF HEDINGHAM CASTLE.]


[34] 'Gothic and Renaissance Architecture,' chap. vii.

[35] 'Gothic and Renaissance Architecture,' chap. v. p. 62.

[36] 'Gothic and Renaissance Architecture,' chap. ii. p. 23.





Notwithstanding very wide differences which undoubtedly exist, there
is a sufficient bond of union between the Basilican, the Byzantine,
and the Romanesque styles, to render it possible for us to include the
characteristics of the three in an analysis of Christian round-arched

_The Plan or floor-disposition_ of the basilican churches, as has been
pointed out, was distinctive. The atrium, or forecourt, the porch, the
division into nave and aisles; the transept, the great arch, and the
apse beyond it with the episcopal seat at the back behind the altar;
the ambos; and the enclosure for the choir, were typical features.
Detached towers sometimes occurred. The plan of Romanesque churches
was based upon that of the basilica; the atrium was often omitted, so
was the transept sometimes; but, when retained, the transept was
generally made more prominent than in the basilica. The position of
the altar and of the enclosure for the choir were changed, but in
other respects the basilica plan was continued. In Germany, however,
apsidal transepts (Fig. 178) were built. Towers were common,
occasionally detached, but more frequently joined to the main


Circular and polygonal buildings for use as baptisteries, and
sometimes as churches, existed both in the basilican and the
Romanesque time.

Byzantine church plans are all distinguished by their great central
square space, covered by the central dome, flanked usually by four
arms, comparatively short, and all of equal length; and the plan of
the buildings is generally square, or nearly so, in outline. Circular
and polygonal buildings sometimes occur.

  [Illustration: FIG. 179.--SPIRE OF SPIRES CATHEDRAL.]

Few traces of the arrangement of military, secular, or domestic
buildings earlier than the twelfth century remain, but some examples
of a cloister at the side of the nave (generally the south side) of a
church, giving or intended to give access to monastic buildings, still

_The Walls_ of such buildings as have come down to us are, it may be
well understood, strong, since the most recent of this round-arched
series of buildings must be about seven hundred years old. Fine
masonry was not much employed till the time of the Normans, but the
Roman plan of building with bricks or rubble and casing the face of
the walls with marble or mosaic, or at least plaster, was generally
followed. The walls are carried up as gables and towers to a
considerable extent (Fig. 179), especially in Western countries.

_The Roof._--In a basilica this was of timber, in a Byzantine church
it consisted of a series of domes; in a Romanesque church it was
sometimes of timber as in the basilica, but not unfrequently vaulted.
As a general rule the vault prevailed in the West and the dome in the
East; and such examples of either sort of roof as occur in those
provinces where the other was usual, like the domed churches in parts
of France, must be looked upon as exceptional.

_The Openings_ are almost invariably arched, and seldom, if ever,
covered by a lintel. It is hardly necessary to add that the arches are
always round. Almost always they are semicircular, but instances of
the employment of a segmental arch, or of one the outline of which is
a little more than half a circle, may be occasionally met with.

Door openings are often made important both by size and decoration.
Window openings are usually small; and the grouping of two or more
lights under one head, which was so conspicuous a feature in Gothic
architecture, first appears in Byzantine buildings, and is met with
also in Romanesque ones. The mode of introducing light is to a certain
extent characteristic. The basilican churches always possess a
clerestory, and usually side windows in the aisles; and this
arrangement is generally followed in Romanesque buildings, though
sometimes, in Germany, the clerestory is omitted. The gable ends of
the nave and transepts are not usually pierced by many or large lights
(Fig. 180); and when there is a central feature, as a tower, or even a
dome, little or no light is introduced through it. On the other hand,
the Byzantine churches depend largely for light upon the ring of
windows which commonly encircles the base of the central dome, and
sometimes that of the subsidiary domes; and the gables are pierced
so as to supply any additional light required, so that windows are
infrequent in the lower walls. Broadly speaking, therefore, the
Western churches have side-lighting and the Eastern top-lighting.


The great arches which carry the main domes form a notable feature in
Eastern churches, and are of very bold construction. In the basilican
churches one great arch, called "the arch of triumph," occurs, and
only one; this gives access to the apse: and a similar arch, which we
now denominate "the chancel arch," usually occupies a corresponding
position in all Romanesque churches. The arches of the arcade
separating the nave from the aisles in all Western churches are
usually of moderate span. In some ancient basilicas these arches are
replaced by a horizontal beam.

_The Columns._--In basilicas these were of antique type; very often
they had actually been obtained by the demolition of older buildings,
and when made purposely they were as a rule of the same general
character. The same might be said of those introduced into Byzantine
buildings, though a divergence from the classic type soon manifested
itself, and small columns began to appear as decorative features. In
Romanesque buildings the columns are very varied indeed, and shafts
are frequently introduced into the decoration of other features. They
occur in the jambs of doorways with mouldings or sub-arches springing
from them; long shafts and short ones, frequently supporting
ornamental arcades, are employed both internally and externally; and
altogether that use of the column as a means of decoration, of which
Gothic architecture presents so many examples, first began in the
Romanesque style.

The capitals employed in Romanesque buildings generally depart
considerably from the classic type, being based on the primitive cube
capital (Fig. 181), but, as a rule, in Eastern as well as in basilican
churches, they bear a tolerably close resemblance to classic ones.

  [Illustration: FIG. 181.--CUBIC CAPITAL.]

_The Ornaments_ throughout the whole of the Christian round-arched
period are a very interesting subject of study, and will repay close
attention. In the basilican style mouldings occur but seldom: where
met with, they are all of the profiles common in Roman architecture,
but often rudely and clumsily worked. Carving partakes also of classic
character, though it is not difficult to detect the commencement of
that metamorphosis which was effected in Byzantium, and which can
hardly be better described than in the following paragraph from the
pen of Sir Digby Wyatt:--"The foliage is founded on ancient Greek
rather than on Roman traditions, and is characterised by a peculiarly
sharp outline. All ornamental sculpture is in comparatively low
relief, and the absence of human and other figures is very marked.
Enrichments were almost invariably so carved, by sinking portions only
of the surfaces and leaving the arrises and principal places
untouched, as to preserve the original constructive forms given by the
mason (Fig. 184). The employment of the drill instead of the chisel,
so common in debased Roman work, was retained as a very general
practice by the Greek carvers, and very often with excellent effect.
The foliage of the acanthus, although imitated from the antique,
quite changed its character, becoming more geometrical and
conventional in its form. That which particularly distinguishes
Lombard from Byzantine art is its sculpture abounding with grotesque
imagery, with illustrations of every-day life, of a fanciful mythology
not yet quite extinct, and allusions, no longer symbolic but direct,
to the Christian creed; the latter quality a striking evidence of the
triumph of the Roman Church over all iconoclastic adversaries in
Greece." What is here asserted of Lombard carving is true of that in
the Romanesque buildings in Germany, Scandinavia (Fig. 182), France,
and to a certain extent in Great Britain, though in our own country a
large proportion of the ornamental carving consists simply of
decorative patterns, such as the chevron, billet, and zig-zag; and
sculpture containing figures and animals is less common.

  [Illustration: FIG. 182.--DOORWAY AT TIND, NORWAY. (END OF 12TH

The mouldings of Romanesque buildings are simple, and at first were
few in number, but by degrees they become more conspicuous, and before
the transition to Gothic they assumed considerable importance (Fig.
183) and added not a little to the architectural character of the


Coloured decoration, especially in mosaic, was a conspicuous feature
in basilican churches, and still more so in those of the Byzantine
style; such decoration in Romanesque churches was not infrequent, but
it was more commonly painted in fresco or tempera. The glass
mosaic-work to be found on the walls of Early Christian churches, both
basilican and Byzantine, but less frequently Romanesque, is most
interesting and beautiful: "it was," says the high authority already
quoted, "employed only to represent and reproduce the forms of
existing objects, such as figures, architectural forms and
conventional foliage, which were generally relieved with some slight
indication of shading upon a gold ground--the whole being bedded in
the cement covering the walls and vaults of the basilicas and

"The design of both figures and ornaments was, generally speaking,
very rude, though not without an occasional rising in some of the
figures to a certain sublimity, derivable principally from the great
simplicity of the forms and draperies and the earnest grandiose
expression depicted on their countenances. The pieces of glass
employed in the formation of this work are very irregular in shapes
and sizes, of all colours and tones of colour, and the ground tint
almost invariably prevailing is gold. The manner of execution is
always large and coarse, and rarely approaches in neatness of joint
and regularity of bedding to the (ancient Roman) 'opus majus
vermiculatus;' yet, notwithstanding these blemishes, the effect of
gorgeous, luxurious, and at the same time solemn decoration produced
is unattainable by any other means as yet employed as structural
embellishment. How noble and truly ecclesiastical in character are the
gold-clad interiors of Monreale Cathedral, of the Capella Palatina at
Palermo, of St. Mark at Venice, San Miniato at Florence, or Santi
Apollinare and Vitale at Ravenna, the concurrent testimony of all
travellers attests."

A finer kind of glass mosaic arranged in geometrical patterns was
made use of to enrich the ambos, screens, episcopal chairs, sepulchral
ornaments, and other similar fittings of churches, and was often of
great beauty. A third sort of mosaic--the Alexandrine work (opus
Alexandrinum)--used for pavements, has been already alluded to; this
was extremely effective, but its use appears to have been less general
than that of the glass mosaics for the walls.

_The Architectural Character_ of the basilican churches may be briefly
characterised as venerable and dignified, but yet cheerful and bright
rather than forbidding; they are, as interiors, impressive but not
oppressive, solemn but not gloomy. Comparatively little attention was
paid to external effect, and there is not often much in them to strike
the passer-by. The character of Byzantine interiors is far more rich,
and even splendid; but it is more gloomy, and often is solemn and
grand to the last degree. In many cases these churches possess fine
exteriors; and for the level sky-line produced by the long straight
roofs of the basilica, a more or less pyramidal composition, showing
curved outlines rather than straight ones, is substituted. The
architectural character of the Romanesque buildings varies extremely
with the districts in which they are erected; but, generally speaking,
it may be described as picturesque, and even sometimes romantic; the
appearance of towers, prominent transepts, and many smaller decorative
features serves to render the exteriors telling and varied, though
often somewhat rude and primitive. A solid and somewhat heavy
character distinguishes the interiors of some varieties of Romanesque
buildings--such, for example, as our own Early Norman; but in our
fully-developed and late Norman, and still more in the latest German
Romanesque churches, this disappears almost entirely, and much beauty
and even lightness of effect is obtained, without any loss of that
richness which is characteristic of more ancient examples.





Few revolutions more sudden, more signal, and more widespread are
recorded in history than that which covered not only the East but part
of the West with the Mohammedan religion and dominion. Mohammed was
born either in the year 569 or 570 of the Christian era, and died A.D.
652. The year of the Hegira, the era from which Mohammedans compute
their chronology, is A.D. 622, and within little more than a century
from this era the Prophet was acknowledged, and the suzerainty of the
Caliph recognised eastwards, in Arabia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and
Persia, and in India as far as to the Ganges; and westwards along the
north coast of Africa, in Sicily, and in Spain. It was only to be
expected that such a wonderful tide of conquest and such a widespread
change of religion should before long leave its impress on the
architecture of the continents thus revolutionised; and accordingly a
Mohammedan style soon rose. This style did not displace or override
the indigenous art of the various countries where it prevailed, as
Roman architecture did in the age of universal dominion under the
Empire; it assimilated the peculiarities of each country, and so
transmuted them, that although wherever the religion of Mohammed
prevails the architecture will at a glance confess the fact, still the
local or national peculiarities of each country remain prominent.

The Arabs, a nomadic race who lived in tents, do not seem to have been
great builders even in their cities. We have no authentic accounts or
existing remains of very early buildings even in Mecca or Medina, as
the oldest mosques in those cities have been completely rebuilt. It is
to Egypt and Syria that we must turn for the most ancient remaining
examples of Saracenic architecture. These consist of mosques and


A mosque--or Mohammedan place of worship--has two forms. The earlier
mosques are all of them of a type the arrangement of which is
simplicity itself. A large open courtyard, resembling the garth of a
cloister, with a fountain in it, is surrounded cloister-wise by
arcades supporting timber roofs. On the side nearest Mecca the arcades
are increased to several rows in depth, so as to cover a considerable
space. This is the part in which the congregation chiefly assembles;
here a niche or recess (termed Kibla), more or less enriched, is
formed in which the Koran is to be kept, and hard by a pulpit is
erected. For many centuries past, though not, it is believed, from the
very earliest times, a minaret or high tower, from the top of which
the call to prayer is given, has also been an indispensable adjunct to
a mosque.

The second sort of mosque is a domed, and sometimes vaulted building
of a form chiefly suggested by the Byzantine domed churches, with a
central space and four short arms. This sort of mosque became almost
universal in Turkey and Egypt after the capture of Constantinople by
the Turks, and the appropriation to Moslem worship of Santa Sophia
itself. The tombs are ornate and monumental buildings, or sanctuaries,
of the same general character as the domed mosques, and often attached
to them.

  [Illustration: FIG. 186.--HORSE-SHOE ARCH.]

From very early times the arches, in the arcades which have been
described as virtually constituting the whole structure of the simpler
sort of mosque, were pointed. Lubke claims as the earliest known and
dated example of the pointed arch in a Saracenic building, the
Nilometer, a small structure on an island near Cairo, which contains
pointed arches that must have been built either at the date of its
original construction in A.D. 719, or at latest, when it was restored
A.D. 821. The Mosque of Amrou, however, which was founded very soon
after the conquest of Egypt in A.D. 643, and is largely made up of
materials obtained from older buildings, exhibits pointed arches, not
only in the arcades, which probably have been rebuilt since they were
originally formed, but in the outer walls, which are likely, in part
at least, to be original.


Whatever uncertainty may rest upon these very remote specimens of
pointed architecture, there is little if any about the Mosque of Ibn
Tulun, also at Cairo, and built A.D. 885, or, according to another
authority, A.D. 879. Here arcades of bold pointed arches spring from
piers, and the effect of the whole structure is noble and full of
character. From that time the pointed arch was constantly used in
Saracenic buildings along with the semicircular and the horse-shoe
arch (Fig. 186).

From the ninth century, then, the pointed arch was in constant use. It
prevailed in Palestine as well as in the adjacent countries for two
centuries before it reached the West, and there can be no doubt that
it was there seen by the Western Crusaders, and a knowledge of its use
and an appreciation of its beauty and convenience were brought back to
Western Europe by the returning ecclesiastics and others at the end of
the First Crusade.[37]

In the eleventh century the splendid Tombs of the Caliphs at Cairo
were erected,--buildings crowned with domes of a graceful pointed
form, and remarkable for the external decoration which usually covers
the whole surface of those domes. By this time also, if not earlier,
the minaret had become universal. This is a lofty tower of slender
proportions, passing from a square base below to a circular form above
(Fig. 187). A minaret is often divided into several stages. Each stage
is then marked by a balcony, and is, generally speaking, a polygon
of a greater number of sides than the stage below it.


In the interiors of Saracenic buildings what is generally known as
honeycomb corbelling is constantly employed to fill up corners and
effect a change of plan from a square below to a circle or octagon
above. This ornament is formed by the use of a series of small
brackets, each course of them overhanging those below, and produces an
effect some idea of which may be gathered from our illustration (Fig.
188) of the Hall of the Abencerrages in the Alhambra. The interiors
when not domed are often covered by wooden or plaster ceilings, more
or less richly decorated, such as are shown in the view of one of the
arcades of the Mosque "El Moyed," Cairo (Fig. 189), where the
horse-shoe and pointed arches can both be seen. This illustration also
shows timber ties, at the feet of the arches, such as were commonly
used by the earlier Saracenic builders.

The surfaces of the interiors of most Mohammedan buildings in all
countries are covered with the most exquisite decorations in colour.
Imitations of natural objects being forbidden by the Koran (a
prohibition occasionally, but very rarely, infringed), the Saracenic
artists, whose instincts as decorators seem to have been unrivalled,
fell back upon geometrical and flowing patterns and inscriptions, and
upon the use of tiles (Fig. 190), mosaics, inlays, patterns impressed
on plaster, and every possible device for harmoniously enriching the
surfaces with which they had to deal. Several of our illustrations
give indications of the presence of these unrivalled decorations in
the buildings which they represent (Fig. 195). Windows are commonly
filled by tracery executed in stone or in plaster, and glazed with
stained glass, and many of the open spaces in buildings are occupied
by grilles, executed in wood, and most effective and rich in design.

  [Illustration: FIG. 189.--MOSQUE 'EL MOYED' AT CAIRO.]

  [Illustration: FIG. 190.--ARABIAN WALL DECORATION.]


_Syria and Palestine._

Syria was one of the countries earliest overrun by the Arab
propaganda, and Jerusalem was taken by the Caliph Omar as early as
A.D. 637. He there built a small mosque, though not the one which
commonly goes by his name. Two mosques of great antiquity and
importance, but the origin of which is a matter of dispute among
authorities, stand in the Haram enclosure at Jerusalem. One of these
is the octagonal building called the Sakhra (Figs. 191-2), known in
the Moslem world as the Dome of the Rock, popularly called the Mosque
of Omar, and occupying, as is all but universally admitted, part of
the site of the Temple itself. Whether this is a "nearly unaltered
Christian building of the fourth century," or a construction of
Abd-el-Malek, the second Caliph, erected in the year 688, has been
debated keenly; but what is beyond debate is that this structure is
very Byzantine, or, to speak with more exactness, very like some of
the buildings of Justinian in plan and section, and that from early
times it was in the possession of the Saracens, and was regarded by
them as the next most venerable and sacred spot in the world after
Mecca. Much the same difference of opinion prevails as to the origin
of the neighbouring mosque, El Aksah, which bears an undoubted general
resemblance to an ancient basilica, though having no fewer than
seven parallel avenues. This building has with equal confidence been
attributed to the fourth and the seventh century. It is fortunately
quite unnecessary here to do more than point out that these mosques,
whatever their origin, were in use at least as early as the eighth
century, and that the beautiful Dome of the Rock must have exercised a
great influence on Mohammedan art, and, notwithstanding some
differences of plan, may be fairly regarded as the prototype of many
of the domed mosques and tombs to which allusion has been made. The
decorations shown in our illustration of the Sakhra are, it is right
to observe, most of them of a date centuries later than the time of
the original construction of the building.


_Sicily and Spain._

The spread of Mohammedan architecture westward next claims our notice;
but want of space will only permit us to mention a small though
interesting group of Saracenic buildings which still remains in
Sicily; the numerous specimens of the style which exist on the north
coast of Africa; and the works erected by the Saracens during their
long rule in Spain. The most celebrated Spanish example is the
fortress and palace of the Alhambra, begun in 1248, and finished in
1314. This building (Fig. 188) has been measured, drawn, and fully
illustrated in an elaborate monograph by our countryman Owen Jones,
and has become popularly known by the beautiful reproduction of
portions of it which he executed at the Crystal Palace, and of which
he wrote an admirable description in his 'Guide-book to the Alhambra
Court.' The Mohammedan architecture of Spain is here to be seen at
its best; most of its features are those of Arab art, but with a
distinguishing character (Fig. 193).

  [Illustration: FIG. 193.--DOORWAY IN THE ALHAMBRA.]

Two other well-known examples are, the Giralda[38] at Seville, and
the Mosque at Cordova. The Giralda is a square tower, in fact a
minaret on a magnificent scale, divided into panels and richly
decorated, and shows a masculine though beautiful treatment wholly
different from that of the minarets in Cairo. The well-known Mosque at
Cordova is of the simplest sort of plan, but of very great extent, and
contains no less than nineteen parallel avenues separated from one
another by arcades at two heights springing from 850 columns. The
Kibla in this mosque is a picturesque domed structure higher than the
rest of the building. The columns employed throughout are antique ones
from other buildings, but the whole effect of the structure, which
abounds with curiously cusped arches and coloured decoration, is
described as most picturesque and fantastic.

_Persia and India._

Turning eastwards, we find in Turkey, as has been said, a close
adherence to the forms of Byzantine architecture. In Persia, where the
people are now fire-worshippers, the Mohammedan buildings are mostly
ruined, and probably many have disappeared, but enough remains to show
that mosques and palaces of great grandeur were built. Lofty doorways
are a somewhat distinctive feature of Persian buildings of this style;
and the use of coloured tiles of singular beauty for linings to the
walls, in the heads of these great portals, and in other situations to
which such decoration is appropriate, is very common: these
decorations afford opportunity for the Persian instinct for colour,
probably the truest in the whole world, to make itself seen.

In India the wealth of material is such that an almost unlimited
series of fine buildings could be brought forward, were space and
illustrations available. A large part of that vast country became
Mohammedan, and in the buildings erected for mosques and tombs a
complete blending of the decorative forms in use among Hindu and Jaina
sculptors with the main lines of Mohammedan art is generally to be
found. The great open quadrangle, the pointed arch, the dome, the
minaret, all appear, but they are all made out of Indian materials.
Perhaps not the least noteworthy feature of mosques and tombs in India
is the introduction of perforated slabs of marble in the place of the
bar-tracery which filled the heads of openings in Cairo or Damascus.
These are works of the greatest and most refined beauty: sometimes
panels of thin marble, each pierced with a different pattern, are
fitted into a framework prepared for their reception; at others we
meet with window-heads where upon a background of twining stems and
leaves there grow up palms or banian-trees, their lithe branches and
leaves wreathed into lines of admirable grace, and every part standing
out, owing to the fine piercings of the marble, as distinctly as a
tree of Jesse on a painted window in a Gothic cathedral.

The dome at Bijapur, a tomb larger than the Pantheon at Rome, and the
Kutub at Delhi, a tower not unfit to be compared with Giotto's
campanile at Florence, are conspicuous among this series of monuments,
and at Delhi one of the grandest mosques in India (Fig. 194) is also
to be found. The series of mosques and tombs at Ahmedabad, however,
form the most beautiful group of buildings in India, and are the only
ones of which a complete series of illustrations has been published.
These mosques are remarkable for the great skill with which they are
roofed and lighted. This is done by means of a series of domes raised
on columns sufficiently above the general level of the stone ceilings,
which cover the intervening spaces, to admit light under the line of
their springing. The beauty of the marble tracery and surface
decoration is very great. Pointed arches occur here almost invariably,
and in most cases the outline of the opening is very slightly turned
upwards at the apex so as to give a slight increase of emphasis to the
summit of the arch. The buildings are not as a rule lofty; and though
plain walls and piers occur and contrast well with the arched
features, pains have been taken to avoid anything like massive or
heavy construction. Great extent, skilful distribution, extreme
lightness, and admirably combined groupings of the features and
masses, are among the fine qualities which lend to Mohammedan
architecture in Ahmedabad a rare charm.


The religion and the art of Islam seem destined to live and die
together. Nothing (with the one exception of the suggestion of the
pointed arch to Western Europe at the very moment when Romanesque art
was ripe for a change) has developed itself or appears likely to grow
out of Mohammedan architecture in any part of the wide field to which
the attention of the reader has been directed; and in this respect the
art of the Mohammedan is as exclusive, as intolerant, and as infertile
as his religion. The interest which it must possess in the eyes of a
Western student will rise less from its own charms than from the fact
that it first employed the pointed arch--that feature from which
sprang the glorious series of Western Christian styles to which we
give the name of Gothic. This arch, indeed, appears to have been
discovered by the very beginners of Mohammedan architecture, at a time
when the style was still plastic and in course of growth, and the
beauty of Saracenic art is due to no small extent to the use of it;
but in the employment of this feature the Western architect advanced
much further than the Saracen even at his best could go. The pointed
architecture of the Middle Ages, with its daring construction, its
comprehensive design, its elaborate mouldings, and its magnificent
sculptures, is far more highly developed and more beautiful than that
of the countries which we have been describing, though in its
treatment of the walls it cannot surpass, and indeed did not often
equal, the unrivalled decoration of plane surfaces which forms the
chief glory of Mohammedan art.

  [Illustration: FIG. 195.--ENTRANCE TO A MOORISH BAZAAR.]


[37] The First Crusade lasted from A.D. 1095 to A.D. 1099.

[38] 'Gothic and Renaissance Architecture,' p. 141.


  Abbaye aux Dames, Caen, 231
       "     Hommes, Caen, 230

  Abbey, Westminster, 204

  Agora, 114

  Alhambra, 258, 263

  Amphitheatre at Arles, 161
          "       Nîmes, 161
          "       Pola, 161
          "       Rome (Coloss.), 158
          "       Sutri, 148
          "       Verona, 161

  Anthemios of Thralles, _Architect_, 211

  Appian Way, 145

  Apollodorus of Damascus, _Architect_, 155

  Aqueduct at Nîmes (Pont du Gard), 171
      "    from Præneste to Rome, 145
      "    at Rome (Aqua Claudia), 171
      "        "   (Anio Novus), 171
      "    at Segovia, 171
      "    at Tarragona, 171

  Arch at Autun (Porte d'Arroux), 172
      "   Jerusalem (Golden Gate), 220
      "   Rome (of Constantine), 172
      "    "   (of the Goldsmiths), 173
      "    "   (of Sept. Severus), 172
      "    "   (of Titus), 172
      "   Trèves (Porta Nigra), 172

  Asoka, 65

  Baalbek, ruins at, 149

  Basilica at Rome (Constantiniana), 155
        "      "   (Emilia), 154
        "      "   (Julia), 155
        "      "   (Portia), 154
        "      "   (Sempronia), 155
        "      "   (Ulpia), 155
        "     Trèves, 155

  Basilica-church at Florence (S. Miniato), 209
      "       "      Ravenna (S. Apollinare in Classe), 206, 209
      "       "      Rome (S. Agnese), 201
      "       "      Rome (S. Clemente), 199
      "       "      Rome (S. Paul without the walls), 205
      "       "      Rome (S. Pietro), 201

  Baths of Agrippa, 162
      "    Caracalla, 162
      "    Diocletian, 164, 191

  Bharhut, 71

  Birs-i-Nimrud, 45

  Bridge over the Danube (Trajan's), 170
          "       Tagus (Hadrian's), 170
          "       Tiber (Pons Sublicius), 170

  Campo Santo, Pisa, 209

  Castle of S. Angelo, 174

  Cathedral at Canterbury, 233
         "     Durham, 234
         "     Exeter, 234
         "     Monreale, 249
         "     Peterborough, 234, 235
         "     Piacenza, 224
         "     Pisa, 209
         "     Rochester, 234
         "     Rome (S. Peter's), 205
         "     Venice (S. Mark's), 217
         "     Winchester, 234

  Chaitya, 67

  Chapel in Tower of London, 232, 233

  Chehil Minar, 56

  Choragic Monument of Lysicrates, 112

  Church at Aix-la-Chapelle, 225
       "    Caen (Abb. aux Hommes), 230
       "     "   (Abb. aux Dames), 231
       "    Constantinople (S. Sophia), 211
       "    Earl's Barton, 224
       "    Milan (S. Ambrogio), 224
       "    Northampton (S. Peter's), 234
       "    Paris (Madeleine), 185
       "    Périgueux (S. Front), 218
       "    Ravenna (S. Vitale), 208, 215
       "    Rome (S. Maria degli Angeli), 164
       "     "   (S. Maria ad Martyres), 166
       "    Rome (S. Stefano Rot.), 208
       "    Toulouse (S. Sernin), 227
       "    Turmanin, Syria, 221
       "    Verona (S. Zenone), 224

  Circus Maximus, Rome, 143, 161

  Cloaca Maxima, Rome, 141

  Cnidus, Lion tomb at, 110

  Colosseum, 158

  Column of Marcus Aurelius, 173
       "    Trajan, 173

  Decoration of Egyptian buildings, 37

  Erechtheium, 107

  Forum of Nerva, 191

  Gate, Golden, at Jerusalem, 220

  Gate at Perugia, 141

  Giralda, 265

  Hall, S. George's, Liverpool, 185

  Ictinus, _Architect_, 88

  Isidoros of Miletus, _Architect_, 211

  Keep at Colchester, 237
      "   Hedingham Castle, 239
      "   Rochester Castle, 238
      "   Tower of London, 237, 239

  Kutub, 266

  Lâts, 65

  Lotus Column, 32

  Lysicrates, Choragic Monument of, 112

  Maison Carrée, Nîmes, 149

  Mammisi, 25

  Manephthah, 24

  Manetho, 15

  Mastaba, 20

  Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, 110

  Mosque at Ahmedabad, 266
       "    Cairo (of Amrou), 254
       "      "   ("El Moyed"), 258
       "      "   (of Ibn Tulun), 256
       "    Cordova, 265
       "    Delhi, 266
       "    Jerusalem (El Aksah), 261
       "        "     (Sakhra), 261
       "    (the Nilometer), 254

  Mugheyr, buildings at, 44

  Mycenæ, Treasury of Atreus, 85
     "    Gate of the Lions, 86

  Obelisks, 36

  Pagoda at Nankin, 76

  Palace at Khorsabad, 46
       "    Rome (of the Cæsars), 174
       "    Spalatro (of Diocletian), 174, 192

  Pantheon, 164

  Parthenon, 88-91, 99-101

  Persepolis, buildings at, 55

  Persian columns, 57

  Pheidias, _Sculptor_, 91

  Pont du Gard, Nîmes, 171

  Porta Nigra, Trèves, 172

  Pylon, 25

  Pyramid of Cephren, 16
        "    Cheops, 16
        "    Mycerinus, 16

  Ram Raz, 72

  Rome, Cloacæ at, 141

  Scopas, _Sculptor and Architect_, 109, 112

  Silchester, ruins at, 143

  Sutri, ruins of an amphitheatre, 143

  Temple at Athens (Erechtheium), 107
       "      "    (Parthenon), 88-91, 99-101
       "      "    (of Jupiter Olym.), 149
       "    Baalbek, 149
       "    Corinth, 81, 87
       "    Ephesus (of Diana), 109
       "    Honan, 75
       "    Ipsamboul, 31
       "    Karli (Chaitya), 67
       "    Karnak, 26
       "    Lomas Rishi cave, 67
       "    Nigope cave (Chaitya), 67
       "    Nîmes (Maison Carrée), 149
       "    Orange (ruins), 157
       "    Pæstum, 92
       "    Rome (of Jupiter Capitolinus), 142
       "     "   (of Q. Metellus Macedonicus), 145
       "     "   (of Antoninus and Faustina), 147
       "     "   (of Fortuna Vir.), 147
       "     "   (of Vesta), 153
       "     "   (Pantheon), 164
       "    Sanchi (Tope), 67
       "    Tegea (of Athena Alea), 112
       "    Tivoli (of Vesta), 153

  Temples, Egyptian, 25
     "     Shinto, 77

  Theatre of Balbus, 156
     "    "  Marcellus, 156
     "    "  Mummius, 156
     "    at Orange, 157
     "    of Pompey, 156

  Thermæ, _see_ Baths

  Tomb at Ahmedabad, 266
    "  "  Bab-el-Molouk (Belzoni's), 24
    "  "  Bijapur, 266
    "  "  Castel d'Asso, 139
    "  of Cecilia Metella, 173
    "  "  Cyrus, 54
    "  "  Darius, 59
    "  "  Hadrian, 174
    "  "  Regulini Galeassi, 141

  Tombs, Egyptian, 20
    "    Lycian, 85
    "    Cnidus (Lion), 110

  Tope at Sanchi, 67

  Tower at Delhi (Kutub), 266
      "    Seville (Giralda), 265

  Treasury of Atreus, 85

  Typhonia, 25

  Usertesen I., 29

  Wall of China, Great, 76

  Way, Appian, 145

  Westminster Abbey, 204

  Wurkha, ruins at, 46





Each Volume contains numerous Illustrations, and is strongly bound for
the use of Students. Price 5_s._



    the Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and
    Early Christian. Illustrated with upwards of 200
    Engravings, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheium,
    the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, the Colosseum, the Baths
    of Diocletian, &c.


    progress of Gothic Architecture in England, France,
    Germany, Italy, and Spain, and of Renaissance
    Architecture in the same Countries. Illustrated with
    more than 100 Engravings, including many of the
    principal Cathedrals, Churches, Palaces, and Domestic
    Buildings in England, and on the Continent.


    Illustrations, including Examples of the Works of the
    most celebrated Greek Sculptors, a Map of Ancient
    Greece, and a Chronological List of Ancient Sculptors
    and their Works.


    PAINTING: CLASSIC and ITALIAN. Including Painting in
    Egypt, Greece, Rome, and Pompeii; the Renaissance in
    Italy; Schools of Florence, Siena, Rome, Padua, Venice,
    Perugia, Ferrara, Parma, Naples and Bologna. Illustrated
    with 80 Engravings of many of the finest Pictures of


    Account of the Works of Albrecht Dürer, Cranach, and
    Holbein; Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, and Memling; Rubens,
    Snyders, and Van Dyck; Rembrandt, Hals, and Jan Steen;
    Wynants, Ruisdael, and Hobbema; Cuyp, Potter, and
    Berchem; Bakhuisen, Van de Velde, Van Huysum, and many
    other celebrated painters.


    PAINTING: ENGLISH and AMERICAN. Including an account of
    the Earliest Paintings known in England; the works of
    Holbein, Antonio Moro, Lucas de Heere, Zuccaro, and Marc
    Garrard; the Hilliards and Olivers; Van Dyck, Lely, and
    Kneller; Hogarth, Reynolds, and Gainsborough; West,
    Romney, and Lawrence; Constable, Turner, and Wilkie;
    Maclise, Mulready, and Landseer, and many other
    celebrated painters.
                                             _Nearly ready._


    PAINTING: SPANISH and FRENCH. Including the Works of
    Ribera, Zurbaran, Velazquez, and Murillo; Poussin,
    Claude Lorrain, Le Sueur, Watteau, Chardin, Greuze,
    David, and Prud'hon; Ingres, Vernet, Delaroche, and
    Delacroix; Corot, Diaz, and Millet; Courbet, Regnault,
    Troyon, and many other celebrated artists.
                                           _In preparation._

Transcriber's Note

Archaic spelling has been preserved as printed, for example, Egean
instead of Ægean.

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

The following amendments have been made:

    Page 67, footnote--X. amended to XI.--"See Chap. XI. for
    an illustration of a Christian Basilica."

    Page 101--Theseium amended to Theseum--"Temple of Theseus
    (Theseum), at Athens, 465 B.C."

    Page 211--Isodoros amended to Isidoros--"... Anthemius of
    Thralles, and Isidoros of Miletus, ..."

    Page 270--114 amended to 116--"Agora, 116"

    Page 270--148 amended to 143--"Amphitheatre at Sutri, 143"

    Page 270--205 amended to 206--"Basilica-church at Rome
    (S. Paul without the walls), 206"

Discrepancies between items in the List of Illustrations and actual
captions have been preserved as printed.

Figure 115--Guilloche is missing from the List of Illustrations in the
original text. This omission has been preserved in this e-text.

Figures 116 and 117 were out of sequence on page 136 (with Figures
105-110). They have been moved to their proper place in the sequence
of Figures. Other illustrations have been moved where necessary so
that they are not in the middle of a paragraph.

The advertising material has been moved to the end of the book.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Architecture - Classic and Early Christian" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.