Architecture and Women in Ancient Greece

Architecture and Women in Ancient Greece

RWAAG Home, Ancient Greek Architecture–>

Role of Women in the Art of Ancient Greece

Architecture and Women in Ancient Greece

Posters of the Ruins of Ancient Athens

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Architecture and Women in Ancient Greece

Questions and Answers

Question: What did the garden of a palace look like?

Answer: Click on Gardens in Ancient Greece.

Question: do you have a picture that i may print off of an amphitheatre for
a research project that i am working on

Answer: Click here

Question: are unicorns part of greek matholigy

Answer: No. They were a part of Greek Science. In those days Greek
scientists would travel around and publish texts which described their
sightings. One of these Greeks traveled to Africa and observed a Rhinoceros.
Unfortunately his description was a poor one and later comentators refined
the description to the present unicorn which is nothing like a Rhinoceros. The
scientific name for Rhinoceros is Rhinoceros unicornis

Question: do you have any pictures of ancient greeks praying,sacrificing,
worshiping at an alter or temple of zues or any greek god.


Question: How did ancient greece effect us today?

Answer: The ancient Greeks set a standard of excellence that is still with
us. Greek architecture is quite popular and inspires many building projects.
Even today many homes have Greek columns out in front. The Greeks moved from a primitive people to a civilized one in a fairly short period of time. What they did is set the standard for what it meant to be civilized.

Question: do you have a ancient acropolis

Answer: Click here

Question: Were women ever sacrificed within any ancient Greek cult?

Answer: Yes they were. The best evidence is in the myth of the Minotaur
where every 9 years 7 maidens and 7 young men were sent from Athens to
Crete to be devoured by the Minotaur.

Question: house art

Answer: Most art in Ancient Greece was public for temples and public meeting
places, so house art is rare. Here are some examples:

Question: what did ancient greek buildings show about women of the time?

Answer: The temples and public buildings were decorated with images of
women. Also the buildings formed the surroundings of the women. Women
spent most of their time in buildings. Women had to fetch water and cook outdoors.

Question: How were the women of Classical Greece oppressed?

Answer: Some people claim that all women were oppressed in ancient Greece but
this is not probably true. It is true that most slaves were oppressed and women
slaves especially. But wives and daughters of citizens may not have been
oppressed at all. Some hetaerae were oppressed in the sense that they were
required to perform acts of sex for hire, but some became quite powerful and
were able to avoid this.

Question: how can i find an address in athens

Answer: The address of the National Archaeological Museum is Patission 44 St,
Athens 10682. A list of other meusems in Greece is at Click here.

Question: I need info on Spartan buildings but i’m having a hard time, can
you give me a brief summary in them?

Answer: Spartan buildings were simpler but similar to other Greek buildings.
They were Doric in style. “In contrast to other ancient Greek cities, Sparta
was not a compact fortified city-state center with monumental civic and
religious buildings. It was a loose collection of smaller villages spaced over
a large rural area and 6 low hills (cf. Thuc. 1.10.2). The highest of these
knolls (ca. 25 m) served as the acropolis and location for the Temple of
Athena Chalkioikos.’ Click here

Question: what is the address of the Propylea site in Athens Greece

Answer: THE ACROPOLIS – The site of the Parthenon, the Propylea, the Temple
of the Wingless Victory, the Erechtheion and the Acropolis Museum.

Question: A description of Odysseus’s House

Answer: Odysseus’ house consisted of one or more courts adjoining one or
more two story structures. The main door came into the main courty and attached
to a two story structure, the upper part of which was Penelope’s quarters. The
perimeter of each court was roofed and sloping inwards.

Question: what is the greek name for Daniel?

Answer: Daniel means ‘God is my judge’. Righteous is ‘δίκαιος’.

Question: does your site have any information about th poet of the iliad and oddyssey , homer

Answer: Nothing is known about Homer, not even that one person wrote both
the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Question: Did Athenian and Spartan art and architecture differ because of
their peaceful/military differences?

Answer: No. Even though the Spartan economy was always prepared for war
and the Athenian economy sometimes had other bases, neither city could be
considered peaceful. Religious differences probably made the difference in
art and architecture.

Question: Can u tell me all about the temples in Ancient Greece please!!!

Answer: The temples of ancient Greece were built to please the gods and
goddesses of ancient Greece. There were usually rectangular buildings with
a central room and a surrounding porch built with the post and lintel system.
Each temple was dedicated to specific gods or goddesses that were worshipped
there. The temple was a public building overseen by priestesses or priests
and open to the citizens of the community. It often contained one or more
statues of the deities and an altar either inside or out used for sacrifice. Porches usually surrounted the building and may have served to accomodate the crowds that arrived at the temple after a procession.

Question: what were houses made of

Answer: Mostly stone with wooden rafters, frames, windows and doors.

Question: diferrences between greek and egyptian art

Answer: Greek art was strongly influenced by Egyptian art but the Greeks
modified these influences in creative ways. Both architectures involved
post and lintel construction, but the Greeks incorporated local designs
and added the pitched roof. Egyptian gods were based on animal forms while
the Greeks incorporated human forms. The Greeks changed many of the animal
forms into monsters. The Egyptian art was symbolic and integrated with
their symbolic hieroglyphic writing. Greek art was more representative with
the writing separate and representative of sounds rather than visual symbols.

Question: Did other time periods use the Golden Rectangle in their
architecture? How was the Golden Rectangle used in making statues during
this time period?

Answer: Greek architectural styles were widely copied. To see how the Golden
Rectangle was used see: Click Here

Question: what were ancient greek occupations

Answer: Click on Occupations.

Question: Were there any large Colliseums where sports were

Answer: In ancient Greece sports were performed in a stadium, not a
colliseum. There was a stadium at Delphi, Epidauros, Olympia, and Priene.

Question: Why

Answer: Architecture is the art and science of designing and builing
buildings for human habitation. The nature of the buildings built by a culture
says something about the activities and goals of a culture. The architecture
of ancient Greece has been very influential down through the ages.

Question: what types of mycenaean furniture are there ?

Answer: Benches, footstools, and tables have been found. Also chairs,
couches, and chests. At Pylos the chairs were inlaid with panels of carved
ivory and gold.

Homer mentions furniture in the Odyssey:

  • a spear-stand
  • a carven chair
  • a footstool
  • an inlaid seat
  • a polished table
  • high seats
  • “a chair well-wrought and inlaid with ivory and silver, which on a
    time the craftsman Icmalius had fashioned, and had joined
    thereto a footstool, that was part of the chair, whereon a
    great fleece was used to be laid.”
  • “and in the night they sleep each one by
    his chaste wife in coverlets and on jointed bedsteads”
  • The bed of Odysseus – There was growing a bush of olive, long of
    leaf, and most goodly of growth, within the inner court,
    and the stem as large as a pillar. Round about this I built
    the chamber, till I had finished it, with stones close set,
    and I roofed it over well and added thereto compacted doors
    fitting well. Next I sheared off all the light wood of the
    long-leaved olive, and rough-hewed the trunk upwards from
    the root, and smoothed it around with the adze, well and
    skilfully, and made straight the line thereto and so
    fashioned it into the bedpost, and I bored it all with the
    auger. Beginning from this bedpost, I wrought at the
    bedstead till I had finished it, and made it fair with
    inlaid work of gold and of silver and of ivory. Then I made
    fast therein a bright purple band of oxhide.” Homer, Odyssey, Book

Question: Where is this Muesem Located?

Answer: This is a virtual museum located in Kent, Ohio, U.S.A. There are a few real artifacts

Question: when was greece found

Answer: This web site deals with Ancient Greece from about 50,000 BCE to
about 148 BCE.

Question: I need information about labyrinths in Ancient

Answer: Apollodorus, Library and Epitome, 3.1.4: ‘Now the Labyrinth which
Daedalus constructed was a chamber “that with its tangled windings perplexed
the outwardway.”‘ Thus he refers to a maze. But Homer says: “Furthermore he
wrought a green, like that which Daedalus once made in Cnossus for lovely
Ariadne. Hereon there danced youths and maidens whom all would woo,…” Iliad,
Book XVIII which refers to a green, and open space. When the archeology of
Cnossus was done what was found was a court surrounded by a palace, with
the court like the open space and the palace interior like the maze. Here is a view of Cnossus: Click here. The word
“labyrinth” most likely comes from the word “labris” which was a symbol of the
Minoan religion that looks like a double-bit axe. Both court and palace were
heavily decorated with this image. So it would appear that the meaning of the
word “labyrinth” shifted in classical times to mean maze. Here is a maze from
the Roman period: Coninbriga. A labyrinthine building was discovered at
Ephyra and at Didyma a labyrinthine pattern on the ceiling causes the rooms
below to have been referred to as labyrinths.

Question: where can you find information on parts of a colmn?

Answer: Click Here

Question: What were the buildings made out of

Answer: Stone, especially marble, metal, especially bronze, and wood.

Question: Where can Demeter’s temple be found?

Answer: At Priene is the ruins of a temple sanctuary for Demeter and Kore.
Temple, altar, and sacrificial pit is situated within temenos enclosure north
of city center, at foot of acropolis. It dates from 350 to 300 BCE.

At Eleusis in Attica is a sanctuary: Panhellenic sanctuary of Demeter and
Kore and center for the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Pausanius, Description of Greece has many references to temples of
Demeter which you can check at: Click here

Question: where can i find pictures of the amphora?


Question: design of an amphi theatre

Answer: Click Here

Question: Which was better, Spartan, or Athenian art, and why?

Answer: The Athenians were profific artists and craftsman, while the
Spartans hardly produced anything.

Question: Who were some architects who built some important
anciant greece buildings?


  • Agamedes
  • Callicrates
  • Deinocrates
  • Hermogenes
  • Hippodamus
  • Ictinus
  • Libon of Elis
  • Mnesicles
  • Pheidias
  • Philon
  • Pythius
  • Scopas
  • Theodorus of Phocaea
  • Trophonius

Question: what are some facts about The Temple of Athena Nike?

Answer: It is a temple built in the classical style from 427 BCE to 424 BCE.
It is an amphiprostyle temple with 4 Ionic columns in the front and back. The
Temple include a famous carved parapet.

Question: Can you please tell me more about the practices that
took place in ht e Round Temple of Aphrodite in Knidos

Answer: The naked Aphrodite of Praxiteles was installed here and after that
many voyeurs visited who had little interest in religion. That Aphrodite
should be worshipped as a goddess is foreign to the contemporary mind. For
many her worship was no different from that for any other goddess. Orgiastic
worship does not seem to have been practiced for Aphrodite. Maidens would
visit to pray for marriage. Of course there were sacrifices and festivals.

Question: How big were the houses of wealthy people in Ancient

Answer: Here are the remains of some of the houses:

Question: How is ancient greek architecture used today?

Answer: Ancient Greek architecture is still a strong influence on
architecture though today it is less strong than it was 100 years ago.
For example the Greek influence is strong in the Cleveland Museum of Art
Building in Cleveland Ohio: Click here As the museum has expanded the architects have
continued to deal with this style but in a more modern way: Click here. Now a new
expansion program is underway which will demand the architects to review the
Greek influence again.

Not too far from the museum is Severence hall, the home of the world
famous Cleveland Orchestra. The Greek influence in this building should also
be obvious: Click here. The recent renovators of this building also had
to be very concerned with the Greek influence.

Question: In Greek architecture ther are Greek funeral monuments based on the
one for Lysicrates, who is Lysicrates?

Answer: A choregos and a wealthy patron of musical performances in the Theater of Dionysus to commemorate the award of first prize in 335/334 BCE to one of the performances he had sponsored. The choregos was the sponsor who paid for and supervised the training of the dramatic dance-chorus.

Question: what was teh greek contribution to arcitecture?

Answer: The structure of the Greek Architecture was not remarkable for
the time. What was remarkable was their sense of form and style. With
simple contruction techniques they achieved a remarkable balance of external
form and decoration which infects us to this day. Their forms are taken as
the forms of status and refinement and the decorations are always in good taste.
These results come from an emphasis on simple forms and their relationships
and an ideal in the field of human expression. Decorations involve simple
plant forms and human bodies in a graceful espression of fluid space.

Question: when will I find the image of an ancient architect.

Answer: Probably never. The ancient Greeks did not do many portraits of
living people. They preferred portraits of gods and goddesses. But they
did use living people as models. So you could find a picture of an older
ancient Greek in a vase painting and say it looks like an architect.

Question: What are some of the major influences on Ancient Greek Art and architecture?

Answer: Early on the immigrants to Greece seem to have come from west
Africa and Central Europe. Later the Indo-Europeans came as Achaeans. The
ancient Greeks were much influenced by the Egyptian, Phoenician and other
mid-eastern cultures. They were also inflenced by each successive
wave of immigrants from the north: The Dorians, Ionians, Aeolians.

Question: what kind of tools were most used in ancient greece

Answer: The most important tools were associated with ship building. These
included: saw, ax, adze, auger, hammer, nail, chisel, mallet. In building
construction there were drills, dressing tools, cranes. carts, wedges, ramps.
n agriculture a wooden plow was used.

Question: What building methods were used in ancient Greece?

Answer: Post and lintel. Stone and wood was used. Joints were fitted and sometimes locked with keys but no mortar was used on elements exposed to the weather. Lead seems to have been the substance for the keys.

Question: How and why did ancient greeks use mosiacs

Answer: First notice that moaics have lasted much better than other
building materials. Mainly they used mosaics for floors. They used mosaics
because they were decorative and functional as floors. They have always
been expensive so few could afford them.

Question: what was the ancient greek monster with the head and body of a lion and wings like an eagle?

Answer: A griffin has the head and wings of an eagle and body of a lion.

Question: Why was the acanthus leaf used in the corinthian capital

Answer: The acanthus was a familiar plant to the ancient Greeks.

Question: was light (fire, lamps, or something similar) important in ancient Greek worship? did they have anything like the chrisian idea of the chaple candle that is always burning or catholic prayer candles?

Answer: Fire was very important to the ancient Greeks. But they focused all their attention on Hestia, goddess of the hearth. Every community had a temple
for Hestia, in which an eternal flame burned. This is where the citizens went
to get a light if their fire went out. Hestia was a personal goddess who
demanded at least daily attention, much more than most of the other deities.

Question: what kind of lighting capabilities did women have for their
household in ancient Greece? did work generally stop when it got dark or did
they use lamps or candels? if so, did women manufacture these things and what
kind of fuel did they use?

Answer: Women had cooking fires, torches, and lamps. Lamps held a
quantity of oil and had a spout for a wick. Many different oils could be
used including olive, animal fat, or mineral. Torches were used in outdoor
activity such as torch races. Torches consisted mainly of a bundle of sticks. Cooking fires were outside while lamps could be used in the house.

Question: what were some of the tools that the greeks used for biulding, and how did they function?

Answer: The tools ancient Greeks used were simple ones:

  • Hammer and chisel or drill – The force of the hammer caused small pieces of
    rock to chip off.
  • Wood pins – These were driven in parallel holes in the rock. Wet with water
    they expanded and cracked the rock.
  • Cranes were constructed similar to the masts of a ship. These were fitted
    with blocks(pulleys) and tackle (rope).
  • rope loops, lifting tongs, and pulleys were used to lift the stones.
  • melting furnace – Used to melt lead poured into keys to secure stones.
  • abrasive stone – rubbed against marble to smoothe it.
  • Two wheeled donkey carts – used for general hauling.

Question: ancient greek leisure

Answer: The symposium was the main leisure activity. Many activities such as choruses, athletic events, banquets, and processions were part of a religious observance and not strictly leisure. Storytelling in the evening might be considered a leisure activity. During the daylight work was mandatory. Any leisure would be at night when work was not possible.

Question: I have to futher explore ancient greek architecture and was wondering if you can help me find a primary source. ALso I was wondering if anyone influenced them.

Answer: The primary source for ancient Greek architecture is the remains
themselves. This article has the names of many famous buildings which you
can search in the search engines. There are also links to pictures of the
remains of these buildings. The Greeks were influenced by neighboring
civilizations including the Egyptians and the Persians. More important is
the link between the ancient Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations and the later
classical civilization.

Question: Would you happen to have a picture of Olympus?

Answer: Ancient Greek sacred sites

Question: how did ancient greek use math throughout their architecture?

Answer: As a building is being built many measurements are made to assure
it is built according to plan. In the plan math was used to generate
pleasing ratios and proportions. Most of the math involved geometry.

Question: What does post-and-lintel construction mean and look like?

Answer: Click here

Question: i need to know about the history of the theseum temple (hephaistion)??

Answer: Temple of Hephaistos. Hephaisteion. Hephaisteion Facts and Figures.

Question: What other buildings are there at the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore in Corinth?

Answer: Priene, Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore

Question: what is ancient greece made of?

Answer: Mud, timbers, and stone including marble, some ceramics and some metal including copper, tin, lead, and iron.

Question: What materials were used to build temples in Ancient Greece?

Answer: Walls were usually made of stone, including marble. Metal
including lead and bronze formed keys to hold the stones together. Roofs
were made of timbers topped with ceramic shingles. Ceramics and metals were
used for ornamentation. Doors were either wood or stone. Hinges, if present,
were made of bronze. Some doors of stone or wood turned on pegs of similar materials. Locks were mainly of wood.

Question: What influenced Ancient Greek Architecture?

Answer: Greek Architecture was strongly influenced by the art and
architecture of the near east. Buildings were built of stone using the
post and lintel construction method in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. But
local materials, scenery, and ingenuity had strong influences on the Greek
work. The strongest input to this ingenuity were the stories of the gods
and goddesses which the Greeks so beautifully used to illustrate their

Question: When did greek architecture start?

Answer: The palace at Knossos was first built around 1900 BCE. Most historians talk of a Greek dark ages from about 1000 BCE to 800 BCE. After this building started again, first with wood and then with stone. The stone building have survived better than the wooden ones.

Question: how did the Greeks get the roofs on the temples

Answer: The roofs of the temple were invariably made of wooden beams. The
beams were covered with a wooden sheathing and clay tiles were laid on top.
The reason the roofs are missing on the temples is that the beams rot away
and have to be replaced every 400 years.

The Parthenon had a roof as late as 1600 AD. It was used as a munitions dump by the Turks and it accidently blew up. The walls were so badly damaged that the roof was not
replaced. The Turks were at war with the Venetians in the 17th cent (1687, to be exact). And they used the main room to store ammunition. The Venetians scored a direct hit. And that was the end of the Parthenon as a functioning building. By a functioning building I mean that it
had been used continuously as place of worship for close to 2,000 years: First as a Greek temple, then as a Christian church, and finally as a mosque after the Turks conquered Greece (Greece was part of the Ottoman Empire from 1300 to 1919. reference

Question: How did people in ancient greece go to the bathroom?did they have holes in the grond?did they have toilets?

Answer: Some did use holes in the ground, but most used chamberpots. The
waste was then spread on the fields as fertilizer. There were also latrines
with running water. If there was a good supply of water a portion of it would
be diverted through a narrow channel. Over this channel would be placed a
block with several holes cut in it. A person would sit on the hole to eliminate
their wastes.

Question: How did the art of Sparta and Athens differ?

Answer: During the Classical period Spart;a produced very little original
art whil Athens was producing some of the greatest art ever produced.

Question: any greek influences on modern arcitecture

Answer: The influences have been mostly decorative but they are enormous.
Public building often display Greek columns and other decoration. Sculptural
details are often Greek. During the early history of the U.S.A there was a
neo-classical revival and many houses were built in a Greek style. Georgean
and Western-Reserve styles are very influenced by the Ancient Greek. Many
homes are built with columns holding up the front porch and these are
invariably Greek. Banks and post offices have often been built in the Greek
Style. The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York,
and the Capitol Building in Washington are all influenced by Greek designs.

Question: Where are buildings today that have the style of the colimns in front of their buildings?

Answer: Lincoln Memorial

Question: I really need to know what the scale of ancient Greek house that an average person lived in (not wealthy, or poor), were. i need to know about how big each room was (floor space, height, etc). And if you can, I also need to know the rooms that used to be in an average persons house. Please HELP, ASAP!!!

Answer: The average person lived in a house with a single room that was
possibly no bigger than 16 feet on a side (5 meters). Most bulidings were
clumps of such houses built together.

Question: How were the stage sets of Euripides and Sophocles have or did
they use dramatic devices?

Answer: The stage may have had curtains or drapes. The ancient Greeks also used a crane for raising and lower deities from the sky (deus ex machina) amd a plaform on wheels (eccyclema).

Question: What is the oldest piece of architecture in Greece?

Answer: Some candidates from the Minoan and Mycenaean cultures

In General the Doric style preceeded the Ionic which preceeded the corinthian. The oldest known example of the Corinthian style of architecture is the temple of Apollo at Bassae built in around 420 B.C. The Heraion of Olympia (circa 600 BC) exemplifies the transition from wood to stone construction.

Question: how to look for anciant archetecture


  • Identify a culture and search under that Culture such as Minoan,
    Mycenaean, Cycladic, Archaic, or Classical Greek.
  • Search an ancient building by name such as Parthenon, Temple of Zeus,
    Temple of Artemis.
  • Got to travel brochures for an area such as Greece, Crete, or Samos.
  • Study aerial photographs for building patterns.
  • Get a book on ancient architecture.

Question: did they sleep on beds or cots or what? a picture would be good, too!

Answer: They slept on a kline. This is a bed frame on long legs, perhaps 36 inches off the floor. The mattress was supported on ropes strong across the frame.



  • Sostratos 270 BCE
  • Daedalus 1500 BCE
  • Iktinos and Kallikrates 447 BCE Parthenon
  • Kallikrates 420 BCE Temple of Athena Nike
  • Democritus – Greek philosopher credited with the invention of the stone arch
  • Hippodamus – recognized as the first city planner.
  • Denocrates – commissioned to design Alexandria.

Question: I need to draw a picture of an ancient greek bedroom. Where can I
found such a painting, or photo for help ? This is for a assignment in a
dipploma of interior decor.

Answer: There are only hints of what a bedroom might look like.

Question: what are the different types of grecian pediment forms

Answer: The pediment is the triangular element on the two ends of a peaked
roof. The general form is consistent from building to building. Often the space is decorated with sculptures which vary from building to building. See Pediment.

Question: arch_q=mathematical theories were used in the erectheion?

Answer: An Architect would use many geometric theorems in designing
a large building. In addition there are a number of theorems from structural
engineering. Beams have a load that they cannot exceed without breaking.
Beams have a compression factor that they connot exceed without
collapsing. There is also a tension factor that can be computed.

Question: samos tunnel

Answer: The Tunnel of Eupalinos

Question: Was any temples created by women architechts? If so, what where
their names?

Answer: I do not know of any woman architects, but it was fairly common
for the wife of a professional to assist their husbands. The husband usually
got the credit for the wives work. If a young woman wanted to be an architect
she would disguise herself as a man and attend architecture school. Any work
that she got would be credited to a man.

Question: do you have a picture of the Parthenon.


Question: who was the parthenon built by

Answer: “Following the Athenian democratic practice, a public board
supervised the project and public auditors were ready to scrutinize the
accounts. Of the Parthenon Pericles’ friend, the master-sculptor Pheidias, was
put in overall artistic control. He carved the imposing statue of Athena, but
his contribution to the rest of the building is not known. The temple to house
it was created by two builders, Ictinus and Callicrates, but their exact roles
are unclear. Craftsmen came from Athens and abroad, some presumably slaves.
Records of their wages have survived, but do not enable historians to compute
the value of their earnings.” reference

Question: What were the influences on the architecture?

Answer: The basic building techniques seem to have been learned from the
ancient Egyptians. The environment provided the choice of material. The
ancient Greeks had good marble locally available. The environment also
provided some decorative inspiration with acanthus and grape leaves providing
important decorative elements. Religion provided the main elements of the
decoration. And the Greek genius provided insights and inventions which made
the result quite unique.

Question: what is the architecture in sparta like?

Answer: They preserved the work of their predecessors and built plain
things when new was required.

Question: Why have Ancient Greek friezes became
significant sources of imformation for today’s historians?

Answer: The images in the friezes are representative and so they communicate information about the culture that created them. Since they were carved in stone this communication has been quite permanent.

Question: Where can I find information about lighting in ancient greek architecture-
methods/techniques/philosophy. Any good resources?

Answer: The ancient Greeks did not have plate glass. A window would have to be provided with a shutter, or woven flap to keep out the elements. Most of the light for a room was expected through the door opening, which was sometimes quite large but also fitted with a door or curtain. The Greek house was designed with a courtyard where most of the activity of the house took place. The court usually included an overhanging roof so the residents
were protected from the sun and rain but had good access to light and air. Temples were
for public use and were designed like a house inside out. In a temple there was an inner room surrounded by a porch. In a house light came in the courtyard and flowed through the doors into the house. In the temple the light came from outside the temple and flowed through the door of the tmple into the interior.

At night a fire was used for light. Torches were used to supplement the fire in the
fireplace which was normally in the center of the courtyard. One of the uses for olive oil was for lamps. Lamps were small but numerous for use in dark rooms. The symposium must have been primarily illuminated by lamp light. Since most construction was masonry the lamps presented only a small hazard. Torches seem much more common than lamps. Entertainers at the symposium might have danced with torches. Pictures exist of dancers and runners with torches. Lamps were also carried by hand but not so vigorously.


Answer: The simple answer is that they held up the roof. The Greeks only
knew of post and lintel construction. But there is another extremely important
reason. Zeus, the head God, was a weather god, with lightning as his weapon.
The main evidence of the god was the result of a lightning strike. When
lightning strikes a tree chunks are produced. These chunks were saved and
mounted as upright posts. This is the best explantion of what the mysterious
Xoan are. The fact that the worshipper of the god sometimes saw features of
the god in the chunk gave rise to the idea that an icon of the god could be
carved. Also the chunk represented the trunk of a tree and that in turn
represented the vegetable matter that the people were dependent upon for
their food. They plainly understood the value of the weather and the role of
weather in the production of food. So to them a column was a symbol of their
god. This is plainly evident in the Lion gate of Mycene where the lions have
surrounded the column. See:Mycenae: Lion Gate

Another feature of columns is that they hold up the roof. The lintel is the cross beam that must be held up. There is a physical limit to the length of the lintel if it is to be be usefully made because of the strength of the material. So with post and lintel construction in order to build a roof to cover a wide area many columns must be used. Later arch and cantilever construction methods allowed wider spaces to be covered with fewer posts.

Question: What type of tools did they use to sculpt columns in ancient greece?.

Answer: Hammers, chisels, and drills were used by the ancient greeks to sculpt columns. You can still buy these tools in the local hardware store. Almost any hammer would work but a small sledge hammer is commonly used. Sledge means simply striking. The chisels are now called cold chisels. They are called cold because they are made to work cold steel. The ancient Greeks were not so good at tempering so our steel is harder and stronger than theirs was. The drills are now called star drills. They are very hard because they are used for drilling concrete which has flint stone in it. Flint stone is much harder than marble. They also used saws that had no teeth and were made of copper. To use such a saw you draw it back and forth across the stone. In the path of the blade on the stone you place some sand and water. The sand is sharp and the copper is soft so pieces of the sand imbed in the copper. Then as the saw moves the sand pieces in the copper cut the stone. The water is needed as lubrication so the stone will not knock the pieces of sand out of the copper. Today we use the same process except we imbed pieces of diamond in the metal before sawing. Diamond is the hardest stone and cuts everything. Some stone was worked by simply rubbing one piece of stome against another. The sone could be smoothed in this way.

Question: I would like to know how the role of women was reflected in Greek

Answer: Figures of women were prominantly displayed on Greek Architecture even though they were not supposed to be prominant in classical Greek society. Many structures had to be adapted to women. Walls and strong doors had to be built so they would be protected. Houses had to be divided so they could be isolated from the men.

Question: Was there such thing as an ancient greek public toilet/bathroom?.

Answer:Yes there was though few communities had them. They were often associated with a fountain house though not necessarily a part of it. The water would flow out of the fountains into a trough. The trough would turn into a tunnel. The toilets would be holes in a stone cap for the tunnel. The constantly running water would wash the wastes away. The problem with this system is that the wastes were not available for composting for the fields. And the wastes could also pollute the stream they flowed into.

Question: I am researching about colors in interior design and was wondering if you have any information about colors in ancient Greece. What colors they had access to, their meaning, how they were used etc.

Answer: The association of meanings to colors comes from the association of the things that are colored. It is then appropriate to seach ancient texts for the use of colors. For example in the Odyssey we find the following examples of the use of color with a line in which the reference is made:

  • Red-wedding garments were red
    • And vengeful murder red with human blood.
    • And ten, that red with blushing apples glow’d
    • With deeper red the full pomegranate glows
  • Blue-
    • A stream of curling smoke ascending blue
    • Thus while he spoke, the blue-eyed maid began
    • The olive green, blue fig, and pendent pear
  • Yellow-
    • And spread soft hides upon the yellow sands;
    • And yellow apples ripen into gold
  • Purple-the color of royalty
    • Atrides’ son the purple draught prepares,
    • A robe of military purple flow’d
    • Uprising early with the purple morn.
    • Full fifty purple figs; and many a row
  • Green
    • Appear’d around, and groves of living green;
    • With purple clusters blushing through the green.
    • This said, his sea-green steeds divide the foam,
    • Green looks the olive, the pomegranate glows.
  • Orange-none
  • Black-the color of birth
    • And the black ocean foams and roars below
    • To his high name let twelve black oxen fall.
    • Black fate impends, and this the avenging hour!
    • Or shun in some black forge the midnight air.
    • To the black realms of darkness and of death,
    • His jaws all dropping with the bull’s black gore
  • White–the color of death
    • To feastful mirth be this white hour assign’d.
    • Must view his billows white beneath thy oar,
    • Youth, and white age, tumultuous pour along.
    • Black was the root, but milky white the flower;
    • Long flowing robes, of purest white, array

Chemistry comes into play in terms of pigments that are used to portray these images in art. Ancient painitngs and murals are often off color because of the chemical deterioration of pigments. Mosaics fair better because the mineral pigments are more stable. Pottery also is stable but the problem of predicting the color after the firing causes colors to vary from reality. In general the Greeks preferred polychrome art and even painted their statues. But these colors have worn off and we have come to prefer them white.

The ancient Greek art focuses on people and not on their environment, but even so there are images with suggestions of environment. From these some inferences can be drawn of interior decoration:

Question: I was just wondering what 3 examples of architecture in modern day buildings that came from greek ideas were.

Answer: The word “modern” does not work well in this context. Classical Greek Architecture has had different effects on different styles. Basic Classical Greek architecture is post and lintel construction while the Bauhaus movement emphasizes cantilever construction. So most often the Greek effect has been in decoration. Earlier in the twentieth century even the exterior of many buildings included many Greek elements. Often you see a facade of columns which harks back to Greek design. Often this facade forms a porch with a relief as a frieze in the Greek style. In the ineriors of buildings columns are often included in the Greek style. Churches and othe public buildings are more likely to have Greek exteriors. The columns of a southern mansion follow the Greek style. Many of the state capitals of the US have Greek elements. The capital in Columbus, Ohio is modeled after a single Greek column. The Carthage House in Kent (now gone) had a Greek porch. Kent has a bandstand in its downtown which has strong Greek ancestry. This is like many others in parks around the country. It could be called a gazebo, a pavilion, or a belvedere. All these words come from Latin. During Roman times Greek religious designs were adapted for other uses. But the use of the band stand is consistent with the religious activities of the Ancient Greeks. In fact the band stand sort of works like and ancient Greek temple. The bandstand is a multi-sided porch with a roof for the main event. Likewise the ancient Greek temple was mostly porch to shelter the main event.

Question: Why was Art and Architecture so important to the Greeks? and could you give me a list of what some of the most important peices of art were to the Greeks and Why they were so important?

Answer: Art was important to the Greeks as an expression of their religious fervor.
Because they thought the realm of the divine was ideal they thought that the
expression of the ideal in art would be pleasing to the divine. Greek art
stopped after the Greeks converted to Christianity because Christianity had
a different idea of the divine.

The most important art object of the Greeks was probably the Parthenon.
Within the temple itself there were many important art objects. Even today
the Greeks want the Elgin Marbles back. These giant statues formed part of
the frieze on the end of the building just below the roof. The Elgin Marbles were among many artifacts discovered during the 18th century that reinforced the Neoclassicism art style.

Question: Did the greeks give buildings to the gods as religious sacrifices?

Answer: A sacrifice is more a celebration of a transition than it is a gift. But the Greeks did build temples as gifts to the deities. The Parthenon was built for Athena to thank her for her part in the Victory over the Persians. It was a sacrifice in the sense that they worked long and hard to build the building. But nothing was destroyed or killed in the process. No slaves were buried in the foundation, etc.

Question: how are greek’s life reflected or incorporated in their architecture and sculpture?

Answer: We are not sure. The range of subject matter of Greek art is enormous, yet they idealized everything. Also they tended to isolate the subject, usually of human form, from its normal environment. The structure of the architecture is no different from its Egyptian antecedents. What is different is the ornamentation. Because of the sculpture we think nudity was more acceptable in their culture. And we think the chiton, peplos, etc. are the normal modes of dress. But Consider the acanthus plant. The shape of the leaves inspired the Greek artists to incoporate them in their art. But though the leaves are common in art the plant is not known to be used by the culture. Grapes were much more important and their leaves and fruits were used for decoration, but not as much as the acanthus. It is best to support ideas present in the Greek art from other sources.

Question: i have read your answer to one of the questions in here which says that ..buildings were made for women, they decorate it but they were not part in the construction of the building.. so now, don’t you think that greek’s respect for women are incorporated to their architecture? at least… –>my friend says that greeks have a great respect for their women, that’s why your answer to the question was like that.. <–

Answer: The construction of the Parthenon for Athena clearly shows the Athenian respect for Athena and she was a woman. The priestesses of Athena reflect a respect for certain women. But you cannot conclude that the structure of a Greek home was necessarily a result of a general respect. Generally there was a women’s quarters, but this could have been a prison for them. Then there is the fort-like structure of the house, with only one entrance in the front and walls surrounding the buildings and a porch around a court. This is as though the building was protecting something valuable which was generally the women. But to say that the women were valuable is not to say that they are respected. Just as a prized animal is still an animal. More important is that the women were in charge of the house while the men were working and they protected the other valuables then. In Greek art women were illustrated as large and as frequently as men. This suggests that women were respected. But these ideas are more related to decoration than structure. The Parthenon in not really any different in structure from the other Greek temples for Greek gods.

In our culture there is the idea that all people are created equal. But, of course, everyone is different in different ways. Lately women have had the idea that they are not treated equally. This is, to some extent, a result of the devaluation of traditional women’s roles. Women have had to compete with men to get respect. Women in ancient Greece did not have to do this. The worlds of men and women were quite separate and each had to strive in their own world. We do not want to confuse this separation with respect. In fact the legacy of the Greeks has not been a respect for women. Because of this separation many Greek men did not seem to understand the role of women and wrote about them in a disparaging way. These voices were not countered by women because writing was not included in their role. St. Augustine argued against the tri-partate nature of some Greek goddesses. But later, when Christianity decided that a trinity was necessary all components of the trinity were male. Following Greek tradition of having priestesses for goddesses and priests for gods the Christians concluded that all priests should be male. This decision has not seemed to help the respect for women in later ages.

Later the association of women with witchcraft seems related to the fact that in the Greek religion and other similar earth-based religions women were able to better identify with the goddesses. Attempts by women to counter the patriarchy of Christianity with intelligent argument in that context were met with witchcraft accusations designed to humiliate the women. Women did seem to find respect in the ancient Greek religion as they must have gotten it in the past but their reward was to be burned at the stake.

Question: How did ancient Greek architecture directly influence modern American
buildings and architecture?

Answer:The founding fathers were very interested in the literature of the Greeks and their taste in architecture was probably influenced both by this and a Greek revival in art on the European continent. So they looked to the Greeks for their architectural inspiration. Jefferson designed his Montecello based on a Venetian palace with Greek influence. Mount Vernon, of Washington, was more directly affected. Many of the early early government buildings were also influeced. But they emphsized a Greek facade with more contemporary innards. This followed the Roman mode of dealing with the Greek styles that they admired. In the early 19th century there was a Greek revival in American architecture and many homes in the Western Reserve of Ohio show that influence. Also the American Sculptor, Hiram Powers demonstrated the powed of Greek sculpture in his famous sculpture The Greek Slave . The sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens also demonstrates Greek influence with his famous Diana. Throughout the 19th century and into the 20th many government buildings, banks, and churches reflect greek influence. Some famous buildings include: The capitol building in Columbus Ohio, The Parthenon in Nashville , the Getty Villa in Malibu CA and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Many of the ideas of our government had Greek inspiration. These ideas are spelled out both in the Declaration of Independence and in the first Constitution. Oddly our goverment owes more to that of Sparta than of Athens with its magnificent architecture on the Acropolis. The Spartans left little of importance either artistically or architecturally But our government is more modeled after their representative for m of government that that of the Athenians.

Question: Why did they build?

Answer: The built to provide shelter from the elements and to glorify their deities.

Question: When were the greatest achivements in architecture?

Answer: The Parthenon was built 447-438BCE

Question: From which period do we know most about Greek architecture?

Answer: The Greeks were very literate during the classical period and we have learned a lot from their writings then. Most of the remains are Roman because the Greek style was very popular so often what we have are Roman copies. Now archaeolology has expanded our knowledge.

Tool drawings
Illustration of adze, auger, chisel, mallet,and dressing tool

Question: who built the buildings in Ancient Greece?

Answer: During the classical period all buildings were built at the direction of the state. The persons who did the work were either state employees, contracted professionals, citizens who worked in lieu of taxes, or volunteers. There may have been many volunteers because the buildings were usually temples for some religious ceremony. Sometimes there would be a multi-purpose building. For example a temple might serve as a treasury for the storage of valuable objects. But because of the religious connection volunteers would work on the building. Phidias and Praxitiles may have been contracted employees. Interestingly, many names of workman have been recovered because they sometimes inscribed their names on the blocks of the buildings.

During the Mycenaean period all buildings were built at the direction of the King (βᾰσῐλεύσ).

The suspicion is that during the Minoan period all bulidings were built at the direction of the High Priestess.

Question: The Temple of Athena Nike was built entirely of Pentelic marble how did this material weather away and start crumbling?

Answer: Marble is composed of calcium carbonate. The sulfur in the air as sulpher dioxide reacts with the calcium carbonate resulting in calcium sulphate and carbon dioxide. The calcium sulphate is much more soluable than the calcium carbonate and it is also weaker. The sulfur comes from burning coal in Athens mainly, but it also comes from truck and automobile exhaust. Most of the pollution has come since WWII when Athens started to increase in population. Many of the rural people of Greece have moved to Athens increasing pollution there. The pollution in Athens is very serious and a threat to the ancient monuments.

Question: why did the ancient greeks decorate their buildings?

answer: This may depend upon which building you are interested in and what about that building you consider decoration.
Consider the Porch of Caryatids from SE, Athens, Erechtheion. In Vitruvius 1.1.5 he states: The female figures in architecture that supported burdens are said to have been called Caryatids in token of the abject slavery to which the women of Caryae (a town in Laconia near the borders of Arcadia, originally belonging to the territory of Tegea in Arcadia) were reduced by the Greeks, as a punishment for joining the Persians at the invasion of Greece.

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Role of Women in the Art of Ancient Greece

One thought on “Architecture and Women in Ancient Greece”

  1. much is reffered to in the working of stone and buidin material. what reference is to the equal of the metral worker who made these implements. a person whose trade has until recently been reffered to as the village blacksmith. is the a reason such persons are not re mentioned throughput this or other sites commentary to ancient and the early years of the 20th century?
    please reply, thank you john laberge – fiat lux 3 4 5

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Including Amazons, Goddesses, Nymphs, and Archaic Females from Mycenaen and Minoan Cultures