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Ancient Greek And Roman Architects' Approach To Curvature — The Corinthian Capital, Entasis And Amphitheaters

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Chapter Summary

The architecture of antiquity is substantially characterised by conventions associated with the orders (chiefly Doric, Ionic and Corinthian) and the most prevalent building types (temples, theatres, tombs and so on). This chapter focuses on the design of the Corinthian capital, the swelling of column shafts known as entasis, and the layout of amphitheatres. Progressively introduced during the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., the entasis of columns shafts became the most ubiquitous of all the socalled refinements that are such a hallmark of Greek sacred architecture. The defining geometrical characteristic of the amphitheatre is of course its elliptical/oval plan, one developed out of an understanding that it offered more dynamic qualities than the relatively static properties of circle. Greek and Roman architects created shapes with extreme attention to key geometrical and proportional characteristics.

Keywords: amphitheatre; ancient Greek; Corinthian capital; Entasis; Roman architectsʼ



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