Hellenistic Greece

Reminder! Visual Analysis/Museum due on Thursday
Zeus (or Poseidon), ca. 460 - 450 BCE. Bronze, 6' 10" high.











Ancient Greece in Context
Geometric Style after 900 to 700 BCE
776 BCE
First Olympic games
Archaic Period 600 - 480 BCE
First life-size Greek statues with "Archaic smile"
Innovations in black and red-figure vase painting
Construction of oldest peripteral Doric and Ionic temples
750 - 700 BCE
Homer writes the Iliad and the Odyssey
Orientalizing Style 700 to 600 BCE
563 BCE
Siddhartha (founder of Buddhism) born in Nepal
510 - 508 BCE
Athens establishes first democracy, "deme"
Classic Period ca. 480 to 323 BCE
480 - 479 BCE
Persians invade Greece, Athenians defeat Persians at the Battle of Marathon
Polykleitos formulates canon of proportions
Corinthian order introduced in temple architecture
after 447 BCE
Athenians rebuild the Acropolis
431 - 404 BCE
Peloponnesian Wars/ Sparta conquers Athens
363 BCE
Alexander the Great comes to power and begins to spread Greek ways across the East
Hellenistic Period 323 to 30 BCE











The Classic Period
ca. 480 - 323 BCE
Calf-bearer, ca. 570 BCE. Marble, 65" high.
Kroisos (Kouros from Anavysos), ca. 525 BCE. Marble, height 6'4".
Kritios Boy, ca. 480 BCE. Marble, height 46".











Common Greek Vessel Shapes and Uses
transportation of goods
water jar
mixing wine and water
ceremonial oil jar
pouring wine
cup for drinking
cup for drinking, sometimes purely decorative











Red-Figure Style

Limitations of black-figure style led to development of red-figure style, gradually replacing black-figure style by 500 BCE.

  • Red figures against black background
  • Forms drawn with brush or by squeezing paint through animal bladder
  • Allows for greater detail and realism
    • Consequently, see far less use of profile view
    • Allows for greater foreshortening and three-dimensional effects
  • Less tedious technique allowed more freedom
Theseus Slaying The Minotaur, Amphora, 460 BCE.











Herakles wrestling Antaios
Psaiax, Herakles Wrestling the Nemean Lion, amphora, ca. 525 BCE.
Euphronios, Herakles Wrestling Antaios, Athenian red-figure calyx krater from Cerveteri, Italy, ca. 510 BCE.











Exekias, Achilles and Ajax Playing a dice game, black-figure amphora, from Vulci, Italy,
ca. 540 - 530 BCE. 2' high.
Andokides Painter, Achilles and Ajax playing a dice game, from Orvieto, Italy. Red-figured side.
ca. 523 - 520 BCE. 1' 9" high.











Douris, Eos and Memnon, Interior of an Attic red-figured kylix. ca. 490 – 480 BCE. Diameter 10 ½".











431 - 404 BCE
Peloponnesian Wars/ Sparta conquers Athens
399 BCE
Trial and execution of Socrates
380 BCE
Plato establishes the Athens Academy
356 - 323 BCE
Reign of Alexander the Great
Spreads Greek ways across the East
333 BCE
Battle of Issos
323 BCE
Death of Alexander
Hellenistic Period 323 to 30 BCE
c. 214 BCE
Great Wall of China built
144 BCE
Corinth destroyed by Romans
30 BCE
Death of Cleopatra and end of Ptolemaic rule











Plan of the Akropolis at Athens in 400 BCE (after A. W. Lawrence)











Artist's Rendition of Acropolis with Parthenon in upper right corner











Porch of the Maidens, Erechtheion, Akropolis, Athens, ca. 421 - 405 BCE.











Iktinos, Kallikrates, and Karpion, The Parthenon (view from the west), Akropolis, Athen, 447 - 438 BCE.
Phidias, Athena Parthenos, c. 438 BCE. Model of the lost statue which was approx. 38' tall. Reconstructed Parthenon in Nashville, TN.











Parthenon built with constant ratio of 4:9
  • height to width
  • width to length
  • diameter of columns to space in between
In the Parthenon, the controlling ratio for the symmetria of the parts may be expressed algebraically as, x = 2y = 1, where x is the larger number and y is the smaller number
Thus, there are eight columns on the short ends of the temple and seventeen on the long sides:, 17 = (2 x 8) + 1
More on the ratios of the Parthenon












Diagram in exaggerated proportion of the horizontal curvature of the Parthenon.


Entasis = a swelling of the shaft of a column, a basic feature of the Doric column











Artist's rendition of East Pediment Parthenon Frieze
British Museum's position on ownership of the Parthenon Sculptures
Akropolis Museum's position on ownership of the Parthenon Sculptures











architectural order = an architectural system based on the column and its entablature in which the form of the elements themselves (capital, base, shaft, etc.) and their relationships to each other are specifically defined











Doric Order
Doric = simplicity
  • Greek mainland
  • Plain and sharply defined
  • Emphasis on stability and grace
  • Masive and weighty
  • Heavy use of entasis











Doric Order
Temple of Apollo at Thermon, ca. 630 BC - ca. 610 BCE.











Ionic Order
Ionic = simple embellishment
Temple of Athena Nike & Erechtheion
  • Aegean Islands and coast of Asia Minor
  • Columns are taller and more slendor
  • Less entasis than doric order
  • Lighter and more graceful
  • Continuous friezes
  • Often included caryatids = female figured columns

Kallikrates, Temple of Athena Nike, Acropolis, Athens, ca. 427 - 424 BCE (view from the northeast).












Ionic Order
Erechtheion, Akropolis, Athens, ca. 421 - 405 BCE.











Corinthian Order
Corinthian = complex, organic decoration
Monument of Lysikrates
  • Invented late 5th century by metalworker, Kallimachos
  • Began to appear about 450 BC, in the early Classic period on the inside of small temples
  • In the 4th century find it replacing Ionic capitals on the exterior
  • Curly shoots and leaves of the acanthus plant
  • Became the standard capital for Roman architects

Monument of Lysikrates, Athens, ca. 334 BCE.













Corinthian Order
Corinthian capital, from the Tholos at Epidauros, ca. 350 BCE.