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André Félibien, Des principes de l’architecture, de la sculpture, de la peinture, et des autres arts qui en dependent. Avec un dictionnaire des termes propres à chacun de ces arts (Paris, 1690), p. 17 (Doric order).

The Doric order has two distinct varieties known as Greek Doric and Roman Doric. The Greek Doric order has no base and the shaft is normally cut with flutes (decoration consisting of vertical parallel concave channels) separated by sharp crease-like edges called arrises, but occasionally unfluted (Félibien, Doric order, Fig. I). The entasis of the shaft is sometimes exaggerated as in Paestum, south of Naples in Italy, where a group of three well-preserved Greek temples survive that have very wide squat capitals on top of the shafts. The Roman Doric order resembles the Tuscan order. The shaft can be fluted or unfluted and is generally more slenderly proportioned than the Greek Doric order.

The architrave is surmounted by a plain projecting band or taenia, under which, lining up with the triglyphs above, is a series of regulae (narrow bands) with six guttae or cone-like drops hanging beneath them. The frieze above the taenia consists of a series of alternating triglyphs (flat upright slabs, incised with two vertical V-shaped glyphs (channels) and a half-glyph on each side, at the top of which is a plain projecting band) and approximately square metopes set back from the face of the triglyphs that are often embellished with sculpture in relief. The soffit (visible underside) of the cornice has shallow flat inclined projecting blocks called mutules, with several guttae on the bottom surface, placed in line over the triglyphs and centre-lines of the metopes in the frieze below. The spacing between the columns, known as intercolumniation, is not controlled by the diameters of the columns at their base in Doric intercolumniation as is the case with the other orders, but by the relationships of triglyphs and metopes. Intercolumniation in the Greek Doric varies between the Hellenic (c.580 BC–c.323 BC) and Hellenistic (c.323 BC-c.31 BC) periods. Hellenic Doric intercolumniation typically had one triglyph over the space between the columns, and one on the centre-line of each column. Hellenistic Doric intercolumniation was usually wider, often with two or more triglyphs between each column. The exterior of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia was built in the Doric order.

The metope illustrated in Félibien’s depiction of the Doric order is adorned with a bucrane, also spelt bucranium, which is ornament in the form of an ox-skull or ox-head frequently adorned with festoons and garlands, but is hung in this case with inverted flambeaux (flaming torches). Ornament in the form of sculpted ram’s or goat’s head or skull is called aegicrane, also spelt aegicranium. Marolois’ depiction of the Doric order includes an illustration of a capital with rosette ornaments on its neck.


Samuel Marolois, Mathematicvm opvs absolvtissimvm : continens geometriae, fortificationis, architecturæ, & perspectivæ theoreticæ ac practicæ regulas, demonstrationes, & figuras perfectissimas studio atque opera Alberti Girardi … ; recognitum ac multis notis illustratum (Amsterdam, 1633), 5 vols. in 4, vol. 4, plate H (Doric detail).

Chitham, Robert, The classical orders of architecture, incorporating James Gibbs and the American classical tradition by Calder Loth, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 2005).

Curl, James Stevens & Wilson, Susan, The Oxford dictionary of architecture, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 2016).

Jones, M. Wilson, et al., ‘Orders, architectural’ entry in Oxford Art Online.

Antoine Mac Gaoithín, Library Assistant at the Edward Worth Library.