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Module 4

The Persian empire started in about 560 BC when Cyrus the

great from the province of Fars swept over the region with
his powerful cavalry
By the end of the century, Cyrus and his successors, Darius

1 and Xerxes had conquered the entire civilized world from

Indus to Danube River with the exception of Greece
It was the wish of the Persians to construct great buildings
They were to achieve greatness with their architectural

The architectural solutions were a synthesis of ideas

gathered from almost all parts of their empire and from the
Greeks an Egyptians

Their materials of construction was also from different

Material included mud-brick from Babylon, wooden roof

beams from Lebanon, precious materials from India and

Egypt, Stone columns quarried and carved by Ionic Greeks
Despite sourcing materials and ideas from different areas,

their architecture was original and distinctive in style

Persian architecture achieved

its greatest monumentality at

It was constructed as a new
capital for the Persian Empire
The city was started 510 BC
and finished in 460 BC
It is set along the face of a
mountain leveled to create a
large platform 1800 feet by
900 feet
It was surrounded by a
fortification wall
The site was more than half
covered by buildings

The palace consisted of

three parts:

An approach of

monumental staircases,
gate ways and avenues
Two great state halls
towards the center of the
The palace of Xerxes, the
harem, and other living
quarters at the south end of
the site

Structurally, the buildings

relied on a hypostyle
scheme throughout

They used it to achieve

spaces of varying scale

Some of the spaces were

very big and generally

square in plan

The spaces were enclosed

by mud brick walls

The most impressive aspect

of the palace was the royal

audience hall

The Royal audience hall was a

square 250 feet in length

It contained 36 slender columns

widely spaced & 67 feet high

The columns had a lower

diameter of 5 feet
The centers of the columns

were spaced at 20 feet or 4

times diameters apart
The column was the greatest

invention of the Persians

The columns were fluted and

stand on bell shaped bases

Their capital combine Greek

motifs with Egyptian palm leaf

Another famous aspect of the

Palace at Persepolis was the

Throne room
This was also known as hall
of a 100 columns
The columns in the room
were 37 feet high, with a
diameter of 3 feet
They were spaced 20 feet
apart or 7 times diameters
from axis to axis
The slim nature of the
column created room and
spacious feeling in the room
when compared to the
audience hall

The monumental entrance to

Persepolis is also one of the

unique aspects of the Palace
The monumental gateway
ensure a dramatic entry to
the Palace
It was heavily adorned with
relief sculpture ornamenting
its stairway
The relief structure
addresses different themes
relating to the role of
Persepolis as the capital of
the Persian Empire


some places, the

different parts of the
Persian bringing gifts
and rare animals to the
king during celebrations
In some places, royal
guards and nobles of the
imperial court are shown
Elsewhere, the king is
seen in conflict with
beneath a ceremonial

Mycenae was a city in

ancient Greece, located

10km north of Argos in the
southern peninsula
The Mycenaean civilization
flourished during the period
roughly between 1600 BC1100BC,
It perished with the collapse
of bronze age civilizationin
the eastern Mediterranean.
The major Mycenaean cities
Messenia,Athensin Attica
andThebesin Boeotia

The Mycenaeans entered Greece from the north or northeast

c.2000 B.C., displacing, seemingly without violence, the older

Neolithic culture, which can be dated as early as 4000 B.C.

These Indo-European Greek-speaking invaders brought with

them advanced techniques in pottery, metallurgy, and

architecture. Mercantile contact with Crete advanced and
strongly influenced their culture, and by 1600 B.C., Mycenae
had become a major center of the ancient world.

The great Mycenaean citiesMycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, Thebes,

Orchomenoswere noted for their heavy, complex

fortifications and the massive, cyclopean quality of their
masonry, while other cities were totally unfortified.

Mycenaean palaces were built around great halls called

Megarons rather than around an open space as in Crete.

The principal Mycenaean

towns were well fortified.

Mycenaean walls were often

made in a fashion called

cyclopean, which means that
they were constructed of large,
unworked boulders up to eight
meters (26ft) thick, loosely
fitted without the clay mortar
of the day.
Different types of entrances or

exits can be seen:

monumental gates, access
ramps, hidden doors, and
vaulted galleries for escaping
in case of a siege..

Many of the Mycenaean

constructions utilized stone

blocks of an enormous size.
Corbel Vaulting is used to span
arched corridors and circular
domes in buildings and is often
used to lighten the weight above
doorways. The corbel vault is
created by arranging courses of
stones with each successive
course projecting slightly more
into the space, until a single
stone can be placed over the top
of the triangular arch.

The tunnel
leading to the
secret spring and the tholos
tombs of the Mycenaeans

The Lion Gate of Mycenae was the

entrance to the city. Atop the gate,

two lions rampant are carved in
stone relief.
The gate was about 10 feet wide
and 10 feet high; the carved stone
with the lions is about 3 feet high. It
forms what is called a "relieving
triangle", because the carved slab
weighs much less than the stones
to the right and left; this reduced
pressure on the lintel block below it.
That block weighs two tons. The
door was made up of two wooden
leaves opening inward.

The best examples of the

Mycenaean palace are seen in

the excavations
Within the palace complex
residential space, storerooms
and workshops were arranged
around the central Megaron,
considered to function as the
audience chamber for the royals.
Most were probably two-storied.
The plan of the palace varies a
great deal from site to site, but
they all share the Megaron as
their central feature

The Megaron is the great hall of

the Greecian palace complexes.

It was a rectangular hall, fronted
by an open, two-columned porch,
and a more or less central, open
hearth vented though an oculus in
the roof above it and surrounded
by four columns.
It is the architectural predecessor
of the classical Greek temple.
It was used for poetry, feasts,
worship, sacrifice, formal royal
functions, councils, and is said to
be where guests of the king would
stay during their visits

The palace includes entrance

gates, paved courts, large halls,

vestibules, smaller rooms, and
a bath.

It was apparently built by

earlier and later palaces.
The citadel of Tiryns is about 28
metres high, 280 meters long,
and it was built in three stages.
In the 12thcentury B.C. it was
destroyed by earthquake and
fire but remained an important
centre until the 7thcentury B.C.

The Great Gate

The entrance to the Acropolis of
Tiryns consists of a large gatewaybuilt at the same time as the Lion
Gate at Mycenae.
Unfortunately much of the
stonework has not survived. From
the marks in the stone, it has been
calculated that the wooden door
which hung in the gateway was
about 15cms (6 inches) thick.
The ramparts of Tiryns are very
impressive. They are 7 - 10m wide
(23 - 33 feet) and in some places
are 7.5m (25 feet) high.

The Palace area

The Propylaea is the monumental

The door to the palace area had a large
stone threshold. There are holes for the
door hinges, and marks where the socket
for the wooden bar which would have
held the door closed.
In the area known as theEast
Casematesthere is a narrow gallery,
about 30m (99 feet) long. It has a vaulted
roof, and was built within the width of the
ramparts. Leading off the gallery are six
rooms (casemates) which are thought to
have been used as stores or barrack
The Propylaea leads into the great court

of the palace-Megaron.

The Megaron

Megaron at Tiryns is the best

preserved of all the palaces. It's portico had
two columns and the walls were decorated
with seven slabs of alabaster(lime stone).
These were decorated with reliefs of
rosettes and lapis lazuli.

Megaron itself was the most

important room in the palace. As at
Mycenae, there was a central hearth with
four pillars to support the roof. The floor
was plastered, and decorated with painted
squares which imitated carpets.
The walls were covered with paintings of

hunting, ladies on a wagon drawn by

horses, courtly ladies dressed in rich
clothes, and wild animals.

Romans fix the date of the founding Rome at 753 B. C.

Prior to this date, the Etruscans established an urban culture in

the Italian peninsula, which reached the height of its

development around 600 B.C.
They had conquered and established their authority over a
loose federation of cities
Rome was ruled by Etruscan Kings aided by a popular
Towards the end of the 6th century B.C., Etruscan power began
to decline.
In 509 B.C. Rome revolted against their king and established an
independent city state.
Further decline in the power of the Etruscans was accompanied
by the rising influence and increasing significance of Rome

The Earliest civilization in the region around Rome were the

The Etruscan civilization existed in the northern part of what
is now Italy, prior to the formation of the Roman Republic.
During the 700s BC, the Etruscans developed into a series of
autonomous city-states: Rome was a part of these city
Knowledge about the Etruscans is fragmentary, and usually
filtered through Roman eyes;
They brought sophisticated Eastern and Greek culture to the


much has survived of

The temple shown in the image
is a reconstruction of a typical
Etruscan temple
another order of architecture
This order, known as the Tuscan
order became popular with the
The Tuscan order had a simple
base and the shaft was without
The capital and entablature were
also without decoration

Sketch plan, elevation and view of THE TEMPLE

OF JUNO SOSPITA describing its salient features.