Greek Engineering and Construction

Frederick A. Cooper

in The Oxford Handbook of Engineering and Technology in the Classical World

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780199734856
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Greek Engineering and Construction

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  • Classical Studies
  • Greek and Roman Archaeology
  • Historical Archaeology
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This article provides information on domestic and utilitarian architecture. The organization of this article intentionally follows the section topics typical of a modern engineering and construction book. It rests on the proposition that construction theory, especially the mechanics of building materials and aseismic design constituted the starting point for Greek architectural design. The aim is to show the existence of an ancient scientific approach through juxtaposition of the evidence for Greek practice with pertinent excerpts from contemporary engineering construction handbooks. The Greek architectural design, business, art, and the profession of Greek architecture are described. The Greek architect's treatment of peristyle and cella as two separate entities follows a logic consistent with the overall aseismic design of a building. The building materials in Greek engineering include lime-based substances, baked clay architectural units, iron, lead, bronze, stone, and wood. Furthermore, the article discusses the fire protection engineering in Greek architecture.

Keywords: Greek architectural design; peristyle; cella; aseismic design; Greek engineering; iron; lead; bronze; stone; wood

Article.  12257 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Greek and Roman Archaeology ; Historical Archaeology ; Classical Art and Architecture

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