Temple of Apollo
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Architect Ictinus
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Location Bassae, Greece
Date -420 to -410   timeline
Building Type temple
 Construction System bearing masonry, cut stone
Climate mediterranean,
Context probably urban
Style Ancient Greek Doric, Ionic, Corinthian
Notes Architect uncertain. Doric outer columns, Ionic inner columns, and the first known Corinthian column capital.




Detail Drawing

Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Section Drawing


Section Drawing

Perspective Drawing

Discussion Temple of Apollo Commentary

"The Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, in Arcadia, was begun in the fifth century B.C. but probably not completed till the fourth. Ictinus is named by Pausanius as the architect, but this must be regarded as dubious. A remarkable feature of this temple is the use of all three Greek Orders—Doric outside and Ionic and Corinthian within. The plan is hexastyle peripteral, with fifteen columns on the flanks, all built up in drums. Most of the building is of a hard, fine-grained grey limestone, but marble was used for the sculptures and the more decorative parts, including the ceilings over the pronaos, the opisthodomos, and the short sides of the ambulatory. The temple has other peculiarities. It faces north, instead of east (as did its predecessor) and the statue of Apollo was placed in an adyton, or inner sanctuary, partially screened off from the naos proper and lighted from a large door in the eastern wall. On both sides of the naos are Ionic half-columns, attached to spur walls, the recesses thus formed with the main naos wall having a stone, coffered ceiling. Between the adyton and the naos was a single, free-standing column, with a Corinthian capital, and there may have been similar capitals over the engaged corner columns. The entablature was Ionic and continuous with that over the four Ionic half-columns on each side. The capitals of the latter were of unique design, with diagonal volutes, and they had high wide-flaring bases. The celebrated sculptured marble frieze over the half-columns, portions of which are in the British Museum, must have been poorly illuminated: it is 611 mm (24 in) high and 30.5 m (100 ft) long and represents battles of Centaurs and Lapiths, and Greeks and Amazons."

— Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. p131-2.

Sources on Temple of Apollo

William J. Anderson and R. Phene Spiers. The Architecture of Greece and Rome. London: B.T. Batsford, 1907. NA260.A5. transverse section drawing, fig76, p91. Professor Cockerell.

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. nesting diagram, p202. — Updated edition available at

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. London: The Butterworth Group, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. section profile drawings of mouldings, echinus, and cap of antae, fig g, p129. longitudinal section drawing, fig c, p129. elevation drawing, fig a, p129. discussion, p131-2. — The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at

Roland Martin. Living Architecture: Greek. London: Oldbourne Book Co., 1967. NA270.M323. perspective drawing of the cella, p176.

D. S. Robertson, M. A. A Handbook of Greek and Roman Architecture. London: Cambridge University Press, 1929. NA260.R6. detail of ionic columns drawing, f59, p139. plan drawing, f58, p137.

Marvin Trachtenberg and Isabelle Hyman. Architecture, from Prehistory to Post-Modernism. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986. photo, p101. — Available at

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Temple of Apollo


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