Ancient Greece – Art and Architecture

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Learning Objects (11)

Direct Access Links:
Greek Temple Architecture  (History)
Greek Architecture  (Ancient History Encyclopedia)
Architecture in Ancient Greece  (The Met)
Ancient Greek Sculpture  (Ancient History Encyclopedia)
Ancient Greek Pottery (Ancient History Encyclopedia)
Timeline of Art History (The Met)
Ancient Greece – Art & Architecture  (US
Ancient Greek Music  (Ancient History Encyclopedia)
Music in Ancient Greece  (The Met)
Theatre in Ancient Greece  (The Met)
Ancient Greek Theatre  (Ancient Greek Encyclopedia)


Art reflects the society that creates it. Nowhere is this truer than in the case of the ancient Greeks. Through their temples, sculpture, and pottery, the Greeks incorporated a fundamental principle of their culture: arete. To the Greeks, arete meant excellence and reaching one’s full potential.

Ancient Greece can feel strangely familiar. From the exploits of Achilles and Odysseus, to the treatises of Aristotle, from the exacting measurements of the Parthenon  to the rhythmic chaos of the Laocoön, ancient Greek culture has shaped our world.



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Greek Temple Architecture

The most noteworthy result of Pericles’ public-works campaign was the magnificent Parthenon, a temple in honor of the city’s patron goddess Athena. The Parthenon was a commanding example of Greek temple architecture. The temples of classical Greece all shared the same general form: Rows of columns supporting a horizontal entablature (a kind of decorative molding) and a triangular roof.


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Greek Architecture

Greek architects provided some of the finest and most distinctive buildings in the entire Ancient World and some of their structures, such as temples, theatres, and stadia, would become staple features of towns and cities from antiquity onwards. In addition, the Greek concern with simplicity, proportion, perspective, and harmony in their buildings would go on to greatly influence architects in the Roman world and provide the foundation for the classical architectural orders which would dominate the western world from the Renaissance to the present day.


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Architecture in Ancient Greece

Ancient Greek architects aimed for the precision and excellence of workmanship that are the hallmarks of Greek art in general. The formulas they invented as early as the sixth century B.C.  have influenced the architecture of the past two millennia.



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Ancient Greek Sculpture

The sculpture of ancient Greece from 800 to 300 BCE took early inspiration from Egyptian and Near Eastern monumental art, and over centuries evolved into a uniquely Greek vision of the art form. Greek artists would reach a peak of artistic excellence which captured the human form in a way never before seen and which was much copied. Greek sculptors were particularly concerned with proportion, poise, and the idealised perfection of the human body, and their figures in stone and bronze have become some of the most recognisable pieces of art ever produced by any civilization.

Ancient Greek Pottery

The pottery of ancient Greece from c. 1000 to c. 400 BCE provides not only some of the most distinctive vase shapes from antiquity but also some of the oldest and most diverse representations of the cultural beliefs and practices of the ancient Greeks. Further, pottery, with its durability (even when broken) and lack of appeal to treasure hunters, is one of the great archaeological survivors and is, therefore, an important tool for archaeologists and historians in determining the chronology of ancient Greece.


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Timeline of Art History

Explore the timeline of art history through The Metropolitan Museum of Art, including art depicting Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey, Greek and Roman mythology and other Greek literature and poetry.


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Ancient Greece – Art & Architecture

Ancient Greek art emphasized the importance and accomplishments of human beings. Even though much of Greek art was meant to honor the gods, those very gods were created in the image of humans.



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Ancient Greek Music

Music (or mousike) was an integral part of life in the ancient Greek world, and the term covered not only music but also dance, lyrics, and the performance of poetry. A wide range of instruments was used to perform music which was played on all manner of occasions such as religious ceremonies, festivals, private drinking parties (symposia), weddings, funerals, and during athletic and military activities. Music was also an important element of education and Greek drama performances held in theatres such as plays, recitals, and competitions.


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Music in Ancient Greece

Music was essential to the pattern and texture of Greek life, as it was an important feature of religious festivals, marriage and funeral rites, and banquet gatherings. Our knowledge of ancient Greek music comes from actual fragments of musical scores, literary references, and the remains of musical instruments.



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Theatre in Ancient Greece

Our interest in theatre connects us intimately with the ancient Greeks and Romans. Nearly every Greek and Roman city of note had an open-air theatre, the seats arranged in tiers with a lovely view of the surrounding landscape.


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Ancient Greek Theatre

Greek theatre began in the 6th century Athens with the performance of tragedy plays at religious festivals. These, in turn, inspired the genre of Greek comedy plays.


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Ontology Tags Arts & Entertainment: Mirror of Society – Role of Art on Society | Societies: Inhabiting Our World – Civilizations

Search Terms Authenticity: Performing: – Musical Performance & Recital | Media Produced: (1) Computer Assisted Drawings – Architectural Drawings (2) Tactile – Sculpting (3) Artistic Composition (a) Fictional Narrative (b) Musical Score (c) Poetry | Challenging Problems: (1) Questions – Reveal the World (2) Humans in the World – Civilizations & Cultures | Intended Learning Outcomes: (1) Communication – Role Play (2) Critical Thinking – Clarify Meaning (3) Instilled Citizenship Values – Societal Influence & Political World | CTEs & Disciplines: (1) Architecture & Construction (2) Art Studies (3) Theatre Studies (4) World History (5) Cultural Studies (6) Literature (7) Anthropology & Archeology