Orders in Architecture

By order in architecture is meant a system of all the members, proportions and ornaments of columns and pilasters, or it is a regular arrangement of the projecting parts of a building, which, united with those of a column, form a beautiful, perfect and complete whole.

From the first formation of society, order in architecture may be traced. When the rigour of seasons obliged men to contrive shelter from the inclemency of the weather, we learn that they first planted trees on end, and then laid others across to support a covering. The bands which connected those trees at top and bottom are said to have given rise to the idea of the base and capital of pillars and, from this simple hint, originally proceeded the more improved art of architecture.**

The five orders are thus classed: (r.t.l.) The Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite.


The ancient and original orders of architecture, revered by Masons, are three: the Doric, Ionic, and the Corinthian, which were invented by the Greeks. To these the Romans added two: the Tuscan, which they made plainer than the Doric, and the Composite, which is more ornamental than the Corinthian.

To the Greeks, therefore, and not to the Romans, we are indebted for what is great, judicious and distinctive in architecture.

See also: Architecture

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