Corinthian Order

Term Definition
Corinthian Order

A variation of the Ionic order, and the youngest (dating from the 4th century B.C.E.) of the three basic orders of classical Greek architecture (the others being the Doric and the Ionic orders). The Corinthian column was the showiest of the three basic columns, with a tall acanthus leaf capital, a molded base, and a slender, fluted shaft. The Corinthian order was utilized in ancient Greece almost exclusively for temple interiors, but became very prominent in ancient Rome, due to the ancient Romans’ taste for excessive ornamentation, particularly in architecture. Ever the imitators, but rarely the inventors, the ancient Romans grafted the volute scrolls of the Ionic order onto the capitals of the Corinthian order to result in the Composite Order.

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