(Lat. architectura, from Gr. ἀρχιτέκτων, a master builder), though usually ranked as a fine art, is not purely such in the sense that painting, sculpture, music, and poetry are, but must be ranked rather as an applied art. Buildings erected for dwelling, manufacture, merchandise, public business, education, worship, burial, or defense, serve, first and primarily, their practical purposes. In so far as reference is had to the mathematical and physical principles of construction, the choice of material, and the perfect adaptation of the building to its uses, the edifice is a scientific achievement, and from this standpoint architecture is a science. In so far as the laws of taste and the power of the imagination are applied to the grouping of the masses, and the invention and distribution of the ornamentation, the edifice is a work of art, and, from this aesthetic stand- point, architecture is a fine art. Embodying thus the material and spiritual wants of an age or people with its knowledge of the resources of nature and the power of its imagination, the history of architecture is a most important element in the history of civilization. The genius of a great architect, though largely controlled by the object of the building, the materials at his command, and other considerations of site, country, and climate, and especially by the prevailing styles and tastes, will always be stamped upon his works, and give them a marked individuality. Though no monuments remain of their earliest history, architecture is generally supposed to have existed as a fine art before the other formative arts of painting and sculpture.
I. Ancient Architecture. — This period extends from the earliest times to about the time of Constantine the Great, when Christianity took the place of Paganism as the controlling spirit in architecture.
1. Egyptian. — The earliest authenticated monuments of architecture are to be found in Egypt, where were developed indeed the germs of all the arts. Of the other styles we can trace the rise, culmination, and decadence. Of the rise of Egyptian art we know nothing, but we are placed suddenly face to face with the Pyramids of Gizeh, the Sphinx, and other works, all executed in true taste, and with so great a degree of scientific knowledge as to indicate a long period of anterior development. This first period (in the fourth dynasty) excelled all later periods in some elements of design, though the second (in the twelfth dynasty) gave the column and other elements, all of which were moulded together, and brought to the highest execution and finish in the third period (in the eighteenth dynasty). Egyptian architecture, in many points, such as the majestic disposition of the masses, the sublime massiveness and durability of its walls, the long vistas through successive courts and lines of columns and sphinxes, the predominance of the interior over exterior ornament, the universal use of color, the subordination of sculpture and painting to architectonic effects, the symbolism of its ornaments and the monumental character of its edifices, was the most perfect the world has yet seen. (See Wilkinson, Architecture of the Ancient Egyptians, Lond. 1856.) The Egyptian public edifices consisted of temples, palaces, tombs, and aqueducts. The earliest Temples and Tombs were doubtless of wood, or were excavated from the solid rock. These two styles of building gave a typical character to the later temples, built mostly aboveground and of cut stone. The temple was usually built upon a high, often a raised foundation, above the flow of the high waters of the Nile. The entranceway was paved with broad stones, and often led from the tomb of a deceased king. This entrance opened on the side facing the Nile to an enclosure surrounded by a massive wall of cut stone, diminishing as it rose, and covered like all the Egyptian walls, as those of temples and tombs, with a broad, simple, spreading cornice. This unbroken massive wall was covered, as were the walls of the temple within, with symbolic paintings of the Egyptian religion, hieroglyphic records of history, or figures of deities and kings. Within the enclosure was the temple, surrounded by rows of trees, and often with an artificial basin of water at one side. From the single opening of the entrance in the wall the way led between two rows of colossal sphinxes or rams to the majestic facade of the temple. Before the door rose two lofty obelisks or sat two colossal figures, and banners floated from high poles at their side. The walls within and without, and the columns, even when made of costly and polished stones, were covered with religious paintings or hieroglyphics. Theidoor opened to a court within, surrounded by a covered passage-way (sometimes a second similar court followed); into these were admitted the awestruck multitude. Into the series of chambers extending back of the courts, covered by stone roofing and lighted by small openings from above, were admitted only priests or sacred persons. In the last chamber was the "sanctum sanctorum," containing the image of the deity. The columns of the Egyptian architecture are of three typical kinds, emblematic of the papyrus, the lotus, and the palm — the fluting, when used, originating in the columns of the under-ground temples. The temples varied in size, and the general disposition of the courts and chambers, often having the rear half cut out of the living rock. SEE TEMPLE.
The Pyramids, or tombs of the kings, faced the four cardinal points of the compass. They were first built small, and then enlarged by successive coverings, as the length and prosperity of the reigns of the monarchs permitted. They were built in terraces, and then were filled out and faced with stone, commencing from the upper terrace and going downward. The interiors of the Pyramids and of the successive layers were often filled with brick or loose stone, but the facing was of hard, dressed, often of polished stone. Examination has shown that the interior pyramid was often made with much more care than the subsequent facings. There was only one small chamber (with a narrow passage leading to it), and containing a sealed massive stone sarcophagus, holding the embalmed body of the monarch. Of large and small pyramids there are found in Lower Egypt, where they mostly occur, sixty-seven, counting the finished and unfinished, and those in the different degrees of preservation. They reach from Cairo to Fayoum, along the left shore of the Nile, a distance of about five miles. They are arranged in five principal groups, the chief one being that of Gizeh, situated near ancient Memphis, the seat of the earliest Egyptian monarchy. The largest of them, that of Cheops, is now 450 ft. high, and 746 ft. square at the base. All the great pyramids were built between the second and fifth dynasties. The later pyramids were built mostly of brick, and were much smaller, as were also those of Upper Egypt, SEE ETHIOPIA, near Meroe, being built about 700 B.C. The private tombs were mostly cut in the living rock, and were often decorated with great taste and labor. SEE PYRAMID.
The villas of the Egyptians were of great extent, and contained spacious gardens watered by canals communicating with the Nile. The house itself was sometimes ornamented with propylea and obelisks, like the temples; it is even possible that part of the building may have been consecrated to religious purposes, as the chapels of other countries, since we find (in ancient paintings of them) a priest engaged in presenting offerings at the door of the inner chambers; and, indeed, were it not for the presence of the women, the form of the garden, and the style of the porch, we should feel disposed to consider it a temple rather than a place of abode. The entrances. of large villas were generally through folding gates, standing between lofty towers, as at the courts of temples, with a small door at each side; and others had merely folding gates, with the jambs surmounted by a cornice. One general wall of circuit extended round the premises, but the courts of the house, the garden, the offices, and all the other parts of the villa had each their separate enclosure. The walls were usually built of crude brick, and when in damp places, or within reach of the inundation, the lower part was strengthened by a basement of stone. They were sometimes ornamented with panels and grooved lines, generally stuccoed, and the summit was crowned either with Egyptian battlements, the usual cornice, a row of spikes in imitation of spear-heads, or with some fancy ornament. The plans of the villas varied according to circumstances, but their general arrangement is sufficiently explained by the paintings. They were surrounded by a high wall, about the middle of which was the main or front entrance, with one central and two side gates, leading to an open walk shaded by rows of trees. Here were spacious tanks of water, facing the doors of the right and left wings of the house, between which an avenue led from the main entrance to what may be called the center of the mansion. After passing the outer door of the right wing, you entered an open court, with trees, extending quite round a nucleus of inner apartments, and having a back entrance communicating with the garden. On the right and left of this court were six or more store-rooms, a small receiving or waiting room at two of the corners, and at the other end the staircases which led to the upper story. Both of the inner facades were furnished with a corridor, supported on columns, with similar towers and gateways. The interior of this wing consisted of twelve rooms, two outer and one center court, communicating by folding gates; and on either side of this last was the main entrance to the rooms on the ground floor, and to the staircases leading to the upper story. At the back were three long rooms, and a gateway opening on the garden, which, besides flowers, contained a variety of trees, a summer-house, and a large tank of water. The arrangement of the left wing was different. The front gate led to an open court, extending the whole breadth of the facade of the building, and backed by the wall of the inner part. Central and lateral doors thence communicated with another court, surrounded on three fides by a set of rooms, and behind it was a corridor, upon which several other chambers opened. This wing had no back entrance, and, standing isolated, the outer court extended entirely round it; and a succession of doorways communicated from the court with different sections of the center of the house, where the rooms, disposed, like those already described, around passages and corridors, served partly as sitting apartments and partly as store-rooms. (See Wilkinson's Anc, Eg. abridgm. 1:24 sq.) SEE BUILDING.
2. The remains of Persian and Assyrian palaces are important, as suggesting what may have been the predominant features of the palaces of David, and especially Solomon, although this style was doubtless somewhat modified by the Syrian method of architecture, which was probably more lofty, with several stories, quadrangular, and with flat roofs. In Mr. Fergusson's work (The Palaces of Ninevah and Persepolis Restored, Lond. 1851) may be found the latest and most ingenious theory on this subject, with plans and elevations giving a tangible form to his conclusions. The scarcity of wood in the East must have had great effect in architectural style; but stone being abundant in Palestine, there was no occasion for the immense piles and thick walls of sunburnt brick which formed so distinguishing a feature in Assyrian structures. According to Mr. Fergusson, the ground story alone was faced with stone, the upper story being formed upon a system of beams supported by pillars, and enclosed by a high mud wall (see the Jour. of Sac. Lit. Jan. 1852, p. 422-433). On the numerous points of resemblance between the Assyrian and Jewish palaces, see Layard's Nineveh, 2d ser. p. 641 sq. SEE ASSYRIA.
3. The specimens of the Indian styles are of doubtful date, yet the most remarkable were probably erected about one thousand years B.C. They are exclusively Brahminical and Buddhist temples and pagodas. Some of the Brahminical temples are excavations in the rocks, but not closed like the Egyptians, and have columns cut out of the rock without rules or uniformity (e.g. the temple of Ellora and Elephanta); others are provided with cells, with cupolas or pyramidal ceilings, and supported by figures of animals (Kailassa of Ellora). The Buddhist temples are also underground, but closed, and in the shape of a long parallelogram; they have a double row of pillars, a vault resembling the interior of a hollow cylinder, and end in a semicircular recess containing the divinity in the form of a soap-bubble (Dagoss), as in the temple of Wiswakarna at Ellora. The pagodas are built aboveground, generally pyramidal, and terminated by a cupola (e.g. Madura, Bramnbana of Java). The Indian architecture approaches closely to the Persian and the Assyrian, as exemplified in Persepolis, Nineveh, and Babylon; and also, at a later time, to the Chinese, which adopted the pagoda style in their turrets, but replaced the cupola by a projecting angular roof ornamented with bells (e.g. the porcelain tower at Nankin). But it is with the Egyptian style that the Israelite is connected, as exemplified in Solomon's Temple (see article). (See Sleeman's Rambles in India, Lond. 1844.)
Entirely independent of foreign sources, yet resembling the Indo-Chinese styles in its forms, is the Mexican style, especially in its temples (Theocalles), whose form is pyramidal, and of which remarkable remains are yet to be found in Testchuakan, Papantla, Eholula, etc.
4. Grecian and Roman. — Greek architecture lacks the size, the majestic grandeur, the long vistas, and the symbolism of the Egyptian, but excels it in freedom of treatment, and in perfection of proportion and execution of detail. It received nearly all its elements from Egypt and Assyria, but molded them into an original and native style, and influenced powerfully the architecture of the Roman and all subsequent styles. It is marked unequally by two great periods, the heroic and the historic. The heroic period extends from the first immigration of the Greek branch of the Greco-Italic division of the Indo-Germanic family into Greece and Asia Minor, to about the fall of Troy (1100 B.C.). The works of this period were mostly fortifications or palaces. The walls were built at first of massive, irregular, untrimmed stones (as at Tiryns, Fig. 1), or of irregular but trimmed stones (as at Argos, Fig. 2), and later of stones laid in broken ranges, as in the treasure-house of Atreus at Mycenae. The stones were laid (as was the case till the latest period of Grecian architecture) without mortar, and these massive walls are often termed Cyclopean. In the historic period appeared at first two distinct styles among the two great branches of the Greek people, the Doric and the Ionic. The Doric elements were mostly derived from Egypt, and the Ionic from Assyria.
The Doric order is the most ancient, and is marked by the characteristics of the people from whom it derives its name. It is simple, massive, and majestic. The column is characterized by the absence of a base, by the thickness and rapid diminution of the shaft, and by the simplicity and massiveness of the capital. In the entablature, the architrave is in one surface and quite plain. The frieze is ornamented by triglyphs, so called from the three flat bands into which they are divided by the intervening channels; while the metopes, or the vacant spaces between the triglyphs, are also adorned with sculptures in high relief. The cornice projects far, and on its under side are cut several sets of drops, called mutules. Its principal specimens are the temples at Corinth (Greece), Girgenti (in Sicily), Paestum (in Italy), at AEgina (Greece), and the Theseum, Parthenon, and Propylseum (at Athens).
The Ionic order is distinguished by simple gracefulness, and by a far richer style of ornament than the Doric. The shaft of the column is much more slender, and rests upon a base, while the capital is adorned by spiral volutes. The architrave is in three faces, each slightly projecting beyond the lower; there is a small cornice between the architrave and the frieze, and all three members of the entablature are more or less ornamented with moldings. The Ionic order was used mostly in temples and theatres. Its finest example is the Erechtheum in the Acropolis.
The Corinthian order is only a later form of the Ionic, and belongs to a period subsequent to that of the pure Grecian style. It is especially characterized by its beautiful capital, Which is said to have been suggested to the mind of the celebrated sculptor Callimachus by the sight of a basket, covered by a the, and overgrown by the leaves of an acanthus, on which it had accidentally been placed. The earliest known example of its use throughout a building is in the monument of Lysicrates, commonly called the Lantern of Demosthenes, which was built in B.C. 335.
In Italy we find at first the Etruscan or Tuscan style partaking of the Greek style of the Heroic period, but inclining afterward to the Doric. The temples were built on a quadrangle, the columns Doric, but weak, smooth, with a plinth below the basis, and standing wide apart. The framework was mostly of wood. The temple of Jupiter Capitolinus at Rome was built in that style, of which no specimens now remain, with the exception of a few tombs, such as the Cucumella of Volsci, the so-called tomb of the Horatii near Rome, that of Porsenna near Chiusi, etc. Roman architecture brought forth temples and palaces worthy of a nation which claimed the dominion of the world; among them the most celebrated were the Forum, Basilica, Curiae, etc.; and the triumphal arches (e.g. of Titus, Septimius Severus, Constantine, at Rome; Augustus, at Rimini; Trajan, at Ancona and Benevento, etc.), together with amphitheaters, circuses, and baths. These monuments were mostly in the Corinthian style, but on a gigantic scale.
Their chief characteristic, however, was the union of the horizontal, or Greek style of building, with the Etruscan arch, the result of which was cylindrical vaults, cupolas, and semi-cupolas. This style was introduced by the Romans in all their European and Asiatic possessions; but in the 3d century it fell into a state of tawdry splendor (as in the temples of Palmyra and Baalbek), losing its characteristic features, as well as its original beauty and elegance. SEE BAALBEK; SEE TADMOR.
5. Jewish. -
(1.) Sources of Imitation. — "It was once common to claim for the Hebrews the invention of scientific architecture, and to allege that classical antiquity was indebted to the Temple of Solomon for the principles and many of the details of the art. It may here suffice to remark that temples previously existed in Egypt, Babylon, Syria, and Phoenicia, from which the classical ancients were far more likely to borrow the ideas which they embodied in new and beautiful combinations of their own. There has never, in fact, been any people for whom a peculiar style of architecture could with less probability be claimed than for the Israelites. On leaving Egypt, they could only be acquainted with Egyptian art. On entering Canaan, they necessarily occupied the buildings of which they had dispossessed the previous inhabitants; and the succeeding generations would naturally erect such buildings as the country previously contained. The architecture of Palestine, and, as such, eventually that of the Jews, had doubtless its own characteristics, by which it was suited to the climate and condition of the country, and in the course of time many improvements would no doubt arise from the causes which usually operate in producing change in any practical art. From the want of historical data and from the total absence of architectural remains, the degree in which these causes operated in imparting a peculiar character to the Jewish architecture cannot now be determined, for the oldest ruins in the country do not ascend beyond the period of the Roman domination. It does, however, seem probable that among the Hebrews architecture was always kept within the limits of a mechanical craft, and never rose to the rank of a fine art. Their usual dwelling-houses differed little from those of other Eastern nations, and we nowhere find any thing indicative of exterior embellishment. SEE HOUSE. Splendid edifices, such as the palace of David and the Temple of Solomon, were completed by the assistance of Phoenician artists (2Sa 5:11; 1Ki 5:6,18; 1Ch 14:1). SEE PALACE. After the Babylonish exile the assistance of such foreigners was likewise resorted to for the restoration of the Temple (Ezr 3:7). SEE TEMPLE. From the time of the Maccabaean dynasty the Greek taste began to gain ground, especially under the Herodian princes (who seem to have been possessed with a sort of mania for building), and was shown in the structure and embellishment of many towns, baths, colonnades. theatres, and castles (Josephus, Ant. 15:8, 1; 15:19,4; 15:10, 3; War, 1:4, 1). The Phoenician style, which seems to have had some affinity with the Egyptian, was not, however, superseded by the Grecian; and even as late as the Mishna (Baba Bathra, 3, 6), we read of Tyrian windows, porches, etc. See Hirt's Gesch. der Baukunst bei den Alten, 1, 113, 120, Schnaase, Gesch. d. bild. Kiuiste, 1, 241 sq. Ewald, Isr. Gesch. 3, 1:27; Fergusson, Illustrated Handbook of Architecture (London, 1856), Michaelis, De Judeis architecturce parum peritis (Gott. 1771). SEE ARCH.
(2.) History of Biblical Architecture. — The book of Genesis (Ge 4:17,20,22) appears to divide mankind into great characteristic sections, viz., the "dwellers in tents" and the "dwellers in cities," when it tells us that Cain was the founder of a city; and that among his descendants, one, Jabal, was "the father of them that dwell in tents," while Tubal-cain was "the instructor of every artificer in brass and iron." It is probable that the workers in metal were for the most part dwellers in towns; and thus the arts of architecture and metallurgy became from the earliest times leading characteristics of the civilized as distinguished from the nomadic tendencies of the human race. To the race of Shem is attributed (Ge 10:11-12,22; Ge 11:2-9) the foundation of cities in the plain of Shinar, Babylon, Nineveh, and elsewhere; of one of which, Resen, the epithet "great" sufficiently marks its importance in the time of the writer, a period at least as early as the 17th century, B.C., if not very much earlier (Rawlinson, Outline of Ass. Hist. p. 10; Layard, Nineveh, 2, 221, 235, 238). From the same book we learn the account of the earliest recorded building, and of the materials employed in its construction (Ge 11:3,9); and though a doubt rests on the precise site of the tower of Belus, so long identified with the Birs Nimroud (Benjamin of Tudela, p. c. Bohn; Newton, On Proph. 10, 155, 156; Vaux, Nin. and Persep. p. 173, 178; Keith, On Proph. p. 289), yet the nature of the soil, and the bricks found there in such abundance, though bearing mostly the name of Nebuchadnezzar, agree perfectly with the supposition of a city previously existing on the same or a closely neighboring site (Layard, 2:249, 278, and Nin. and Bab. p. 531; Plin. 7:56; Ezr 4:1). In the book of Esther (Es 1:2) mention is made of the palace at Susa, for three months in the spring the residence of the kings of Persia (Es 3:13; Xen. Cyrop. 8:6, § 22); and, in the books of Tobit and Judith, of Ecbatana, to which they retired for two months during the heat of summer (Tob. 3:7; 14:14; Jude 1:12; Herod. 1:98). A branch of the same Syro-Arabian race as the Assyrians, but the children of Ham, was the nation, or at least the dominant caste, of the Egyptians, the style of whose architecture agrees so remarkably with the Assyrian (Layard, 2:206 sq.). It is in connection with Egypt that the Israelites appear first as builders of cities, compelled, in common with other Egyptian captives, to labor at the buildings of the Egyptian monarchs. Pithom and Raamses are said to have been built by them (Ex 1:11; Wilkinson, 2:195). The Israelites were by occupation shepherds, and by habit dwellers in tents (Ge 47:3). The "house" built by Jacob at Succoth is probably no exception to this statement (Ge 33:17). They had therefore originally, speaking properly, no architecture. Even Hebron, a city of higher antiquity than the Egyptian Zoan (Tanis), was called originally from its founder, perhaps a Canaanite of the race of Anak, Kirjath-Arba, the house of Arba (Nu 13:22; Jos 14:15). From the time of the occupation of Canaan they became dwellers in towns and in houses of stone, for which the native limestone of Palestine supplied a ready material (Le 14:34,45; 1Ki 7:10; Stanley, Palest. p. 146 sq.); but the towns which they occupied were not all, nor, indeed, in most cases, built from the first by themselves (De 6:10; Nu 13:19).
The peaceful reign and vast wealth of Solomon gave great impulse to architecture; for besides the Temple and his other great works at and near Jerusalem, he built fortresses and cities in various places, among which the names and sites of Baalath and Tadmor are usually thought to be represented by the more modern superstructures of Baalbec and Palmyra (1Ki 9:15,24). Among the succeeding kings of Israel and of Judah more than one is recorded as a builder: Asa (1Ki 15:23), Baasha (16:17), Omri (16:24), Ahab (16:34; 22:39); Hezekiah (2Ki 20:20; 2Ch 32:27,30), Jehoash, and Josiah (2Ki 12:11-12; 2Ki 22:6); and, lastly, Jehoiakim, whose winter palace is mentioned (Jer 22:14; Jer 36:22; see also Am 3:15). On the return from captivity, the chief care of the rulers was to rebuild the Temple and the walls of Jerusalem in a substantial manner. with stone, and with timber from Lebanon (Ezr 3:8; Ezr 5:8; Ne 2:8; Ne 3:1,32). During the government of Simon Maccabaeus, the fortress called Baris, and afterward Antonia, was erected for the defense of the Temple and the city. But the reigns of Herod and of his sons and successors were especially remarkable for the great architectural works in which they delighted. Not only was the Temple restored to a large portion, if not to the full degree, of its former magnificence, but the fortifications and other public buildings of Jerusalemwwere enlarged and embellished to an extent previously unknown (Lu 21:5; Benj. of Tudela, p. 83, Bohn). SEE JERUSALEM. Besides these great works, the town of Caesarea was built on the site of an insignificant building called Strato's Tower; Samaria was enlarged, and received the name of Sebaste; the town of Agrippium was built; and Herod carried his love for architecture so far as to adorn with buildings cities even not within his own dominions, Berytus, Damascus, Tripolis, and many other places (Josephus, War, 1, 21, 1, 11). His son, Philip the tetrarch, enlarged the old Greek colony of Paneas, giving it the name of Caesarea in honor of Tiberias; while his brother Antipas founded the city of Tiberius, and adorned the towns of Sepphoris and Betharamphta, giving to the latter the name Livias, in honor of the mother of Tiberius (Reland, p. 497). Of the original splendor of these great works no doubt can be entertained; but of their style and appearance we can only conjecture, though with nearly absolute certainty, that they were formed on Greek and Roman models. Of the style of the earlier buildings of Palestine we can only form an idea from the analogy of the, Egyptian, Assyrian, and Persian monuments now existing, and from the modes of building still adopted in Eastern countries. The connection of Solomon with Egypt and with Tyre, and the influence of the captivity, may have in some measure successively affected the style both of the two temples and of the palatial edifices of Solomon. The enormous stones employed in the Assyrian, Persepolitan, and Egyptian buildings find a parallel in the substructions of Baalbek, more ancient than the superstructure (Layard, 2:317, 318), and in the stones of so vast a size which still remain at Jerusalem, relics of the building either of Solomon or of Herod (Williams, pt. 2:1). But, as it has been observed again and again, scarcely any connected monuments are known to survive in Palestine by which we can form an accurate idea of its buildings, beautiful and renowned as they were throughout the East (Plin. 5:14; Stanley, p. 183), and even of those which do remain no trustworthy examination has yet been made. It is probable, however, that the reservoirs known under the names of the Pools of Solomon and Hezekiah contain some portions, at least, of the original fabrics (Stanley, p. 103, 165). — Smith, s.v.
The domestic architecture of the Jews, so far as it can be understood, is treated under HOUSE SEE HOUSE . Tools and instruments of building are mentioned by the sacred writers: the plumb-line, Am 7:7; the measuring-reed, Eze 40:3; the saw, 1Ki 7:9. (See De Vogud, L'architecture dans la Syrie, Par. 1865.)
II. Mediceval Architecture. —
1. With the victory of Christianity over Paganism, as the religion of state, commences a new era in the history of architecture. Still the Greek, or, rather, Roman art exercised a powerful influence, especially in the details of the new style. When Christianity became the religion of the state, the ancient basilicas (q.v.), or halls of justice, were turned into churches. The lower floor was used by the men, and the galleries devoted to the women. In later edifices the galleries were dispensed with. The church then consisted of a single oblong hall, with one, three, or five aisles, a round apsis at the rear end, an altar, etc. The basilican style prevailed throughout the entire Christian Church throughout the fourth century. It prevailed much later in Syria and Southern France, and remained in Central Italy till the Renaissance period.
2. The Byzantine was the earliest branching off from the basilican style. It had its rise in Constantinople, and was the fruitful parent of nearly all the later styles of Christian and Mohammedan architecture. Its finest example was the Church of St. Sophia, rebuilt by Justinian (A.D. 538), which has the most perfect interior of any church ever built. SEE ST. SOPHIA. The other best examples of this style are the Church of St. Vitale, in Ravenna, and of St. Mark's, in Venice. The style prevailed in Asia when it gave birth to the Saracenic and the Armenian (and hence to the Russian), and in Western and North-western Italy, as well as in parts of France and Spain. Its chief characteristics are a central flat dome, illuminated by a row of small windows at its base; semicircular "apsides" at the ends of the cross, covered with half domes; a profuse use of the round arch in colonnades and galleries within and without, of such varied sizes as to give great apparent size to the edifice; slender windows; a rather low entrance; the walls, and even pillars, covered with mosaic paintings, ornamental and scenic, thus giving the interior the greatest possible brilliancy and dignity;
and capitals ornamented by a most remarkably rich interweaving of conventional elements borrowed from the antique or from life, and interspersed with animals fantastically disposed.
3. The different elements of the basilican and Byzantine styles were united first in Lombardy, then on the Rhine, and produced the Romanesque, or roundarch Gothic, which, rising from the 7th to the 10th centuries, and extending to the 12th, spread over most of Europe. Among the finest examples of this style are the Cathedrals of Pisa, Vercelli, Parma, Modena, and Lucca (in Italy), of Worms, Bonn, Mayence, Speyer, and the churches of St. Gereon and Sti. Apostoli in Cologne (on the Rhine), To this style belong the peculiar churches and round towers of North Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia, and the low round tower of Newport, R. I. In the round-arch style the aisles were covered with long arches instead of open wooden roofs. Bell-towers — round (as in Italy, the north of Europe, and elsewhere), or square, or octagonal, built separate from the church edifice (as in Italy) or joined to the edifice (as north of the Alps) — were added. The pillars broke from the antique rules of proportion, and were molded into clustered columns. Small arched galleries ran around parts or the whole of the church, within and without. The exterior especially was covered with numerous well-disposed arches, pilasters, and other ornaments; richly-decorated doorways and windows drew the eye to the central part of the facade, and the whole external had a dignity not to be found in any other style of church architecture. The style prevailed throughout all Europe (excepting part of Italy) till the gradual introduction of the pointed arch gave rise to what is usually called the Gothic style.
4. Meanwhile the Saracenic style — another outgrowth of the Byzantine — had spread, with its numerous modifications, over all Mohammedan countries. It was modified largely by the Sassanian style (an outgrowth of the late Roman, as developed by the fire-worshippers of Persia) in the East, by the Spanish Romanesque in Spain and Morocco, and by the basilican style in Sicily. It arose in the seventh century, and spread with truly tropical luxuriance and quickness of growth from Persia to the Atlantic. Deprived by the Mohammedan faith of the use of painting or sculpture, it developed an architectonic ornamentation unsurpassed in the history of architecture by its richness and purely conventional character. Poetry took the place of the formative arts of sculpture and painting in the inscriptions from the Koran that were interwoven with the luxuriant ornament of the walls and columns. The Byzantine dome remained the principal feature of the roof, but this was hung with myriads of little semi-domes, producing a most fairy-like effect. Under the rich fancy of the Orient, color was used as freely as in the Egyptian style. The minaret was added, and gave a marvelous grace and lightness by its slender form. The pointed arch (adopted perhaps first from the court of a Christian monastery in Sicily erected in the sixth century) was soon adopted, and spread into the horse- shoe arch, finally developing itself into the complicated interwoven arches of the Moorish style. The style arose in the seventh century, and extended to the fifteenth, its culminating period being from the ninth to the eleventh centuries. The Turkish style is more Byzantine than Saracenic. Among its most important monuments are the mosques and tombs of the sultans at Cairo, and Bejapoor and Delhi (India), the palaces and mosques of the Alhambra and of the Cuba (Palermo), and the Castle of Alcazar at Segovia (Spain). In the twelfth century, Central and Western Europe came into much more intimate contact than formerly with the Orient, especially through the Crusades, and the pointed arch and the spirit of ornamentation of the Saracenic art were borrowed, and added largely to the development of the Gothic from the Romanesque style.
5. The Gothic. — The roundarch or Romanesque style has given the Christian temple its almost complete plan, as far as concerns the disposition of the aisles, altar, choir, etc. The pointed arch began first in France and Normandy to supplant the round arch. The progress of this new feature was then gradual and fluctuating for over a century. The two arches are found used almost promiscuously till 1280, when the pointed arch, and all the constructive changes it induced, were used, purely and solely, for a century. This is hence called the golden period of the Gothic architecture. The use of this arch required, for harmony, a corresponding additional upward tendency in all the parts of the structure. To this was added a richness of conventionalized, foliated ornamentation, not surpassing, perhaps, that of the windows and doorways of some works of the round- arch style, but far more generally diffused and more harmoniously incorporated with the feeling of the entire edifice. The spire was made more slender, filled with elaborate open-work ornaments, and made, like a flower on its stalk, the richest part of the edifice. Sculpture was used profusely within and without, and the windows were filled with paintings, in colored glass, from Biblical scenes, making thus (as in the Egyptian arch) the other arts subordinate to the architecture; or, more strictly speaking, mere architectonic adjuncts. The principal characteristics of this style are as follows: The ground-plan is an oblong rectangle, and for churches, the cross; the crypt disappears; the choir becomes smaller in proportion to the building, and ends in a polygon; the walls of the nave are higher, so that the arches spring immediately from the pillars; the walls themselves are divided by arches, and the windows enlarged; the arches are all pointed, and connected by chamfers and astragals, as well as also the pillars. Outside are buttresses and piers to strengthen the building, connected with small turrets and ornamented foliage tracery; the cornices are deeply excavated and much inclined (to facilitate the running off of water); the greatest number of ornaments are displayed on the facade, which is adorned with one or two towers, built on a square basis, but transformed afterward into an octagon, rising with a series of pillars, turrets, and high windows, and ending in an open-work octagonal pyramid; the entrance of the churches consists of either one or three richly decorated portals; the ornaments consist principally of straight lines and segments of circles meeting in acute angles, and of tracery representing natural objects, such as vine or oak leaves, etc. The principal specimens of German Gothic style are to be found in the cathedrals of Cologne, Freiburg, Regensburg, Vienna, Strasburg, etc. The French Gothic presents some peculiarities; thus, the foundation is generally fan-shaped, the choir being encircled by a row of chapels; its principal ornament consists in the three large portals in front; columns replace the pillars; the circles and arches are not connected by chamfers or astragals; the arches and buttresses are plain; the towers mostly square, and without the pyramidal apex; the perpendicular ascending tendency is balanced by a horizontal gallery in the facade. Its best specimens are Notre-Dame of Paris, and the cathedrals of Rouen, Dijon, Chartres, Rheims, Amiens, St. Onen near Rouen, etc. The Spanish Gothic inclines to the horizontal, looks heavy, and the inside is generally overloaded with ornaments, as, for instance, the cathedrals of Toledo, Barcelona, Xeres, etc. The convent of Batalha is a fine specimen of the Portuguese Gothic, which is of purer style than the Spanish. The Gothic of Holland and Belgium partakes of the French and the German; the former preponderates in the inside, and the latter in the outside, where we find large pointed windows, no rosettes, smaller portals, and high towers, as in the cathedrals of Amsterdam, Brussels, Utrecht, the Oude Kerk of Amsterdam, St. Laurentius of Rotterdam, etc. The English Gothic has many peculiarities. The richest specimens belong to the so-called Tudor style; for instance, the Chapel of Henry VII. The Italian Gothic is distinguished from the same style as found in more northern countries by inclining more to the antique, and presenting the perpendicular features only in false facades, while in the actual buildings the horizontal predominates; it also preserves the walls in their original massiveness, instead of dividing them by means of pillars and windows; the foundations are broad, the choir ends in a quadrangle; they are surmounted by a cupola, but have no towers, as the cathedrals of Florence, Sienna, Orvieto, Assisi, St. Antonio of Padua, St. Petronia of Bologna, St. Maria Novello of Florence, etc., etc. In the 15th and 16th centuries the spirit of the style had died out, though it still gave a tending to the character of the edifices erected in Germany and elsewhere, even as late as the 18th century.
6. The Renaissance. — In Italy the Gothic style had never taken such deep root as in the other countries of Europe. The revival of classical studies, and the tendency of the age to exalt ancient philosophy over Christianity, led to an extensive study of the antique. This spirit, carried into architecture, produced the Renaissance style, which is marked by an adaptation of classical (especially of Roman) architectural principles and details to the Christian temple. The round arch was again resorted to. A massive dome was built over the center of the cross. The columns resumed the classical proportions, or were made into massive pilasters. In the 17th century, and more especially in the 18th, architecture seemed to have broken away from all laws of proportion and harmony, and to have lost its predominance in church edifices. The churches seemed more galleries of painting or sculpture than architectural structures. The ornament became first massive, then overpowering, and was broken from its structural lines. It finally became trivial and inexpressive. Expensive stones and large gilded surfaces were more prized than aesthetic propriety or architectural effect. And, finally, the extravagant, insincere, almost infidel life of the 17th and 18th centuries manifested themselves in the Baroco (or Jesuitical) style of Italy, or the Rococo (or French) style of France and Germany.
Thus the greatest genuine architectural life of mediaeval times manifested itself in the great epochs of the Basilican (4th to 6th centuries), Byzantine (7th to 14th centuries), Saracenic (7th to 14th centuries), Romanesque (9th to 12th centuries), Gothic (12th to 15th centuries), and Renaissance (14th to 17th centuries). Perhaps its highest culmination was in the Middle Gothic (1300). After the 16th century all true architecture died out, and the Rococo period (18th century) closed the second great division or history, and was followed by the modern in the 19th century.
III. The Modern. — The chief characteristic difference between the modern, and the ancient, and mediaeval architecture, is that it is marked by no style such as is followed by all builders of the period in all lands where a certain civilization prevails. The inconsistencies and absurdities of the Rococo style of the latter part of the 18th century were felt under the purer taste awakened by the study of the history of ancient and mediaeval art that has prevailed during the last fifty years. Attempts are making to revive the spirit of the pure ages — of the Gothic (mostly in England), of the Renaissance (mostly in France), and of the Ancient Classical (mostly in Germany). A few architects and critics feel the necessity of having a new style of architecture, adapted to the wants of modern society, and to the use of the new materials (especially iron and glass) that science has brought within the reach of the builder.
In America the early church edifices had usually no architectural merits or pretensions. This arose from the poverty of the people, the lack of artistic education in the builders and of a cultivated taste in the community, or from an honest desire to shun any thing that might savor of pompous display in the house of God. Within the last twenty years a different spirit has animated all denominations of Christians, and a most healthy feeling prevails, manifesting itself in honest attempts to make the house of God a building worthy of its high and holy uses. The most important requisite for this is the development of a body of Christian architects from the church itself. These, permeated with the true Christian feeling, knowing the wants of the church, and cultivated in all the required departments of science and art, will be able to give an architecture suited to the wants of the present age. To accomplish this is needed the establishment of academies or departments of architecture in our universities and chairs of the fine arts in the colleges and theological seminaries.
For the history of architecture, see Schnaase's Gesch. der bild. Kuinste (Dtisseldorf, 1843-66, 8 vols.); Kugler, Geschichte der Baukunst (Stuttgart, 1859, 3 vols.); W. Lubke, Geschichte der Baukunst (Stuttgart, 1865); Gailhaband, Denkmaler der Baukunst aller Zeiten (Hamburg, 1849, 4 vols.); Fergusson, Handbook of Architecture (Lond. 1855, 2 vols.), and
Modern Styles (Lond. 1862, 1 vol.); Voillet le Due, Histoire d'Architecture (Paris, 4 vols). On the history of church architecture (from the ecclesiological stand-point), see Christian Remembrancer, July, 1849, p. 184. There are also papers on church architecture in the Quarterly Review, 6:62; 75:179; Church Review, 3, 372; Monthly Christian Spectator, Nov. 1852, p. 654. Valuable practical hints may be found in Trimen, Chapel Architecture (London, 1849, 8vo); and in Jobson, Chapel and School Architerture (Lond. 1850, 8vo). See also Rickman, Attempt to distinguish the Styles of Architecture in England (Lond. 8vo); Sharpe, Seven Periods of English Architect. (Lond. 8vo); Brit. Quart. Rev. Aug. 1849, art. 2; Mercersburg Rev. 1851, p. 358; Bunsen, Basiliken des christl. Rom's (Mfnch. 1842); Lenoir, Architect. Monast. (Par. 1852); Brown, Sacred Architect. (Lond. 1845); Dollman, Ancient Architecture (Lond. 1858); Hubsch, Altchristliche Kirchen (Karlsr. 1860). See CHURCH EDIFICES.