Column after Column

I should have had Chris and Karen write the post for this image. As we walked around Pompeii they would point out the various column styles. Me, I just referred to them all as columns, no distinguishing between one style or another. I don’t ever remember learning the different styles in school. Apparently, both Chris and Karen did as they would point out why one column was Doric, Iconic or Corinthian. I just wondered did the Romans think, “hmmm, do you think we should redecorate and cover this brick with a new decorative layer?”

I found this website with the following information on architectural columns:


1. Greek Doric columns are most common. The Parthenon in Athens provides a fine example of these. Greek Doric columns are plain, even to the capital. Unique among the five types, Greek Doric columns have no base.

2. Greek Ionic columns are characterized by a circular base and a shallow capital decorated with curled designs known as volutes.

3. Greek Corinthian columns have elaborate capitals, surpassed in detail only by the Roman Composite, which combined details of both the Corinthian and the Ionic. Corinthian columns feature rows of carved leaves, often extending partly down the shaft, making them particularly eye-catching if ceilings are high enough to support a decorated entablature or faux entablature, the horizontal section.


The Romans recognized a good thing when they saw it. No surprise, then, that early in their history they too incorporated columns into their architecture.

4. Roman Doric columns were similar to those of the Greeks, with the exception that the Romans provided a base.

5. Roman Tuscan columns were refined Doric, but even plainer. The shafts had no fluting, the capitals no decorative carving. These clean lines make them a contemporary favorite in house design.

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  1. Melissa

    You must have been asleep in class that day! I remember the types too. Have a great weekend!

  2. Jamie

    Actually, I think that information was pushed out of my brain to make room for tv trivia information. I would have said useless tv trivia but back when we played Trivial Pursuit it actually came in handy. I don’t remember Trivial Pursuit ever asking about Doric or Ionic columns.
    Enjoy the weekend!

  3. Nice shot with great detail and light….got me on the columns as well!

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