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The Treatment of Re-Entrant Angles*

  • J. J. Coulton


The triglyph problem which arose at the corners of a Doric building, and was held by Vitruvius to be responsible for the disuse of the Doric order in Roman times, has for many years been discussed by archaeologists. The best short explanation of the difficulties involved is probably that by Robertson. The much more complex problems which are met at a re-entrant angle in the Doric order, have, on the other hand, received little attention, for such angles do not occur in temples, the type of building which has been studied most thoroughly. They do, however, appear fairly frequently in more utilitarian buildings such as stoas and palaistras, and various treatments of them were evolved.



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1 Vitruvius IV. iii. 1.

2 D. S. Robertson, Greek and Roman Architecture 106–11.

3 C. Waldstein, The Argive Heraeum, pl. XII.

4 Ibid., pl. xxiv; for the date, Hesperia xxi (1952) 239–40, 245.

5 ADelt i (1915), parart. 45.

6 Hesperia vi (1937), fig. 22.

7 The re-entrant angle is best shown in Ergon 1961, pl. 1. The figures are taken from PAE 1950, 179–84.

8 Olympia, Text II 87, Plates II, pl. LXIV.

9 Figures kindly given to me by Prof. H. A. Thompson. The re-entrant frieze fragment attributed to the Fountain, S. W. in Hesperia xxiv (1955) 53 in fact belongs to this building.

10 BSA lix (1964) 109–11.

11 Figures obtained from the surviving remains of the building.

12 Olympia II, pl. LXIV. 8.

13 PAE 1901, pl. 1.

14 Olympia, Plates II, pl. LXXIII.

15 Milet i. 6. 7–12, figs. 12, 14, 16, 18, pl. x.

16 Magnesia am Maeander 120.

17 Milet i. 6. 24, where the problem is discussed.

18 e.g. in the S. Stoa at Olympia, (Olympia I, pl. LX 1.2).

19 Délos xxv. 123–8.

20 Pergamon ix. 64–65, figs. 8–16.

21 Milet i. 6. 24–25.

22 Milet i. 7. 13, pl. 1.

23 Magnesia am Maeander, 137, fig. 147.

24 F. Krischen et al., Antike Rathäuser, pl. XXVI.

25 Boll. d'Arte, xxxv (1950), 66.

26 Lindos III. ii, fig. IX 9.

27 Délos VIII, fig. 84.

28 Bohn, R., Altertümer von Aegae (JDAI, Ergänzungsheft II), fig. 38.

29 Antiquities of Ionia III, chap, 1, pls. XXIX, XXX.

30 BCH xlvii (1923) 362.

31 Antiquities of Ionia III, chap, ii, pls. VII, VIII.

32 Dinsmoor, fig. 69.

33 ADelt xvi (1960), pl. XLVIII. 2.

34 T. Wiegand et al., Palmyra: Ergebnisse der Expeditionen von 1902 und 1907, pl. LXVIII.

35 C. H. Kraeling, Gerasa, City of the Decapolis, 132.

36 G. Pesce, Il ‘Palazzo delle Colonne’ in Tolemaide di Cirenaica, pl. 1.

37 AA lxxxiv (1959) 310.

38 BSA lix (1964) 117, fig. 6 c, d. A normal heart-shaped pier was used at the external angle of the same colonnade (ibid.).

39 Délos xix, 13–25, figs. 20, 24.

40 Délos vi, pls. VII, VIII.

41 BCH xxix (1905), pl. XI. The arrangement suggested is confirmed by the architrave block shown in pl. xi. 5.

42 AM xxvii (1902) 21, fig. 2.

43 Pergamon iii. 1, pl. XXIV. But in pl. XXXII J. Schrammen suggests an increased intercolumniation at the angles.

44 Pergamon ii, pl. XVI.

45 Pergamon ii. 35, pl. XXII 5.

46 Ibid. 39, pl. XXIII 7.

47 Kos 16.

48 Kos 64–65, fig. 38.

49 Megalopolis 62–63, pl. xv.

50 See p. 132 above.

51 They are well presented by Martin in Thasos, l'Agora 72–80. I refer to the blocks by the numbers given to them there.

52 Narrower mutules over the metopes were sometimes used in the archaic period (e.g. Temple C at Selinus, Dinsmoor, fig. 29), never in the classical or Hellenistic periods.

53 The upper story of the Stoa of Athena Polias at Pergamon. This is the only L-shaped stoa with a two-storied portico to use triglyphs in the upper story.

54 See p. 135 above.

55 Délos v, pl. II.

56 Lindos III i, fig. v i.

57 Lindos III i, pl. VI A, VI H. The comparative material above is against Baumann's restoration with spans of 2·56 m. along the returns.

58 In the Stoa at Lindos the via width is almost the same as the distance from the metope face to the inner edge of the mutules, so no such increase would be necessary.

59 Pausanias, vi. 24. 2 (trans. Frazer).

60 Besides the stoas with projecting wings dealt with above, there are similar buildings at Mantinea, (‘Bouleuterion’; BCH xiv (1890) 256–60, G. Fougères, Manlinée et l'Arcadie orientale 174–7) and at Kalauria (Stoa, F; AM xx (1895) 281–3, G. Welter, Trotzen und Kalaureia 51).

61 BCH xxvi (1902) 490–500.

62 e.g. Peristyle Building at Athens (pp. 136–7 above), Leonidaion at Olympia (ibid.), Agora of the Italians at Delos (p. 141 above), Tetrastoon by Theatre at Lindos, Peristylar Court at Knidos (p. 139 above).

* The following abbreviations are used in addition to the normal ones:

Délos: École française d'Athènes, Exploration archéologique de Délos.

Dinsmoor: W. B. Dinsmoor, The Architecture of Ancient Greece 3 (1950).

Kos: R. Herzog, Kos: Ergebnisse der deutschen Ausgrabungen und Forschungen.

Lindos: C. Blinkenberg, K. F. Kinch, E. Dyggve, Lindos: Fouilles et Recherches, 1902–14, 1952.

Magnesia am Maeander: C. Humann, Magnesia am Maeander: Bericht über die Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen der Jahre 1891–1893.

Megalopolis: E. A. Gardner et al., Excavations at Megalopolis, 1890–1.

Milet: T. Wiegand, Milet: Ergebnisse der Ausgrabungen und Untersuchungen seit dem Jahre 1899.

Olympia: E. Curtius, F. Adler, Olympia: die Ergebnisse der von dem Deutschen Reich veranstalteten Ausgrabungen.

Pergamon: Altertümer von Pergamon.

Thasos, l'Agora: Études thasiennes vi; R. Martin, L'Agora, i.

I should like to thank Professor R. J. Hopper, Mr. A. H. S. Megaw, and Dr. W. H. Plommer, whose comments on my drafts at various stages have been of the greatest assistance.

The Treatment of Re-Entrant Angles*

  • J. J. Coulton


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