The Aegean and the Minoan civilizations were the prelude to the Greek civilization.
This civilization flourished on the islands of Crete. The development of this civilization on the island was known as Minoan civilization after king Minos.
The development of the mainland is termed as Helladic or also Mycenaen Civilization known after the city of Mycenae.
The mainland of Greece always required strong defensive boundary.

The palace of the king served as the center of community life in Aegean culture.
On the island of Crete the town sites offered natural protection.
Ancient cities like Knossus were not surrounded by walls due to the natural boundary of seas.
On the main land of Greece, cities needed the protection of ramparts.
The cities of Tiryns and Mycenae were heavily fortified.

The Aegean cities were irregular in form. Meandering streets followed the irregular topography of the sites.
The streets were narrow lanes paved with stone.
There was a developed system of water supply, sanitation and drainage for palaces and many of the houses.
Most dwellings were one storied in height and densely built.
The town did not appear to be congested.
In the cities of Aegean culture, the palace of the king used to be an integral part of the town life.
Broad steps lead to an open court which was probably a place for assembly and entertainment.

The houses comprised a few small rooms called the Megaron.
These rooms opened into a small light court.
At times there was an opening in the roof for the collection of rain water in a cistern.
The houses of the lower class was confined to the Megaron and a vestibule whereas the houses for upper class and the palaces were equipped with the drains.
One storey construction was done in mud bricks and stone foundation.


The Classical Greek Civilization includes the civilization on the mainland of Greece, Aegean archipelago of islands and the west coast of Anatolia.
The Aegean civilization fell roughly around 1200 B.C. and the Greek civilization took 500 years to get formulated.
Greece was invaded from the north by the Dorians. Those who went to Anatolia were the Ionians.
These two principalities formulated the distinct character of the Greek Civilization.

Greek Civilization can be broadly classified as :
The people on the main land of Greece mixed with the Aegean people which gave rise to a noble class.
This class rose in power and exercised an influence on the common people
The influence of king reduced and thus the palace citadel disappeared.

Temples dedicated to god replaced the palaces on the acropolis.
The emergence of merchant class gave rise to redistribution of the estates of nobles among the common people.
With this concept of the law that were determined by the people, Athens became a democratic state.


During the early years of democracy, the Greek city had wandering unpaved lanes.
There was no drainage and sanitation.
Water was carried from the local wells and waste was disposed off in the streets.
There were no palaces, but temples were present alongwith a few public buildings.
The common assembly place was called as the pnyx.

The pnyx was an open air podium where the citizens met to consider the affairs of the state.
The agora was the market place and the center of urban activity. It was irregular in form.
There was very less difference between the houses of the rich and the poor people. The rooms were grouped about an interior court.
Most towns were surrounded by protective walls.

An order consisted of an upright columns and the horizontal entablatures or the part supported.
The orders that developed in the Greek period were:
Doric order
Ionic order
Corinthian order.

The Greek architecture comprised of many features that included the columns of various orders.

The columns in the form of sculptures of women were also an important feature of the Greek architecture.
These were seen at Erecthion and were called as Caryatid porches.

Theory of Hippodamus:
Hippodamus was an architect from the city of Miletus and was credited the origination of the “grid-iron” pattern of streets.
The grid-iron system, according to Hippodamus, established a rational arrangement of buildings and circulation.
For the city plan, the individual dwelling was considered as a module.
The blocks were shaped to provide appropriate orientations for the dwellings within them.
The functional uses of the buildings and the public space were recognized in the arrangement of streets.
This facilitated the easy movement of people and vehicles.
The rigid geometry of the Hippodamus street system was superimposed upon the uneven topography of the sites.
This resulted in the development of steps to negotiate with the steep slope.
This was accepted as the movement was on foot.

The public spaces consisted of the Agora or the market place,, assembly halls called as the Ecclesiasteron, Council hall called as the Bouleuterion and the Council chamber called as the Prytaneum.

Located in the center of the town plan.
E-W and N-S streets lead to the Agora.
Occupied about 5% of the city area.
The Agora had dimensions approx. one fifth of the width and breadth of the town itself.
Geometrical plan. Square or rectangular open space surrounded by colonnades, porticoes.
It does not allow movement of people across the open space.
Streets terminated at the Agora and did not cross it.
The open space was reserved was used for the pedestrian movement and circulation.
There were olive groves outside the walls of the city.
There were provisions of building laws regarding the restriction of buildings from encroaching on the streets .
Prohibition of projection of upper floors beyond the first floor wall.

There were shops adjacent to the dwellings of the merchants.The houses were enclosed about a central hearth.
Streets were paved and sanitation was improved by providing underground drains.
Facility for the disposition of sewage was not provided.

Irregular layout of streets.
The city contained Agora and an assembly space.
The dwellings were small and irregular in form.
At places, the Hippodamian plan can be seen with main streets laid -in a north-south direction about 300 feet apart and connected by east-west street of narrow width some 129 feet apart.
The city in later period had paved street and underground drains.
Some houses were two storied in height.


Grid- iron pattern of street system.
Agora is at the center of the town, surrounded by temples shrines, public buildings and shops.
Recreation and entertainment facilities are provided in gymnasia, stadia and theatre.

This city too shows the grid-iron system of roads.
The market place had freedom for pedestrian movement, streets generally by-passed terminating the open space.
Services to the shops from exterior street.
Agora was treated as the series of exterior rooms.
It was rectilinear in form but the spaces were not symmetrical.
Shrines and public spaces were located about the agora.
The bouleuterion, the ecclesiasteron and prytaneum were located about the agora.

The era after Alexander the Great is termed as the Hellenistic era.
Public buildings like the Odeion, the treasury, the library and the prison were added to the agora.
Baths and stadia were built for entertainment.
Gardens and parks were introduced
Villas were built.

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