What are the main characteristics of ancient Greek architecture?

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The Greek style is noted for the repose, harmony, and proportion of its effect. Greek art is characterized by the representation of living beings. It is concerned both with formal proportion and with the dynamics of action and emotion. Its primary subject matter is the human figure, which is also the form of the divine; monsters, animals, and plants are secondary. The chief themes are from myth, literature, and daily life. Aware of Egyptian temples in stone, Greeks in the 7th century began to build their own stone temples in a distinctive style. They used limestone in Italy and Sicily, marble in the Greek islands and Asia Minor, and limestone covered with marble on the Greek mainland. Later they built chiefly in marble. The temples were rectangular and stood on a low, stepped terrace in an enclosure where rituals were performed. Small temples had a two-columned front porch, sometimes with a portico before it. Larger temples, with front and back porches, might have a six-columned ... more
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