On the Corinthian Column at the Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae

This work investigates, based on a digital model and a solar analysis, the cultural and mythical dimensions of architectural elements, the iconography, site, and articulation of the Classical temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassae, where the earliest use of the Corinthian order is attested in the form of a single column. The temple’s immediate mythical context and its iconography, morphology, and articulation in relation with novel solar observations point to a specific role of the Corinthian column, which together appear to order and to justify the temple’s unique design, setting and proportions. While based on archaeological and historical evidence as well as on literary sources such as Pausanias, the ancient literature of Homer and Hesiod and other relevant myths, this study seeks to offer a comprehensive understanding for this remarkable temple by situating the building in its site, its surrounding landscape, and its cultic context with the Corinthian column as its central element.

About the author:

Antonios Thodis is interested in modern architecture and urbanism and its interaction with the Greco-Roman tradition, and more broadly, in the impact of ancient ideas and of later cultural interpretations of nature on the theorization of architecture. His current research investigates the origins of the Greek temple and its Orders and the role and meaning of ornament in ancient Greek architecture, with a particular focus on the temple’s ornamentation as it relates to the ancient Greeks understanding and relation to Nature as Kosmos.

Thodis is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania Weitzman School of Design. He acquired his diploma of architect-engineer (2012) from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,  a master’s degree (2015) from the Architectural Association’s Design Research Lab program -AA DRL- in London, and a second master’s degree (2018) from Harvard Graduate School of Design, MDes History and Philosophy of Design program.

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