Ground plan of a typical Greek peripteral temple

Ground plan of a typical Greek peripteral temple

During the seventh century BCE, Greek architects began to build temples with stone, instead of wood; this trend most likely began in Corinth in a style called Dori, which then spread across the mainland; an Ionic style would emerge later in the Aegean Islands and the coast of Asia Minor.

 

While sacrifices would have taken place outside under the open air, the cella, or naos, was the most important part of temple and would have housed the cult image of the temple’s respective god or goddess. A porch, or pronaos, would have allowed for the storage of additional items used in ceremonies, while the colonnade would have provided a transient space as worshipers entered the orderly temple from the chaotic outer world; of course, it also provided these visitors and the temple’s contents protection from extreme weather.