The Ionic Order

Relate Architectural Terms to the Plan

  • Entablature
  • Cornice
  • Raking Sima
  • Raking Geison
  • Pediment
  • Geison
  • Frieze
  • Architrave
  • Column
  • Capital
  • Abacus
  • Volute
  • Shaft
  • Base of Column
  • Stylobate
  • Stereobate
  • Euthynteria

Entablature

The complex upper structure of the Order, supported by columns and consisting of an architrave, frieze, and pediment.

Cornice

The molded projection which is the uppermost feature of an entablature.

Raking Sima

The terracotta or marble gutter of a building, on the gables and sometimes on the flanks; it may or may not be moulded; if it occurs on the flanks, it is provided with outlets for rain-water at intervals, often in the form of lions' heads.

Raking Geison

A molded projection that follows the slope of the pediment; also called the raking cornice.

Pediment

A low-pitched triangular gable crowning a fa├žade, often containing sculpture.

Geison

A horizontal molded projection that runs the full perimeter of a Greek temple, also known as a corona or cornice.

Frieze

The middle division of an entablature, between the cornice and the architrave. Ionic friezes are often embellished with sculpture, but can be plain.

Architrave

The lowest element of a classical entablature (upper structure) that rests directly on the abaci of supporting columns. Also called the Epistyle.

Column

An upright masonry element comprised of a base, shaft, and capital. Columns arranged in rows form a colonnade. The space between each column is called the intercolumniation.

Capital

The upper part or head of a column, set over the shaft. Each architectural order has a distinctive capital.

Abacus

The slab at the top of a capital, crowning the column and supporting the entablature. The Greek Ionic abacus is thinner than the Doric.

Volute

A spiral scroll forming the distinguishing feature of the Ionic capital.

Shaft

The body of a column between the capital and the base.

Base of Column

The base of a column is the part between the shaft and the pavement or pedestal. Each Order has a distinctive base; the Greek Doric Order has no base.

Stylobate

The topmost pavement step of a structure of three steps on which a colonnade is placed. The stylobate rests on the stereobate.

Stereobate

The continuous stone base located below the stylobate.

Euthynteria

A leveling course of a Greek temple, connecting the buried foundation to the visible structure forming the crepis.