What Does Doric Mean in Ancient Greece?

Doric is a term used to describe one of the three orders of ancient Greek architecture. The other two orders are the Ionic and the Corinthian. The Doric order is considered the oldest and simplest of the three, with its origins dating back to around 600 BC.

Origins of the Doric Order

The Doric order originated in mainland Greece and was primarily used for temples and other public buildings. It is characterized by its sturdy columns, which are typically fluted and have no base. The capital of a Doric column is also simple, consisting of a circular cushion-like element known as an echinus, topped by a square abacus.

The Elements of a Doric Column

The shaft of a Doric column is usually smooth and can be tapered or have a consistent width throughout. The column itself stands on a platform called a stylobate, which is often decorated with carvings or moldings. Above the columns are typically triglyphs, which are vertical grooves separated by flat blocks called metopes.

The Use of the Doric Order

The Doric order was popular in mainland Greece during the Archaic period (600-480 BC) and remained in use throughout the Classical period (480-323 BC). It was particularly favored by Athenian architects, who used it extensively in public buildings such as the Parthenon on the Acropolis.

Doric Architecture Beyond Greece

The influence of Doric architecture extended beyond ancient Greece and can be seen in Roman temples such as the Maison Carrée in Nîmes, France. In fact, elements of the Doric order can be found in many different architectural styles throughout history.


In conclusion, when we talk about ancient Greek architecture, we cannot ignore the impact that the Doric order had on the development of this style. With its simple yet elegant design, it has stood the test of time and remains a popular choice for architects and designers today.