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date: 30 November 2020

Bassaelocked

  • Richard Allan Tomlinson

Extract

Bassae, in SW Arcadia, near Phigaleia, the site of one of the best-preserved Greek temples. This was dedicated to *Apollo the Helper (Epikourios). *Pausanias (3) says it was the work of *Ictinus, possible (with some local influence) but unprovable. It dates to the latter part of the 5th cent. bce with an interruption due to Spartan occupation of the area during the *Peloponnesian War. The greater part of the temple is in the local limestone, with carved decoration applied in marble. The *orientation, followed also by its predecessor, was towards the north instead of the east, and the early sunlight, instead of entering through the main doorway, was admitted to the adytum through an opening in the eastern side-wall. Ten engaged Ionic columns decorated the side walls of the cella internally, with a single central Corinthian column—one of the earliest of its kind, and one of the most beautiful (see orders)—between the cella and the adytum.

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