There are three different types of Greek temples representing the three ‘orders’ of Ancient Greek architecture: Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. All three orders employ similar architectural elements, most notably columns. Doric – the oldest order – uses relatively short, thick columns, while the columns of later orders are longer and more slender with concave vertical grooves called fluting. Resting atop each column is a ‘capital’ of varying complexity. The Doric capital is simple and understated, while the Ionic version has swirling volutes that resemble ram’s horns, and the Corinthian order boasts ornate leaves and scrolls. Ancient Greek architecture is founded upon principles of order and symmetry, and the Greek temples of the Classical period – roughly 500-300 BCE – provide some of its finest examples. Famous Greek temples like the Parthenon (Doric) and the Temple of Athena Nike (Ionic) – both in Athens – have inspired architects from the Renaissance right through to modern times.
Answered by Dave Roos