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What Is a Doric Column?


Doric Column

Doric Column. In ancient Greece, the shaft would have set directly on the ground, without a base.

Photo © Roman Shcherbakov / iStockPhoto

Ancient builders developed several Orders, or rules, for the design and proportion of buildings, including the columns. Doric is the earliest and most simple of the Classical Orders set down in ancient Greece.

A Doric column is much plainer than the later Ionic and Corinthian column styles. A Doric column is also thicker and heavier than an Ionic or Corinthian column. For this reason, the Doric column is sometimes associated with strength and masculinity. Believing that Doric columns could bear the most weight, ancient builders often used them for the lowest level of mufti-story buildings, reserving the more slender Ionic and Corinthian columns for the upper levels.

Features of a Doric Column:

  • Originally placed directly on the ground without a pedestal or base
  • Shaft is wider at the bottom
  • Shaft is fluted (grooved)
  • Smooth, round capitals (tops)
  • No carvings or other ornaments
Facts About Doric Columns:
  • Developed in the western Dorian region of Greece in about the 6th century BC
  • Used in Greece until about 100 BC
  • Similar Roman Doric and Tuscan styles emerged in Rome
Architectural Periods and Styles: Buildings With Doric Columns: More About Doric Columns:
Common Misspellings: dooric, daric, droric

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