The fell under attack. In contrast, Didyma is built

The Parthenon in Athens is the most
famous Greek temple ever built, considered to be the most perfect example of classicism.
It was dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war and patron of the
city. Construction began in 448 BC and the temple was finished by 432 BC. The
Temple of Apollo at Didyma was built later, in the Hellenistic period in Asia Minor and was the 4th
largest in the ancient Greek world – around twice the size of the Parthenon. It
was never completed. Apollo is the god of poetry, music and the sun, and his
temple was built to house one of his oracles.

Perhaps the most obvious difference between
the structures was the Temple of Apollo’s lack of roof. Instead of an enclosed
room, the temple featured an open central courtyard like other monumental ionic
temples. Also, easily seen are the differences in location, as when the
Parthenon was built it was traditional for temples to be placed above the city,
so that the people could retreat there when the city fell under attack. In
contrast, Didyma is built on flat ground thus allowing for its more massive
structure.

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Another of the fundamental differences
between the two temples was that because of their region and period (and so their
style of design) the columns used in their construction were different. In the
Parthenon, the shorter, fatter and simpler Doric columns were used to surround
the central space. These were purely structural, with little or no
ornamentation and no base. They gave the temple its elegance and image of
stability. The Temple of Apollo used principally ionic columns, which are
slenderer, have decorative bases and curled rolls of ornamentation at their
top. There are also two Corinthian columns in the East chamber, further
increasing the decorative nature of the temple, as Corinthian columns feature rings
of stylised acanthus leaves upon their capitals. The Parthenon relies on subtlety
and attention to detail for its beauty, while the later Temple of Apollo
focusses more on scale and decoration. Perhaps the choice of deity and the
characteristics associated with their subject led to a conscious choice in
style as well as my aforementioned regional reason.

Another difference in the columns was
the double peristyle nature of the Temple of Apollo, however both Temples kept
with the traditional proportional relationship of column number on the sides
(the longer side featuring twice as many as the shorter, plus one so the number
is always odd).

A similarity between the temples is
the use of entasis for both. In the Parthenon, the correctional curvature is taken
to an extreme, with nothing that appears straight being so. The base, the
cornice and the columns all have a slight curvature correcting the errors in
aesthetic caused by perspective. At Didyma, the same techniques are used, but
to a lesser degree. Frontal differentiation was no longer used so the widths of
and distances between the outermost columns were consistent with the rest of
the temple.