are nowhere stronger than in Wales. That is expressed even in language differences. As someone has commented: for the source, “we must look to the mid eighth century, when a long ditch was constructed, flanking a high earthen rampart that divided [the Celts from the Saxons] and which even today marks the boundary between those who consider themselves Welsh [and] those who consider themselves English.”

Further reading

Noble, Frank. 1983. Offa’s Dike Reviewed. Oxford. UK: B.A.R.

Fox, Cyril. 1955. Offa’s Dike: A Field Survey of the Western Frontier-Works of Mercia. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Jones, John B. 1976. Offa’s Dike Path. London: H.M.S.O.

Orders of architecture

To the ancient Greeks, the word “cosmos” conveyed the idea of “the garnished universe,” the “world set in order.” They believed that creation was the act of a great Demiurge who brought structure and form out of preexistent chaos, an ordering that permeated the physical universe. It was therefore perceptible in nature as a ubiquitous mathematical proportional system, a harmony in everything that could be seen or heard. To be in accord with that harmony, their own creations—music, sculpture, architecture—needed to correspond to cosmic order. Their great architectural achievement was to seek for that truth and express it in the development of three systems of building, each with its distinctive proportions, detail, and form, according to the culture that generated it. Those systems are known as the Doric, Ionic, and—little used by the Greeks—Corinthian orders of architecture. Each comprises a column with a base (in the case of the latter two), shaft, and capital, and a supported entablature, consisting of architrave, frieze, and cornice. Each was governed by an evolving system of proportions, linked to the module, the base diameter of the column; each thus imposed architectural order.

The Doric order developed in the regions speaking a Dorian dialect, that is, mainland Greece and the colonies in southern Italy, Sicily, and further west. It is clearly derived from an earlier timber architecture, and when the transition was made from wood to stone in order to produce more appropriate, durable buildings for the gods, the form and details, having gained a kind of sanctity, were translated to the new material, right down to the fixing pegs. The sixth-century Temple of Hera (the so-called basilica) at Paestum, Italy, is a well-preserved example of the archaic form, with its squat proportions, coarse moldings, and heavy entablature. The classical quest for cosmic harmony led to refinements of form and detail until the Dorian Greeks achieved what appears to have been a satisfactory conclusion in the proportional balance and visual nuances of the Parthenon, Athens (447–432 b.c.).

The baseless column of the Doric order, rising directly from the temple platform (stylobate) made necessary by the uneven terrain had a tapering shaft with twenty shallow flutes separated by sharp arrises. The capital consisted of the convex echinus molding crowned with a flat rectangular slab (abacus). The plain architrave of stone blocks, with a molding at the top decorated with raised panels (regulae) and round projections (guttae), spanned from column to column. Above it was the frieze, consisting of double-grooved slabs (triglyphs) alternating with plain panels (metopes). The metopes and the relief sculptures that usually decorated them were painted in bright colors. The order was crowned by an overhanging molded cornice decorated with flower or figure sculptures.

The Greeks continued to use the Doric order until about the second century b.c. But it presented several difficulties. First, with no base to protect it, the column was subjected to wear and accidental damage. Second, it was extremely difficult to make: not only did the columns taper but they were also carved with a slight swelling (entasis) about halfway up to make them look straight. Coupled with the need to maintain sharp arrises between the flutes, that demanded very skillful masons’ work. Third, the placement of the triglyph was problematic. Because it was impossible to locate one over the center of each column and at the midpoint of the spaces between the columns, the appearance was regarded as unwieldy.

The Ionic order, which was fully developed by the sixth century b.c., was created by Greeks who established colonies along the southwestern coast of Asia Minor (now Turkey). The most remarkable Ionic