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Did the Greeks Build According to the Golden Ratio?

  • Patrice Foutakis (a1)

Abstract

The mathematical number of the golden ratio has long fascinated mathematicians, archaeologists, biologists, architects, engineers, historians, musicians and scholars. Until now, though, there have been only assertions about whether the ancient Greeks employed this ratio in their architecture. To determine whether evidence may have been overlooked, I examined the measurements of 15 temples, 18 monumental tombs, 8 sarcophagi and 58 grave stelae from the fifth century BC to the second century AD. The result is clear: the golden ratio was totally absent from Greek architecture of the classical fifth century BC, and only very rarely employed in the third and the second centuries BC. Consequently, four rare and therefore valuable examples of golden-ratio proportions were identified through this research in a tower, an altar, a tomb and a grave stele. This is the first time that clear evidence has been presented for golden-ratio application in constructions of ancient Greece.

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