In Hellenistic Greek[1] and Roman architecture[2] a peristyle (/ˈpɛrɪstaɪl/; from Greek περίστυλος) is a continuous porch formed by a row of columns surrounding the perimeter of building or a courtyard. Tetrastoon (τετράστῳον, 'four arcades') is a rarely used archaic term for this feature. The peristyle in a Greek temple is a peristasis. In the Christian ecclesiastical architecture that developed from the Roman basilica, a courtyard peristyle and its garden came to be known as a cloister.

Ricostruzione del giardino della casa dei vetii di pompei (mostra al giardino di boboli, 2007) 01
Reconstruction of a Roman peristylum (peristyle) surrounding a peristylium (courtyard) of Pompeii
In the Peristyle, John William Waterhouse (1849-1917). Rochdale Art Gallery, Rochdale, England.
Ceiling decoration in the peristyle hall of the Medinet Habu
Peristyle of Diocletian's Palace in Split, Robert Adam, 1764 (cropped)
Peristyle of the Diocletian Palace in Split, Croatia, by Robert Adam (1764).
Grand Trianon Péristyle
Peristyle of the Grand Trianon.

In Roman architecture

In rural settings, a wealthy Roman could surround a villa with terraced gardens; within the city, Romans created their gardens inside the domus. The peristylium was an open courtyard within the house; the columns or square pillars surrounding the garden supported a shady roofed portico whose inner walls were often embellished with elaborate wall paintings of landscapes and trompe-l'oeil architecture. Sometimes the lararium, a shrine for the Lares, the gods of the household, was located in this portico, or it might be found in the atrium. The courtyard might contain flowers and shrubs, fountains, benches, sculptures and even fish ponds.[3] Romans devoted as large a space to the peristyle as site constraints permitted; even in the grandest development of the urban peristyle house, as it evolved in Roman North Africa, often one range of the portico was eliminated, for a larger open space.[4]

The end of the Roman domus is one mark of the extinction of late antiquity (the Late Classical culture): "the disappearance of the Roman peristyle house marks the end of the ancient world and its way of life," remarked Simon P. Ellis.[5] "No new peristyle houses were built after A.D. 550." Noting that as houses and villas were increasingly abandoned in the fifth century, a few palatial structures were expanded and enriched, as power and classical culture became concentrated in a narrowing class, and public life withdrew to the basilica, or audience chamber, of the magnate. In the Eastern Roman empire, late antiquity lingered longer: Ellis identified the latest-known peristyle house built from scratch as the "House of the Falconer" at Argos, dating from the style of its floor mosaics about 530-550.[6] Existing houses were subdivided in many cases, to accommodate a larger and less elite population in a warren of small spaces, and columned porticoes were enclosed in small cubicles, as at the House of Hesychius at Cyrene.[7]

Other uses

Although ancient Egyptian architecture predates Greek and Roman antiquity, historians frequently use the Greek term peristyle to describe similar, earlier structures in ancient Egyptian palace architecture and in Levantine houses known as liwan houses.

See also


  1. ^ J.A. Dickmann. "The peristyle and the transformation of domestic space in Hellenistic Pompeii", Journal of Roman Archeology 1997.
  2. ^ A. Frazer, "Modes of European Courtyard Design before the Medieval Cloister" Gesta, 1973; K.E. Meyer, "Axial peristyle houses in the western empire," Journal of Roman Archaeology, 1999; S. Hales, The Roman House and Social Identity 2003.
  3. ^ E.B. MacDougall, W.M.F. Jashemski, eds., Ancient Roman Gardens: Dumbarton Oaks Colloquium on the History of Landscape Architecture, 1979.
  4. ^ Yvon Thébert, "Private life and domestic architecture in Roman Africa", in Paul Veyne, ed. A History of Private Life, I: From Pagan Rome to Byzantium (1985, Arthur Goldhammer, tr., 1987) esp. "The peristyle", pp 357-64.
  5. ^ Simon P. Ellis, "The End of the Roman House" American Journal of Archaeology 92.4 (October 1988:565-576) opened the article's abstract with these words.
  6. ^ Ellis notes G. Akerström-Hougen, The Calendar and Hunting Mosaics of the Falconer in Argos, Stockholm, 1974; a somewhat later peristyle house, at Hermione in the Peloponnesus, of the end of the 6th century, was not initiated at this late date but a partial reconstruction of an earlier elite dwelling (Ellis 1988:565).
  7. ^ Noted by Ellis p. 567.

External links


Awwam (Old South Arabian: wm,

) can refer to the region of ʾAwwām, now thought by most scholars to be Ma'rib (Arabic: مأرب‎), or to the famous temple of ʾAwwām otherwise known as the Maḥram Bilqis ("Sanctuary of the Queen of Sheba"). In the pre-Islamic times, numerous pilgrims gathered in Ma'rib city and headed to almaqah temple of Harunum to perform their cultic rituals, and continued to the sanctuary of Awwam using processional road.

One of the most frequent titles of the god Almaqah was "Lord of ʾAwwām".


In classical architecture, a colonnade is a long sequence of columns joined by their entablature, often free-standing, or part of a building. Paired or multiple pairs of columns are normally employed in a colonnade which can be straight or curved. The space enclosed may be covered or open. In St. Peter's Square in Rome, Bernini's great colonnade encloses a vast open elliptical space.

When in front of a building, screening the door (Latin porta), it is called a portico, when enclosing an open court, a peristyle. A portico may be more than one rank of columns deep, as at the Pantheon in Rome or the stoae of Ancient Greece.

When the intercolumniation is alternately wide and narrow, a colonnade may be termed araeosystyle (Gr. αραιος, "widely spaced", and συστυλος, "with columns set close together"), as in the case of the western porch of St Paul's Cathedral and the east front of the Louvre by Perrault.

Diocletian's Palace

Diocletian's Palace (Croatian: Dioklecijanova palača, pronounced [diɔklɛt͡sijǎːnɔʋa pǎlat͡ʃa]) is an ancient palace built for the Roman Emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD, that today forms about half the old town of Split, Croatia. While it is referred to as a "palace" because of its intended use as the retirement residence of Diocletian, the term can be misleading as the structure is massive and more resembles a large fortress: about half of it was for Diocletian's personal use, and the rest housed the military garrison.

Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The terrain slopes gently seaward and is typical karst, consisting of low limestone ridges running east to west with marl in the clefts between them.

Durga temple, Aihole

The Durga temple is a medieval era Hindu temple located in Aihole in the state of Karnataka, India. It is part of a pending UNESCO world heritage site.The temple was built between the 7th and the 8th century by the dynasty of the Chalukyas. The architecture of the temple is predominantly Dravida with Nagara style also is used in certain areas. The Durga Temple belongs to the Chalukyan period.Even though the temple features a Durga sculpture, the origin of the name is not because of its dedication to Durga goddess, but because Durga means protector or a fortress. The temple formed part of a fortification probably of the Marathas.The temple is dedicated to either Vishnu or Shiva as the representations of Vishnu are as numerous as those of Shiva. The most original feature of the temple is a peristyle delimiting an ambulatory around the temple itself and whose walls are covered with sculptures of different gods or goddesses.

The nandi is found to moo sometimes.

Two staircases provide access to the porch at the entrance of the temple itself. The sober and square pillars are decorated with characters around the porch and the entrance to the peristyle. The parapet is carved with niches and small animals. The porch gives access to rooms with pillars ('mukhamantapa' and "sabhamantapa") to get into the heart of the shrine (garba griha).


Eucleia (or Eukleia) was the ancient Greek female spirit of glory and good repute. She was the sister of Eupheme, Philophrosyne and Euthenia. Along with her sisters, she was regarded as a member of the younger Charites. In Greek vase paintings, Eucleia is frequently shown among the attendants of Aphrodite where she represents the good repute of a chaste bride.

She had a sanctuary in Athens, which was dedicated to her in honor of those who fought in the Marathon battle. She was at time identified with Artemis. She was mentioned by ancient Greek authors such as Bacchylides (Fragment 113) and Plutarch (Life of Aristides).

According to the Orphic rhapsody fragments, Eucleia's parents were Hephaestus and Aglaea. However, Plutarch stated that her parents were Heracles and Myrto, that she died a virgin and came to be venerated as a goddess. She was worshipped in Locris, Boeotia and Macedonia.The Spirit had a sanctuary at Aigai (Aegae), the ancient capital of Macedonia. West of the city, a two column Doric temple was erected within the spacious sanctuary, probably by Philip, the father of Alexander the Great, as part of his refurbishment of the city in the 340s BC. Within the sanctuary there was also a small stoa, a small, closed peristyle, a large altar, and the pedestals upon which stood royal votive offerings, including one from Philip's mother, Eurydice.

Getty Villa

The Getty Villa is one of two locations of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Located at the easterly end of the Malibu coast in the Pacific Palisades neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, United States, the Getty Villa is an educational center and museum dedicated to the study of the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria. The collection has 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD, including the Lansdowne Heracles and the Victorious Youth. The UCLA/Getty Master's Program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation is housed on this campus. The collection is documented and presented through the online GettyGuide as well as through audio tours.

House of Augustus

The House of Augustus, or the Domus Augusti, is the first major site upon entering the Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy. Historically, this house has been identified as the primary place of residence for the emperor Augustus. The Domus Augusti is located near the so-called Hut of Romulus and other sites that have connections to the foundation of Rome. This residence contained a complex of structures that were situated around the Temple of Apollo Palatinus.

The Domus Augusti should not be confused with the nearby Domus Augustana, part of the vast palatial complex constructed by Emperor Domitian on the Palatine in 92 CE.

House of the Tragic Poet

The House of the Tragic Poet (also called The Homeric House or The Iliadic House) is a Roman house in Pompeii, Italy dating to the 2nd century BCE. The house, or villa, is famous for its elaborate mosaic floors and frescoes depicting scenes from Greek mythology.

Discovered in November 1824 by the archaeologist Antonio Bonucci, the House of the Tragic Poet has interested scholars and writers for generations. Although the size of the house itself is in no way remarkable, its interior decorations are not only numerous but of the highest quality among other frescoes and mosaics from ancient Pompeii. Because of the mismatch between the size of the house and the quality of its decoration, much has been wondered about the lives of the homeowners. Unfortunately, little is known about the family members, who were likely killed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.

Traditionally, Pompeii is geographically broken up into nine regional areas, which are then further broken up into insular areas. The House of the Tragic Poet sat in Regio VI, Insula 8, the far-western part of Pompeii. The house faced the Via di Nola, one of Pompeii's largest streets that linked the forum and the Street of the Tombs. Across the Via di Nola from the House of the Tragic Poet sat the Forum Baths of Pompeii.


Liwan (Arabic: ليوان‎, from Persian eyvān) is a word used since ancient times into the present to refer to a long narrow-fronted hall or vaulted portal found in Levantine homes that is often open to the outside. An Arabic loanword to English, it is ultimately derived from the Persian eyvān, which preceded by the article al ("the"), came to be said as Liwan in Arabic and later, English.In its simplest form, the history of the liwan dates back more than 2,000 years, when the liwan house was essentially a covered terrace, supported by retaining walls, with a courtyard in front.In its more complex forms, the liwan house is composed of a large ceremonial entrance hall (liwan) at the front of the complex, divided into three sections, and flanked by two smaller liwans. The back of the house opens onto a columned peristyle courtyard from which the main room and the private apartments opposite can be accessed, with symmetry on either side of the central axis.Mats and carpets are typically spread along the length of the floor of the liwan, and the mattresses and cushions along the length of the walls make up the diwan or divan seating area.

Maitland Monument

The Maitland Monument, also known as the Maitland Rotunda or the Peristyle of Maitland (Greek: Περιστύλιο του Μαίτλαντ), is a neoclassical monument located at the end of Spianada Square in Corfu. It was built in 1821 to honour Sir Thomas Maitland, a British military officer who was the last Civil Commissioner and first Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands.

Maitland arrived in Corfu on 16 February 1816, and eight months later, on 25 October 1816, 46 noble Corfiots made a proposal for the construction of a triumphal arch in his honour. The monument was eventually constructed in 1821 in a completely different form of a rotunda with twenty Ionic columns. It was designed by Colonel George Whitmore of the Royal Engineers.Like the Palace of St. Michael and St. George, the structure was built out of limestone imported from Malta, which was a British colony at the time. Maitland had simultaneously held the positions of Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands and Governor of Malta. The sculptural work was done by the local sculptor Pavlos Prosalentis.

The monument is also known as the Cistern (Greek: Στέρνα), since it is built on top of a Venetian-era underground water cistern which had been built in 1781. The two entrances of the monument allowed access to the water tank.The top of the monument contains the following circular inscription:

The Maitland Monument is visible in the 1981 Bond film For Your Eyes Only.The monument was damaged due to erosion over the years, and it was restored in 2004.


Mediana is an important archeological site from the late Roman period, located in the eastern suburb of the Serbian city of Niš. It represents a luxurious residence with a highly organised economy. Excavations have revealed a villa with peristyle, thermae, granary and water tower. The residence dates to the reign of Constantine the Great 306 to 337. Although Roman artifacts can be found scattered all over the area of present-day Niš, Mediana represents the best-preserved part of Roman Naissus. In 1979, Mediana was added to the Archaeological Sites of Exceptional Importance list, protected by Republic of Serbia.


A peripteros (a peripteral building, Greek: περίπτερος) is a type of ancient Greek or Roman temple surrounded by a portico with columns. It is surrounded by a colonnade (pteron) on all four sides of the cella (naos), creating a four-sided arcade (peristasis, or peristyle). By extension, it also means simply the perimeter of a building (typically a classical temple), when that perimeter is made up of columns. The term is frequently used of buildings in the Doric order.

Peristyle, Three Lines

Peristyle, Three Lines is a public art work by artist George Rickey located at the Lynden Sculpture Garden near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The kinetic sculpture consists of three tapering spear-like forms thrusting vertically; it is installed on the lawn.


Pteron (Gr. πτερον – pteron — wing) is an architectural term used by Pliny the Elder for the peristyle of the tomb of Mausolus, which was raised on a lofty podium, and so differed from an ordinary peristyle raised only on a stylobate, as in Greek temples, or on a low podium, as in Roman temples.

Roman gardens

Roman gardens and ornamental horticulture became highly developed under Roman civilization. The Gardens of Lucullus (Horti Lucullani), on the Pincian Hill at the edge of Rome, introduced the Persian garden to Europe around 60 BC. It was seen as a place of peace and tranquility, a refuge from urban life, and a place filled with religious and symbolic meaning. As Roman culture developed and became increasingly influenced by foreign civilizations, the use of gardens expanded.

Toledo Museum of Art

The Toledo Museum of Art is an internationally known art museum located in the Old West End neighborhood of Toledo, Ohio, United States. It houses a collection of more than 30,000 objects. The museum was founded by Toledo glassmaker Edward Drummond Libbey in 1901, and moved to its current location, a Greek revival building designed by Edward B. Green and Harry W. Wachter, in 1912. The main building was expanded twice, in the 1920s and 1930s. Other buildings were added in the 1990s and 2006.

Since 2010, Brian Kennedy has served as the museum's ninth director.

Villa Romana del Casale

The Villa Romana del Casale (Sicilian: Villa Rumana dû Casali) is a large and elaborate Roman villa or palace located about 3 km from the town of Piazza Armerina, Sicily. Excavations have revealed one of the richest, largest, and varied collections of Roman mosaics in the world, for which the site has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The villa and artwork contained within date to the early 4th century AD.

The mosaic and opus sectile floors cover some 3,500 sq metres and are almost unique in their excellent state of preservation due to the landslide and floods that covered the remains.Although less well-known, an extraordinary collection of frescoes covered not only the interior rooms, but also the exterior walls.

Villa Romana di Patti

The Villa Romana di Patti is a large Roman villa located in the comune of Patti in the province of Messina on Sicily. It was the seat of a latifundium.

Wrigley Square

Wrigley Square is a public square located in the northwest section of Millennium Park in the Historic Michigan Boulevard District of the Loop area of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The square is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of East Randolph Street and North Michigan Avenue. It contains the Millennium Monument, a nearly full-sized replica of the semicircle of paired Roman Doric-style columns (called a peristyle) that originally sat in this area of Grant Park, near Michigan Avenue and Randolph Street, between 1917 and 1953. The square also contains a large lawn and a public fountain.

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