CHS Spring 2018 Fellows | Lena Lambrinou

I am an architect and archaeologist from Athens, Greece. My research at CHS concerns the evolution of the Doric architectural order, particularly during the post-Classical Hellenistic era. The Doric order flourished in Classical mainland Greece, where it was the predominant style – the most traditional and appropriate one for religious buildings. At the same time in Minor Asia, the leading style was Ionic, while Doric buildings were scarce. This began to change in the late 4th c. B.C. after the so-called “Ionian Renaissance” movement. The Macedonian rulers of this era brought renewed emphasis to the Doric style, as it represented a traditional style that could bond them with their Peloponnesian ancestors. Accordingly, the Pergamene ruler Philetairos employed this style in the religious buildings he commissioned, such as the temple of Athena Polias at Pergamon.

It is this new Doric expression, or “dialect,” that I find fascinating and am pursuing during my time at CHS. It drew its inspiration from the traditional mainland Greek centers, as well as from the few then-existing Anatolian examples of Archaic Doric architecture (e.g. temple of Athena Polias at Assos). This composite “Pergamene Doric” style flourished in the late 4th and 3rd centuries BC in Pergamon itself and seems to have traveled back to Greece via the great religious sanctuaries, as well as through the interest of the Macedonian court. We can trace it in the buildings that the Pergamene and Macedonian rulers donated at Delphi, Delos and in Athens. It also appears in the facades of many Macedonian tombs.

Specifically, my present research aims to clarify: 1) the origin of the Doric order’s post-Classical mutation; 2) its particular architectural characteristics and differences from High Classical Doric; and 3) its contribution to the architectural development of Hellenistic Greece. As this is an area of architectural history that needs to be further explored, I hope to shed new light on an apparent web of connections between the Macedonian centers of northern Greece, western Asia Minor, the island-crossroads of Delos and the major cities or sanctuaries of central Greece, through an examination of their architecture, innovative constructional details and new building types.

My interest in this subject began during my PhD research on the Late Roman repair of the Parthenon, which involved the use of architectural spolia from an unknown Hellenistic stoic building in Athens. The Doric style of this enigmatic building shares many similarities with the new Pergamene Doric style. By studying the combination of influences and distribution of the Doric order’s Hellenistic “dialect,” it may finally be possible to determine the identities of both the Athenian Hellenistic building, whose members show up in the Parthenon, and of its donor!

Harvard’s CHS is an extraordinary institution! I am very honored and grateful for the fellowship offered me for the 2018 spring semester. Living and working in this friendly, encouraging environment, I am concentrating on my research, becoming acquainted with American culture, making use of the excellent libraries available and enjoying very much meeting new colleagues with similar interests.

Lena Lambrinou

Lena Lambrinou, architect-archaeologist, originally from Chania, Crete, has been employed since 2000 by the Acropolis Monuments Restoration Service (YSMA), where she serves on the Greek Ministry of Culture’s restoration team for the Parthenon. Her primary areas of professional interest include Greek archaeology, the architectural history of ancient Greece, Neoclassical architecture and the theoretical background behind contemporary restoration practices. In completing her PhD (2015, University of Athens), she wrote a dissertation entitled The Late Roman Repair of the Parthenon and Its Evidence for Hellenistic Stoic Buildings in Athens. Her latest article, on restoration issues, “Ancient Ruins and their Preservation: The Case of the Parthenon’s East Porch,” recently appeared in Blackwell’s A Companion to Greek Architecture (2016, Margaret Miles, ed.). During the CHS-DAI fellowship, Lambrinou will explore the development of the classical Doric style of central Greece under the influences of Western Asia Minor and especially the Pergamene architecture and Macedonia throughout the Hellenistic and Roman periods.