The Greek architectural orders-Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian-lie at the heart of the classical traditions of building, and yet satisfying accounts for their origins have proved elusive. In contrast with conventional theories that would see the orders originating over the course of a long evolution, this book stresses the suddenness of the phenomenon and its dependence on historical context, human agency, and artistic inspiration. Casting new light on a subject that has preoccupied architects since the Renaissance, Mark Wilson Jones shows how construction, influence, appearance, and meaning found expression in complex and multifaceted designs. New emphasis is placed on the relationship between the orders and the temples of worship that they were created to adorn. Temples were exquisitely made offerings to the divinity, and they also contained valuable offerings. In revealing affinities between certain offerings and the orders, the author explains how these gave architectural expression to sensibilities of intense social and religious significance.