Architecture, Mysticism and Myth
The perfect temple should stand at the centre of the world, a microcosm of the universe fabric, its walls built four square with the walls of heaven. And thus they stand the world over, be they Egyptian, Buddhist, Mexican, Greek, or Christian, with the greatest uniformity and exactitude.-from "Chapter III: Four Square"With a wide-ranging scholarship that is astonishing, a prominent figure of the Arts and Crafts design movement explores the "esoteric principles of architecture," the global, interconnected myths that underlie all the structures we build. Through his architect's eye, Lethaby looks at such diverse traditions as the ancient Norse and ancient Egyptian and at the inspiration provided by everything from the sea voyages of the Phoenicians to the astronomy of the earliest Persians, demonstrating how they inform and inspire such wonders as St. Paul's Cathedral, the Taj Mahal, the Palace at Versailles, and others. This 1891 work is a masterpiece of architectural symbolism and an essential foundation for understanding and appreciating "classical" design.British architect WILLIAM RICHARD LETHABY (1857-1931) was the first professor of design at the Royal College of Art. He also wrote Greek Buildings (1908), Mediaeval Art (1912), and Architecture (1912).
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altar ancient architecture Babylon Benjamin of Tudela birds blue Buddhist building built called ceiling celestial centre century Chaldean chamber church circle circular colours Constantinople crystal described dome door earth east eastern Ecbatana Egypt Egyptian emeralds feet figure firmament floor four gates gods gold golden Greek hall heaven heavenly Hereford Map Herodotus Hindu holy hundred and sixty imitation India inscription Jerusalem Jupiter king labyrinth lamp Lenormant lintel lower marble Meru metal middle Mount Mount Meru mountain night nine ocean omphalos orichalcum Osiris ostrich ostrich eggs palace Paradise Pausanias pavement pillars planets precious stones prytaneum rakia represented Romance of Alexander Rome round sacred sanctuary says sculptured seven shining side silver Solomon spheres square stars story Strabo sun and moon suspended symbol Talmud tells temple Theseus thou thought thousand three hundred throne tomb tradition tree universe vault walls whole Ziggurat