ARCHITECTURE (ar-Ict-t'ect'ure), (Gr. CipXL T 1KT LOP, ar-kkee-tek'lone; Lat. archileclura).
It was formerly common to claim for the He brews the invention of scientific architecture, and to allege that classical antiquity was indebted to the Temple of Solomon for the principles and many of the details of the art. A statement so strange, and even preposterous, would scarcely seem to demand attention at the present day ; but as it is still occasionally reproduced, and as some respectable old authorities can be cited in its favor, it cannot be passed altogether in silence. (See TEMPLE.) It may here suffice to remark that temples previously existed in Egypt, Babylon, Syria and Phcenicia, from which the classical an cients were far more likely to borrow the ideas which they embodied in new and beautiful com binations of their own. But there are few no tions, however untenable, which have not some apparent foundation in fact. So in the present case, it is shown, first, that a resemblance of plan and detail can be traced between certain heathen temples and the Temple at Jerusalem, and, sec ondly, it is alleged that this could not be owing to imitation in the latter, because the tabernacle, of which the Temple was a sort of imitation, was a divine suggestion, being framed according to a pattern shown to Moses on the Mount (Exod. xxv :4o). This is the sole ground on which the claim made for the Hebrew architecture can be rested. But 'a pattern' is not necessarily or prob ably a new thing; in the usual sense it is almost always a new combination or adaptation of exist ing materials. And it may be shown, not only from historical probability, but from actual ex amples (see ARK) that nothing more than this is here to be understood—nothing more than that Moses was instructed how best to apply the ma terials of existing sacred architecture (more espe cially that of Egypt) to the object in view. The pattern was necessary to make him understand how this application was to be made, and to ren der it clear to him what parts of existing struc tures should be rejected or retained. Indeed, this is proved by the Scripture itself ; for David, in his charge to Solomon concerning the Temple, says: 'All this the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the works of this pattern (1 Chron. xviii :19). Now, whatever be the meaning of this, it must mean nearly the same thing as in the parallel passage respecting the tabernacle. Yet it is on all hands admitted that the Temple of which this is said was an application and extension of ideas already exist ing in the tabernacle. The text, therefore, must not
he taken in the sense of complete origination.
There has never been any people for whom a peculiar style of architecture could with less prob ability be claimed than for the Israelites. On leav ing Egypt they could only be acquainted with Egyptian art. On entering Canaan they neces sarily occupied the buildings of which they had dispossessed the previous inhabitants, and the suc ceeding generation-, would naturally erect such buildings ac the county _previously contained.
The architecture of Palestine, and as such, even tually that of the Jews, had doubtless its own characteristics, by which it was suited to the cli mate and condition of the country, and in the course of time many improvements would no doubt arise from the causes which usually operate in producing change in any practical art. From the want of historical data and from the total ab sence of architectural remains, the degree in which these causes operated in imparting a peculiar character to the Jewish architecture cannot now be determined, for the oldest ruins in the country do not ascend beyond the period of the Roman domination. It does, however, seem probable that among the Hebrews architecture was always kept within the limits of a mechanical craft, and never rose to the rank of a fine art. Their usual dwelling-houses differed little from those of other eastern nations, and we nowhere find anything indicative of exterior embellishment. Splendid edifices, such as the palace of David and the Tem ple of Solomon, were completed by the assistance of Phamician artists (2 Sam. v:t t ; I Kings v:6, 18 ; t Chron. xiv :t ). After the Babylonish exile the assistance of such foreigners was likewise resorted to for the restoration of the Temple ( Ezra iii :7). From the time of the Maccabaan dynasty, the Greek taste began to gain ground. especially under the Herodian princes, who seem to have been possessed with a sort of mania for building, as was shown in the structure and em bellishment of many towns, baths, colonnades, theaters and castles (Joseph. Antiq. xv xv: 4; xv :to, 3; De Bell. Jud. 1:4, t). The Phce necian style, which seems to have had some affin ity with the Egyptian, was not, however, super seded by the Grecian, and even as late as the (Bavo Baihra, iii :6), we read of Tyrian windows, Tyrian porches, etc. (See flovsE.) With regard to the instruments used by build ers—besides the more common, such as the ax. saw, etc., we find incidental mention of the compass and plumb-line (Amos vii :7).