From left to right: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

The Greeks developed three architectural systems, called orders, each with their own distinct proportions, detailing, and aesthetics. The types of columns used in their temples and other buildings are distinct to each architectural system or order.

1.) A Doric column is generally thick and substantial. It is the oldest and the heaviest of all the column forms. The capital ( the decorated block at the top of the column) is very simple and undecorative.

2.) An Ionic column is slender and decorative. The capital (block at the top of the column) is sculpted using various decorations. The Ionic column gives the building a more elegant appearance.

3.) The Corinthian column is the lightest of all. The column is generally slender and the capital (the block at the top of the column) is very decorative and ornate.

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