The term classic architecture might be used as traditional or vernacular architecture; the term is applied to any mode of architecture that has developed to highly refined states such as classical Chinese architecture, or classical Mayan architecture.
Classical architecture usually indicates architecture that is more or less consciously derived from the principles of Greek and Roman architecture of classical antiquity, or sometimes even more specifically, from the works of the Roman architect Vitruvius. Different styles of classical architecture have arguably existed since the Carolingian Renaissance, and prominently since the Italian Renaissance. Although classical styles of architecture can vary greatly, they can, in general, all be said to draw on a common “vocabulary” of decorative and constructive elements. In much of the Western world, different classical architectural styles have dominated the history of architecture from the Renaissance until the Second World War, though it continues to inform many architects to this day.(read more)
Ancient Greek architecture
Ancient Greek architecture came from the Greek-speaking people also known as Hellenic people whose culture succeeded on the Greek mainland,
Ancient Greek architecture is best known for its temples, many of which are found throughout the region, with the Parthenon regarded, now as in ancient times, as the prime example. Most remains are very incomplete ruins, but a number survive significant unchanged, mostly outside modern Greece. The second important type of building that remain all over the Hellenic world is the open-air theatre, with the earliest dating from around 525–480 BC. Other architectural forms that are still in evidence are the processional gateway, the public square surrounded by a storied colonnade, the town council building, the public monument, the monumental tomb and the stadium.
Ancient Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted the external language of classical Greek architecture for the ancient Romans, but was different from Greek buildings, evolving a new architectural style. The two styles are often considered one body of classical architecture. Roman architecture succeeded in the Roman Republic and to even a greater extent under the Empire, when the great majority of surviving buildings were constructed. It used new materials, especially Roman concrete, and newer technologies such as the arch and the dome to make buildings that were typically strong and well-engineered.
The Romans only started to achieve significant uniqueness in architecture around the beginning of the Imperial period, after they had mixed aspects of their originally Etruscan architecture with others taken from Greece, including most aspects of the style we now call classical architecture. They moved from trabeated construction mainly based on columns and lintels to one based on massive walls, punctuated by arches, and later domes, both of which greatly developed under the Romans. The classical orders now became largely decorative rather than structural, except in colonnades. Stylistic developments included the Tuscan and Composite orders; the first being a shortened, simplified variant on the Doric order and the Composite being a tall order with the floral decoration of the Corinthian and the scrolls of the Ionic. The period from around 40 BC to about 230 AD saw most of the greatest achievements, before the Crisis of the Third Century and later troubles decreased the wealth and organizing power of the central governments.