Besides the Geometric pottery and its offshoots, several other local varieties were produced in Greece in the eighth and seventh centuries. These are sometimes grouped together under the name of “orientalizing” styles, because, in a greater or less degree, they show in their ornamentation the influence of oriental models, of which the pure Geometric style betrays no trace. It is impossible here to describe all these local wares, but a single plate from Rhodes (Fig. 45) may serve to illustrate the degree of proficiency in the drawing of the human figure which had been attained about the end of the seventh century. Additional interest is lent to this design by the names attached to the three men. The combatants are Menelaus and Hector; the fallen warrior is Euphorbus. Here for the first time we find depicted a scene from the Trojan War. From this time on the epic legends form a large part of the repertory of the vase-painters.
The supreme achievement of Greek architecture was the temple. In imperial Rome, or in any typical city of the Roman Empire, the most extensive and imposing buildings were secular—basilicas, baths, amphitheaters, porticoes, aqueducts. In Athens, on the other hand, or in any typical Greek city, there was little or nothing to vie with the temples and the sacred edifices associated with them. Public secular buildings, of course, there were, but the little we know of them does not suggest that they often ranked among the architectural glories of the country. Private houses were in the best period of small pretensions. It was to the temple and its adjunct buildings that the architectural genius and the material resources of Greece were devoted. It is the temple, then, which we have above all to study.