Skip to main content

Examining the Dynamic Response of Classical Columns


Ancient monuments have often sustained severe damage due to earthquakes. The examination of their dynamic behavior can reveal their vulnerability to different dynamic excitations. Ancient temples consisting of classical columns are of particular interest, due to their architectural features and complex geometry. The dynamic response of short free-standing classical columns is investigated in this study. Two small scale marble columns of the same size but with a different number of drums are subjected to harmonic, random and earthquake excitations. The effect of their geometrical features on their dynamic behavior is examined. Numerical models based on the finite element method can provide reasonable estimates of the dynamic response of classical columns but cannot predict all the attributes of their actual dynamic behavior.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1

Source: a Attribution to Jose Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro; b Attribution to Arkadiusz Dudzinski

Fig. 2

Source: aPhotograph courtesy of the Department of Archaeology, Boston University, Saul S. Weinberg Collection

Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11
Fig. 12
Fig. 13
Fig. 14
Fig. 15
Fig. 16
Fig. 17
Fig. 18
Fig. 19
Fig. 20
Fig. 21
Fig. 22
Fig. 23
Fig. 24
Fig. 25
Fig. 26


  1. 1.

    Papalou A, Vozikis K, Kamaterou C, Lambropoulos A, Shvets Y (2014) Architectural and Structural Analysis of Souli’s Wells. J Archit Conserv 20(1):16–27

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Karimiyan S, Moghadam A, Husseinzadeh Kashan A, Karimiyan M (2015) Progressive collapse evaluation of RC symmetric and asymmetric mid-rise and tall buildings under earthquake loads. Int J Civ Eng 13(1):30–44

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Sivandi-Pour A, Gerami M, Kheyroddin A (2016) Uniform damping ratio for non-classically damped hybrid steel concrete structures. Int J Civ Eng. doi:10.1007/s40999-016-0003-8

    Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Psycharis I, Lemos J, Papastamatiou D, Zambas C, Papantonopoulos C (2003) Numerical study of the seismic behaviour of a part of the Parthenon Pronaos. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 32:2063–2084

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Konstantinidis D, Makris N (2005) Seismic response analysis of multidrum classical columns. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 34:1243–1270

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Papantonopoulos C, Psycharis IN, Papastamatiou DY, Lemos JV, Mouzakis H (2002) Numerical prediction of the earthquake response of classical columns using the distinct element method. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 31:1699–1717

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Aslam M, Scalise DT, Godden WG (1980) Earthquake rocking response of rigid bodies. J Struct Div ASCE 106(2):377–392

    Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Ishiyama Y (1982) Motion of rigid bodies and criteria for overturning by earthquake excitations. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 10:635–650

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Psycharis IN, Papastamatiou DY, Alexandris AP (2000) Parametric investigation of the stability of classical columns under harmonic and earthquake excitations. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 29:1093–1109

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Argyriou N, Ktenidou O-J, Manakou M, Apostolidis P, Chavez-Garcia F-J, Pitilakis K (2007) Seismic response analysis of ancient columns, 8th International Conference on Earthquake Geotechnical Engineering, Thessaloniki, June 25–28, 2007

  11. 11.

    Dassios ΜΕ, Psycharis Ι, Vayias Ι. Analysis of seismic behaviour of columns and series of columns of ancient temples. 3rd Greek Conference in Seismic Mechanics and Technical Seismology, 5–7 November 2007, (in Greek)

  12. 12.

    Papadopoulos K, Vintzileou E (2008) The seismic response of the columns of Epikouriou Apollo’s. 3rd Greek Conference in Seismic Mechanics and Technical Seismology, 5–7 November (in Greek)

  13. 13.

    Papaloizou L, Komodromos P (2000) Planar investigation of the seismic response of ancient columns and colonnades with epistyles using a custom-made software. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 29:1437–1454

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Pitilakis K, Tavouktsi E (2010) Seismic response of the columns of two ancient Greek temples in Rhodes and Lindos, 8th International Symposium on the Conservation of Monuments in the Mediterranean Basin, Patra, 31 May-2 June

  15. 15.

    Argyriou N, Pitilakis K, Sextos A (2006) Numerical study of the seismic behaviour of multi-drum structures, 1st Greek Conference Anastylosis ETEPAM, Thessaloniki, June 14–16, 2006, (in Greek)

  16. 16.

    Michaltsos GT, Raftoyiannis IG (2014) Rocking and sliding of ancient temple columns under earthquake excitations, International Journal of Structural Stability and Dynamics 14(2)

  17. 17.

    Papaloizou L, Polycarpou P, Komodromos P, Hatzigeorgiou GD, Beskos DE (2016) Two-dimensional numerical investigation of the effects of multiple sequential earthquake excitations on ancient multi-drum columns. Earthq Struct 10(3):495–521

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Stefanou I, Fragiadakis M, Psycharis IN (2014) Vulnerability assessment of classical columns with dislocated drums, 2nd European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology, Istanbul, Turkey

  19. 19.

    Ambraseys N, Psycharis IN (2011) Earthquake stability of columns and statues. J Earthq Eng 15(5):685–710

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Mouzakis HP, Psycharis IN, Papastamatiou DY, Carydis PG, Papantonopoulos C, Zambas C (2002) Experimental investigation of the earthquake response of a model of a marble classical column. J Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 31:1681–1698

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Dassios ME, Μοuzakis X, Psyxaris I, Papantonopoulos K, Vayias I (2008) Experimental investigation of columns and sub assemblages of ancient temples, 3rd Greek Conference in Seismic Mechanics and Technical Seismology, 5–7 November, 2008 (in Greek)

  22. 22.

    Wong CM, Tso WK (1989) Steady state rocking response of rigid blocks, part 2: experiment. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 18:107–120

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Drosos VA, Anastasopoulos I (2014) Experimental investigation of the seismic response of classical temple columns. Bull Earthq Eng 13:299–310

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Drosos V, Anastasopoulos I (2014) Shaking table testing of multidrum columns and portals. Earthq Eng Struct Dyn 43(11):1703–1723

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Manos GC (1999) The dynamic performance of ancient columns and colonnades with and without the insertion of wires made of shape memory alloy, International Conference Structural Studies, Repairs and Maintenance of Historical Buildings, Dresden, Allemagne

  26. 26.

    Papalou A, Strepelias E (2015) Effectiveness of particle dampers in reducing the monuments’ response under dynamic loads. Mech Adv Mater Struct 23(2):128–135

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Papalou A, Strepelias E, Roubien D, Bousias S, Triantafillou T (2015) Seismic protection of monuments using particle dampers in multi-drum columns. Soil Dyn Earthq Eng 77:360–368

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Papalou A, Strepelias E (2015) Control of the dynamic response of classical columns with defects. Period Polytech Civ Eng 59(3):303–308

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Vassiliou MF, Makris N (2015) Dynamics of the vertically restrained rocking column. J Eng Mech 141(12)

Download references


The author would like to thank the undergraduate student E. Haxhiraj for his assistance with the experimental work. There was no financial support for this research. Figure 1(a): Attribution to Jose Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro Fig. 1(b): Attribution to Arkadiusz Dudzinski Fig. 2(a): Photograph courtesy of the Department of Archaeology, Boston University, Saul S. Weinberg Collection.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Angeliki Papalou.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Papalou, A. Examining the Dynamic Response of Classical Columns. Int J Civ Eng 16, 123–135 (2018).

Download citation


  • Monuments
  • Classical columns
  • Multi-drum columns
  • Monolithic columns