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Turning Many Cultural Architectures Into One

When studying architecture for a fictional culture, the temptation to use more than one RL culture for inspiration is a lingering one. For example, I have an idea of basing the main European culture of Alternate Earth 111 (Great Lakes Earth), the Trojan Empire, on four separate cultures:

The Greeks

The Romans

The Phoenicians

The Minoans

The problem with this is that if I read study the architecture of one culture, when I move on to the next, I'd lose track of what I had formerly read and get the extra hassle of going back and refreshing my memory.

So the question is, per each of the listed cultures, what are the strongest or more distinctive elements and characteristics of their architecture?

La Volpe

I know next to nothing about architecture, so I can't really help you there.

But, maybe you can go and read up about each architecture style and make notes of the things you like most from each, and then mesh everything together from your notes, rather than from the vast mountains of text that each culture's architecture probably has written about it.


Troglodytic Trouvère
Article Team
The basic features of these 4 architectural styles are the same. All 4 heavily employ pillars, strong foundations, lots of marble and back in the day these buildings were often painted in noticable primary colors. The thing largely distinguishing minoan architecture from the others, is its focus on rectangular design. Minoan architecture rarily uses any diagonal or circular designs in their stuctures. The phoenicians, greeks and romans, to my eyes, built their buildings nearly exactly the same way. They liked arches and triangular roofs. Minor details aside, I wouldn't worry too much about it.
A picture says a thousand words. I would rely more on images than descriptions from text. Combine the two for an even better understanding.

I agree. I keep folders of pictures for each civilization that I'm looking at, and group those folders into folders based on the kingdom that I want to use them for. It helps me have a bunch of references at my fingertips at all times.


As mentioned, make extensive notes when you research one culture and collect pictures of that culture, so you can refresh your memory as needed before going into the next culture. I hope this may help you somewhat.