The Corinthian order is a column style commonly used in ancient Greek architecture. Unlike the simpler Doric and Ionic orders, the Corinthian order is more ornate and elaborate, characterized by its uniquely carved capital. The Corinthian capital typically features volutes, acanthus leaves arranged in one or two rows, and a fleuron flower placed at the center of the abacus.
The earliest known example of the Corinthian capital comes from the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae, dating back to around 427 BCE. In Roman versions of this column, the shafts would be smooth (non-grooved) and flat. Within Greek orders like this one, an important distinguishing factor is often found in the design details of their capitals which are crucial for differentiation amongst these columns.
Corinthian columns are generally considered to be sleeker and more slender than both Ionic and Doric columns. The lavish ornamentation carved onto its capital resembles various leaves and flowers imbuing it with an aura that is simultaneously dainty and regal.” While typically used for support within larger temple structures such as Propylaea steps may have been taken to embellish standalone examples with hierarchically significant inscriptions or even figurines that made them objects worthy of worship unto themselves.