Introduction to the History and Theory of Architecture

Photo showing many temples and stupas on a plain, with a mountain range in the background.

12th century temples of Bagan (formerly known as Pagan) in Burma (Republic of Myanmar). This site is discussed in Lecture 11, Buddhism: Out of India. (Photo by Mark Jarzombek.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2012



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Course Features

Course Description

This course is a global-oriented survey of the history of architecture, from the prehistoric to the sixteenth century. It treats buildings and environments, including cities, in the context of the cultural and civilizational history. It offers an introduction to design principles and analysis. Being global, it aims to give the student perspective on the larger pushes and pulls that influence architecture and its meanings, whether these be economic, political, religious or climatic.

Mark Jarzombek. 4.605 Introduction to the History and Theory of Architecture, Spring 2012. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

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