In about 25 B.C. the Roman architect Marcus Vitruvius Pollio presented to the emperor Augustus ten scrolls that contained everything he knew about architecture. Synthesizing his studies of earlier Greek writings as well as lessons drawn from his own design career, the Ten Books on Architecture discussed architectural practice and education; building materials; the correct proportions and elements of the Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian; the design of temples, public buildings, and private houses; and engineering and military planning. More than two thousand years later his masterwork stands as both the most comprehensive architectural text of antiquity and one of the most important design treatises ever written. Just as Vitruvius set out to catalog the rules and ideals of ancient Greek architecture, Thomas Gordon Smith in Vitruvius on Architecture presents the rules and ideals of Vitruvius himself. This volume contains the five books most relevant to contemporary architecture along with a wealth of visual material: photographs of ancient structures from Greece, Italy, and Turkey; related sculptures, frescoes, and reliefs; hypothetical re-creations of Vitruvius's now-lost illustrations; and a series of exquisitely rendered watercolor plates based on his descriptions. Vitruvius on Architecture is an exceptional accomplishment: a study as relevant to the present as Vitruvius's was to his own day and to architecture since.
In De architectura (c.40 BC), Vitruvius discusses in ten encyclopedic chapters aspects of Roman architecture, engineering and city planning. Vitruvius also included a section on human proportions. Because it is the only antique treatise on architecture to have survived, De architectura has been an invaluable source of information for scholars. The rediscovery of Vitruvius during the Renaissance greatly fuelled the revival of classicism during that and subsequent periods. Numerous architectural treatises were based in part or inspired by Vitruvius, beginning with Leon Battista Alberti's De re aedificatoria (1485).
VITRUVIUS ON ARCHITECTURE EDITED FROM THE HARLEIAN MANUSCRIPT 2767 AI TRANSLATED INTO ENGLISH BY FRANK GRANGER, D. Lrr., AJLLB. A. PROFESSOR IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, NOTTINGHAM IN TWO VOLUMES I CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS LONDON WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD MCMLV CONTENTS PAQK PREFACE vii INTRODUCTION VITRUVIUS AND THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE WEST ...... ix HISTORY OF THE MSS. OF VITRUVIUS . X i THE EARLIEST EDITIONS OF VITRUVIUS . XXi THE SCHOLIA OF THE MSS. . . . XXV - THE ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE MSS. . . XXVli THE LANGUAGE OF VITRUVIUS . . . XXViii BIBLIOGRAPHY THE MSS. . . . . . . XXXli EDITIONS ...... xxxiii TRANSLATIONS XXXiii THE CHIEF CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE STUDY OF VITRUVIUS ..... xxxiv BOOKS OF GENERAL REFERENCE . . XXXVi TEXT AND ENGLISH TRANSLATION BOOK I. ARCHITECTURAL PRINCIPLES . 1 BOOK II. EVOLUTION OF BUILDING USE OF MATERIALS . . . . 71 BOOK III. IONIC TEMPLES . . . 151 BOOK IV. DORIC AND CORINTHIAN TEMPLES 199 BOOK V. PUBLIC BUILDINGS I THEATRES AND MUSIC, BATHS, HARBOURS . 249 INDEX OF ARCHITECTURAL TERMS 319 CONTENTS ILLUSTRATIONS THE CAPITOL DOUGGA . Frontispiece PLATE A. WINDS AND DIRECTION OF STREETS at end PLATE B. PLANS OF TEMPLES . . . PLATE C. IONIC ORDER . . . . PLATE 0. CORINTHIAN ORDER see Frontispiece PLATE E. DORIC ORDER . . . at end PLATE F. MUSICAL SCALES ., ., PLATE O. THEATRE . . . . . PLATE H. PLAN OF STABIAN BATHS, POMPEII . vi PREFACE THIS edition has been based upon the oldest MS. of Vitruvius, the Harleian 2767 of the British Museum, probably of the eighth century, and from the Saxon scriptorium of Northumbria in which the Codex Amiatinus was written. The Latin closely resembles that of the workshop and the street. In my translation I havesought to retain the vividness and accuracy of the original, and have not sought a smoothness of rendering which would become a more polished style. The reader, it is possible, may discern the genial figure of Vitruvius through his utterances. In a technical treatise the risks of the translator are many. The help of Dr. House has rendered them less formidable, but he is not responsible for the errors which have survived revision. The introduction has been limited to such con siderations as may enable the layman to enter into the mysteries of the craft, and the general reader to follow the stages by which the successive accretions to the text have been removed. The section upon language indicates some of the relations of Vitruvius to Old Latin generally. My examination of fourteen MSS. has been rendered possible by the courtesy of the Directors of the MSS. Libraries at the British Museum, the Vatican, the Escorial, the Bibliotheque Nationale vii PREFACE at Paris, the Bodleian, St. Johns College, Oxford, and Eton College. A word of special thanks is due to his Excellency the Spanish Ambassador to London, his Eminence the Cardinal Merry del Val and the Secretary of the British Embassy at Paris, for their assistance. Mr. Paul Gray, M. A., of this College, has given me valuable help in preparing the MS. for the press. FRANK GRANGER. UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, NOTTINGHAM, September, 1929. viii INTRODUCTION VlTRUVIUS AND THE ARCHITECTURE OP THE WEST THE history of architectural literature is taken by Vitruvius to begin with the theatre of Dionysus at Athens. 1 In earlier times the spectators were accommodated upon wooden benches. According to one account, 2 in the year 500 B. C. or thereabouts, thescaffolding collapsed, and in consequence a beginning was made towards a permanent stone structure. The elaborate stage settings of Aeschylus reached their culmination at the performance of the Agamemnon and its associated plays in 458. According to Suidas, 3 the collapse of the scaffolding, which occurred at a performance of one of Aeschylus dramas, led to the exile of the poet in Sicily, where he died in 456. In that case the permanent con struction of the theatre would begin in the Periclean age some time between 458 and 456...
Annotation Vitruvius (Marcus V. Pollio), Roman architect and engineer, studied Greek philosophy and science and gained experience in the course of professional work. He was one of those appointed to be overseers of imperial artillery or military engines, and was architect of at least one unit of buildings for Augustus in the reconstruction of Rome. Late in life and in ill health he completed, sometime before 27 BCE, De Architectura which, after its rediscovery in the fifteenth century, was influential enough to be studied by architects from the early Renaissance to recent times. In On Architecture Vitruvius adds to the tradition of Greek theory and practice the results of his own experience. The contents of this treatise in ten books are as follows. Book 1: Requirements for an architect; town planning; design, cities, aspects; temples. 2: Materials and their treatment. Greek systems. 3: Styles. Forms of Greek temples. Ionic. 4: Styles. Corinthian, Ionic, Doric; Tuscan; altars. 5: Other public buildings (fora, basilicae, theatres, colonnades, baths, harbours). 6: Sites and planning, especially of houses. 7: Construction of pavements, roads, mosaic floors, vaults. Decoration (stucco, wall painting, colours). 8: Hydraulic engineering; water supply; aqueducts. 9: Astronomy. Greek and Roman discoveries; signs of the zodiac, planets, moon phases, constellations, astrology, gnomon, sundials. 10: Machines for war and other purposes.
As the first comprehensive encyclopedic survey of Western architectural theory from Vitruvius to the present, this book is an essential resource for architects, students, teachers, historians, and theorists. Using only original sources, Kruft has undertaken the monumental task of researching, organizing, and analyzing the significant statements put forth by architectural theorists over the last two thousand years. The result is a text that is authoritative and complete, easy to read without being reductive.
The only full treatise on architecture and its related arts to survive from classical antiquity, the De Architectura libri decem (Ten Books on Architecture) is the single most important work of architectural history in the Western world, having shaped humanist architecture and the image of the architect from the Renaissance to the present. This new, critical edition of Vitruvius' Ten Books of Architecture is the first to be published for an English-language audience in more than half a century. Expressing the range of Vitruvius' style, the translation, along with the critical commentary and illustrations, aims to shape a new image of the Vitruvius who emerges as an inventive and creative thinker, rather than the normative summarizer, as he was characterized in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The oldest and most influential book ever written on architecture, this volume describes the classic principles of symmetry, harmony, and proportion as well as the ancients' methods, materials, and aesthetics. Authoritative translation.