The Ten Books on Architecture, 1.5.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 1.4.12 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 1.5.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

5When we are satisfied with the spot fixed on for the site of the city, as well in respect of the goodness of the air as of the abundant supply of provisions for the support of the population, the communications by good roads, and river or sea navigation for the transport of merchandise, we should take into consideration the method of constructing the walls and towers of the city. Their foundations should be carried down to a solid bottom, if such can be found, and should be built thereon of such thickness as may be necessary for the proper support of that part of the wall which stands above the natural level of the ground. They should be of the soundest workmanship and materials, and of greater thickness than the walls above.

Morgan translation

5After insuring on these principles the healthfulness of the future city, and selecting a neighbourhood that can supply plenty of food stuffs to maintain the community, with good roads or else convenient rivers or seaports affording easy means of transport to the city, the next thing to do is to lay the foundations for the towers and walls. Dig down to solid bottom, if it can be found, and lay them therein, going as deep as the magnitude of the proposed work seems to require. They should be much thicker than the part of the walls that will appear above ground, and their structure should be as solid as it can possibly be laid.