The Ten Books on Architecture, 1.7.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 1.7.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 2.0.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

2The temple of Ceres should be in a solitary spot out of the city, to which the public are not necessarily led but for the purpose of sacrificing to her. This spot is to be reverenced with religious awe and solemnity of demeanour, by those whose affairs lead them to visit it. Appropriate situations must also be chosen for the temples and places of sacrifice to the other divinities. For the construction and proportions of the edifices themselves, I shall give rules in the third and fourth books; because it appears to me, that in the second book I ought to explain the nature of the different materials employed in building, their qualities and use; and then, in the other books, to give rules for the dimensions of buildings, the orders, and their proportions.

Morgan translation

2Ceres also should be outside the city in a place to which people need never go except for the purpose of sacrifice. That place should be under the protection of religion, purity, and good morals. Proper sites should be set apart for the precincts of the other gods according to the nature of the sacrifices offered to them.

The principle governing the actual construction of temples and their symmetry I shall explain in my third and fourth books. In the second I have thought it best to give an account of the materials used in buildings with their good qualities and advantages, and then in the succeeding books to describe and explain the proportions of buildings, their arrangements, and the different forms of symmetry.