The Ten Books on Architecture, 10.0.4

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 10.0.3 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 10.1.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

4Since, therefore, this is the case, it does not seem foreign to our purpose, carefully and diligently to explain those principles on which a work should be formed previous to commencing it. But as neither the law nor custom compels the adoption of such a practice, and the prætors and ædiles are bound every year to provide the machinery for the sports, it appeared to me, O Emperor, highly expedient, as in the foregoing books I have treated on buildings, to explain in this which closes the treatise, the principles upon which such machines are constructed.

Morgan translation

4Therefore, since such are our traditions and established practices, it is obviously fitting that the plans should be worked out carefully, and with the greatest attention, before the structures are begun. Consequently, as we have no law or customary practice to compel this, and as every year both praetors and aediles have to provide machinery for the festivals, I have thought it not out of place, Emperor, since I have treated of buildings in the earlier books, to set forth and teach in this, which forms the final conclusion of my treatise, the principles which govern machines.