The Ten Books on Architecture, 10.0.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 9.8.15 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 10.0.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

prIn the magnificent and spacious Grecian city of Ephesus an antient law was made by the ancestors of the inhabitants, hard indeed in its nature, but nevertheless equitable. When an architect was entrusted with the execution of a public work, an estimate thereof being lodged in the hands of a magistrate, his property was held, as security, until the work was finished. If, when finished, the expense did not exceed the estimate, he was complimented with decrees and honours. So when the excess did not amount to more than a fourth part of the original estimate, it was defrayed by the public, and no punishment was inflicted. But when more than one-fourth of the estimate was exceeded, he was required to pay the excess out of his own pocket.

Morgan translation

prIn the famous and important Greek city of Ephesus there is said to be an ancient ancestral law, the terms of which are severe, but its justice is not inequitable. When an architect accepts the charge of a public work, he has to promise what the cost of it will be. His estimate is handed to the magistrate, and his property is pledged as security until the work is done. When it is finished, if the outlay agrees with his statement, he is complimented by decrees and marks of honour. If no more than a fourth has to be added to his estimate, it is furnished by the treasury and no penalty is inflicted. But when more than one fourth has to be spent in addition on the work, the money required to finish it is taken from his property.