The Ten Books on Architecture, 10.1.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

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Gwilt translation

1A machine is a combination of materials capable of moving great weights. It derives its power from that circular application of motion which the Greeks call κυκλικὴ κίνησις. The first species is for scaling (scansoria), which the Greeks call ἀκροβατικὸς. The second, wherein the wind is the moving power, is, by the Greeks, called πνευματικὸς. The third sort of machine is for draft, and they call it βάναυσος. The scaling machine is constructed for the purpose of ascending, without danger, to view works of considerable altitude, and is formed of long pieces of timber connected together by transverse pieces. The pneumatic machine is for the purpose of imitating the sounds of stringed and wind instruments, by means of a rush of air organically introduced.

Morgan translation

1A machine is a combination of timbers fastened together, chiefly efficacious in moving great weights. Such a machine is set in motion on scientific principles in circular rounds, which the Greeks call κυλικη κἱνησις. There is, however, a class intended for climbing, termed in Greek ἁκροβατικὁν, another worked by air, which with them is called πνευματικὁν, and a third for hoisting; this the Greeks named βαρουλκὁς. In the climbing class are machines so disposed that one can safely climb up high, by means of timbers set up on end and connected by crossbeams, in order to view operations. In the pneumatic class, air is forced by pressure to produce sounds and tones as in an ὁργανον.