The Ten Books on Architecture, 2.0.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 1.7.2 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 2.0.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

prDinocrates the architect, relying on the powers of his skill and ingenuity, whilst Alexander was in the midst of his conquests, set out from Macedonia to the army, desirous of gaining the commendation of his sovereign. That his introduction to the royal presence might be facilitated, he obtained letters from his countrymen and relations to men of the first rank and nobility about the king’s person; by whom being kindly received, he besought them to take the earliest opportunity of accomplishing his wish. They promised fairly, but were slow in performing; waiting, as they alleged, for a proper occasion. Thinking, however, they deferred this without just grounds, he took his own course for the object he had in view. He was, I should state, a man of tall stature, pleasing countenance, and altogether of dignified appearance. Trusting to the gifts with which nature had thus endowed him, he put off his ordinary clothing, and having anointed himself with oil, crowned his head with a wreath of poplar, slung a lion’s skin across his left shoulder, and carrying a large club in his right hand, he sallied forth to the royal tribunal, at a period when the king was dispensing justice.

Morgan translation

prDinocrates, an architect who was full of confidence in his own ideas and skill, set out from Macedonia, in the reign of Alexander, to go to the army, being eager to win the approbation of the king. He took with him from his country letters from relatives and friends to the principal military men and officers of the court, in order to gain access to them more readily. Being politely received by them, he asked to be presented to Alexander as soon as possible. They promised, but were rather slow, waiting for a suitable opportunity. So Dinocrates, thinking that they were playing with him, had recourse to his own efforts. He was of very lofty stature and pleasing countenance, finely formed, and extremely dignified. Trusting, therefore, to these natural gifts, he undressed himself in his inn, anointed his body with oil, set a chaplet of poplar leaves on his head, draped his left shoulder with a lion’s skin, and holding a club in his right hand stalked forth to a place in front of the tribunal where the king was administering justice.