The Ten Books on Architecture, 2.10.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 2.10.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 2.10.3 ›››

Gwilt translation

2On the contrary, those which grow on the side opposite to the sun, not being so porous, harden in drying, because the sun draws the moisture from trees no less than from the earth. Hence, those which grow in open sunny places, are more solid, on account of the closeness of their pores, and when squared for use, are exceedingly lasting. The fir, which goes by the name of Infernas, brought from the warm open parts, is therefore preferable to the sort called Supernas, which comes from a closely and thickly wooded country.

Morgan translation

2But trees which grow in places facing the course of the sun are not of porous fibre but are solid, being drained by the dryness; for the sun absorbs moisture and draws it out of trees as well as out of the earth. The trees in sunny neighbourhoods, therefore, being solidified by the compact texture of their fibre, and not being porous from moisture, are very useful, so far as durability goes, when they are hewn into timber. Hence the lowland firs, being conveyed from sunny places, are better than those highland firs, which are brought here from shady places.