The Ten Books on Architecture, 2.2.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 2.2.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 2.3.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

2Since, therefore, all bodies consist of and spring from these elements, and in the great variety of bodies the quantity of each element entering into their composition is different, I think it right to investigate the nature of their variety, and explain how it affects the quality of each in the materials used for building, so that those about to build may avoid mistakes, and be, moreover, enabled to make a proper choice of such materials as they may want.

Morgan translation

2All things therefore appear to be made up and produced by the coming together of these elements, so that they have been distributed by nature among an infinite number of kinds of things. Hence I believed it right to treat of the diversity and practical peculiarities of these things as well as of the qualities which they exhibit in buildings, so that persons who are intending to build may understand them and so make no mistake, but may gather materials which are suitable to use in their buildings.