The Ten Books on Architecture, 3.0.4

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 3.0.3 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 3.1.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

4In the first book, O Emperor, I laid before you an explanation of the art, its requisites, and the learning an architect should possess, and I added the reasons why he should possess them. I also divided it into different branches and defined them: then, because chiefest and most necessary, I have explained the proper method of setting out the walls of a city, and obtaining a healthy site for it, and have exhibited in diagrams, the winds, and quarters whence they blow. I have shewn the best methods of laying out the streets and lanes, and thus completed the first book. In the second book I have analysed the nature and qualities of the materials used in building, and adverted to the purposes to which they are best adapted. In this third book I shall speak of the sacred temples of the immortal gods, and explain them particularly.

Morgan translation

4In my first book, Emperor, I described to you the art, with its points of excellence, the different kinds of training with which the architect ought to be equipped, adding the reasons why he ought to be skilful in them, and I divided up the subject of architecture as a whole among its departments, duly defining the limits of each. Next, as was preëminent and necessary, I explained on scientific principles the method of selecting healthy sites for fortified towns, pointed out by geometrical figures the different winds and the quarters from which they blow, and showed the proper way to lay out the lines of streets and rows of houses within the walls. Here I fixed the end of my first book. In the second, on building materials, I treated their various advantages in structures, and the natural properties of which they are composed. In this third book I shall speak of the temples of the immortal gods, describing and explaining them in the proper manner.