The Ten Books on Architecture, 3.4.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 3.4.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 3.4.3 ›››

Gwilt translation

2If solid ground cannot be come to, and the ground be loose or marshy, the place must be excavated, cleared, and either alder, olive, or oak piles, previously charred, must be driven with a machine, as close to each other as possible, and the intervals, between the piles, filled with ashes. The heaviest foundations may be laid on such a base.

Morgan translation

2If, however, solid ground cannot be found, but the place proves to be nothing but a heap of loose earth to the very bottom, or a marsh, then it must be dug up and cleared out and set with piles made of charred alder or olive wood or oak, and these must be driven down by machinery, very closely together like bridge-piles, and the intervals between them filled in with charcoal, and finally the foundations are to be laid on them in the most solid form of construction. The foundations having been brought up to the level, the stylobates are next to be put in place.