The Ten Books on Architecture, 4.0.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 3.5.15 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 4.0.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

prFinding, O Emperor, that many persons have left us precepts in Architecture, and volumes of commentaries thereon, not systematically arranged, but mere general principles, little more indeed than scattered hints, I considered it a worthy and useful task, first, to give a general view of the whole subject, and then to dilate in each book on the detail. Thus, Cæsar, I treated in the first book on the duties of an architect, and the sciences in which he should be skilled. In the second, I taught the knowledge of the different materials used in building. The third contained instructions on the arrangement of sacred buildings, their different forms and species, and the distributions appropriate to each sort;

Morgan translation

prI have observed, Emperor, that many in their treatises and volumes of commentaries on architecture have not presented the subject with well-ordered completeness, but have merely made a beginning and left, as it were, only desultory fragments. I have therefore thought that it would be a worthy and very useful thing to reduce the whole of this great art to a complete and orderly form of presentation, and then in different books to lay down and explain the required characteristics of different departments. Hence, Caesar, in my first book I have set forth to you the function of the architect and the things in which he ought to be trained. In the second I have discussed the supplies of material of which buildings are constructed. In the third, which deals with the arrangements of temples and their variety of form, I showed the nature and number of their classes, with the adjustments proper to each form