The Ten Books on Architecture, 4.3.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 4.2.6 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 4.3.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

3Some antient architects have asserted that sacred buildings ought not to be constructed of the Doric order, because false and incongruous arrangements arise in the use of it. Such were the opinions of Tarchesius, Pitheus, and Hermogenes. The latter, indeed, after having prepared a large quantity of marble for a Doric temple, changed his mind, and, with the materials collected, made it of the Ionic order, in honour of Bacchus. It is not because this order wants beauty, antiquity (genus), or dignity of form, but because its detail is shackled and inconvenient, from the arrangement of the triglyphs, and the formation of the sofite of the corona (lacunaria).

Morgan translation

3Some of the ancient architects said that the Doric order ought not to be used for temples, because faults and incongruities were caused by the laws of its symmetry. Arcesius and Pytheos said so, as well as Hermogenes. He, for instance, after getting together a supply of marble for the construction of a Doric temple, changed his mind and built an Ionic temple to Father Bacchus with the same materials. This is not because it is unlovely in appearance or origin or dignity of form, but because the arrangement of the triglyphs and metopes (lacunaria) is an embarrassment and inconvenience to the work.