The Ten Books on Architecture, 4.5.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 4.5.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 4.6.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

2But if the nature of the place do not permit this, the temple is to be turned as much as possible, so that the greater part of the city may be seen from it. moreover, if temples be built on the banks of a river, as those in Egypt on the Nile, they should face the river. So, also, if temples of the gods be erected on the road side, they should be placed in such a manner that those passing by may look towards them, and make their obeisance.

Morgan translation

2But if the nature of the site is such as to forbid this, then the principle of determining the quarter should be changed, so that the widest possible view of the city may be had from the sanctuaries of the gods. Furthermore, temples that are to be built beside rivers, as in Egypt on both sides of the Nile, ought, as it seems, to face the river banks. Similarly, houses of the gods on the sides of public roads should be arranged so that the passers-by can have a view of them and pay their devotions face to face.