The Ten Books on Architecture, 4.5.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

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Gwilt translation

5If there be nothing to prevent it, and the use of the edifice allow it, the temples of the immortal gods should have such an aspect, that the statue in the cell may have its face towards the west, so that those who enter to sacrifice, or to make offerings, may have their faces to the east as well as to the statue in the temple. Thus suppliants, and those performing their vows, seem to have the temple, the east, and the deity, as it were, looking on them at the same moment. Hence all altars of the gods should be placed towards the east.

Morgan translation

5The quarter toward which temples of the immortal gods ought to face is to be determined on the principle that, if there is no reason to hinder and the choice is free, the temple and the statue placed in the cella should face the western quarter of the sky. This will enable those who approach the altar with offerings or sacrifices to face the direction of the sunrise in facing the statue in the temple, and thus those who are undertaking vows look toward the quarter from which the sun comes forth, and likewise the statues themselves appear to be coming forth out of the east to look upon them as they pray and sacrifice.