The Ten Books on Architecture, 4.7

Vitruvius  translated by Joseph Gwilt

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Of the Tuscan Proportions: Of Circular Temples, and Other Species

7The length of the site of the temple intended, must be divided into six parts, wherefrom subtracting one part, the width thereof is obtained. The length is then divided into two parts, of which the furthest is assigned to the cell, that next the front to the reception of the columns.

2The above width is to be divided into ten parts, of which, three to the right and three to the left are for the smaller cells, or for the alæ, if such are required: the remaining four are to be given to the central part. The space before the cells in the pronaos, is to have its columns so arranged, that those at the angles are to correspond with the antæ of the external walls: the two central ones, opposite the walls, between the antæ and the middle of the temple, are to be so disposed, that between the antæ and the above columns, and in that direction, others may be placed. Their thickness below is to be one seventh of their height: their height one third of the width of the temple, and their thickness at top is to be one fourth less than their thickness at bottom.

3Their bases are to be half a diameter in height. The plinths, which are to be circular, are half the height of the base, with a torus and fillet on them as high as the plinth. The height of the capital is to be half a diameter. The width of the abacus is equal to the lower diameter of the column. The height of the capital must be divided into three parts, of which one is assigned to the plinth or abacus, another to the echinus, the third to the hypotrachelium, with its apophyge.

4Over the columns coupled beams are laid of such height as the magnitude of the work may require. Their width must be equal to that of the hypotrachelium at the top of the column, and they are to be so coupled together with dovetailed dowels as to leave a space of two inches between them. For if they are laid touching each other, and the air does not play round them, they heat and soon rot. Above the beams and walls the mutuli project one fourth the height of the column. In front of these members are fixed, and over them the tympanum of the pediment, either of masonry or timber. Above the pediment the ridge-piece (columen), rafters (cantherii), and purlines (templa), are distributed so that the water may drip therefrom on three sides.

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