The Ten Books on Architecture, 5.0.5

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 5.0.4 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 5.1.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

5Since the ancients therefore used these methods, founded on the observance of natural effects, seeing that the subject I treat of will be new and obscure to many, I thought it would be preferable to divide it into small portions, that it might more easily strike the understanding of the reader. The subjects also are so arranged, that those of the same nature are classed together. Thus, O Cæsar, I explained the proportions of temples in the third and fourth books; in this I intend to describe the arrangement of public buildings; and that of the forum first, because therein public no less than private affairs are regulated by the magistrates.

Morgan translation

5Since these rules, founded on the analogy of nature, were followed by our predecessors, and since I observe that I have to write on unusual subjects which many persons will find obscure, I have thought it best to write in short books, so that they may the more readily strike the understanding of the reader: for they will thus be easy to comprehend. I have also arranged them so that those in search of knowledge on a subject may not have to gather it from different places, but may find it in one complete treatment, with the various classes set forth each in a book by itself. Hence, Caesar, in the third and fourth books I gave the rules for temples; in this book I shall treat of the laying out of public places. I shall speak first of the proper arrangement of the forum, for in it the course of both public and private affairs is directed by the magistrates.