The Ten Books on Architecture, 5.1.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 5.1.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 5.1.3 ›››

Gwilt translation

2Hence, for the convenience of the spectators, the intercolumniations must be wider; and the bankers’ shops are situated in the surrounding porticos with apartments on the floors over them, which are constructed for the use of the parties, and as a depôt of the public revenue. The size of the forum is to be proportioned to the population of the place, so that it be not too small to contain the numbers it should hold, nor have the appearance of being too large, from a want of numbers to occupy it. The width is obtained by assigning to it two-thirds of its length, which gives it an oblong form, and makes it convenient for the purpose of the shows.

Morgan translation

2Therefore let the intercolumniations round the show place be pretty wide; round about in the colonnades put the bankers’ offices; and have balconies on the upper floor properly arranged so as to be convenient, and to bring in some public revenue.

The size of a forum should be proportionate to the number of inhabitants, so that it may not be too small a space to be useful, nor look like a desert waste for lack of population. To determine its breadth, divide its length into three parts and assign two of them to the breadth. Its shape will then be oblong, and its ground plan conveniently suited to the conditions of shows.