The Ten Books on Architecture, 5.1.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

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Gwilt translation

1The Greeks make their forum square, with a spacious and double portico, ornamenting it with columns placed at narrow intervals, and stone or marble epistylia, and forming walks above on the timber framed work. In the cities of Italy, however, this practice is not followed, because the antient custom prevails of exhibiting the shows of gladiators in the forum.

Morgan translation

1The Greeks lay out their forums in the form of a square surrounded by very spacious double colonnades, adorn them with columns set rather closely together, and with entablatures of stone or marble, and construct walks above in the upper story. But in the cities of Italy the same method cannot be followed, for the reason that it is a custom handed down from our ancestors that gladiatorial shows should be given in the forum.