The Ten Books on Architecture, 5.11.4

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 5.11.3 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 5.12.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

4This species of portico is called xystus (ξυστὸς) by the Greeks; for the wrestlers exercise in covered stadia in the winter time. Xysti ought, between the two porticos, to have groves or plantations, with walks between the trees and seat of cemented work. On the sides of the xystus and double portico are open walks which the Greeks call περιδρόμιδες, but with us they are termed xysti, on which the athletæ exercise themselves, when the weather is fine, in the winter. Behind the xystus the stadium is set out, of such dimensions that a great number of people may commodiously behold the contending wrestlers. I have now given rules for the proper distribution of such buildings as are within the walls.

Morgan translation

4This kind of colonnade is called among the Greeks ξυστὁς, because athletes during the winter season exercise in covered running tracks. Next to this “xystus” and to the double colonnade should be laid out the uncovered walks which the Greeks term παραδρομἱδες and our people “xysta,” into which, in fair weather during the winter, the athletes come out from the “xystus” for exercise. The “xysta” ought to be so constructed that there may be plantations between the two colonnades, or groves of plane trees, with walks laid out in them among the trees and resting places there, made of “opus signinum.” Behind the “xystus” a stadium, so designed that great numbers of people may have plenty of room to look on at the contests between the athletes.

I have now described all that seemed necessary for the proper arrangement of things within the city walls.