The Ten Books on Architecture, 5.2

Vitruvius  translated by Joseph Gwilt

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Of the Treasury, Prison, and Curia

2The treasury, prison, and curia are to adjoin the forum, to which their dimensions are to be proportionate. First of the curia, which must be suitable to the importance of the community or state. If square, its height is to be once and a half its width; but if oblong, the length and width must be added together, and one half of their sum assigned for the height up to the lacunaria.

2The walls, moreover, at half their height, are to have cornices run round them of wood or plaster. For if such be not provided, the voices of the disputants meeting with no check in their ascent, will not be intelligible to the audience. But when the walls are encircled round with cornices, the voice, being thereby impeded, will reach the ear before its ascent and dissipation in the air.

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