The Ten Books on Architecture, 5.5.8

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 5.5.7 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 5.6.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

8If it be asked what theatre in Rome can be referred to as an example of their utility, we cannot produce one, but such may be seen in some of the provinces of Italy, and many in the Grecian States. We moreover know that L. Mummius on the destruction of the theatre at Corinth, brought to Rome some of its brazen vases, and dedicated them as spoils at the temple of Luna. Many clever architects who have built theatres in small cities, from the want of other, have made use of earthen vessels, yielding the proper tones, and have introduced them with considerable advantage.

Morgan translation

8If, however, it is asked in what theatre these vessels have been employed, we cannot point to any in Rome itself, but only to those in the districts of Italy and in a good many Greek states. We have also the evidence of Lucius Mummius, who, after destroying the theatre in Corinth, brought its bronze vessels to Rome, and made a dedicatory offering at the temple of Luna with the money obtained from the sale of them. Besides, many skilful architects, in constructing theatres in small towns, have, for lack of means, taken large jars made of clay, but similarly resonant, and have produced very advantageous results by arranging them on the principles described.