The Ten Books on Architecture, 5.6.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 5.6.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 5.6.3 ›››

Gwilt translation

2Thus the pulpitum will be more spacious than that of the Greeks, and be the better, on account of our actors remaining chiefly on the scena. In the orchestra, seats are assigned to the senators, and the height of its pulpitum must not exceed five feet, so that those who sit in the orchestra may be enabled to see all the motions of the actors. The portions between the staircases (cunei) of the theatre are so divided that the angles of the triangles, which touch the circumference, point to the directions of the ascents and steps between the cunei, on the first præcinction or story. Above these the steps are placed alternately, and form the upper cunei in the middle of those below.

Morgan translation

2The platform has to be made deeper than that of the Greeks, because all our artists perform on the stage, while the orchestra contains the places reserved for the seats of senators. The height of this platform must be not more than five feet, in order that those who sit in the orchestra may be able to see the performances of all the actors. The sections (cunei) for spectators in the theatre should be so divided, that the angles of the triangles which run about the circumference of the circle may give the direction for the flights of steps between the sections, as far as up to the first curved cross-aisle. Above this, the upper sections are to be laid out, midway between (the lower sections), with alternating passage-ways.