The Ten Books on Architecture, 6.1.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 6.0.7 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 6.1.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

1These are properly designed, when due regard is had to the country and climate in which they are erected. For the method of building which is suited to Egypt would be very improper in Spain, and that in use in Pontus would be absurd at Rome: so in other parts of the world a style suitable to one climate, would be very unsuitable to another; for one part of the world is under the sun’s course, another is distant from it, and another, between the two, is temperate. Since, therefore, from the position of the heaven in respect of the earth, from the inclination of the zodiac and from the sun’s course, the earth varies in temperature in different parts, so the form of buildings must be varied according to the temperature of the place, and the various aspects of the heavens.

Morgan translation

1If our designs for private houses are to be correct, we must at the outset take note of the countries and climates in which they are built. One style of house seems appropriate to build in Egypt, another in Spain, a different kind in Pontus, one still different in Rome, and so on with lands and countries of other characteristics. This is because one part of the earth is directly under the sun’s course, another is far away from it, while another lies midway between these two. Hence, as the position of the heaven with regard to a given tract on the earth leads naturally to different characteristics, owing to the inclination of the circle of the zodiac and the course of the sun, it is obvious that designs for houses ought similarly to conform to the nature of the country and to diversities of climate.