The Ten Books on Architecture, 6.2.5

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 6.2.4 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 6.3.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

5The proportion of the symmetries is, therefore, to be first settled, so that thereon the necessary changes may be made with certainty. Then the length and breadth of the plan of the work is to be set out, and the parts thereof; after which, the proportions are adjusted as propriety requires, so that the pleasing arrangement may not be disturbed. The method of effecting this I am now about to describe, and shall begin with the court (cavædium).

Morgan translation

5Hence, the first thing to settle is the standard of symmetry, from which we need not hesitate to vary. Then, lay out the ground lines of the length and breadth of the work proposed, and when once we have determined its size, let the construction follow this with due regard to beauty of proportion, so that the beholder may feel no doubt of the eurythmy of its effect. I must now tell how this may be brought about, and first I will speak of the proper construction of a cavaedium.