The Ten Books on Architecture, 6.3.2

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 6.3.1 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 6.3.3 ›››

Gwilt translation

2The displuviatum is that in which the water is carried off above the gutter plates (deliquiæ), which support the body of the roof. These are useful for winter apartments, because the compluvium being upright, the light of the triclinia is not obstructed. But they are constantly in want of repair; for the pipes which receive the water from the eaves being against the walls, and not capable of taking, at once, the water which should be carried off, it overflows from the check it meets, and injures the wood-work and walls in this sort of buildings. The roofed court is used when the span is not great, and large dwelling-rooms are made in the floor over it.

Morgan translation

2In the displuviate, there are beams which slope outwards, supporting the roof and throwing the rainwater off. This style is suitable chiefly in winter residences, for its roof-opening, being high up, is not an obstruction to the light of the dining rooms. It is, however, very troublesome to keep in repair, because the pipes, which are intended to hold the water that comes dripping down the walls all round, cannot take it quickly enough as it runs down from the channels, but get too full and run over, thus spoiling the woodwork and the walls of houses of this style.

The testudinate is employed where the span is not great, and where large rooms are provided in upper stories.