The Ten Books on Architecture, 6.5.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 6.4.2 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 6.5.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

5The aspects proper for each part being appropriated, we must determine the situation of the private rooms for the master of the house, and those which are for general use, and for the guests. Into those which are private no one enters, except invited; such are bed chambers, triclinia, baths, and others of a similar nature. The common rooms, on the contrary, are those entered by any one, even unasked. Such are the vestibule, the cavædium, the peristylia, and those which are for similar uses. Hence, for a person of middling condition in life, magnificent vestibules are not necessary, nor tablina, nor atria, because persons of that description are those who seek favours which are granted by the higher ranks.

Morgan translation

5After settling the positions of the rooms with regard to the quarters of the sky, we must next consider the principles on which should be constructed those apartments in private houses which are meant for the householders themselves, and those which are to be shared in common with outsiders. The private rooms are those into which nobody has the right to enter without an invitation, such as bedrooms, dining rooms, bathrooms, and all others used for the like purposes. The common are those which any of the people have a perfect right to enter, even without an invitation: that is, entrance courts, cavaedia, peristyles, and all intended for the like purpose. Hence, men of everyday fortune do not need entrance courts, tablina, or atriums built in grand style, because such men are more apt to discharge their social obligations by going round to others than to have others come to them.