The Ten Books on Architecture, 6.6.7

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 6.6.6 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 6.7.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

7but if there be any impediment from beams, lintels, or floors, upper lights must be opened, and the light thus introduced. In short, it may be taken as a general rule, that where the sky is seen, in such part apertures are to be left for windows, so that the building may be light. Necessary as light may be in triclinia and other apartments, not less is it so in passages, ascents, and staircases, in which persons carrying loads frequently meet each other. I have explained to the best of my ability the arrangement used in our buildings, so that it may be clearly known by builders, and in order that the Greek arrangement may be also understood, I shall now briefly explain it.

Morgan translation

7But if there are timbers in the way, or lintels, or upper stories, then, make the opening higher up and introduce the light in this way. And as a general rule, we must arrange so as to leave places for windows on all sides on which a clear view of the sky can be had, for this will make our buildings light. Not only in dining rooms and other rooms for general use are windows very necessary, but also in passages, level or inclined, and on stairs; for people carrying burdens too often meet and run against each other in such places.

I have now set forth the plans used for buildings in our native country so that they may be clear to builders. Next, I shall describe summarily how houses are planned in the Greek fashion, so that these also may be understood.