The Ten Books on Architecture, 8.0.4

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 8.0.3 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 8.1.1 ›››

Gwilt translation

4Hence the priests of the Egyptian worship teach, that all things are composed of water; and when they cover the vase of water, which is borne to the temple with the most solemn reverence, kneeling on the earth, with their hands raised to heaven, they return thanks to divine goodness for its creation.

Morgan translation

4Hence, too, those who are clothed in priesthoods of the Egyptian orders declare that all things depend upon the power of the liquid element. So, when the waterpot is brought back to precinct and temple with water, in accordance with the holy rite, they throw themselves upon the ground and, raising their hands to heaven, thank the divine benevolence for its invention.

Therefore, since it is held by physicists and philosophers and priests that all things depend upon the power of water, I have thought that, as in the former seven books the rules for buildings have been set forth, in this I ought to write on the methods of finding water, on those special merits which are due to the qualities of localities, on the ways of conducting it, and how it may be tested in advance. For it is the chief requisite for life, for happiness, and for everyday use.