The Ten Books on Architecture, 9.7.1

Vitruvius  Parallel editions

‹‹‹ Vitr. 9.6.3 | Table of Contents | Vitr. 9.7.2 ›››

Gwilt translation

7From the doctrines of the philosophers above mentioned, are extracted the principles of dialling, and the explanation of the increase and decrease of the days in the different months. The sun at the times of the equinoxes, that is when he is in Aries or Libra, casts a shadow in the latitude of Rome equal to eight ninths of the length of the gnomon. At Athens the length of the shadow is three fourths of that of the gnomon. At Rhodes five sevenths; at Tarentum nine elevenths; at Alexandria three fifths; and thus at all other places the shadow of the gnomon at the equinoxes naturally differs.

Morgan translation

7In distinction from the subjects first mentioned, we must ourselves explain the principles which govern the shortening and lengthening of the day. When the sun is at the equinoxes, that is, passing through Aries or Libra, he makes the gnomon cast a shadow equal to eight ninths of its own length, in the latitude of Rome. In Athens, the shadow is equal to three fourths of the length of the gnomon; at Rhodes to five sevenths; at Tarentum, to nine elevenths; at Alexandria, to three fifths; and so at other places it is found that the shadows of equinoctial gnomons are naturally different from one another.