Vitruvius: On Architecture, Volume I, Books 1-5 (Loeb Classical Library No. 251)

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Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Frank Granger Translator. Vitruvius Marcus V. Pollio , Roman architect and engineer, studied Greek philosophy and science and gained experience in the course of professional work.

He was one of those appointed to be overseers of imperial artillery or military engines, and was architect of at least one unit of buildings for Augustus in the reconstruction of Rome. Late in life and in ill health he c Vitruvius Marcus V. Late in life and in ill health he completed, sometime before 27 BCE, "De Architectura" which, after its rediscovery in the fifteenth century, was influential enough to be studied by architects from the early Renaissance to recent times. In "On Architecture" Vitruvius adds to the tradition of Greek theory and practice the results of his own experience.

The contents of this treatise in ten books are as follows. Book 1: Requirements for an architect; town planning; design, cities, aspects; temples.

Vitruvius: On Architecture, Volume I, Books 1-5 (Loeb Classical Library No. 251)

Greek systems. Forms of Greek temples. Corinthian, Ionic, Doric; Tuscan; altars. Decoration stucco, wall painting, colours. Greek and Roman discoveries; signs of the zodiac, planets, moon phases, constellations, astrology, gnomon, sundials.

Get A Copy. Hardcover , pages. Published January 1st by Harvard University Press. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 1. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about On Architecture, Volume I , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about On Architecture, Volume I.

Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. May 26, Bettie rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Chris Ethier.

Vitruvius On Architecture Volume II Books 6 10 Loeb Classical Library No 280 by Vitruvius and Fr

Shelves: dip-in-now-and-again , skim-through , ancient-history , architecture , e-book , how-to , nonfiction , history , publishedbc , roman-civilisation. View all 17 comments. Nov 03, Cyril rated it it was amazing. The breadth of knowledge that Vitruvius possessed is truly something to behold, we are all so much richer that this has been translated so skillfully for us to enjoy. Feb 09, N. Ramsden rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , art-architecture-and-design , classics. The Loeb editions are handy and pocketable and nicely made — good paper, off-white, stitched pages, sturdy hardback, even a pleasing shade of red for Latin, green for Greek — so purely in terms of aesthetics and convenience, I'd rate them.

Pierre Gros, Prof. Thanks are due also to Mark Wilson Jones and Nigel Spivey because they agreed to read a preliminary version of this book and to provide comments. Filling this gap in the studies of the visual culture of the ancient world is exactly the purpose of this essay.


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Gallazzi et alii a c. The most detailed information about these books is given by Vitruvius, De architectura 7. The treatises written by architects about specific architectural works made by them 5 animadverti, collecta in ea re ab Graecis volumina plura edita, ab nostris oppido quam pauca. Fuficius enim mirum de his rebus primus instituit edere volumen, item Terentius Varro de novem disciplinis unum de architectura, P. Septimius duo. For to begin with: Agatharchus at Athens, when Aeschylus was presenting a tragedy, was in control of the stage, and wrote a commentary about it.

Following his suggestions, Democritus and Anaxagoras wrote upon the same topic, in order to show how, if a fixed centre is taken for the outward glance of the eyes and the projection of the radii, we must follow these lines in accordance with a natural law, such that from an uncertain object, uncertain images may give the appearance of buildings in the scenery of the stage, and how what is figured upon vertical and plane surfaces can seem to recede in one part and project in another.

And on these last, good fortune conferred the greatest and highest boon. Gros a c. As to the useful contributions to our subject which I found in their commentaries, many volumes have been published by the Greeks, exceedingly few by our own writers. For Fufidius curiously enough was the first to publish a volume on these topics. Hence I thought we ought not to remain silent, but we should set forth methodically the various branches of the subject in separate volumes.

The older of these specializations is that of architects who wrote treatises on architectural works made by them branch b. In fact this tradition harked back to the high archaic period and in particular to the greatest Ionic artist of that age: Theodorus of Samus. Of course he referred to the large dipterus Heraion 3 See S. Vollkommer ed. The treatises written by architects about specific architectural works made by them 7 of Samus:4 there are two phases of this dipterus temple.

Usually Theodorus and Rhoecus are thought to have made a project of the first of these two dipteri, which is called Heraion iii and is dated around BC. The specification that the temple was Doric was wrong, because these dipteri were Ionic. However, two previous phases of that temple also existed Heraion i and ii 7 and it is likely that a specific architectural order was not yet adopted for them.

Of course Theodorus must have written as well about the Heraion which preceded the first dipterus temple. The invention of the dipterus temple must have been a very important innovation to justify the publication of a pamphlet in order to explain that marvel.

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One of the most important features of the Ionic world of the period is the rise of strong personalities: in the political realm these are the Tyrants, in the poetic field we find the great elegiacs Mimnermus , jambic poets Hipponax and lyric ones Anacreon , in the architectural field the exceptional architect becomes established Theodorus and Rhoecus , finally in the art of sculpture the great master emerges Endoeus.

As a matter of fact, a few of these outstanding personalities lived in the court of Polycrates on Samus: Theodorus, Rhoecus, Ibycus, Anacreon must have made the Samian intellectual experience of these decades truly remarkable. Schulz ed. Marinatos and R. Haegg ed. The Samian dipterus was soon imitated by the Ephesians who set up another colossal Ionic dipterus to their own goddess, the Ephesian Artemis. A summary of a section of this treatise is handed down by the same Vitruvius Non est autem alienum etiam Chersiphronos ingeniosam rationem exponere.

It is quite germane to our subject to describe an ingenious contrivance of Chersiphron. When he desired to bring down the shafts of the columns from the quarries to the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, he tried the following arrangement.

The treatises written by architects about specific architectural works made by them 9 For he distrusted his two-wheeled carts, fearing lest the wheels should sink down in the yielding country lanes because of the huge loads. He framed together four wooden pieces of four-inch timbers: two of them being cross-pieces as long as the stone column.

At each end of the column, he ran in iron pivots with lead, dovetailing them, and fixed sockets in the wood frame to receive the pivots, binding the ends with wood cheeks: thus the pivots fitted into the sockets and turned freely. Thus when oxen were yoked and drew the frame, the columns turned in the sockets with their pivots and revolved without hindrance.

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Now when they had thus brought all the shafts, and set about bringing the architraves, Metagenes, the son of Chersiphron, applied the method of conveying the shafts to the transport of the lintels. For he made wheels about twelve feet in diameter, and fixed the ends of the architraves in the middle of the wheels. In the same way he fixed pivots and sockets at the ends of the architraves. Thus when the frames of four-inch timber were drawn by the oxen, the pivots moving in the sockets turned the wheels, while the architraves being enclosed like axles in the wheels in the same way as the shafts reached the building without delay.

A similar machine is used when rollers level the walks in the palaestrae. This expedient would not have been possible unless, to begin with, the distance had been short. It is not more than eight miles from the quarries to the temple, and there are no hills but an unbroken plain.


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  5. Loeb Pliny Corso, R. Mugellesi, G. Of grandeur as conceived by the Greeks a real and remarkable example still survives, namely the temple of Diana at Ephesus, the building of it occupied all Asia for years. It was built on marshy soil so that it might not be subject to earthquakes or be threatened by subsidences. On the other hand, to ensure that the foundations of so massive a building would not be laid on shifting, unstable ground, they were underpinned with a layer of closely trodden charcoal, and then with another of sheepskins with their fleeces unshorn.