New PDF release: De Architectura

By Vitruvius

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Example text

Of this sort there is no example at Rome, there is, however, an octastyle specimen of it at Athens, the temple of Jupiter Olympius. Chapter 3 1. There are five species of temples, whose names are, PYCNOSTYLOS, that is, thick set with columns: SYSTYLOS, in which the columns are not so close: DIASTYLOS, where they are still wider apart: ARÆOSTYLOS , when placed more distant from each other than in fact they ought to be: EUSTYLOS, when the intercolumniation, or space between the columns, is of the best proportion.

Matters are not however in this state as they ought to be, the ignorant rather than the learned being successful, and as it is never worth while to dispute with an ignorant man, I propose to shew in these precepts the excellence of the science I profess. 4. In the first book, O Emperor, I laid before you an explanation of the art, its requisites, and the learning an architect should possess, and I added the reasons why he should possess them. I also divided it into different branches and defined them: then, because chiefest and most necessary, I have explained the proper method of setting out the walls of a city, and obtaining a healthy site for it, and have exhibited in diagrams, the winds, and quarters whence they blow.

8. The successors of these people, improving in taste, and preferring a more slender proportion, assigned seven diameters to the height of the Doric column, and eight and a half to the Ionic. That species, of which the Ionians were the inventors, has received the appellation of Ionic. The third species, which is called Corinthian, resembles in its character, the graceful elegant appearance of a virgin, in whom, from her tender age, the limbs are of a more delicate form, and whose ornaments should be unobtrusive.

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De Architectura by Vitruvius


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