Vitruvius. The Ten Books on Architecture: Translated by by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio

By Marcus Vitruvius Pollio

This Elibron Classics variation is a facsimile reprint of a 1914 version through Harvard college Press, Cambridge.

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But as for me, Emperor, nature has not given me stature, age has marred my face, and my strength is impaired by ill health. Therefore, since these advantages fail me, I shall win your approval, as I hope, by the help of my knowledge and my writings. 5. In my first book, I have said what I had to say about the functions of architecture and the scope of the art, as well as about fortified towns and the apportionment of building sites within the fortifications. Although it would next be in order to explain the proper proportions and symmetry of temples and public buildings, as well as of private houses, I thought best to postpone this until after I had treated the practical merits of the materials out of which, when they are brought together, buildings are constructed with due regard to the proper kind of material for each part, and until I had shown of what natural elements those materials are composed.

After insuring on these principles the healthfulness of the future city, and selecting a neighbourhood that can supply plenty of food stuffs to maintain the community, with good roads or else convenient rivers or seaports affording easy means of transport to the city, the next thing to do is to lay the foundations for the towers and walls. Dig down to solid bottom, if it can be found, and lay them therein, going as deep as the magnitude of the proposed work seems to require. They should be much thicker than the part of the walls that will appear above ground, and their structure should be as solid as it can possibly be laid.

Public buildings are constructed of πεντἁδωρα, private of τετρἁδωρα. 4. With these bricks there are also half-bricks. When these are used in a wall, a course of bricks is laid on one face and a course of half-bricks on the other, and they are bedded to the line on each face. The walls are bonded by alternate courses of the two different kinds, and as the bricks are always laid so as to break joints, this lends strength and a not unattractive appearance to both sides of such walls. VITRUVIUS' BRICK-BOND ACCORDING TO REBER In the states of Maxilua and Callet, in Further Spain, as well as in Pitane in Asia Minor, there are bricks which, when finished and dried, will float on being thrown into water.

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