Vitruvius

Vitruvius

Overview

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born c. 80–70 BC, died after c. 15 BC) was a Roman writer
Latin literature
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

, architect and engineer, active in the 1st century BC. He is best known as the author of the multi-volume work De Architectura
De architectura
' is a treatise on architecture written by the Roman architect Vitruvius and dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus, as a guide for building projects...

("On Architecture").

By his own description Vitruvius served as a ballista
Ballista
The ballista , plural ballistae, was an ancient missile weapon which launched a large projectile at a distant target....

 (artilleryman), the third class of arms in the military offices. He likely served as chief of the ballista (senior officer of artillery) in charge of doctores ballistarum (artillery experts) and libratores who actually operated the machines.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Vitruvius'
Start a new discussion about 'Vitruvius'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Quotations

A harmonious design requires that nothing be added or taken away.

Architects should be educated, skillful with the pencil, instructed in geometry, know much history, have followed the philosophers with attention, understand music, have some knowledge of medicine, know the opinions of the jurists, and be acquainted with astronomy and the theory of the heavens.

Building well has three conditions: firmness, commodity, and delight.

Pictures should not be given approbation which are not likenesses of reality; even if they are refined creations executed with artistic skill.

Such as possess the gifts of fortune are easily deprived of them: but when learning is once fixed in the mind, no age removes it, nor is its stability affected during the whole course of life.

Encyclopedia

Marcus Vitruvius Pollio (born c. 80–70 BC, died after c. 15 BC) was a Roman writer
Latin literature
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

, architect and engineer, active in the 1st century BC. He is best known as the author of the multi-volume work De Architectura
De architectura
' is a treatise on architecture written by the Roman architect Vitruvius and dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus, as a guide for building projects...

("On Architecture").

By his own description Vitruvius served as a ballista
Ballista
The ballista , plural ballistae, was an ancient missile weapon which launched a large projectile at a distant target....

 (artilleryman), the third class of arms in the military offices. He likely served as chief of the ballista (senior officer of artillery) in charge of doctores ballistarum (artillery experts) and libratores who actually operated the machines. An article in The New Zealand Herald
The New Zealand Herald
- External links :* * *...

 called him "the world's first known engineer".

Life and career


Little is known about Vitruvius' life. Most inferences about him are extracted from his only surviving work De Architectura
De architectura
' is a treatise on architecture written by the Roman architect Vitruvius and dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus, as a guide for building projects...

. His first name Marcus and his cognomen
Cognomen
The cognomen nōmen "name") was the third name of a citizen of Ancient Rome, under Roman naming conventions. The cognomen started as a nickname, but lost that purpose when it became hereditary. Hereditary cognomina were used to augment the second name in order to identify a particular branch within...

 Pollio
Pollio
Pollio was a Roman cognomen. It may refer to:* Gaius Asinius Pollio , the historian and orator* Gaius Asinius Pollio , grandson of the preceding* Vedius Pollio Pollio was a Roman cognomen. It may refer to:* Gaius Asinius Pollio (consul 40 BC), the historian and orator* Gaius Asinius Pollio (consul...

are uncertain. Cetius Faventinus speaks of "Vitruvius Polio aliique auctores" in his epitome; it is possible that the cognomen derives from this mention by Cetius, meaning Vitruvius, Polio, and others - further confusing the cognomen, an inscription in Verona names Lucius Vitruvius Cordo
Lucius Vitruvius Cordo
Lucius Vitruvius Cordo was an ancient Roman architect active in Verona. His only known work is the Arco dei Gavi, a 1st century arch in the city, inscribed "Lucius Vitruvius Cerdo, a freedman of Lucius", which has led to Verona being suggested as the birthplace of the earlier and better-known...

and an inscription from Thilbilis
Numidia
Numidia was an ancient Berber kingdom in part of present-day Eastern Algeria and Western Tunisia in North Africa. It is known today as the Chawi-land, the land of the Chawi people , the direct descendants of the historical Numidians or the Massyles The kingdom began as a sovereign state and later...

 North Africa (near Guelma
Guelma
Guelma is the capital of Guelma Province and Guelma District, located in northeastern Algeria, about 65 kilometers from the Mediterranean coast...

) names Marcus Vitruvius Mamurra. From this inscription the archaeologist Dr. G. Q. Giglioli nearly concludes that Vitruvius and Mamurra are from the same family.
"That [name is] very common in Formiae and regions adjacent, as well Dr. Giglioli observes, it is rare elsewhere. Indeed so far, except for some historical figures, that, as the writer Vitruvius Vitruvius and Vacca, Formiae belonged to or who are assigned to it, this [name] is not [natively] found in Numidia. And only in a epigraph of this region [Dr. Giglioli] has recovered the memory of a member of the [family] Mamurra Vitruvius." and deuces he is "of the same family as [the] well [known rider from] Formia".


The Roman military officer Mamurra
Mamurra
Mamurra was a Roman military officer who served under Julius Caesar.Mamurra was an equestrian who originally came from the Italian city of Formiae...

 also served as praefectus fabrum in Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

, Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

 and Pontus
Pontus
Pontus or Pontos is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day northeastern Turkey. The name was applied to the coastal region in antiquity by the Greeks who colonized the area, and derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea: Πόντος...

 under Julius Caesar. Paul Thielscher moved the conclusions of Dr. Giglioli further and concluded that these two men are the same. There are inconsistencies with this conclusion, such as there is no mention of Caesar's invasions of Britain
Caesar's invasions of Britain
In his Gallic Wars, Julius Caesar invaded Britain twice, in 55 and 54 BC. The first invasion, made late in summer, was either intended as a full invasion or a reconnaissance-in-force expedition...

 in De Architectura, nor of other things with which Mamurra was associated, such as equestrian
Equestrian (Roman)
The Roman equestrian order constituted the lower of the two aristocratic classes of ancient Rome, ranking below the patricians , a hereditary caste that monopolised political power during the regal era and during the early Republic . A member of the equestrian order was known as an eques...

 military practices, and a love for nepotism
Nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

 and personal wealth. Additionally, Caesar received a letter that can be inferred to have news of Mamurra's death, whereas Vitruvius dedicated De Architectura to the emperor Augustus
Augustus
Augustus ;23 September 63 BC – 19 August AD 14) is considered the first emperor of the Roman Empire, which he ruled alone from 27 BC until his death in 14 AD.The dates of his rule are contemporary dates; Augustus lived under two calendars, the Roman Republican until 45 BC, and the Julian...

.

He appears to be known to Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 through his description of constructing mosaic
Mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

s in Naturalis Historia
Naturalis Historia
The Natural History is an encyclopedia published circa AD 77–79 by Pliny the Elder. It is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire to the modern day and purports to cover the entire field of ancient knowledge, based on the best authorities available to Pliny...

.
Although he is not actually named in that passage, he does appear in NH 1 (the table of contents).
Frontinus refers to "Vitruvius the architect" in his late 1st century work De aquaeductu
De aquaeductu
' is a two-book official report given to the emperor on the state of the aqueducts of Rome, and was written by Julius Sextus Frontinus at the end of the 1st century AD. It is also known as or . It is the earliest official report of an investigation made by a distinguished citizen on Roman...

.

Likely born a free Roman citizen, by his own account Vitruvius served the Roman army
Roman army
The Roman army is the generic term for the terrestrial armed forces deployed by the kingdom of Rome , the Roman Republic , the Roman Empire and its successor, the Byzantine empire...

 under Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 with the otherwise poorly identified Marcus Aurelius, Publius Minidius, and Gnaeus Cornelius. These names vary depending on the edition of De architectura. Publius Minidius is also written as Publius Numidicus and Publius Numidius, speculated as the same Publius Numisius inscribed on the Roman Theatre at Heraclea.
As an army engineer he specialized in the construction of ballista
Ballista
The ballista , plural ballistae, was an ancient missile weapon which launched a large projectile at a distant target....

 and scorpio
Scorpio (dart-thrower)
The scorpio or scorpion was type of Roman artillery piece. Also known by the name of the triggerfish, it was described in detail by Vitruvius...

  artillery
Artillery
Originally applied to any group of infantry primarily armed with projectile weapons, artillery has over time become limited in meaning to refer only to those engines of war that operate by projection of munitions far beyond the range of effect of personal weapons...

 war machines
Roman siege engines
Roman siege engines were, for the most part, adapted from Hellenistic siege technology. Relatively small efforts were made to develop the technology; however, the Romans brought an unrelentingly aggressive style to siege warfare that brought them repeated success...

 for siege
Siege
A siege is a military blockade of a city or fortress with the intent of conquering by attrition or assault. The term derives from sedere, Latin for "to sit". Generally speaking, siege warfare is a form of constant, low intensity conflict characterized by one party holding a strong, static...

s. It is speculated that Vitruvius served with Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

's Chief Engineer Lucius Cornelius Balbus.
The locations where he served can be reconstructed from, for example, descriptions of the building methods of various "foreign tribes". Although he describes places throughout De Architectura, he does not say he was present. His service likely included north Africa
Africa Province
The Roman province of Africa was established after the Romans defeated Carthage in the Third Punic War. It roughly comprised the territory of present-day northern Tunisia, and the small Mediterranean coast of modern-day western Libya along the Syrtis Minor...

, Hispania
Hispania
Another theory holds that the name derives from Ezpanna, the Basque word for "border" or "edge", thus meaning the farthest area or place. Isidore of Sevilla considered Hispania derived from Hispalis....

, Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

 (including Aquitaine
Gallia Aquitania
Gallia Aquitania was a province of the Roman Empire, bordered by the provinces of Gallia Lugdunensis, Gallia Narbonensis, and Hispania Tarraconensis...

) and Pontus
Pontus
Pontus or Pontos is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day northeastern Turkey. The name was applied to the coastal region in antiquity by the Greeks who colonized the area, and derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea: Πόντος...

.

To place the role of Vitruvius the military engineer in context, a description of The Praefect of the camp or army engineer is quoted here as given by Flavius Vegetius Renatus in The Military Institutions of the Romans:
The Praefect of the camp, though inferior in rank to the [Praefect], had a post of no small importance. The position of the camp, the direction of the entrenchments, the inspection of the tents or huts of the soldiers and the baggage were comprehended in his province. His authority extended over the sick, and the physicians who had the care of them; and he regulated the expenses relative thereto. He had the charge of providing carriages, bathhouses and the proper tools for sawing and cutting wood, digging trenches, raising parapets, sinking wells and bringing water into the camp. He likewise had the care of furnishing the troops with wood and straw, as well as the rams, onagri, balistae and all the other engines of war under his direction. This post was always conferred on an officer of great skill, experience and long service, and who consequently was capable of instructing others in those branches of the profession in which he had distinguished himself.


At various locations described by Vitruvius, battles and sieges occurred. He is the only source for the siege of Larignum
Larino
Larino is a town and comune of approximately 8,200 inhabitants in Molise, province of Campobasso, southern Italy. It is located in the fertile valley of the Biferno River....

 56 BC. Of the battlegrounds of the Gallic War there are references to: The siege and massacre of the 40,000 residents at Avaricum
Avaricum
Avaricum was an oppidum in ancient Gaul, near what is now the city of Bourges. Avaricum, situated in the lands of the Bituriges, was the largest and best-fortified town within their territory, situated on very fertile lands...

 52 BC; Vercingetorix
Vercingetorix
Vercingetorix was the chieftain of the Arverni tribe, who united the Gauls in an ultimately unsuccessful revolt against Roman forces during the last phase of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars....

 commented that "the Romans did not conquer by valor nor in the field, but by a kind of art and skill in assault, with which they [Gauls] themselves were unacquainted." The broken siege at Gergovia
Battle of Gergovia
The Battle of Gergovia took place in 52 BC in Gaul at Gergovia, the chief town of the Arverni. The battle was fought between a Roman Republic army, led by proconsul Julius Caesar, and Gallic forces led by Vercingetorix...

 52 BC. The circumvallation and Battle of Alesia 52 BC; the women and children of the encircled city were evicted to conserve food, where they starved to death between the opposing walls of the defenders and besiegers. And the siege of Uxellodunum
Uxellodunum
Uxellodunum is an iron age hill fort, or oppidum, located above the river Dordogne near the modern-day French village of Vayrac in the Lot department. This stronghold lay within the lands of the Cadurci tribe...

 51 BC. These are all sieges of large Gallic oppida. Of the sites involved in Caesar's civil war
Caesar's civil war
The Great Roman Civil War , also known as Caesar's Civil War, was one of the last politico-military conflicts in the Roman Republic before the establishment of the Roman Empire...

, we find the Siege of Massilia
Siege of Massilia
The Siege and naval Battle of Massilia was an episode of Caesar's civil war, fought in 49 BC.Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus had become proconsul of Gaul and was sent to gain control of Massilia in order to oppose Caesar...

 49 BC, the Battle of Dyrrhachium
Battle of Dyrrhachium (48 BC)
The Battle of Dyrrachium on 10 July 48 BC, was a battle of Caesar's Civil War in the area of the city of Dyrrachium . It was fought between Julius Caesar and the army led by Gnaeus Pompey with the backing of the majority of the Roman Senate. The battle was indecisive but is regarded as a victory...

 of 48 BC (modern Albania), the Battle of Pharsalus
Battle of Pharsalus
The Battle of Pharsalus was a decisive battle of Caesar's Civil War. On 9 August 48 BC at Pharsalus in central Greece, Gaius Julius Caesar and his allies formed up opposite the army of the republic under the command of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus...

 48 BC (Hellas - Greece), the Battle of Zela
Battle of Zela
The Battle of Zela was a battle fought in 47 BC between Julius Caesar and Pharnaces II of The Kingdom of Pontus.-Prelude:After the defeat of the Ptolemaic forces at the Battle of the Nile, Caesar left Egypt and travelled through Syria, Cilicia and Cappadocia to fight Pharnaces, son of Mithridates...

 of 47 BC (modern Turkey) and the Battle of Thapsus
Battle of Thapsus
The Battle of Thapsus took place on April 6, 46 BC near Thapsus . The Republican forces of the Optimates, led by Quintus Caecillius Metellus Scipio, clashed with the veteran forces loyal to Julius Caesar.-Prelude:...

 46 BC in Caesar's African
Africa Province
The Roman province of Africa was established after the Romans defeated Carthage in the Third Punic War. It roughly comprised the territory of present-day northern Tunisia, and the small Mediterranean coast of modern-day western Libya along the Syrtis Minor...

 campaign. A legion
Roman legion
A Roman legion normally indicates the basic ancient Roman army unit recruited specifically from Roman citizens. The organization of legions varied greatly over time but they were typically composed of perhaps 5,000 soldiers, divided into maniples and later into "cohorts"...

 that fits the same sequence of locations is the Legio VI Ferrata
Legio VI Ferrata
Legio sexta Ferrata , was a Roman Legion formed in 65 BC, and in existence up to at least 3rd century. A Legio VI fought in the Roman Republican civil wars of the 40s and 30s BC...

, of which ballista would be an auxilia unit.

Mainly known for his writings, Vitruvius was himself an architect. In Roman times architecture was a broader subject than at present including the modern fields of architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

, construction management
Construction management
Construction Project Management is the overall planning, coordination and control of a project from inception to completion aimed at meeting a client’s requirements in order to produce a functionally and financially viable project that will be complete mingement is project management that applies...

, construction engineering
Construction engineering
Construction engineering is a professional discipline that deals with the designing, planning, construction, and management of infrastructures such as highways, bridges, airports, railroads, buildings, dams, and utilities. Construction Engineers are unique such that they are a cross between civil...

, chemical engineering
Chemical engineering
Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with physical science , and life sciences with mathematics and economics, to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms...

, civil engineering
Civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

, materials engineering, mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering
Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the...

, military engineering and urban planning
Urban planning
Urban planning incorporates areas such as economics, design, ecology, sociology, geography, law, political science, and statistics to guide and ensure the orderly development of settlements and communities....

. Frontinus mentions him in connection with the standard sizes of pipes. The only building, however, that we know Vitruvius to have worked on is one he tells us about, a basilica
Basilica
The Latin word basilica , was originally used to describe a Roman public building, usually located in the forum of a Roman town. Public basilicas began to appear in Hellenistic cities in the 2nd century BC.The term was also applied to buildings used for religious purposes...

 completed in 19 BC. It was built at Fanum Fortunae, now the modern town of Fano
Fano
Fano is a town and comune of the province of Pesaro and Urbino in the Marche region of Italy. It is a beach resort 12 km southeast of Pesaro, located where the Via Flaminia reaches the Adriatic Sea...

. The Basilica di Fano (to give the building its Italian name) has disappeared so completely that its very site is a matter of conjecture, although various attempts have been made to visualise it. The early Christian practice of converting Roman basilica (public buildings) into cathedrals implies the basilica may be incorporated into the cathedral
Cathedral
A cathedral is a Christian church that contains the seat of a bishop...

 located in Fano.

In later years the emperor Augustus, through his sister Octavia Minor
Octavia Minor
Octavia the Younger , also known as Octavia Minor or simply Octavia, was the sister of the first Roman Emperor, Augustus , half-sister of Octavia the Elder, and fourth wife of Mark Antony...

, sponsored Vitruvius, entitling him with what may have been a pension
Pension
In general, a pension is an arrangement to provide people with an income when they are no longer earning a regular income from employment. Pensions should not be confused with severance pay; the former is paid in regular installments, while the latter is paid in one lump sum.The terms retirement...

 to guarantee financial independence. If De architectura was written by one author or is a compilation completed by subsequent librarians and copyists, remains an open question. The date of his death is unknown, which suggests that he had enjoyed only little popularity during his lifetime.

Gerolamo Cardano
Gerolamo Cardano
Gerolamo Cardano was an Italian Renaissance mathematician, physician, astrologer and gambler...

, in his 16th book De subtilitate rerum, ranks Vitruvius as one of the 12 persons, whom he supposes to have excelled all men in the force of genius and invention; and would not have scrupled to have given him the first place, if it could be imagined that he had delivered nothing but his own discoveries.

De Architectura libri decem (De architectura)



Vitruvius is the author of De architectura
De architectura
' is a treatise on architecture written by the Roman architect Vitruvius and dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus, as a guide for building projects...

, known today as The Ten Books on Architecture, a treatise written of Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 and Greek
Greek language
Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Native to the southern Balkans, it has the longest documented history of any Indo-European language, spanning 34 centuries of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the majority of its history;...

 on architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

, dedicated to the emperor Augustus. In the preface of Book I, Vitruvius dedicates his writings so to give personal knowledge of the quality of buildings to the emperor. Likely Vitruvius is referring to Marcus Agrippa's campaign of public repairs and improvements. This work is the only surviving major book on architecture from classical antiquity
Classical antiquity
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome, collectively known as the Greco-Roman world...

. This text "influenced deeply from the Early Renaissance onwards artists, thinkers, and architects, among them Leon Battista Alberti (1404-72), Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 (1452-1519), and Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

 (1475-1564)."
The next major book on architecture, Alberti's
Leone Battista Alberti
Leon Battista Alberti was an Italian author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, cryptographer and general Renaissance humanist polymath...

 reformulation of Ten Books, was not written until 1452.

Vitruvius is famous for asserting in his book De architectura that a structure must exhibit the three qualities of firmitas, utilitas, venustas — that is, it must be solid, useful, beautiful. According to Vitruvius, architecture is an imitation of nature. As birds and bees built their nests, so humans constructed housing from natural materials, that gave them shelter against the elements. When perfecting this art of building, the Greek (Έλληνες) invented the architectural orders: Doric
Doric order
The Doric order was one of the three orders or organizational systems of ancient Greek or classical architecture; the other two canonical orders were the Ionic and the Corinthian.-History:...

, Ionic
Ionic order
The Ionic order forms one of the three orders or organizational systems of classical architecture, the other two canonic orders being the Doric and the Corinthian...

 and Corinthian
Corinthian order
The Corinthian order is one of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric and Ionic. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order...

. It gave them a sense of proportion, culminating in understanding the proportions of the greatest work of art: the human body. This led Vitruvius in defining his Vitruvian Man
Vitruvian Man
The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487. It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the famed architect, Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and...

, as drawn later by Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

: the human body inscribed in the circle and the square (the fundamental geometric patterns of the cosmic order).

Vitruvius is sometimes loosely referred to as the first architect, but it is more accurate to describe him as the first Roman architect to have written surviving records of his field. He himself cites older but less complete works. He was less an original thinker or creative intellect than a codifier of existing architectural practice. It should also be noted that Vitruvius had a much wider scope than modern architects. Roman architects
Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics...

 practised a wide variety of disciplines; in modern terms, they could be described as being engineer
Engineer
An engineer is a professional practitioner of engineering, concerned with applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical problems. Engineers design materials, structures, machines and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality,...

s, architects, landscape architects, artist
Artist
An artist is a person engaged in one or more of any of a broad spectrum of activities related to creating art, practicing the arts and/or demonstrating an art. The common usage in both everyday speech and academic discourse is a practitioner in the visual arts only...

s, and craftsmen combined. Etymologically the word architect derives from Greek words meaning 'master' and 'builder'. The first of the Ten Books deals with many subjects which now come within the scope of landscape architecture
Landscape architecture
Landscape architecture is the design of outdoor and public spaces to achieve environmental, socio-behavioral, or aesthetic outcomes. It involves the systematic investigation of existing social, ecological, and geological conditions and processes in the landscape, and the design of interventions...

.

Roman technology



Books VIII, IX and X form the basis of much of what we know about Roman technology, now augmented by archaeological studies of extant remains, such as the water mills at Barbegal in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. The other major source of information is the Naturalis Historia
Naturalis Historia
The Natural History is an encyclopedia published circa AD 77–79 by Pliny the Elder. It is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman Empire to the modern day and purports to cover the entire field of ancient knowledge, based on the best authorities available to Pliny...

 compiled by Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 much later in ca 75 AD.

Machines


The work is important for its descriptions of the many different machines used for engineering structures such as hoists
Hoist (device)
A hoist is a device used for lifting or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or chain wraps. It may be manually operated, electrically or pneumatically driven and may use chain, fiber or wire rope as its lifting medium. The load is attached to the hoist by means of a...

, cranes
Crane (machine)
A crane is a type of machine, generally equipped with a hoist, wire ropes or chains, and sheaves, that can be used both to lift and lower materials and to move them horizontally. It uses one or more simple machines to create mechanical advantage and thus move loads beyond the normal capability of...

 and pulley
Pulley
A pulley, also called a sheave or a drum, is a mechanism composed of a wheel on an axle or shaft that may have a groove between two flanges around its circumference. A rope, cable, belt, or chain usually runs over the wheel and inside the groove, if present...

s, as well as war machines such as catapult
Catapult
A catapult is a device used to throw or hurl a projectile a great distance without the aid of explosive devices—particularly various types of ancient and medieval siege engines. Although the catapult has been used since ancient times, it has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms during...

s and ballistae, and siege engine
Siege engine
A siege engine is a device that is designed to break or circumvent city walls and other fortifications in siege warfare. Some have been operated close to the fortifications, while others have been used to attack from a distance. From antiquity, siege engines were constructed largely of wood and...

s. As a practising engineer, Vitruvius must be speaking from personal experience rather than simply describing the works of others. He also describes the construction of sundials and water clocks, and the use of an aeolipile
Aeolipile
An aeolipile , also known as a Hero engine, is a rocket style jet engine which spins when heated. In the 1st century AD, Hero of Alexandria described the device, and many sources give him the credit for its invention.The aeolipile Hero described is considered to be the first recorded steam engine...

 (the first steam engine
Steam engine
A steam engine is a heat engine that performs mechanical work using steam as its working fluid.Steam engines are external combustion engines, where the working fluid is separate from the combustion products. Non-combustion heat sources such as solar power, nuclear power or geothermal energy may be...

) as an experiment to demonstrate the nature of atmospheric air movements (wind).

Aqueducts


His description of aqueduct
Aqueduct
An aqueduct is a water supply or navigable channel constructed to convey water. In modern engineering, the term is used for any system of pipes, ditches, canals, tunnels, and other structures used for this purpose....

 construction includes the way they are surveyed, and the careful choice of materials needed, although Frontinus (a general who was appointed in the late 1st century AD to administer the many aqueducts of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

), writing a century later, gives much more detail of the practical problems involved in their construction and maintenance. Surely Vitruvius' book would have been of great assistance in this. Vitruvius was writing in the 1st century BC when many of the finest Roman aqueducts were built, and survive to this day, such as those at Segovia
Segovia
Segovia is a city in Spain, the capital of Segovia Province in the autonomous community of Castile and León. It is situated north of Madrid, 30 minutes by high speed train. The municipality counts some 55,500 inhabitants.-Etymology:...

 and the Pont du Gard
Pont du Gard
The Pont du Gard is a notable ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gard River in southern France. It is part of a long aqueduct that runs between Uzès and Nîmes in the South of France. It is located in Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, in the Gard département...

. The use of the inverted siphon is described in detail, together with the problems of high pressures developed in the pipe at the base of the siphon, a practical problem with which he seems to be acquainted.

Materials


He describes many different construction materials used for a wide variety of different structures, as well as such details as stucco
Stucco
Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture...

 painting. Concrete
Concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

 and lime receive in-depth descriptions, the longevity of many Roman structures being mute testimony to the Romans' skill in building materials and design.

Vitruvius is well known and often cited as one of the earliest surviving sources to have advised that lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 should not be used to conduct drinking water, recommending clay pipes or masonry channels. He comes to this conclusion in Book VIII of De Architectura after empirical observation of the apparent laborer
Laborer
A Laborer or labourer - see variation in english spelling - is one of the construction trades, traditionally considered unskilled manual labor, as opposed to skilled labor. In the division of labor, laborers have all blasting, hand tools, power tools, air tools, and small heavy equipment, and act...

 illnesses in the lead
Lead
Lead is a main-group element in the carbon group with the symbol Pb and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft, malleable poor metal. It is also counted as one of the heavy metals. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed...

 foundries of his time.

Vitruvius gives us the famous story about Archimedes
Archimedes
Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Among his advances in physics are the foundations of hydrostatics, statics and an...

 and his detection of adulterated gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 in a royal crown. When Archimedes realised that the volume of the crown could be measured exactly by the displacement created in a bath of water, he ran into the street with the cry of Eureka!
Eureka (word)
"Eureka" is an interjection used to celebrate a discovery, a transliteration of a word attributed to Archimedes.-Etymology:The word comes from ancient Greek εὕρηκα heúrēka "I have found ", which is the 1st person singular perfect indicative active of the verb heuriskō "I find"...

, and the discovery enabled him to compare the density of the crown with pure gold. He showed that the crown had been alloyed with silver, and the king defrauded.

Dewatering machines



He describes the construction of Archimedes' screw
Archimedes' screw
The Archimedes' screw, also called the Archimedean screw or screwpump, is a machine historically used for transferring water from a low-lying body of water into irrigation ditches...

 in Chapter X (without mentioning Archimedes by name). It was a device widely used for raising water to irrigate fields and dewater mines. Other lifting machines he mentions include the endless chain of buckets and the reverse overshot water-wheel
Reverse overshot water-wheel
Frequently used in mines and probably elsewhere , the reverse overshot water wheel was a Roman innovation to help remove water from the lowest levels of underground workings. It is described by Vitruvius in his work De Architectura published circa 25 BC...

, a spectacular example of a sequence of such wheels being shown above. Remains of the water wheels used for lifting water have been discovered when old mines were re-opened at Rio Tinto in Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 and Dolaucothi in west Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

. The Rio Tinto wheel is now shown in the British Museum
British Museum
The British Museum is a museum of human history and culture in London. Its collections, which number more than seven million objects, are amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the world and originate from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its...

, and the Dolaucothi specimen in the National Museum of Wales.

Surveying instruments


That he must have been well practised in surveying is shown by his descriptions of surveying instruments, especially the water level or chorobates
Chorobates
A chorobates was a kind of level used in classical antiquity. It was composed of a wooden frame, made in the form of a beam which was fitted with a water level, and two supports at the end of the beam. It is described by Vitruvius . It is believed to be the instrument that was used to level the...

, which he compares favourably with the groma
Groma surveying
The Groma or gruma was the principal Roman surveying instrument. It comprised a vertical staff with horizontal cross pieces mounted at right-angles on a bracket. Each cross piece had a plumb line hanging vertically at each end...

, a device using plumb lines. They were essential in all building operations, but especially in aqueduct construction, where a uniform gradient was important to provision of a regular supply of water without damage to the walls of the channel. He also developed one of the first odometers, consisting of a wheel of known circumference that dropped a pebble into a container on every rotation.

Central heating



He describes the many innovations made in building design to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants. Foremost among them is the development of the hypocaust
Hypocaust
A hypocaust was an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air. The word derives from the Ancient Greek hypo meaning "under" and caust-, meaning "burnt"...

, a type of central heating
Central heating
A central heating system provides warmth to the whole interior of a building from one point to multiple rooms. When combined with other systems in order to control the building climate, the whole system may be a HVAC system.Central heating differs from local heating in that the heat generation...

 where hot air developed by a fire was channelled under the floor and inside the walls of public baths and villa
Villa
A villa was originally an ancient Roman upper-class country house. Since its origins in the Roman villa, the idea and function of a villa have evolved considerably. After the fall of the Roman Republic, villas became small farming compounds, which were increasingly fortified in Late Antiquity,...

s. He gives explicit instructions how to design such buildings so that fuel efficiency
Fuel efficiency
Fuel efficiency is a form of thermal efficiency, meaning the efficiency of a process that converts chemical potential energy contained in a carrier fuel into kinetic energy or work. Overall fuel efficiency may vary per device, which in turn may vary per application, and this spectrum of variance is...

 is maximised, so that for example, the caldarium
Caldarium
right|thumb|230px|Caldarium from the Roman Baths at [[Bath, England]]. The floor has been removed to reveal the empty space where the hot air flowed through to heat the floor....

 is next to the tepidarium
Tepidarium
The tepidarium was the warm bathroom of the Roman baths heated by a hypocaust or underfloor heating system.The specialty of a tepidarium is the pleasant feeling of constant radiant heat which directly affects the human body from the walls and floor.There is an interesting example at Pompeii; this...

 followed by the frigidarium
Frigidarium
A frigidarium is a large cold pool of Roman baths. It would be entered after the Caldarium and the Tepidarium, which were used to open the pores of the skin. The cold water would close the pores. There would be a small pool of cold water or sometimes a large Swimming pool...

. He also advises on using a type of regulator to control the heat in the hot rooms, a bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 disc set into the roof under a circular aperture which could be raised or lowered by a pulley
Pulley
A pulley, also called a sheave or a drum, is a mechanism composed of a wheel on an axle or shaft that may have a groove between two flanges around its circumference. A rope, cable, belt, or chain usually runs over the wheel and inside the groove, if present...

 to adjust the ventilation. Although he does not suggest it himself, it is likely that his dewatering devices such as the reverse overshot water-wheel
Reverse overshot water-wheel
Frequently used in mines and probably elsewhere , the reverse overshot water wheel was a Roman innovation to help remove water from the lowest levels of underground workings. It is described by Vitruvius in his work De Architectura published circa 25 BC...

 was used in the larger baths to lift water to header tanks at the top of the larger thermae, such as the Baths of Diocletian
Baths of Diocletian
The Baths of Diocletian in Rome were the grandest of the public baths, or thermae built by successive emperors. Diocletian's Baths, dedicated in 306, were the largest and most sumptuous of the imperial baths. The baths were built between the years 298 AD and 306 AD...

 and the Baths of Caracalla
Baths of Caracalla
The Baths of Caracalla in Rome, Italy were Roman public baths, or thermae, built in Rome between AD 212 and 216, during the reign of the Emperor Caracalla.- History :...

.

Rediscovery




His book De architectura
De architectura
' is a treatise on architecture written by the Roman architect Vitruvius and dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus, as a guide for building projects...

was rediscovered in 1414 by the Florentine humanist Poggio Bracciolini. To Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472) falls the honour of making this work widely known in his seminal treatise on architecture De re aedificatoria
De Re Aedificatoria
De re aedificatoria is a classic architectural treatise written by Leon Battista Alberti between 1443 and 1452. Although largely dependent on Vitruvius' De architectura, it was the first theoretical book on the subject written in the Italian Renaissance and in 1485 became the first printed book on...

(ca. 1450). The first known edition of Vitruvius was in Rome by Fra Giovanni Sulpitius in 1486. Translations followed in Italian (Como, 1521), French (Jean Martin, 1547, English, German (Walter H. Ryff, 1543) and Spanish and several other languages. The original illustrations had been lost and the first illustrated edition was published in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 in 1511 with woodcut
Woodcut
Woodcut—occasionally known as xylography—is a relief printing artistic technique in printmaking in which an image is carved into the surface of a block of wood, with the printing parts remaining level with the surface while the non-printing parts are removed, typically with gouges...

 illustrations, based on descriptions in the text, probably by Fra Giovanni Giocondo. Later in the 16th-century Andrea Palladio
Andrea Palladio
Andrea Palladio was an architect active in the Republic of Venice. Palladio, influenced by Roman and Greek architecture, primarily by Vitruvius, is widely considered the most influential individual in the history of Western architecture...

 provided illustrations for Daniele Barbaro
Daniele Barbaro
Daniele Matteo Alvise Barbaro was an Italian translator of, and commentator on, Vitruvius. He also had a significant ecclesiastical career, reaching the rank of Cardinal....

's commentary on Vitruvius (which appeared in Italian and Latin versions). However, the most famous illustration remains a 15th-century one, Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man
Vitruvian Man
The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487. It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the famed architect, Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and...

.

The surviving ruins of Roman antiquity, the Roman Forum
Roman Forum
The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings at the center of the city of Rome. Citizens of the ancient city referred to this space, originally a marketplace, as the Forum Magnum, or simply the Forum...

, temples, theatres, triumphal arches and their reliefs and statues gave ample visual examples of the descriptions in the Vitruvian text. This book then quickly became a major inspiration for Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, Baroque
Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 and Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

. Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi
Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the foremost architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance. He is perhaps most famous for inventing linear perspective and designing the dome of the Florence Cathedral, but his accomplishments also included bronze artwork, architecture , mathematics,...

, for example, invented a new type of hoist
Hoist (device)
A hoist is a device used for lifting or lowering a load by means of a drum or lift-wheel around which rope or chain wraps. It may be manually operated, electrically or pneumatically driven and may use chain, fiber or wire rope as its lifting medium. The load is attached to the hoist by means of a...

 to lift the large stones for the dome of the cathedral in Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 and was prompted by De Architectura as well as viewing the many surviving Roman monuments like the Pantheon and the Baths of Diocletian
Baths of Diocletian
The Baths of Diocletian in Rome were the grandest of the public baths, or thermae built by successive emperors. Diocletian's Baths, dedicated in 306, were the largest and most sumptuous of the imperial baths. The baths were built between the years 298 AD and 306 AD...

 in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

.

Lists of names given in Book VII Introduction


In book seven's introduction Vitruvius goes through great lengths to present his credentials for writing De Architectura. Similar in concept to a modern day reference section, the author's position as one who is knowledgeable and educated is established. The topics listed range across many fields of expertise reflecting that in Roman times as today construction is a diverse field. Vitruvius makes the further point that the work of some of the most talented are unknown, while many who are of lesser talent but greater political position are famous. This theme runs through Vitruvius’s ten books repeatedly. Here in the introduction to Chapter 7, he illustrates this by naming what he considers are the most talented individuals in history. He predicts that some of these individuals will be forgotten and their works lost despite their contribution while other less deserving political characters of history will be forever remembered with pageantry; the red links below do not have a Wikipedia page and outside of inclusion on Vitruvius’s list under a categorization, nothing is known of them. Ironically, they may be unknown because the ancient Library of Alexandria
Library of Alexandria
The Royal Library of Alexandria, or Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Alexandria, Egypt, was the largest and most significant great library of the ancient world. It flourished under the patronage of the Ptolemaic dynasty and functioned as a major center of scholarship from its construction in the...

 was accidentally burned in 48 BC during a siege by Julius Caesar. Vituvius does not mention the architecture of Egypt so was probably not involved in this siege.
  • List of physicists Thales
    Thales
    Thales of Miletus was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Miletus in Asia Minor, and one of the Seven Sages of Greece. Many, most notably Aristotle, regard him as the first philosopher in the Greek tradition...

    , Democritus
    Democritus
    Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher born in Abdera, Thrace, Greece. He was an influential pre-Socratic philosopher and pupil of Leucippus, who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos....

    , Anaxagoras
    Anaxagoras
    Anaxagoras was a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. Born in Clazomenae in Asia Minor, Anaxagoras was the first philosopher to bring philosophy from Ionia to Athens. He attempted to give a scientific account of eclipses, meteors, rainbows, and the sun, which he described as a fiery mass larger than...

    , Xenophanes
    Xenophanes
    of Colophon was a Greek philosopher, theologian, poet, and social and religious critic. Xenophanes life was one of travel, having left Ionia at the age of 25 he continued to travel throughout the Greek world for another 67 years. Some scholars say he lived in exile in Siciliy...

  • List of philosophers Socrates
    Socrates
    Socrates was a classical Greek Athenian philosopher. Credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy, he is an enigmatic figure known chiefly through the accounts of later classical writers, especially the writings of his students Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of his contemporary ...

    , Plato
    Plato
    Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

    , Aristotle
    Aristotle
    Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

    , Zeno
    Zeno of Elea
    Zeno of Elea was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher of southern Italy and a member of the Eleatic School founded by Parmenides. Aristotle called him the inventor of the dialectic. He is best known for his paradoxes, which Bertrand Russell has described as "immeasurably subtle and profound".- Life...

    , Epicurus
    Epicurus
    Epicurus was an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism.Only a few fragments and letters remain of Epicurus's 300 written works...

  • List of kings Croesus
    Croesus
    Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 to 547 BC until his defeat by the Persians. The fall of Croesus made a profound impact on the Hellenes, providing a fixed point in their calendar. "By the fifth century at least," J.A.S...

    , Alexander the Great, Darius
  • On plagiarism Aristophanes
    Aristophanes
    Aristophanes , son of Philippus, of the deme Cydathenaus, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete...

    , Ptolemy I Soter
    Ptolemy I Soter
    Ptolemy I Soter I , also known as Ptolemy Lagides, c. 367 BC – c. 283 BC, was a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great, who became ruler of Egypt and founder of both the Ptolemaic Kingdom and the Ptolemaic Dynasty...

    , Attalus
    Attalus
    Attalus may refer to:*Several members of the Attalid dynasty of Pergamon**Attalus I, ruled 241 BC–197 BC**Attalus II Philadelphus, ruled 160 BC–138 BC**Attalus III, ruled 138 BC–133 BC...

  • On abusing dead authors Zoilus Homeromastix
    Zoilus
    Zoilus or Zoilos was a Greek grammarian, Cynic philosopher, and literary critic from Amphipolis in East Macedonia, then known as Thrace...

    , Ptolemy II Philadelphus
    Ptolemy II Philadelphus
    Ptolemy II Philadelphus was the king of Ptolemaic Egypt from 283 BCE to 246 BCE. He was the son of the founder of the Ptolemaic kingdom Ptolemy I Soter and Berenice, and was educated by Philitas of Cos...

  • On divergence of the visual rays Agatharchus
    Agatharchus
    Agatharchus or Agatharch was a self-taught painter from Samos who lived in the 5th century BC. He is said by Vitruvius to have invented scene-painting, and to have painted a scene for a tragedy which Aeschylus exhibited...

    , Aeschylus
    Aeschylus
    Aeschylus was the first of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose work has survived, the others being Sophocles and Euripides, and is often described as the father of tragedy. His name derives from the Greek word aiskhos , meaning "shame"...

    , Democritus
    Democritus
    Democritus was an Ancient Greek philosopher born in Abdera, Thrace, Greece. He was an influential pre-Socratic philosopher and pupil of Leucippus, who formulated an atomic theory for the cosmos....

    , Anaxagoras
    Anaxagoras
    Anaxagoras was a Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher. Born in Clazomenae in Asia Minor, Anaxagoras was the first philosopher to bring philosophy from Ionia to Athens. He attempted to give a scientific account of eclipses, meteors, rainbows, and the sun, which he described as a fiery mass larger than...

  • List of writers on temples Silenus
    Silenus
    In Greek mythology, Silenus was a companion and tutor to the wine god Dionysus.-Evolution of the character:The original Silenus resembled a folklore man of the forest with the ears of a horse and sometimes also the tail and legs of a horse...

    , Theodorus, Chersiphron
    Chersiphron
    Chersiphron , an architect of Knossos in Crete, was the builder of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, on the Ionian coast. The temple had been begun about 600 BC, and was completed by other architects. Chersiphron and his son Metagenes were co-authors of its building...

     and Metagenes
    Metagenes
    Metagenes son of the Cretan architect Chersiphron, also was an architect. He was co-architect, along with his father, of the construction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World....

    , Ictinus and Carpion, Theodorus the Phocian, Hermogenes
    Hermogenes of Priene
    Interest in Hermogenes of Priene , the Hellenistic architect of a temple of Artemis Leukophryene at Magnesia in Lydia, an Ionian colony on the banks of the Maeander river in Anatolia, has been sparked by references to his esthetic made by the 1st century Roman architect Vitruvius .Hermogenes'...

    , Arcesius
    Arcesius
    In Greek mythology, Arcesius was the son of Cephalus, and king in Ithaca. Zeus made his line one of "only sons": his only son was Laertes, whose only son was Odysseus, whose only son was Telemachus...

    , Satyrus
    Satyros
    Satyros or Satyrus was an Greek architect in the 4th century BC. Along with Pythius of Priene, he designed and oversaw the construction of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus....

     and Pytheos
    Pythis
    Pythius, also known as Pytheos or Pythis, was a Greek architect of the 4th century BCE. He built the Temple of Athena Polias cited by Vitruvius : "Pythius, the celebrated builder of the temple of Minerva at Priene"...

  • List of Artists Leochares
    Leochares
    Leochares was a Greek sculptor from Athens, who lived in the 4th century BC.-Works:Leochares worked at the construction of the Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus, one of the "Seven Wonders of the Ancient World". The Diana of Versailles is a Roman copy of his original...

    , Bryaxis
    Bryaxis
    Bryaxis was an ancient Greek sculptor. He created the sculptures on the north side of the mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus which was commissioned by the queen Artemisia II of Caria in memory of her brother and husband, Mausolus...

    , Scopas
    Scopas
    Scopas or Skopas was an Ancient Greek sculptor and architect, born on the island of Paros. Scopas worked with Praxiteles, and he sculpted parts of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, especially the reliefs. He led the building of the new temple of Athena Alea at Tegea...

    , Praxiteles
    Praxiteles
    Praxiteles of Athens, the son of Cephisodotus the Elder, was the most renowned of the Attic sculptors of the 4th century BC. He was the first to sculpt the nude female form in a life-size statue...

    , Timotheus (Timotheos
    Timotheos
    Timotheus was a Greek sculptor of the 4th century BC, one of the rivals and contemporaries of Scopas of Paros, among the sculptors who worked for their own fame on the construction of the grave of Mausolus at Halicarnassus between 353 and 350 BC. He was apparently the leading sculptor at the...

    )
  • List of writers on laws of symmetry Nexaris, Theocydes, Demophilus, Pollis, Leonidas
    Leonidas (disambiguation)
    Leonidas is Leonidas I, king of Sparta, ruled c. 489–480 BC., leader at the battle of ThermopylaeLeonidas may also refer to:-People:*Leonidas II, Greek king of Sparta, ruled c...

    , Silanion
    Silanion
    Silanion was the best-known of the Greek portrait-sculptors working during the fourth century BC. His floruit is given by Pliny as the 113th Olympiad, that is, around 328-325 BC; the tradition recorded by Pliny was that Silanion had no famous teacher...

    , Melampus
    Melampus
    In Greek mythology, Melampus, or Melampous , was a legendary soothsayer and healer, originally of Pylos, who ruled at Argos. He was the introducer of the worship of Dionysus, according to Herodotus, who asserted that his powers as a seer were derived from the Egyptians and that he could understand...

    , Sarnacus, Euphranor
    Euphranor
    Euphranor of Corinth was the only Greek artist who excelled both as a sculptor and as a painter.Pliny the Elder provides a list of his works including a cavalry battle, a Theseus, and the feigned madness of Odysseus among the paintings; and Paris, Leto with her children Apollo and Artemis, and...

  • List of writers on machinery Diades of Pella
    Diades of Pella
    Diades of Pella , , was a Thessalian inventor of many siege engines, student of Philip II's military engineer Polyidus of Thessaly....

    , Archytas
    Archytas
    Archytas was an Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and strategist. He was a scientist of the Pythagorean school and famous for being the reputed founder of mathematical mechanics, as well as a good friend of Plato....

    , Archimedes
    Archimedes
    Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Among his advances in physics are the foundations of hydrostatics, statics and an...

    , Ctesibius
    Ctesibius
    Ctesibius or Ktesibios or Tesibius was a Greek inventor and mathematician in Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt. He wrote the first treatises on the science of compressed air and its uses in pumps...

    , Nymphodorus, Philo of Byzantium
    Philo of Byzantium
    Philo of Byzantium , also known as Philo Mechanicus, was a Greek engineer and writer on mechanics, who lived during the latter half of the 3rd century BC...

    , Diphilus
    Diphilus
    Diphilus, of Sinope, was a poet of the new Attic comedy and contemporary of Menander . Most of his plays were written and acted at Athens, but he led a wandering life, and died at Smyrna....

    , Democles
    Democles
    Democles was an Athenian orator, and a contemporary of Demochares, among whose opponents he is mentioned. He was a disciple of Theophrastus, and is chiefly known as the defender of the children of Lycurgus against the calumnies of Moerocles and Menesaechmus...

    , Charias, Polyidus of Thessaly
    Polyidus of Thessaly
    Polyidus of Thessaly was an ancient Greek military engineer of Philip, who made improvements in the covered battering-ram during Philip's siege of Byzantium in 340 BC...

    , Pyrrus, Agesistratus, Abdaraxus
    Abdaraxus
    Abdaraxus was an ancient engineer mentioned in Vitruvius' De Architectura as the one "who built the machines in Alexandria". This is the only known mention of his name in surviving literature, but to include him in his list of twelve luminaries, alongside Archimedes and Philo, and to consider the...

  • List of writers on architecture Fuficius, Terentius Varro
    Marcus Terentius Varro
    Marcus Terentius Varro was an ancient Roman scholar and writer. He is sometimes called Varro Reatinus to distinguish him from his younger contemporary Varro Atacinus.-Biography:...

    , Publius Septimius (writer)
  • List of architects Antistates, Callaeschrus, Antimachides, Pormus, Cossutius
  • List of greatest temple architects Chersiphron of Gnosus, Metagenes
    Metagenes
    Metagenes son of the Cretan architect Chersiphron, also was an architect. He was co-architect, along with his father, of the construction of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World....

    , Demetrius
    Demetrius
    Demetrius, also spelled as Demetrios, Dimitrios, Demitri, and Dimitri , is a male given name.Demetrius and its variations may refer to the following:...

    , Paeonius the Milesian, Ephesian Daphnis, Ictinus, (Philo) Philon
    Philon
    Philon, Athenian architect of the 4th century BC, is known as the planner of two important works: the portico of twelve Doric columns to the great Hall of the Mysteries at Eleusis and, under the administration of Lycurgus, an arsenal at Athens. Of the last we have exact knowledge from an...

    , Cossutius, Gaius Mucius

Legacy

  • A small lunar crater
    Vitruvius (crater)
    Vitruvius is a small lunar impact crater that lies on the northern edge of the Mare Tranquillitatis. To the east is the crater Gardner, and to the northeast is Fabbroni. To the north-northwest is the elongated Mons Vitruvius mountain, and beyond is the valley where the Apollo 17 mission landed.The...

     has been named after Vitruvius and also an elongated lunar mountain Mons Vitruvius
    Mons Vitruvius
    Mons Vitruvius is a mountain on the Moon that is located in the Montes Taurus region just to the north of Mare Tranquillitatis and to the southeast of Mare Serenitatis. This massif is located at selenographic coordinates of 19.4° N, 30.8° E, and it has a diameter across the base of 15 km. It...

     close-by. This crater was near the valley that served as the landing site of the Apollo 17
    Apollo 17
    Apollo 17 was the eleventh and final manned mission in the American Apollo space program. Launched at 12:33 a.m. EST on December 7, 1972, with a three-member crew consisting of Commander Eugene Cernan, Command Module Pilot Ronald Evans, and Lunar Module Pilot Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 remains the...

     mission.
  • The Design Quality Indicator
    Design Quality Indicator
    The Design Quality Indicator is a toolkit to measure the design quality of buildings.Development of DQI was started by the Construction Industry Council in 1999 and the toolkit was launched as an online resource for the UK construction industry on the 1 October 2003...

     (DQI) tool for the measurement of the design quality of buildings uses Vitruvius's principles.

See also


  • Archimedes
    Archimedes
    Archimedes of Syracuse was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Among his advances in physics are the foundations of hydrostatics, statics and an...

  • Aristotle
    Aristotle
    Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

  • Ctesibius
    Ctesibius
    Ctesibius or Ktesibios or Tesibius was a Greek inventor and mathematician in Alexandria, Ptolemaic Egypt. He wrote the first treatises on the science of compressed air and its uses in pumps...

  • Colen Campbell
    Colen Campbell
    Colen Campbell was a pioneering Scottish architect who spent most of his career in England, and is credited as a founder of the Georgian style...

  • Frontinus
  • Pliny the Elder
    Pliny the Elder
    Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

  • Roman architecture
    Roman architecture
    Ancient Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics...

  • Roman aqueducts
  • Roman engineering
    Roman engineering
    Romans are famous for their advanced engineering accomplishments, although some of their own inventions were improvements on older ideas, concepts and inventions. Technology for bringing running water into cities was developed in the east, but transformed by the Romans into a technology...

  • Roman technology
    Roman technology
    Roman technology is the engineering practice which supported Roman civilization and made the expansion of Roman commerce and Roman military possible over nearly a thousand years....

  • Vitruvian man
    Vitruvian Man
    The Vitruvian Man is a world-renowned drawing created by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1487. It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the famed architect, Vitruvius. The drawing, which is in pen and ink on paper, depicts a male figure in two superimposed positions with his arms and legs apart and...

  • Vitruvian scroll
    Vitruvian scroll
    The Vitruvian scroll is a pattern used in architectural molding. It is also known as the Vitruvian wave, wave scroll, or running dog pattern. The pattern resembles waves in water or a series of parchment scrolls viewed on end...

  • Lucius Vitruvius Cordo
    Lucius Vitruvius Cordo
    Lucius Vitruvius Cordo was an ancient Roman architect active in Verona. His only known work is the Arco dei Gavi, a 1st century arch in the city, inscribed "Lucius Vitruvius Cerdo, a freedman of Lucius", which has led to Verona being suggested as the birthplace of the earlier and better-known...



External links