An Eye for Architectural Theory
”De architectura” is a treatise on architecture written by the Roman architect Vitruvius and dedicated to his patron, the emperor Caesar Augustus.
Agrippa was ready to be Augustus's right-hand man.
He dedicated both his organizational talent and his huge fortune to the cities and buildings of the empire.
It is not possible to imagine like could not agree during the "prodigious decade" of the twenties of first century B.C. two as exceptional architects as Vitruvius and Agrippa, in the same city of Rome and under the protection of Augustus, and who while one wrote the best and more complete treaty on classic architecture, the other projected and executed hugest works of construction and urbanism of the Roman world.

Video: An Eye for Architectural Theory - Who Vitruvius Was?
Music: An Eye for Optical Theory (from The Draughtsman's Contract) M. Nyman

This blog is about the ten books of architecture as written by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa in the first century BC, during the principate of the Roman emperor Augustus.

See also:
Writing the Body of Architecture

By Indra Kagis McEwen
Publisher: The MIT Press

Vitruvius's De architectura, consisting of ten volumina, or scrolls, is the only major work on architecture to survive from classical antiquity, and until the eighteenth century it was the text to which all other architectural treatises referred.
While European classicists have focused on the factual truth of the text itself, English-speaking architects and architectural theorists have viewed it as a timeless source of valuable metaphors. Departing from both perspectives, Indra Kagis McEwen examines the work's meaning and significance in its own time.
Vitruvius dedicated De architectura to his patron Augustus Caesar, the first Roman emperor, whose rise to power inspired its composition near the end of the first century B.C.
De architectura consisted of ten volumina, or scrolls. McEwen argues that the imperial project of world dominion shaped Vitruvius's purpose in writing what he calls "the whole body of architecture." Specifically, Vitruvius's aim was to present his discipline as the means for making the emperor's body congruent with the imagined body of the world he would rule.
The corpus of architectura was, reciprocally, shaped by the body of empire. Vitruvius’s text circles the world on several occasions but never once oversteps the boundaries of its specifically Augustan limits.
Publisher: The MIT Press

Let A be the centre of a perfectly level and plane tablet whereon a gnomon is erected. The ante-meridianal shadow of the gnomon being marked at B, from A, as a centre with the distance AB, describe a complete circle. Then replacing the gnomon correctly, watch its increasing shadow, which after the sun has passed his meridian, will gradually lengthen till it become exactly equal to the shadow made in the forenoon, then again touching the circle at the point C. From the points B and C, as centres, describe two arcs cutting each other in D. From the point D, through the centre of the circle, draw the line EF, which will give the north and south points.
Divide the whole circle into sixteen parts. From the point E, at which the southern end of the meridian line touches the circle, set off at G and H to the right and left a distance equal to one of the said sixteen parts, and in the same manner on the north side, placing one foot of the compasses on the point F, mark on each side the points I and K, and with lines drawn through the centre of the circle join the points GK and HI, so that the space from G to H will be given to the south wind and its region; that from I to K to the north wind. The remaining spaces on the right and left are each to be divided into three equal parts; the extreme points of the dividing lines on the east sides, to be designated by the letters L and M; those on the west by the letters NO; from M to O and from L to N draw lines crossing each other: and thus the whole circumference will be divided into eight equal spaces for the winds. The figure thus described will be furnished with a letter at each angle of the octagon. Thus, beginning at the south, between the regions of Eurus and Auster, will be the letter G; between those of Auster and Africus, H; between Africus and Favonius, N; between that and Caurus, O; K between Caurus and Septentrio; between Septentrio and Aquilo, I; between Aquilo and Solanus, L; and between that and Eurus, M. Thus adjusted, let a bevel gauge be applied to the different angles of the octagon, to determine the directions of the different streets and lanes. LiberI-CaputVI

Liber I
Liber II
Liber III
Liber IV
Liber V
Liber VI
Liber VII
Liber VIII
Liber IX
Liber X

1 comment:

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