Vitruvius (Marcus V. Polio), Architect and Engineer

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Vitruvius (Marcus V. Polio), Architect and Engineer

Postby Marcus Minucius Audens » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:02 pm

>>>> Vitruvius (Marcus V. Polio), Architect and Engineer <<<<

Vitruvius was a Roman Architect that studied Greek philosophy and science gaining experience in the course of his professional work. He was one of those appointed to be overseers of imperial artillery or military engines, and was the architect of at least one unit of buildings for Augustus in the reconstruction of Rome. Late in life and ill health he completed, sometime before 27 BC, 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. However, it is only in the more modern times that Vitruvius has be regarded, in the main, as an architect, and such attention has been for the most part been directed to their deas and discourse that he directs to the methods of architecture. In realism, Virtuvius was an engineer and as the author Caspar Barth is accurate in his comment, “His style in a word combines Greek science with a touch of the craftsman rather than the manner of a writer.” (Polyhistor, I, Book IV. xi. 17.) Further, his style reveals a real adaptation to the needs and procedures found in the period workshop, as well as in a period laboratory. Vitruvius like other famous engineers in antiqity, experiments, and then maintains a record of those experiments. He is also careful to maintain a record of the experiment’s uses in the course of his work and study. The practical character of his definitions and ideas is fully shown in the success with which the balistae and catapults have been built and operated in modern times by following his rules and definitions, (Neuburger, Technical Arts and Sciences, 222).

In the book 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 follow:

>> Book 1: Requirements for an architect; town planning; design, cities, aspects, and temples.

>> Book 2: Materials and their treatment. Greek systems.

>> Book 3: Styles. Forms of Greek Temples. Ionic.

>> Book 4: Styles. Corinthian, Ionic, Doric, Tuscan; alters.

>> Book 5: Other public buildings (fora, basilicae, theatres, colonnades, baths, and harbors).

>> Book 6: Sites and planning, especially of houses.

>> Book 7: Construction of pavements, roads, mosaic floors, vaults. Decoration (stucco, wall painting, colors).

>> Book 8: Hydraulic engineering; water supply; aqueducts.

>> Book 9: Astronomy, Greek and Roman discoveries; signs of the zodiac, planets, moon phases, constellations, astrology, gnomon, sundials.

>> Book 10: Machines for war and other purposes.


>>> Vitruvius, Frank Grange (Trans.), “Vitruvius on Architecture, Books 1-5,” Loeb Classical Library, Harvard Univ. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1998 (ISBN 978-0-674-99277-1)

Respectfully Submitted;

Marcus Audens
Marcus Minucius Audens

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