Talk:Vitruvius

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The New Zealand Herald[edit]

Do you really need to mention the The New Zealand Herald? "An article in The New Zealand Herald called him "the world's first known engineer".[3]" This is not an authority of great importance and can be left in the references.

An Anonymous Newbie — Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.40.218.20 (talk) 01:22, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

Link removed[edit]

The item I removed was misbilled, i.e., it is not what it claims to be (influence on garden design); and (b) partial: it's merely a partial translation of the de Architectura. There are dozens of those; and this one looks like one of those junk sites, to boot. If someone feels up to it, a valid link would be to the complete translation by Morgan. Bill 20:20, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Suggestion for removal[edit]

"Whether these writings were actually written by one author or whether they were compiled by later librarians and copyists, remains an open question." this should be removed from the page. If all ten books are read then it is apparent all were written by one person. He lists why he used ten books, lists all his references and describes in advance and references back to various portions of the ten book set. In addition the voice in all writtings are consistant.Granite07 01:38, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

In book viii ch ii there is a discussion on the formation of wind due to thermal air currents, similar to modern science. In book i there is a full description of the diffrent winds and their sources with no mention of the science. Though this seems to be given lip service and not true belief by the author. Possibly the later discussion is more controversial and so buried in book viii rather than more prominant in book i. Another thought is this indicates two authors or a change in scientific knowledge during the books writting, diffrent translations. Granite07 02:26, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

From Vitruvius's own books it is fairly clear that he was a very senior praefectus fabrum of the Roman Army. I think we can safely remove the conditional clause "possibly" from the page introduction. A conclusive solution could be to review an early translation to see if he uses the term praefectus fabrum and has subsequently been translated to english as army engineer.Granite07 07:34, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Vitruve78 (talk) 20:02, 22 November 2008 (UTC)That V was a praefectus fabrum can't be proven. As Purcell 1983 in PBSR notes and as Gros (and many others have endorsed), Vitruvius also looks a lot like an apparitor.

"See also's" removed[edit]

A See Also section, as here, is a sign of an ill-written article; I got rid of as many as could be legitimately removed. Julius Caesar is already linked in the article; there is no indication, either in this article or in the article Mamurra, why they might be related; and the Antikythera mechanism is but one example among many, of a type of ancient machinery. Vitruvius never mentions anything like it, nor is the Antikythera device known to have anything to do with Vitruvius.

Mr. Campbell, on the other hand, is marginally tolerable; he is, mind you, but one of a long list of Vitruvius editors and commentators, and "Vitruvius" is not infrequently part of their pen names or the titles of their works. It would be more useful — if someone is casting about for a project — to add an annotated bibliography on these Renaissance and classical Vitruvists. Bill (talk) 17:48, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Ancient Technology[edit]

I have added this section because V is frequently quoted in studies of Roman technology, and the article as it stands doesn't address this important part of his writings at all (or barely). Much more could be added, especially on the materials he describes, especially cements, pigments and also the quality of water. It cannot be an article just devoted to architecture or landscape gardening! Peterlewis (talk) 19:27, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

You are correct, Vitruvius gives detailed descriptions of many construction related topics. The ten books cover basic science, materials, design, engineering, construction methods, suppliers, management, labor relations and politics. Each of these topics is an individual field today with entire bodies of related knowledge and in the case of Wikipedia entire categories.
There are two Vitruvius pages Vitruvius and De Architectura, the Vitruvius page is more focused on the man while De Architectura focuses on the man's work. Since there is only one written document and a couple references in literature from that time, it is difficult to glen much about the man himself. There is much circumstantial information since he was intricately involved in well-documented historical events.
The discussions on the nature of man and the contest for wealth or merit, the same debate that every university professor likely has at one time or another asked themselves, why do I not take the money and give up credibility. A section drawing from these passages in De Architectura and compiling them into a coherent and contextual synopsis would have merit in the Vitruvius article as insight into the man.
Vitruvius is obviously much more than an unemployed/retired army engineer who wrote some books in exchange for a grant. 128.12.170.194 (talk) 21:35, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

only in that they are listed here[edit]

"This theme runs through Vitruvius’s ten books repeatedly and here in the chapter seven introduction he illustrates this by naming some of the most talented individuals in history that are known today only in that they are listed here:" what is the objection to this sentence? It seemed to be a major point made by Vitruvius, he spent an entire section on it.128.12.170.11 (talk) 17:03, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

It is clearly nonsensical because he names some very famous people indeed! Most of his names were famous not for being named by Vitruvius but for their deeds recorded elsewhere. The best thing is to delete the sentence or try to produce a form of words which reflects accurately what Vitruvius actually said. Peterlewis (talk) 17:25, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
You are very correct Peter, Vitruvius does name many people who are well known and recorded in may sources. Please familiarize yourself with the introduction to chapter seven, there are several free versions available online.
The good point made and arguably a key theme of the entire ten books is that there are people on this list who are known only from this list. That the story of Archimedes is primarily known only from Vitruvius is an obvious example here. If you read the introduction to book seven you will see that Vitruvius specifically gives the List of architects: Antistates, Callaeschrus, Antimachides, Pormus, Cossutius, as those who he is certain will be known to history only by being mentioned in De Architectura, though they are considered the greatest architects of all time. That there is no Wikipedia page for these individuals and a google search returns nothing is an example that they indeed are not known.
In respect to your opinion, I will revert your edits only after a short discussion of this topic and consensus made, and wish you would have done the same.128.12.169.7 (talk) 22:47, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Peter, you did notice that other than Pliny the Elder, all the names you added to the see also list are redundant. Archimedes is now linked three times, four if you include Archimedes' screw. Your copy/paste edit to De Architectura could provide the opportunity to maybe differentiate the Roman technology sections on each of these pages. Maybe focus on the man and his influence on Roman technology in the Vitruvius article while focusing on the actual Roman technology on the De Architectura page. Good contribution otherwise. I appreciate that the sections I wrote and you copied to De Architectura are worthy of mention twice. 128.12.169.7 (talk) 06:47, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

I am familiar with that chapter, and what you say about minor architects is true, so why not say so in the text? Archimedes is mentioned by many other classical authors, and his central role in engineering and science deserves multiple references! The words I deleted merely confused the issue. I will write some more on the technology side because much recent work has amply confirmed what he said in his book, especially about machines, surveying and aqueduct building. Peterlewis (talk) 09:48, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

What happened to Vitruvius[edit]

Is it possible Vitruvius was executed after the death of Mark Antony in 30BC? Sometime after 23BC he seems to have disappeared and presumably died of old age on some unknown date. The presumed date of death gives an age of about 50. 128.12.169.7 (talk) 19:30, 1 March 2008 (UTC)

Is there a way to answer some basic quastions about Roman culture, could be good additions to article:

1) Where were engineers (architects) educated? Education in Ancient Rome

found this reference for education http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/vitruv.htm "From De architectura we can conclude that he was had a Hellenistic education - words like graece and Graecia appear more often in his text than romanus and Roma." Granite07 (talk) 18:32, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Vitruve78 (talk) 20:10, 22 November 2008 (UTC)a "Hellenistic" education is about as useful as saying "a 20th-century education." He thanks his parents in the start of the sixth preface for something that might be called (anachronistically) a "liberal arts" education, but again, V's description of his own life may be exceptional and his description of the architect's education in the first book should be considered prescriptive rather than descriptive.

2) What does Roman engineering education consist of? Who mentored Vitruvius, who did Vitruvius mentor?

3) Did Roman military officers keep libraries with them while in the field? Caesar wrote his Commentaries in the winter in between campaigns, and I think was said to do the same with his grammatical works. Where was he?

4) What was the civilian engineer (architects) job classifications? Unanswerable. But you might like the book "Roman Architecture and Society" by James Anderson. It's helpful on a lot of these points, as much as it can be.

5) Did the Roman government finance all heavy construction or was there private works?

6) What did retired (architects) do, university, government service, write books? Where did Vitruvius live? Legio VI disbanded at Arles

7) What legion(s) did Vitruvius serve with? Legio VI Ferrata seems to fit locations. http://legvi.tripod.com/index.html

found this reference for another campaign http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/vitruv.htm "He served under Julius Caesar in the African War (46 B.C.)" In De Architectura there is a description of North Africa., to note, commentary at http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/vitruv.htm is junk and misguided, whoever wrote it did not read the book thoroughly, "He complained that the workmen are in a hurry, "the uneducated rather than the educated are in higher favor",", this is completely misconstrued and taken out of context. Granite07 (talk) 19:08, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Vitruve78 (talk) 20:12, 22 November 2008 (UTC)He also describes the siege of Massilia but that doesn't mean he was there. He doesn't say, and we don't know.

Further text[edit]

this section is a summary of http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/vitruv.htm

  • "However, Alberti, a master of Latin prose, noted that Vitruvius' "very text is evidence that he wrote neither Latin or Greek, so that as far as we are concerned, he might just as well not have written at all, rather than write something that we cannot understand."", I think the article needs a section on the historical and current contribution and misunderstanding of Vitruvius, and abuse of a dead author.
  • Petrarch showed understanding to Vitruvius' prose.
  • Francesco di Giorgio (1439-1501/2) partly based "Trattato di architettura civile e militare" on De Architectura
  • Alberti argued that the work of art is so constituted that it is impossible to take anything away from it or add anything to it and partly based "On Painting" (1436) on De Architectura
  • Leon Battista Alberti, based "De re aedificatoria" (1452), Ten Books on Architecture) on De Architectura
  • Leonardo wrote in his notebook: "Vitruvius says that small models are of no avail for ascertaining the effects of large ones; and I here propose to prove that this conclusion is a false one."
  • Bramante (1444-1514) and Andrea Palladio (1508-80) are students of Vitrivius.

further reading: Vitruvius on Architecture by Thomas Gordon Smith (2003); Vitruvius: Writing the Body of Architecture by Indra Kagis McEwen (2002); A History of Architectural Theory: From Vitruvius to the Present by Hanno-Walter Kruft (1994); The Lost Meaning of Classical Architecture: Speculations on Ornament from Vitruvius to Venturi by George Hersey (1988); Vitruvs Architekturtheorie by Heiner Knell (1985); Homage to Vitruvius by John K. Ryan (1981); 'Vitruvius', in Greek and Latin Authors 800 B.C.-A.D.1000 by Michael Grant (1980); Translation of Vitruvius and Copies of Late Antique Drawings in Buonaccorso Ghiberti's Zibaldone by Gustina Scaglia (1979); Vitruvius and Later Roman Building Manuals by H. Plommer (1973); Index Virtruvianus by Hermann Nohl (1965); 'The History of the Theory of Human Proportions as a Reflection of the History of Styles', in Meaning in the Visual Arts by Erwin Panofsky (1955); Vom Nachleben Vitruvs by H. Koch (1951); Vitruvio by F. Pellati (1938); Vitruv und die Poliorketiker by W. Sackur (1925); Des Marcus Vitruvius Pollio Basilika zu Fanum Fortunae by Jakob Prestel. (1901); The Elements of Civil Architecture by Henry Aldrich (1824) Editions:

M. Vitrvvivs per Iocvndvm solito castigatior factvs cvm figvris et tabvla vt iam legi et intelligi possit, 1511 (by Ioannis de Tridino alias Tacuino) De architectvra libri decem ... omnibus omnium editionibus longè emendatiores, collatis veteribus exemplis, 1552 (by Gulielmi Philandri) I dieci libri dell'architettvra, 1556 (tr. et commentati da monsignor Barbaro) Della architettvra, 1590 (by di Gio. Antonio Rvsconi) M. Vitrvvii Pollionis De architectvra libri decem, 1649 (by Gvilielmi Philandri, Danielis Barbari, & Clavdii Salmasii) Les dix livres d'architecture de Vitruve, 1673 (Paris; J. B. Coignard) Les dix livres d'architecture de Vitruve, 1684 (by M. Perrault, 2nd. rev. ed.) An Abridgment of the Architecture of Vitruvius: containing a system of the whole works of that author illustrated with divers copper plates, curiously engraved, with a table of explanation, 1692 (London: Printed for Abel Swall and T. Child) The Theory and Practice of Architecture, or, Vitruvius and Vignola, 1703 (abridg'd, printed for R. Wellington) The civil architecture of Vitruvius, 1812 (London; Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown) The Architecture of Marcus Vitrivius Pollio, 1826 (London; Priestley and Weale) The Architecture of Marcus Vitruvius Pollio in Ten Books, 1860 (trans. by Joseph Gwilt) The Ten Books on Architecture, 1914 (trans. by Morris Hicky Morgan) Vitruvius On Architecture, 1931-1934 (trans. by Frank Granger; ed. from the Harleian manuscript 2767) De architectura, 1968 (trans. into Italian by Bono Mauro da Bergamo & Benedetto Jovio da Comasco; commentary by Cesare Cesariano) Ten Books on Architecture, 1999 (trans. by Ingrid D. Rowland; commentary and illustrations by Thomas Noble Howe)

Vitruve78 (talk) 20:14, 22 November 2008 (UTC)The Budé editions and Fensterbusch are the only good modern commentaries (Romano 1997 is ok, but doesn't add a lot. These should be added.

Date of death[edit]

This website has the "Basilica di Fano" built in 19 BC, the date of death given in the article should be changed to reflect this. Additionally the date of publication for De Architectura should be changed to a later date.Granite07 (talk) 05:51, 9 March 2008 (UTC)

Add to Military of ancient Rome series[edit]

should this article be added to the series on: Military of ancient Rome (portal)? Granite07 (talk) 19:07, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Removed Speculative Stuff[edit]

>>> "alongside Marcus Antonius, Publius Minidius, and Gnaeus Cornelius"

Mark Antony? Who says that Crassusis Minidius and Volusenus Cornelius? He may have been contemporary with some of these but "alongside" makes it sounds as though he was in the same legion. Please be more careful about either who links to whom and/or distinguishing what we actually know from what would be cool if it were actually true...

  • The quote from Vitruvis "And so with Marcus Aurelius, Publius Minidius, and Gnaeus Cornelius, I was ready to supply and repair

ballistae, scorpiones, and other artillery, and I have received rewards for good service with them." Book one, preface, section 2 http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20239/20239-8.txt Granite07 (talk) 18:24, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Also, Vitruvius doesn't say he was born free.

>>> "Rather, Vitruvius has the recurrent theme of politics outweighing skill throughout the ten books of De Architectura, possibly in reference to Mamurra."

Please explain what this means exactly (with examples) and why the "theme of politics outweighing skill" ipso facto suggsts "reference to Mamurra."

  • the recurrent theme is obvious to anyone who reads the 10 books. The Mamurra connection is pure speculation based on known character, co-location, similar field of expertise and shared senior management, all likely to result in friction between professionals promotion strategies, i.e., politics v. expertise. The ten books has this theme woven throughout the text and is obviously implicit that it is Mamurra and other similarly minded professionals. Thus the qualifier possibly is used to denote speculation.Granite07 (talk) 18:24, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Removed assertion that Pliny names/cites Vitruvius; he never does so by name, even though he may appear indebted to his work. The note that had been included mentions Vitruvius, but that is the modern editor's conclusion, not in the actual text.

Clarified mention of Frontinus. 76.248.149.47 (talk) 02:57, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

turns out, [Pliny] does [cite Vitruvius], in the "TOC" : Pliny, NH 1.53, 118, 121 —Preceding unsigned comment added by BL Gildersleeve (talkcontribs) 18:48, 19 July 2010 (UTC)

1684 depiction[edit]

I added a 1684 engraving of Vitruvius by Sebastian Le Clerc to the lead as I thought it would be important to have a depection of the man in his own biography. I slid Vitruvian man down to the biography as there was not enough space for it up there. If anyone wants to change my positioning of these images that is fine by me. Cheers - Dumelow (talk) 23:33, 3 February 2009 (UTC)