Translated by Morris Hicky Morgan, Ph.D., LL.D. ... Read more
Customer Reviews (10)
Not what I expected!
I have long wondered why Vitruvius is so often quoted but so little read.Now I know!
Much of the information in this book has nothing to do with architecture: phases of the moon, water clocks, sun dials, water-organs, odometers, etc.Much of it is anything close to scientific or valid: `people sitting present open pores into which wafts of air penetrate', people from the south have ` less blood because of the impact of the sun', `heat attracts and draws everything to itself', etc.
With respect to architecture per se, most of the buildings referred to are unknown today.Certainly, none of the buildings designed by Vitruvius himself have survived.In addition, the original illustrations are lost.Though drawings made by Palladio in the Renaissance are included, they are, as is pointed out, often fallacious.Overall, it is therefore difficult to grasp the essence of what Vitruvius aims to convey.
The translator certainly does his best but the author's original style is certainly not pedagogical by our standards.In fact, the book is closer to a collage of various notions than to an organized presentation.
All in all, most persons interested in architecture will find it more worthwhile to read something else.
A book which was at the heart of architectural theory for over 1500 years can't be entirely outdated.Many of the issues and ideas which Vitruvius brings up are still relevant to modern architecture and, at the very least, give us an idea of the theory behind much architecture, both before and after Vitruvius' life.Of course, it can't be relied upon as a comprehensive guide to architecture and there are some points which are innacurate in terms of history or theory, but you take this book with a pinch of salt, and accept that this is where architectural theory started, and you have to respect it for that!
Vitruvius's 10 books (or chapters) on architecture lets you view life through the lens of the 1st century BC builder. While Vitruvius does explain the principals of how to build various buildings and rules for the construction and use of columns, perhaps the most amusing part of the book is his description of life and the things that govern it. Throughout the book he describes certain materials that should be selected for building and their composition of the four basic elements: earth, air, fire, and water. In some sections he spends an excessive amount of time making a point, and some points are glossed over. Many of the things he describes we are still doing to this day. A fascinating read all in all.
hard to follow
however, it is an ancient book... I used the dimensions and architectural scales to build my model of a greek temple. Very informative when it comes to that, cause not many books have to-scale drawings of the building.
This is a good book, but Granger's translation is better.
I really enjoyed reading this fascinating book.However, when I compared it to another translation (a two volume edition, translated by Granger) it seemed that it was missing some bits of information.
It was easier to read though, so if you are interested in a casual read, this is the book for you.For a research project, you should probably stick to Granger's books.
... Read more