Page:Vitruvius the Ten Books on Architecture.djvu/37

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
17
17
 

lic buildings: the first for defensive, the second for religious, and the third for utilitarian purposes. Under defence comes the plan­ning of walls, towers, and gates, permanent devices for resistance against hostile attacks; under religion, the erection of fanes and temples to the immortal gods; under utility, the provision of meeting places for public use, such as harbours, markets, colon­nades, baths, theatres, promenades, and all other similar arrange­ments in public places.

2. All these must be built with due reference to durability, con­venience, and beauty. Durability will be assured when founda­tions are carried down to the solid ground and materials wisely and liberally selected; convenience, when the arrangement of the apartments is faultless and presents no hindrance to use, and when each class of building is assigned to its suitable and appro­priate exposure; and beauty, when the appearance of the work is pleasing and in good taste, and when its members are in due pro­portion according to correct principles of symmetry.


CHAPTER IV

THE SITE OF A CITY


1. For fortified towns the following general principles are to be observed. First comes the choice of a very healthy site. Such a site will be high, neither misty nor frosty, and in a climate nei­ther hot nor cold, but temperate; further, without marshes in the neighbourhood. For when the morning breezes blow to ward the town at sunrise, if they bring with them mists from marshes and, mingled with the mist, the poisonous breath of the creatures of the marshes to be wafted into the bodies of the inhabitants, they will make the site unhealthy. Again, if the town is on the coast with a southern or western exposure, it will not be healthy, be­cause in summer the southern sky grows hot at sunrise and is fiery at noon, while a western exposure grows warm after sunrise, is hot at noon, and at evening all aglow.