Page:Vitruvius the Ten Books on Architecture.djvu/170

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136

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two middle columns on that side are omitted, in order not to obstruct the view of the pronaos of the temple of Augustus (which is built at the middle of the side wall of the basilica, facing the middle of the forum and the temple of Jupiter) and also the tribunal which is in the former temple, shaped as a hemicycle whose curvature is less than a semicircle.

8. The open side of this hemicycle is forty-six feet along the front, and its curvature inwards is fifteen feet, so that those who are standing before the magistrates may not be in the way of the business men in the basilica. Round about, above the columns, are placed the architraves, consisting of three two-foot timbers fastened together. These return from the columns which stand third on the inner side to the antae which project from the pronaos, and which touch the edges of the hemicycle at right and left.

9. Above the architraves and regularly dispersed on supports directly over the capitals, piers are placed, three feet high and four feet broad each way. Above them is placed the projecting cornice round about, made of two two-foot timbers. The tie­beams and struts, being placed above them, and directly over the shafts of the columns and the antae and walls of the pronaos, hold up one gable roof along the entire basilica, and another from the middle of it, over the pronaos of the temple.

10. Thus the gable tops run in two directions, like the letter T, and give a beautiful effect to the outside and inside of the main roof. Further, by the omission of an ornamental entablature and of a line of screens and a second tier of columns, troublesome labour is saved and the total cost greatly diminished. On the other hand, the carrying of the columns themselves in unbroken height directly up to the beams that support the main roof, seems to add an air of sumptuousness and dignity to the work.