Page:Vitruvius the Ten Books on Architecture.djvu/171

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CHAPTER II

THE TREASURY, PRISON, AND SENATE HOUSE


1. The treasury, prison, and senate house ought to adjoin the forum, but in such a way that their dimensions may be propor­tionate to those of the forum. Particularly, the senate house should be constructed with special regard to the importance of the town or city. If the building is square, let its height be fixed at one and one half times its breadth; but if it is to be oblong, add together its length and breadth and, having got the total, let half of it be devoted to the height up to the coffered ceiling.

2. Further, the inside walls should be girdled, at a point half­way up their height, with coronae made of woodwork or of stucco. Without these, the voice of men engaged in discussion there will be carried up to the height above, and so be unintelli­gible to their listeners. But when the walls are girdled with cor­onae, the voice from below, being detained before rising and becoming lost in the air, will be intelligible to the ear.


CHAPTER III

THE THEATRE: ITS SITE, FOUNDATIONS, AND ACOUSTICS


1. After the forum has been arranged, next, for the purpose of seeing plays or festivals of the immortal gods, a site as healthy as possible should be selected for the theatre, in accordance with what has been written in the first book, on the principles of health­fulness in the sites of cities. For when plays are given, the spec­tators, with their wives and children, sit through them spell­bound, and their bodies, motionless from enjoyment, have the pores open, into which blowing winds find their way. If these winds come from marshy districts or from other unwholesome quarters, they will introduce noxious exhalations into the sys­tem. Hence, such faults will be avoided if the site of the theatre is somewhat carefully selected.