# On Architecture

## Vitruvius Pollio

*Vitruvius Pollio, creator; Morgan, M. H. (Morris Hicky), 1859-1910, translator*

5. The rails will be apportioned thus: divide the height into five parts, of which assign two to the upper portion and three to the lower; above the centre place the middle rails; insert the others at the top and at the bottom. Let the height of a rail be one third of the breadth of a panel, and its cymatium one sixth of the rail. The width of the meeting-stiles should be one half the rail, and the cover-joint two thirds of the rail. The stiles toward

6. Attic doorways are built with the same proportions as Doric. Besides, there are fasciae running all round under the cymatia on the jambs, and apportioned so as to be equal to three sevenths of a jamb, excluding the cymatium. The doors are without latticework, are not double but have folds in them, and open outward. The laws which should govern the design of temples built in the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian styles, have now, so far as I could arrive at them, been set forth according to what may be called the accepted methods. I shall next speak of the arrangements in the Tuscan style, showing how they should be treated.

1. THE place where the temple is to be built having been divided on its length into six parts, deduct one and let the rest be given to its width. Then let the length be divided into two equal parts, of which let the inner be reserved as space for the cellae, and the part next the front left for the arrangement of the columns.

2. Next let the width be divided into ten parts. Of these, let three on the right and three on the left be given to the smaller cellae, or to the alae if there are to be alae, and the other four devoted to the middle of the temple. Let the space in front of the cellae, in the pronaos, be marked out for columns thus: the corner columns should be placed opposite the antae on the line of the outside walls; the two middle columns, set out on the line of the walls which are between the antae and the middle of the temple; and through the middle, between the antae and the front columns, a second row, arranged on the same lines. Let the thickness of the columns at the bottom be one seventh of their height,

3. The height of their bases should be one half of that thickness. The plinth of their bases should be circular, and in height one half the height of the bases, the torus above it and congé being of the same height as the plinth. The height of the capital is one half the thickness of a column. The abacus has a width equivalent to the thickness of the bottom of a column. Let the height of the capital be divided into three parts, and give one to the plinth (that is, the abacus), the second to the echinus, and the third to the necking with its congé.

4. Upon the columns lay the main beams, fastened together, to a height commensurate with the requirements of the size of the building. These beams fastened together should be laid so as to be equivalent in thickness to the necking at the top of a column, and should be fastened together by means of dowels and dove-tailed tenons in such a way that there shall be a space two fingers broad between them at the fastening. For if they touch one another, and so do not leave airholes and admit draughts of air to blow between them, they get heated and soon begin to rot.

5. Above the beams and walls let the mutules project to a distance equal to one quarter of the height of a column; along the front of them nail casings; above, build the tympanum of the pediment either in masonry or in wood. The pediment with its ridgepole, principal rafters, and purlines are to be built in such a way that the eaves shall be equivalent to one third of the completed roof.