On Architecture

Vitruvius Pollio

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

1. SPRING should be tested and proved in advance in the following ways. If they run free and open, inspect and observe the physique of the people who dwell in the vicinity before beginning to conduct the water, and if their frames are strong, their complexions fresh, legs sound, and eyes clear, the springs deserve complete approval. If it is a spring just dug out, its water is excellent if it can be sprinkled into a Corinthian vase or into any other sort made of good bronze without leaving a spot on it. Again, if such water is boiled in a bronze cauldron, afterwards left for a time, and then poured off without sand or mud being found at the bottom of the cauldron, that water also will have proved its excellence.

2. And if green vegetables cook quickly when put into a vessel of such water and set over a fire, it will be a proof that the water is good and wholesome. Likewise if the water in the spring is itself limpid and clear, if there is no growth of moss or reeds where it spreads and flows, and if its bed is not polluted by filth of any sort but has a clean appearance, these signs indicate that the water is light and wholesome in the highest degree.