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Vitruvius: 'Ten Books on Architecture'


  • Date Published: March 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521002929

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About the Authors
  • The only full treatise on architecture and its related arts to survive from classical antiquity, the De Architectura libri decem (Ten Books on Architecture) is the single most important work of architectural history in the Western world, having shaped humanist architecture and the image of the architect from the Renaissance to the present. This new, critical edition of Vitruvius' Ten Books of Architecture is the first to be published for an English-language audience in more than half a century. Expressing the range of Vitruvius' style, the translation, along with the critical commentary and illustrations, aims to shape a new image of the Vitruvius who emerges as an inventive and creative thinker, rather than the normative summarizer, as he was characterized in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

    • Completely new and original translation made directly from study of preserved manuscripts as well as editions or annotations including those of Fra Giocondo, Angelo Colocci, and Rose
    • Translation applies Vitruvius' analytical terminology consistently throughout the book
    • Image emerges of Vitruvius as an apostle of principled variety and sane personal invention rather than as rigid formgiver
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ' … this is an important publishing event in the study of architectural history. With Vitruvius now made less obscure, we can see with much greater clarity the inherent flexibility of the Classical system at the time when there was no such thing as Classical architecture - only architecture.' Architects Journal

    'As twentieth century translator of Vitruvius' treatise Ingrid D. Rowland has done a tremendous service to all those interested in classical architecture.' Bryn Mawr Classical Review

    'This book makes the Renaissance enthusiasm for Vitruvius understandable again, and it is an indispensable starting point for future work on him.' Preservation

    'Rowland and Howe have reconstructed Vitruvius's conception of architecture as a liberal art and an essential component of any civilized society, and made it accessible to us.' Archis

    'I would recommend anyone interested in ancient architecture to buy a copy of this volume for the commentary alone.' Ian Campbell, Burlington Magazine

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2001
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521002929
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 277 x 208 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.82kg
    • contains: 110 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Translator's Preface: List of manuscripts and printed editions
    Illustrator's preface
    Part II: The Translation: Book 1
    Book 2
    Book 3
    Book 4
    Book 5
    Book 6
    Book 7
    Book 8
    Book 9
    Book 10
    Part III. Commentary and Illustrations.

  • Author



    Ingrid D. Rowland, Southwestern University, Texas

    Thomas Noble Howe

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