30 Facts About Vitruvius


Vitruvius was a Roman architect and engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled De architectura.


Vitruvius probably served as a senior officer of artillery in charge of doctores ballistarum and libratores who actually operated the machines.


Vitruvius was a military engineer, or a praefect architectus armamentarius of the apparitor status group.


Vitruvius is mentioned in Pliny the Elder's table of contents for Naturalis Historia, in the heading for mosaic techniques.


Likely born a free Roman citizen, by his own account Vitruvius served in the Roman army under Caesar with the otherwise poorly identified Marcus Aurelius, Publius Minidius and Gnaeus Cornelius.


Vitruvius's authority extended over the sick, and the physicians who had the care of them; and he regulated the expenses relative thereto.


Vitruvius likewise had the care of furnishing the troops with wood and straw, as well as the rams, onagri, balistae and all the other engines of war under his direction.

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Vitruvius is the only source for the siege of Larignum in 56 BC.


Mainly known for his writings, Vitruvius was himself an architect.


Vitruvius is often credited as father of architectural acoustics for describing the technique of echeas placement in theaters.


The only building that we know Vitruvius to have worked on is one he tells us about, a basilica completed in 19 BC.


Likely Vitruvius is referring to Marcus Agrippa's campaign of public repairs and improvements.


Vitruvius is the first Roman architect to have written surviving records of his field.


Vitruvius was less an original thinker or creative intellect than a codifier of existing architectural practice.


Vitruvius who is theoretic as well as practical, is therefore doubly armed; able not only to prove the propriety of his design, but equally so to carry it into execution.


Vitruvius goes on to say that the architect should be versed in drawing, geometry, optics, history, philosophy, music, theatre, medicine, and law.


In Book III, Chapter 1, Paragraph 3, Vitruvius writes about the proportions of man:.


Vitruvius described the human figure as being the principal source of proportion.


Vitruvius makes the point that the work of some of the most talented is unknown, while many of those of lesser talent but greater political position are famous.


Implicitly challenging the reader that they have never heard of some of these people, Vitruvius goes on and predicts that some of these individuals will be forgotten and their works lost, while other, less deserving political characters of history will be forever remembered with pageantry.


Later in the 16th-century Andrea Palladio provided illustrations for Daniele Barbaro's commentary on Vitruvius, published in Italian and Latin versions.


Vitruvius describes the construction of sundials and water clocks, and the use of an aeolipile as an experiment to demonstrate the nature of atmospheric air movements.


Vitruvius was writing in the 1st century BC when many of the finest Roman aqueducts were built, and survive to this day, such as those at Segovia and the Pont du Gard.


Vitruvius describes many different construction materials used for a wide variety of different structures, as well as such details as stucco painting.


Vitruvius is cited as one of the earliest sources to connect lead mining and manufacture, its use in drinking water pipes, and its adverse effects on health.

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Vitruvius is the source for the anecdote that credits Archimedes with the discovery of the mass-to-volume ratio while relaxing in his bath.


Vitruvius developed one of the first odometers, consisting of a wheel of known circumference that dropped a pebble into a container on every rotation.


Vitruvius describes the many innovations made in building design to improve the living conditions of the inhabitants.


Vitruvius gives explicit instructions how to design such buildings so that fuel efficiency is maximised, so that for example, the caldarium is next to the tepidarium followed by the frigidarium.


Vitruvius advises on using a type of regulator to control the heat in the hot rooms, a bronze disc set into the roof under a circular aperture which could be raised or lowered by a pulley to adjust the ventilation.