Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman architect, engineer, and author. He was born in Formiae, Italy. Little is known of his life, except what can be gathered from his writings, which are somewhat obscure on that subject. It is thought that he was an artillery engineer that served the first Roman emperor Caesar Augustus. During the later part of the first century BCE Vitruvius wrote De architectura libri decem a ten-volume treatise, which served as a handbook for Roman architects.
Vitruvius was not the first to write about architecture, but all earlier texts on the subject have been lost. The earlier Greek and Roman writings were descriptions of individual buildings or dealt with specific problems, such as the proportions of temples. For the subsequent history of the architectural theory, Vitruvius?s ten books can and must be taken as a whole. The work?s patchwork character and erratic terminology cannot be ignored; however, the work?s inconsistencies are partly due to confused translations from Greek into Latin. Obscure passages from the works are largely responsible for similar obscurities and debate in architectural theory today.
One of the ambitions of Vitruvius was to be recalled as an erudite and architectural
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