Marden Nichols (Georgetown University)
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Vitruvius is the author of

De architectura

, the only text dedicated to architecture that survives from Greek or Roman antiquity. Its title, when translated as

On Architecture

, can mislead: Vitruvius’ definition of


encompasses a wide range of subjects that extend far beyond current understandings of architecture, to include hydraulics, machines of war, and astronomy. One of the great ironies of

De architectura

is that while post-classical readers, from Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea Palladio to Le Corbusier, have pored over the treatise and labored to realize Vitruvius’ theories in practice, there is very little evidence that Vitruvius’ precepts were widely read, let alone implemented, during his own time.



Internal references to people and events imply that De

1813 words

Citation: Nichols, Marden. "Vitruvius ". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 June 2019 [, accessed 22 June 2024.]

14463 Vitruvius 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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