Divides the profession into the three branches:
1. Aedificatio – the design of private and public buildings;
2. Gnomonice – the construction of sundials and other devices for measuring time;
3. Machinatio – engineering, including the erection of military defense.
Three departments of architecture according to Vitruvius:
1. Firmitas (durability)
2. Utilitas (usefulness/convenience)
3. Venustas (beauty)
Sir Henry Wotton paraphrased this triad as – firmness/commodity/delight
-Involved the relationship between architecture and nature, and by extension, architecture and
-Nature as the model for architecture (the proportions and symmetry of the human body inspired
Chapter 1: The Education of the Architect
1. -Should be equipped with knowledge of many branches of study and varied kinds of learning.
-Knowledge is the child of practice and theory.
-Practice: The continuous and regular exercise of employment where manual work is done with
any necessary material according to the design of a drawing.
-Theory: The ability to demonstrate and explain the production of dexterity on the principles of
2. -Architects who aimed at acquiring manual skill without scholarship have never been able to
reach a position of authority to correspond to their pains (while those who relied only upon
theories and scholarship were obviously hunting the shadows, not the substance).
Those who have a thorough knowledge of both have the sooner attained their object and
carried authority with them.
3. Two points: The thing signified, and that which gives it its significance.
-One who professes himself an architect should be well versed in both directions. (to be both
naturally gifted and amenable to instruction).
-Neither natural ability without instruction or vice versa can make the perfect artist.
4. An architect ought to be an educated man
-Must have a knowledge of drawing so that he can readily make sketches to show the appearance
of the work which he proposes
-Geometry is of much assistance, and teaches us the rule and compasses, by which especially we
acquire readiness in making plans for buildings.
5. Wide knowledge of history is requisite -Many the underlying idea of whose employment he should be able to explain to inquirer.
7. Philosophy Makes an architect high-minded and not self-assuming, but rather renders him
courteous, just, and honest without avariciousness.
-No work can be rightly done without honesty and incorruptibility
8. Music Ought to understand so that they may have knowledge of the canonical and
10. Knowledge of the study of medicine on account of the questions of climate, air, the
healthiness and unhealthiness of sites, and the use of different waters.
-Principles of law, and laws about drains, windows, and water supply.
-Careful not to leave disputed points for the householders to settle after the works are finish
-Find the east, west, south, and north, as well as the theory of heavens, the equinox, solstice, and
courses of the stars from astronomy.
If one has no knowledge of these matters, he will not be able to have any comprehension of
the theory of sundials.
11. Men have no right to profess themselves architects hastily, without having climbed from
boyhood the steps of these studies and thus, nursed by the knowledge of many arts and sciences,
having reaches the heights of the holy grounds of architecture.
Chapter 2: The Fundamental Principals of Architecture
1. Architecture depends on order, arrangement, eurythmy, symmetry, propriety, and economy.
2. Order gives due measure to the members of a work considered separately, and sym