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Vitruvius: 'Ten Books on Architecture'

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521002929
ISBN-10: 0521002923
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In this new translation of Vitruvius, accompanied by a lengthy commentary aand numerous translations, Rowland and Howe have done a valuable service to Vitruvian studies. Both commentary and the illustrations are treasure troves of information...It is an ambitious project well executed ,and has a great deal to offer those interested in Vitruvius, Roman architecture, and the history of architecture at whatever stage of their studies." Classical World

"A great reference book about all of the classical orders of architecture" House and Garden

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

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (January 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521002923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521002929
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #156,357 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
First off, I should note that I find this version of Vitruvius far more useful than many others, especially in the clearly noted diagrams, explanations of measurement units, and so forth. The editor and translators have done a good job of this aspect of Vitruvius Pollio's work.
However, the translators appear to have taken a few liberties with the text. First, since Vitruvius is a historical work as well as a canon of Classicism, an honest modern-day translation must relate not only to its period, but also to subsequent periods in order to be understood in terms of the nearer to present and Vitruvius' own time. The translators' choice of ridding the text of the translation "the Orders" for Vitruvius' original choice of "genus" is bad enough, but when you observe that this translation has been rendered as "type" instead, it has the potential of blending in with unintended references in the text to type as well as being confused with common modern/Modernist discursions into what type is. The translators should have indicated their theories about what they thought would be a correct interpretation of the Roman word "genus" at the beginning of their notes, not by making a deliberate decision to diverge from the customary content of the text.
Second, this translation appears to fail to take into account some aspects of military culture which have influenced the text.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you know about this book(s) or the author, you probably don't need to be told it's a must read. Though if you are beginning in the field, the text can be hard to grasp at times (it does help to have some background in Roman history and architecture to really appreciate this book, as there are no footnotes to provide this extra information).

As for the electronic edition itself, it is somewhat poorly executed. Some characters were wrongly read by the OCR machine. It doesn't imper the reading much, but some more careful editing would have been welcomed, especially since the text can be found elsewhere for free.

Overall, I would be searching for another electronic copy of Vitruvius' works.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the translation, done by a Harvard professor just before WW I, to be the easiest to understand. I also found the illustrations done by the translator to be very good and useful for comparison. A pity he didn't live long enough to complete the illustrations for the remainder of the book. Some of the illustrations aren't real clear in the paperback version, so a serious student might want to consider the hard-cover version of the same translation.
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By A Customer on November 25, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a Penn State first year architecture student I have been studying Vitruvius line by line. It is the most inspirational, thought provoking, and interesting book I have ever read. I even hold my own Vitruvian study sessions to review the material and relate all of Vitruvius's topics to the outside world not even related to architecture. If you are at all interested in architecture, construction, philosophy, or if you just want a different type of book to read I urge you to give this a try. It is truly a remarkable book that has revolutioned and standardized many architectural details.
Comment 24 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
love it
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