Vitruvius (Marcus Vitruvius Pollio) [key], fl. late 1st cent. b.c. and early 1st cent. a.d., Roman writer, engineer, and architect for the Emperor Augustus. In his one extant work, De architectura (c.40 b.c., tr. 1914), he discussed in 10 encyclopedic chapters aspects of Roman architecture, engineering, and city planning. Vitruvius also included a section on human proportions. Because it is the only antique treatise on architecture to have survived, De architectura has been an invaluable source of information for scholars. The rediscovery of Vitruvius during the Renaissance greatly fueled the revival of classicism during that and subsequent periods. Numerous architectural treatises were based in part or inspired by Vitruvius, beginning with Leon Battista Alberti's De re aedificatoria (1485).
See M. H. Morgan, Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture (1914, repr. 1960).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Architecture: Biographies