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(Marcus Vitruvius Pollio) (vĭtro͞o`vēəs), 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™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



Roman architect and engineer of the second half of the first century B.C.

Vitruvius is known from his work Ten Books on Architecture, the only ancient monograph on architecture that has come down to us in full. In this monograph he examines problems of urban construction, engineering and technology, and the arts and summarizes the theoretical and practical experience accumulated by the architecture of Hellenistic Greece and Rome. His ideas about the unity of the technical, functional, and aesthetic aspects of architecture and his demand for “strength, usefulness, and beauty” of structures are of great value. Nearly forgotten in the Middle Ages, Vitruvius’ treatise has been studied very carefully since the 15th century, was translated into many languages, and played an important role in the 17th and 18th centuries in the development of the canonical forms of the architectural orders.


In Russian translation:
Arkhitektura v 10 knigakh. Translated by V. Bazhenov and F. Karzhavin. St. Petersburg, 1790-97.
Desiat’ knig ob arkhitekture, vol. 1. Translated by F. A. Petrovskii. Moscow, 1936.


Mikhailov, B. P. Vitruvii i Ellada. Moscow, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The mathematical precisions with which the proportions of human body are explained by Rishi Markandeya in Vishudharmottaram are much sophisticated than those by Vitruvius in Des Architectura.
Emmet (Chris Pratt), Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks)
Vitruvius's discourse on monuments contains a contradiction between the necessity of repair and the rhetoric of immortality.
The yacht boasts naval architecture by Philippe Briand and exterior styling by Vitruvius Yachts Ltd.
Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, Ten Books of Architecture by Vitruvius, and Speeches That Changed The World, and all the autobio-graphies and art history books that are on my shelves.
Video artist, sculptor, and photographer Paul Pfeiffer is a Vitruvius disciple.
Looking first at language and poetic then at translation and transfer, they consider such aspects as Neo-Latin and vernacular poetics of self-fashioning in Dutch occasional poetry 1635-40, the division of labor between Latin and the vernaculars in the church in Scania under Danish and Swedish rule during the 17th century, Giannozzo Manetti's (1396-1459) view on translation into the sermo maternus, glossaries and knowledge transfer by Andreas Wissowatius and Abraham Rogerius, and Vitruvius and his 16th-century readers in Latin and vernacular.
"Firmitas, utilitas, venustas." Translated that means 'firmness, commodity, delight," and is the cornerstone theory of first-century Roman architect Vitruvius. My personal interpretation: "Lasting, purposeful beauty" is a guiding principal in my design work.
Wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) mistakes Emmet for a mythical figure known as Master Builder who, according to prophecy, will locate the Piece Of Resistance and destroy The Kragle.
Ancient wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) and his sassy henchwoman Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks) mistake Emmet for a mythical gure known as Master Builder and press-gang him into leading a perilous quest to defeat Lord Business.
One of the characters is a Gandalf-looking wizard named Vitruvius, voiced by Morgan Freeman, who describes a place called Middle Zealand as a "wondrous land full of knights, castles, mutton, torture weapons, poverty, leeches, illiteracy, and, um, dragons."
Not to mention, adults will probably understand the underlying message of business standardisation versus creative freedom.The Lego Movie starts with The Wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) trying to protect a superweapon named the Kragle, from the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell).