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Vitruvius and De Architectura

Duration:
45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 15 March 2012

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Vitruvius' De Architectura. Written almost exactly two thousand years ago, Vitruvius' work is a ten-volume treatise on engineering and architecture, the only surviving work on the subject from the ancient world. This fascinating book offers unique insights into Roman technology and contains discussion of the general principles of architecture, the training of architects and the design of temples, houses and public buildings.

The rediscovery of this seminal treatise in the 15th century provided the impetus for the neoclassical architectural movement, and Vitruvius exerted a significant influence on the work of Renaissance architects including Palladio, Brunelleschi and Alberti. It remains a hugely important text today, two millennia after it was written.

With:

Serafina Cuomo
Reader in Roman History at Birkbeck, University of London

Robert Tavernor
Emeritus Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the London School of Economics

Alice Koenig
Lecturer in Latin and Classical Studies at the University of St Andrews.

Producer: Thomas Morris.

  • FURTHER READING

    L. B. Alberti, trans. by Joseph Rykwert, Robert Tavernor and Neil Leach, ‘On the Art of Building in Ten Books’ (The MIT Press, 1988)

    Serafina Cuomo, ‘Technology and Culture in Greek and Roman Antiquity’ (Cambridge University Press, 2007)

    Ingrid D. Rowland and Thomas Noble Howe, ‘Vitruvius: Ten Books on Architecture’ (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

    Indra McEwen, ‘Vitruvius: Writing the Body of Architecture’ (The MIT Press, 2003)

    Palladio, trans. by Robert Tavernor and Richard Schofield, ‘The Four Books on Architecture’ (The MIT Press, 1997)

    Robert Tavernor, ‘Palladio and Palladianism’ (Thames & Hudson, 1991)

    Vitruvius, trans. by Richard Schofield, ‘On Architecture’ (Penguin Classics, 2009)

    Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, ‘Rome's Cultural Revolution’ - chapter 4 (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

    Mark Wilson Jones, ‘Principles of Roman Architecture’ (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)

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