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Appendix I - Vitruvius V, I

Vitruvius - The Ten Books of Architecture

Extract from Book V, Chapter I - The Forum and Basilica

4. Basilicas should be constructed on a site adjoining the forum and in the warmest possible quarter, so that in winter business men may gather in them without being troubled by the weather. In breadth they should be not less than one third nor more than one half of their length, unless the site is naturally such as to prevent this and to oblige an alteration in these proportions. If the length of the site is greater than necessary, Chalcidian porches may be constructed at the ends, as in the Julia Aquiliana.
5. It is thought that the columns of basilicas ought to be as high as the side-aisles are broad; an aisle should be limited to one third of the breadth which the open space in the middle is to have. Let the columns of the upper tier be smaller than those of the lower, as written above (a reference to the layout of a forum). The screen, to be placed between the upper and lower tiers of columns, ought to be, it is thought, one fourth lower than the columns of the upper tier, so that people walking in the upper story of the basilica may not be seen by the business men. The architraves, friezes, and cornices should be adjusted to the proportions of the columns, as we have stated in the third book.

6. But basilicas of the greatest dignity and beauty may also be constructed in the style of that one which I erected, and the building of which I superintended at Fano.


Vitruvius' Basilica at Faro

Its proportions and symetrical relations were established as follows. In the middle, the main roof between the columns is 120 feet long and 60 feet wide. Its aisle round the space beneath the main roof and between the walls and the columns is 20 feet broad. The columns, of unbroken height, measuring with their capitals 50 feet, and being each 5 feet thick, have behind them pilasters, 20 feet high, two and one half feet broad, and one and one half feet thick, which support the beams on which is carried the upper flooring of the aisles. Above them are other pilasters, 18 feet high, two feet broad and one foot thick, which carry the beams supporting the principal raftering and the roof of the aisles, which is brought down lower than the main roof.


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