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- Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, a Roman architect who in 25 BC produced a ten-volume
work on Greek and early Roman classical architecture
"De Re Architectura". It lay forgotten until the early 1400's but
following its discovery in the monastic library of St Gallen in Switzerland, it became very
influential in the Renaissance. It was Vitruvius who first defined the three conditions for good
architecture, "Utilitas, firmitas, venustas" - "Firmness, Commodity and Delight" ie structurally
sound, suitability of purpose, and aesthetic pleasure. A criteria often referred to in the debate on
the listing of modern buildings. Vitruvius Britannicus is a five volume work begun by Colin
Campbell in 1715 with the last two published by Woolfe and Gandon in 1767. Vitruvius Scoticus
was conceived by William Adam in the mid 1720's but was not published until 1812, by his
grandson. Both contain wonderful engravings, and are a valuable record if biased towards
classicism and the architects own work. There is a certain irony here, because Vitruvius did not
illustrate his own manuscript.
Some of those Illustrations - an american website.