Tag Archives: classical antiquity

Ten Books of Architecture

Vitruvius: ‘Ten Books on Architecture’, edited by Ingrid D Rowland and Thomas Noble Howe, from Cambridge University Press, is part of the collection at the Reading Room.

Vitruvius Ingrid D Rowland Thomas Noble Howe Ten Books on Architecture from Cambridge University Press

“The only full treatise on architecture and its related arts to survive from classical antiquity, De Architechtura libri decem (Ten Books on Architecture) is the single most important work of architectural history in the Western world, having shaped humanist architecture and the image of the architect from the Renaissance to the present. Extremely influential in the formation of the medieval and modern concept of a broad liberal education as the basis for responsible professionals, this work is remarkable also because over half of its content deals with aspects of Hellenistic art, science and technology, music theory, law, artillery, siege machinery, proportion, and philosophy, among other topics.

The new, critical edition of Vitruvius’s Ten Books on Architecture is the first to be published for an English-language audience in more than half a century. Expressing the range of Vitruvius’s style, the translation, along with the critical commentary and illustrations, aim to shape a new image of Vitruvius who emerges as an inventive and creative thinker, rather than the normative summarizer, as he was characterized in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.” — back cover

De Umbris Idearum

De Umbris Idearum: On the Shadows of Ideas & The Art of Memory by Giordano Bruno, translated and introduced by Scott Gosnell, is a recent release which may be of interest.

Giordano Bruno Scott Gosnell De Umbris Idearum

“To memorize anything, distribute vivid, emotionally stirring imagined images around a piece of familiar architecture. This is the method of loci, or memory palace method, first developed in classical antiquity.

Giordano Bruno perfected the art in the late 16th Century. He published a series of books on the subject, beginning with De Umbris Idearum (On the Shadows of Ideas). His work and life would lead him across the major centers of Renaissance Europe, to the patronage of kings and nobles, the scorn and envy of academics, and ultimately to his imprisonment and execution at the hands of the Roman Inquisition in 1600.

Bruno’s works have been reprinted periodically since his death. The current edition is the first complete English translation to be published.”