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which they were fastened to the wall were visible throughout. The earth was heaped around and upon the exterior, so that it resembled one of the tumuli of antiquity, a circumstance which led to the supposition of its having formerly been the tomb of Agamemnon, said by Pausanias to be situated in the neighbourhood of the treasury of Atreus. We have dwelt thus much upon this structure, because upon its description, and that of the building resembling it, the advocates for the early introduction of the arch have founded their theories, which are thus left without authority.*
Until it can be proved that the Cloaca Maxima at Roine was vaulted, by access to such parts of it as are remote from the mouth where it discharged itself into the Tiber, and where, by exposure to tloods, repair
and even restoration may have been frequently necessary, it will be impossible to decide upon the claims made in behalf of the artificers employed by Tarquin to the merit of this invention of the arch or dome, which is thought to be established by the inode of construction employed in this magnificent work. The three rows of arches, one above the other, discovered in the Forum Romanum, a considerable depth below the accumulated soil of inodern Rome, are conjectured, with what probability we will not say, to have formed part of it. The result of an inquiry to this end would, in all probability, prove that the mode of construction is similar to that of the Cloaca at Agrigentum.—The beds of the stones forming it are parallel, each row overhanging that below it until the sides at length meet in the centre. The passage in Plato, alluding to the anis, clearly describes a similar mode of building, with the overhanging stones having parallel beds, as prevalent in the age of the writer.t
The Introduction closes with some observations tending to prove that the arch, geometrically constructed, was unknown until the date of the Macedonian conquest, and about a hundred and fifty years before the time of Vitruvius. It might we think be brought down to a later period. The mention of the fornir; occurs very rarely in Vitruvius, avd always accompanied with an explanation, which shows that its use was not familiar— Et cuneorum divisionibus, coagmentis ad centrum respondentibus, fornices concluduntur.'-vi. 11.
* Dutens sur l'Usage des Voûtes chez les Auciens. There can be little doubt that the tholus of Pausanias was a building of this description, and appropriated to the same purpose. If we suppose a portico to have existed before the door-way of the treasury of Atreus, we shall have the prototype of the Pantheon at Rome; and that the treasuries of the Greeks, particularly those at Olympia, were so constructed we know from the relation of Pausanias. The interior of the Pawtheon, like that of the treasuries, was formerly coated with plates of brass.
+ θήκην δε υπό γής αυτούς ειργασμένην είναι αψίδα προμήκη λίθων προτίμων και αγήρων έχoυσαν κλίνας παραλλήλας λιθίνας κειμένας,-Leg. xii. p. 189.
We now proceed to notice the translation, and the illustrations of the text of the original. Here we are compelled to acknowledge that we experience considerable difficulty. Of the excellence of a translation from a work of science, abounding in technical expressions, many of which are become alınost obsolete, it is impossible for any but those well skilled in that science to speak with decision. Having, however, augmented our little store by turning over the valuable works on Grecian architecture published by Stuart and the Society of Dilettanti, we enter upou our task with somewhat more confidence; but even thus we must found our criticism almost exclusively upon the illustrations given at the end of the several sections.
The books which the translator has selected for remark are four, They severally relate, Ist. To the order of architecture termed Ionic, and to the various kinds of temples in which this order, and occasionally the Corinthian, were employed. 2d. To the Doric order, and the edifices in which it might be with propriety adopted. To the Corinthian order, where it differs from the Ionic, and those edifices in which its use is indispensable; namely, circular buildings. 3d. To the public buildings of the ancients, such as basilicæ, theatres and gymnasia. 4th. To the private dwellings of the Greeks and Romans.
In the first section we meet with several instances of that theoretical refinement which Vitruvius thought necessary to the perfection of Grecian architecture. One of them proceeds upon the principle, that the apparent magnitude of objects is measured by the angles which the objects subtend at the eye of the spectator, a doctrine inadmissible in the present stage of optical knowledge. Another has drawu all the commentators, from Jocundus to the present time, into long and unprotitable discussions. Baldus has made it the subject of a separate essay. We allude to the scamilli impares, which were rendered necessary from the adoption of an expedient our author thought essential in correcting a supposed error of sight or vision. What they were, has, we think, been satisfactorily explained in the present work, althongh perhaps the principle, or inode of reasoning used by Vitruvius may not be correctly stated. The question has been clothed with unmerited importance, and the solution held out as a matter of insuperable difficulty; so that we were not prepared for so simple an explanation as is here offered.
The parallel between the Grecian example of the Ionic order and structures reared from the instructions of Vitruvius exhibits a remarkable coincidence, and proves the necessity, if other arguments were wanting, of restoring the text, which editors and translators have altered to accommodate their own notions.
In the second section we were pleased to find that the Doric order, according to the rules laid down by Vitruvius, is not of that description which has gone forth in modern times under the sanction of his name. The wretched imitatious of Italian architecture, which to the present time have prevailed in this country, are as unworthy the genius of the Greeks as they are unlike the objects Vitruvius intended to describe. The dissipation of the errors on this subject, hitherto prevailing, has been effected by the same meansthe restoration of the original text. The principle of a modulus for the Doric order different from that of the Ionic is perfectly new; and is as consistent with reason as it is true in the architectural productions of the best ages. Strip the Doric order of the supposed refinements which had their origin in the conceit of Vitruvius, and his buildings will resemble those which, unluckily for the art, are only to be found, in the words of the Introduction, where,
on the Ægean shore, A city stands, built nobly.' This is by far the most important of the explanations offered in the present work, and will induce, we hope, the students of architecture to pursue the recommendation of Vitruvius, although he in some measure disregarded it himself, and cultivate those authors, who, by extending the sphere of architectural knowledge, appear' reliquisse fontes unde posteri possunt haurire disciplinarum rationes.'
The restoration of the text, relating to the mode of proportioning the door-ways of temples, does not afford us much assistance in explaining a question of some difficulty, namely, the method of giving light to such temples as were not hypæthral, or open; for although no doubt can now exist that a space was generally left open above the doors, it would not afford sufficient light to distinguish with clearness the statue and other objects contained within the cella. It would seem that this expedient was more calculated to afford air toan light; for temples of this description must have been illuminated by lamps suspended near the statues: the relics of this custom are still discernible in the Roman Catholic churches of the continent.
The description of the Greek and Roman theatre occupies a very considerable portion of the succeeding book. Vitruvius has here availed himself of an opportunity for introducing what little he knew of music. In this part of his work he likewise describes the ouly public building which he appears to have superintended. Of this he is sufficiently vain; he speaks of it as the best of its kind for beauty and convenience. The building has been selected as an object for illustration by the translator, who thus gives us the opportunity of forming some opinion of the taste of the Roman architect in the art of design. From this it appears that he profited
something by his acquaintance with the works of the Greek architects ; having produced a more classical composition than the generality of the buildings of that age exhibit. It was chiefly intended for internal effect; and considering what was required by the nature of the building, he appears to have nearly surmounted the difficulties it offered to a correct design.
Upon the establishment of the Christian religion at Rome, the ancient basilicæ were converted into churches; the preference given to such buildings for the celebration of the rites of a pure worship originated in a desire to avoid all associations with heathenism, inseparable from the application of temples to this purpose. As its votaries increased, new places of public worship became necessary, and these were built in imitation of those which were first converted to this purpose ; the name still continues to be applied to the principal churches of Rome. The early churches, and our Norman cathedrals, built upon a plan nearly similar, had semicircular ends, in imitation of the hemicycli of the Roman basilicæ, where the magistrates were accustomed to dispense justice to the people. From a similar custom at Athens, in the stod Bacıdıxy, where the archon, Baoineús, presided, the whole building derived its name. The circular tribunal is as old as the days of Homer, who describes the elders sitting in judgment on polished benches, iepū évi xúxnw.
The chapter on harmony in the Latin of Vitruvius is little more than a translation from the Greek of Aristoxenus, which has been handed down to us. The subject is abstruse and difficult, although not for the reasons assigned by Vitruvius, who seems to think a knowledge of the Greek language necessary to an understanding of the doctrine, even when communicated through the medium of another language. Here again we have some speculations on subjects connected with medicine, music, and physics. We have already observed, that a strong inclination to reduce every thing to mathematical principle has frequently led him astray; in the present book it has suggested a proposition for the introduction of brazen vessels below the seats of the audience, for the purpose
of assist ing the dilation of sound. This idea, which he would lead us to believe was borrowed from the Greeks, seems to have originated with himself; at least we may safely say, that in no one of the many theatres of Greece and Asia Minor, which the travellers of modern times have described, is there any indication of the receptacles which he says were constructed for them. This subject has been treated at some length by the translator, who had opportunities of examining several, and is held by him to be, like many of the propositions of the author, a refinement suggested by the speculative imagination of the Roman architect.
The sixth book of Vitruvius treats of the dwellings of the Greeks and Romans; and, as a prelude, we have, in the first chapter, some observations on the propriety of adapting dwellings to the nature of the climate, which are sufficiently trite and puerile. These are followed by a dissertation on the influence of climate upon the intellectual and physical powers of the different races on the surface of the globe, which, although hors de propos, we shall extract as a specimen of the style of the writer, and of bis mode of adapting the writings of the Greek philosophers to his own notions :
• Item propter' tenuitatem cæli, meridianæ nationes ex acuto fervore mente expeditius celeriusque moventur ad concilium cogitationes. Septentrionales autem gentes infusæ crassitudine cæli propter obstantiam aëris humore refrigeratæ, stupentes habent mentes..... Cum sint autem meridianæ nationes animis acutissimis infinitaque solertia consiliorum, simulac ad fortitudinem ingrediuntur, ibi succumbunt, quod habent exustas ab sole animorum virtutes. Qui vero refrigeratis nascuntur regionibus, ad armorum vehementium paratiores sunt, magnisque viribus ruunt sine timore, sed tarditate animi sine considerantia irruentes, sine solertia, suis consiliis refragantur. Cum ergo ab natura rerum hæc ita sint in mundo collocata, ut omnes nationes immoderatis mixtionibus sint disparatæ, placuit ut inter spatia totius orbis terrarum regionumque medio mundi Populus Romanus possideret fines. Namque temperatissimæ ad utramque partem, et corporum membris animorumque vigoribus, pro fortitudine sunt in Italia gentes . . . . Itaque refringit barbarorum virtutes forti manu, consiliis meridianorum cogitationes.'*
In the illustration of this book the translator has compared the construction of the houses of the early Greeks, collected from the scattered passages of the Odyssey, with the description given by Vitruvius, in which great ingenuity is shown. The notion that Homer formed his ideas of the arrangement of the palace of Ulysses from the actual abode of that prince in Ithaca, first enterlained by Sir William Gell, is combated by the translator, and with every appearance of reason; for whatever accidental coincidence may be traced in the ruins of Mount Aito with the localities afforded by the poem, we cannot think that the writer would adapt his action to a genus and not to a species. We have already alluded to a description of building called tholus; this title was applied to the shape of the edifice rather than to the purpose for which it was designed. The tholus therefore of the Odyssey may perhaps have been, what the translator conjectures, the threshing
τα μεν γαρ εν τοις ψυχροις τόποις έθνή, και τα περι την Ευρωπην, θυμου μεν εστι πληρή, διανοιας δε ενδεεστέρα και τεχνης, δίοπερ ελευθέρα μεν διατέλει μάλλον, απολιτευτα δε, και πλησίον άρχειν ου δυναμένα, τα δε πέρι την Ασιαν, διανοητικα μέν, και τεχνικα την ψυχην, αθυμα δε. διόπερ άρχομένα και δουλευοντα ατελει. Το δε των ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ γένος ώσπερ μεσεύει κατά τους τόπους, ούτως αμφοίν μετέχει, και γαρ ενθυμον, και διανοητικον έστι.-Arist. Pol. vii. 7. C4