Vitruvius: Writing the Body of Architecture

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9780262134156: Vitruvius: Writing the Body of Architecture
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Vitruvius, as he himself lamented, was not a success professionally nor was he a talented writer, yet his De architectura , written for the new emperor Augustus, was the single most important architectural text for 1600 years. This scholarly and well-illustrated study examines the historical framework for the text, including the influence of contemporary philosophical thought and actual events, such as Augustus establishing his kingship and divinity. McEwan considers the ways in which Vitruvius united ten scrolls into one text and how the book was a product of the Roman concept of honour and patronage. Chapters also examine the links Vitruvius made between buildings and the human body, the idea of kingship and Augustus' unprecedented building programme. The study combines historical analysis with a close reading of the text and is illustrated throughout with examples of Greek and Roman buildings and artworks.

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About the Author:

Indra Kagis McEwen is a postdoctoral fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture and lecturer at the National Theatre School of Canada in Montreal.

Review:

"Indra McEwen's book is an elegant and imaginative exploration of Vitruvius's intellectual horizons that allows us to look at *De architectura* with new respect. In her hands it transcends the dimensions of a technical handbook and becomes a window onto the Romans' conceptual construction of their world."--Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, Director, The British School at Rome, and Professor of Classics, Reading University



"... An exemplar of scholarship in architectural history... recommended." D. Sachs Choice



"This new, rhetorical Vitruvius deserves to be taken seriously... [a] highly original book." Vaughan Hart TLS



"Vitruvius has provided architects with guidance across two millennia. At the beginning of a third, McEwen demonstrates, with the authority of considerable scholarship, the significance of an architectural approach in which form and content are in balance. Here we are presented with the kernel of traditional architecture, not just its shell." Robert Tavernor , Professor and Head of Architecture, University of Bath



"With her vast and nuanced knowledge, Indra McEwen is able to restore Vitruvius's oeuvre to its rightful place within the world of the beginning of Augustus's reign. She demonstrates that the intentions and precepts of De architectura conform to the political and religious context of the period to a greater extent than is generally maintained. The continuity she establishes between Vitruvius's 'perfect man,' Polyclitus's Doryphorus, and the idealized statue of Augustus is bold indeed, but proves its relevance upon reflection and compels us to consider the whole of the Vitruvian project in new terms." Pierre Gros , Université de Provence, France



"With her vast and nuanced knowledge, Indra McEwen is able to restore Vitruvius' oeuvre to its rightful place within the world of the beginning of Augustus' reign. She demonstrates that the intentions and precepts of 'De architectura' conform to the political and religious context of the period to a greater extent than is generally maintained. The continuity she establishes between Vitruvius' 'perfect man,' Polycletus's Doryphorus, and the idealized statue of Augustus is bold indeed, but proves its relevance upon reflection and compels us to consider the whole of the Vitruvian project in new terms."--Pierre Gros, Université de Provence, FrancePlease note: Earlier version had author's name misspelled. Apologies.



"Vitruvius has provided architects with guidance across two millennia. At the beginning of a third McEwen demonstrates, with the authority of considerable scholarship, the significance of an architectural approach in which form and content are in balance. Here we are presented with the kernel of traditional architecture, not just its shell."--Robert Tavernor, Professor and Head of Architecture, University of Bath

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9780262633062: Vitruvius: Writing the Body of Architecture (MIT Press)

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ISBN 10:  026263306X ISBN 13:  9780262633062
Publisher: The MIT Press, 2004
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