Person: Pollio, Marcus Vitruvius
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio was a Roman who wrote an influential early work on Architecture.
Mathematical Profile (Excerpt):
- Even his name is in doubt with only Vitruvius being certain.
- The Romans were building a city there in Vitruvius's time.
- After Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Vitruvius joined the army of Octavian (later the Emperor Augustus), as a military engineer.
- His most famous (and only known) work is the ten volumes of On Architecture which we know was written near the end of Vitruvius's life.
- The second comment must be that, for Vitruvius, architecture had a much wider scope than we would consider today.
- For example water clocks, sundials and pumps are all described by Vitruvius, topics which would hardly be considered to be part of the study of architecture today.
- Next we note Vitruvius's interest in history - this means that we are treated to information about earlier works and scientists which would otherwise have been lost.
- After giving the fundamentals of architecture, Vitruvius looks at the siting of a city and city walls.
- Vitruvius describes machines for lifting and transporting weights using a pulley, he gives the principle of the lever, and describes machines that convert circular to linear motion and vice-versa.
Born about 85 BC, possibly Fundi, Campania (now Italy). Died about 20 BC, Italy.
View full biography at MacTutor
Tags relevant for this person:
Ancient Greek, Astronomy, Geometry, Origin Italy, Physics, Special Numbers And Numerals
Adapted from other CC BY-SA 4.0 Sources:
- O’Connor, John J; Robertson, Edmund F: MacTutor History of Mathematics Archive