Died Circa 25 b.c.e.
Engineer, architectural writer
Engineer in Service to Emperors. Vitruvius wrote a ten-book work called De architectura and from that work comes most of what little is known about him and the architecture of his age. In an unspecified way he served under Julius Caesar and, under Augustus Caesar, he built a basilica at Fanum Fortunae, on the Adriatic coast. He was also entrusted with the care of siege engines and artillery or ballistic apparatus. Judging by the absence of contemporary references to him, he must have been an engineer with a modest reputation. Despite his major contribution in promoting and recording the history of architecture, he was highly conservative and had a distaste for innovation.
George Hersey, The Lost Meaning of Classical Architecture: Speculations on Ornament from Vitruvius to Venturi (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1988).
Alexander McKay, Vitruvius, Architect and Engineer: Buildings and Building Techniques in Augustan Rome (Basingstoke, U.K.: Macmillan, 1978).
Richard Allan Tomlinson and J. T. Vallance, “Vitruvius,” in The Oxford Classical Dictionary, edited by Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, third edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 1609–1610.