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Vitruvius and His Sixteenth-Century Readers, in Latin and Vernacular

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Chapter Summary

For a long-dead author, the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio sparked a remarkable amount of excitement in sixteenth-century Italy. The transmission and reception of Vitruvius, therefore, could always be understood in several different ways, from the transmission of the written text to the transmission of theoretical positions. The first printed Vitruvius was published in Rome, probably in 1486.14 Its editor, Giovanni Sulpizio da Veroli, was Professor of Grammar at the University of Rome, and the project itself reflected the institution's recent commitment to humanistic studies. Bramante left a remarkable legacy of buildings, both in Milan and Rome, but his greatest impact wherever he went may well have been intellectual. By 1501, Bramante had obtained his first architectural commission in Rome. The Vitruvian tradition in Rome shows a fascinating interplay between Latin and vernacular on multiples levels.

Keywords: architectural commission; humanistic studies; Latin; Rome; vernacular; Vitruvian tradition; Vitruvius Pollio



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