In Greek mythology, Styx is a deity and a river that forms the boundary between Earth and the Underworld called "Hades", the name of its ruler. The rivers Styx, Acheron and Cocytus all converge at the center of the underworld on a great marsh, which sometimes is called the Styx. According to Herodotus, the river Styx originates near Feneos. Styx is a goddess with prehistoric roots in Greek mythology as a daughter of Tethys, after whom the river is named and because of whom it had miraculous powers; the deities of the Greek pantheon swore all their oaths upon the river Styx because, according to classical mythology, during the Titan war, the goddess of the river, sided with Zeus. After the war, Zeus declared. Zeus swore to give Semele whatever she wanted and was obliged to follow through when he realized to his horror that her request would lead to her death. Helios promised his son Phaëton whatever he desired resulting in the boy's death. Myths related to such early deities did not survive long enough to be included in historic records, but tantalizing references exist among those that have been discovered.
According to some versions, Styx could make someone invulnerable. According to one tradition, Achilles was dipped in the waters of the river by his mother during his childhood, acquiring invulnerability, with exception of his heel, by which his mother held him; the only spot where Achilles was vulnerable was therefore that heel, where he was struck and killed by Paris's arrow during the Trojan War. This is the source of a metaphor for a vulnerable spot. Styx was a feature in the afterworld of classical Greek mythology, similar to the Christian area of Hell in texts such as The Divine Comedy and Paradise Lost; the ferryman Charon is described as having transported the souls of the newly dead across this river into the underworld. Dante put Phlegyas as ferryman over the Styx and made it the fifth circle of Hell, where the wrathful and sullen are punished by being drowned in the muddy waters for eternity, with the wrathful fighting each other. In ancient times some believed that a coin placed in the mouth of a dead person would pay the toll for the ferry across the river to the entrance of the underworld.
It was said. The ritual was performed by the relatives of the dead; the variant spelling Stix was sometimes used in translations of Classical Greek before the 20th century. By metonymy, the adjective stygian came to refer to anything dark and murky. Styx was the name of an Oceanid nymph, one of the three thousand daughters of Tethys and Oceanus, the goddess of the River Styx. In classical myths, her husband was Pallas and she gave birth to Zelus, Nike and Bia. In these myths, Styx supported Zeus in the Titanomachy, where she was said to be the first to rush to his aid. For this reason, her name was given the honor of being a binding oath for the deities. Knowledge of whether this was the original reason for the tradition did not survive into historical records following the religious transition that led to the pantheon of the classical era; as of 2 July 2013, Styx became the name of one of Pluto's moons. The other moons of Pluto have names from Greco-Roman mythology related to the underworld. Chisholm, Hugh, ed..
"Styx". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press
Pythagoras of Samos was an ancient Ionian Greek philosopher and the eponymous founder of Pythagoreanism. His political and religious teachings were well known in Magna Graecia and influenced the philosophies of Plato, and, through them, Western philosophy. Knowledge of his life is clouded by legend, but he appears to have been the son of Mnesarchus, a seal engraver on the island of Samos. Modern scholars disagree regarding Pythagoras's education and influences, but they do agree that, around 530 BC, he travelled to Croton, where he founded a school in which initiates were sworn to secrecy and lived a communal, ascetic lifestyle; this lifestyle entailed a number of dietary prohibitions, traditionally said to have included vegetarianism, although modern scholars doubt that he advocated for complete vegetarianism. The teaching most securely identified with Pythagoras is metempsychosis, or the "transmigration of souls", which holds that every soul is immortal and, upon death, enters into a new body.
He may have devised the doctrine of musica universalis, which holds that the planets move according to mathematical equations and thus resonate to produce an inaudible symphony of music. Scholars debate whether Pythagoras developed the numerological and musical teachings attributed to him, or if those teachings were developed by his followers Philolaus of Croton. Following Croton's decisive victory over Sybaris in around 510 BC, Pythagoras's followers came into conflict with supporters of democracy and Pythagorean meeting houses were burned. Pythagoras may have been killed during this persecution, or escaped to Metapontum, where he died. In antiquity, Pythagoras was credited with many mathematical and scientific discoveries, including the Pythagorean theorem, Pythagorean tuning, the five regular solids, the Theory of Proportions, the sphericity of the Earth, the identity of the morning and evening stars as the planet Venus, it was said that he was the first man to call himself a philosopher and that he was the first to divide the globe into five climatic zones.
Classical historians debate whether Pythagoras made these discoveries, many of the accomplishments credited to him originated earlier or were made by his colleagues or successors. Some accounts mention that the philosophy associated with Pythagoras was related to mathematics and that numbers were important, but it is debated to what extent, if at all, he contributed to mathematics or natural philosophy. Pythagoras influenced Plato, whose dialogues his Timaeus, exhibit Pythagorean teachings. Pythagorean ideas on mathematical perfection impacted ancient Greek art, his teachings underwent a major revival in the first century BC among Middle Platonists, coinciding with the rise of Neopythagoreanism. Pythagoras continued to be regarded as a great philosopher throughout the Middle Ages and his philosophy had a major impact on scientists such as Nicolaus Copernicus, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton. Pythagorean symbolism was used throughout early modern European esotericism and his teachings as portrayed in Ovid's Metamorphoses influenced the modern vegetarian movement.
No authentic writings of Pythagoras have survived, nothing is known for certain about his life. The earliest sources on Pythagoras's life are brief and satirical; the earliest source on Pythagoras's teachings is a satirical poem written after his death by Xenophanes of Colophon, one of his contemporaries. In the poem, Xenophanes describes Pythagoras interceding on behalf of a dog, being beaten, professing to recognize in its cries the voice of a departed friend. Alcmaeon of Croton, a doctor who lived in Croton at around the same time Pythagoras lived there, incorporates many Pythagorean teachings into his writings and alludes to having known Pythagoras personally; the poet Heraclitus of Ephesus, born across a few miles of sea away from Samos and may have lived within Pythagoras's lifetime, mocked Pythagoras as a clever charlatan, remarking that "Pythagoras, son of Mnesarchus, practiced inquiry more than any other man, selecting from these writings he manufactured a wisdom for himself—much learning, artful knavery."The Greek poets Ion of Chios and Empedocles of Acragas both express admiration for Pythagoras in their poems.
The first concise description of Pythagoras comes from the historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus, who describes him as "not the most insignificant" of Greek sages and states that Pythagoras taught his followers how to attain immortality. The writings attributed to the Pythagorean philosopher Philolaus of Croton, who lived in the late fifth century BC, are the earliest texts to describe the numerological and musical theories that were ascribed to Pythagoras; the Athenian rhetorician Isocrates was the first to describe Pythagoras as having visited Egypt. Aristotle wrote a treatise On the Pythagoreans, no longer extant; some of it may be preserved in the Protrepticus. Aristotle's disciples Dicaearchus and Heraclides Ponticus wrote on the same subject. Most of the major sources on Pythagoras's life are from the Roman period, by which point, according to the German classicist Walter Burkert, "the history of Pythagoreanism was already... the laborious reconstruction of something lost and gone." Three lives of Pythagoras have survived from late antiquity, all of which are filled with myths and legends.
The earliest and most respectable of these is the one from Diogenes Laërtius's Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. The two lives were written by the Neoplatonist philosophers Porphyry and Iamblichus and were intended as po
Syracuse is a historic city on the island of Sicily, the capital of the Italian province of Syracuse. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, amphitheatres, as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes; this 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, next to the Gulf of Syracuse beside the Ionian Sea; the city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and Teneans and became a powerful city-state. Syracuse was allied with Sparta and Corinth and exerted influence over the entirety of Magna Graecia, of which it was the most important city. Described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", it equaled Athens in size during the fifth century BC, it became part of the Roman Republic and the Byzantine Empire. Under Emperor Constans II, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. After this Palermo overtook it as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily.
The kingdom would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860. In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica. In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. Syracuse is mentioned in the Bible in the Acts of the Apostles book at 28:12; the patron saint of the city is Saint Lucy. Syracuse and its surrounding area have been inhabited since ancient times, as shown by the findings in the villages of Stentinello, Plemmirio, Cozzo Pantano and Thapsos, which had a relationship with Mycenaean Greece. Syracuse was founded in 734 or 733 BC by Greek settlers from Corinth and Tenea, led by the oecist Archias. There are many attested variants of the name of the city including Συράκουσαι Syrakousai, Συράκοσαι Syrakosai and Συρακώ Syrakō. A possible origin of the city's name was given by Vibius Sequester citing first Stephanus Byzantius in that there was a Syracusian marsh called Syrako and secondly Marcian's Periegesis wherein Archias gave the city the name of a nearby marsh.
The settlement of Syracuse was a planned event, as a strong central leader, Arkhias the aristocrat, laid out how property would be divided up for the settlers, as well as plans for how the streets of the settlement should be arranged, how wide they should be. The nucleus of the ancient city was the small island of Ortygia; the settlers found the land fertile and the native tribes to be reasonably well-disposed to their presence. The city grew and prospered, for some time stood as the most powerful Greek city anywhere in the Mediterranean. Colonies were founded at Akrai, Akrillai and Kamarina; the descendants of the first colonists, called Gamoroi, held power until they were expelled by the Killichiroi, the lower class of the city. The former, returned to power in 485 BC, thanks to the help of Gelo, ruler of Gela. Gelo himself became the despot of the city, moved many inhabitants of Gela and Megara to Syracuse, building the new quarters of Tyche and Neapolis outside the walls, his program of new constructions included a new theatre, designed by Damocopos, which gave the city a flourishing cultural life: this in turn attracted personalities as Aeschylus, Ario of Methymna and Eumelos of Corinth.
The enlarged power of Syracuse made unavoidable the clash against the Carthaginians, who ruled western Sicily. In the Battle of Himera, who had allied with Theron of Agrigento, decisively defeated the African force led by Hamilcar. A temple dedicated to Athena, was erected in the city to commemorate the event. Syracuse grew during this time, its walls encircled 120 hectares in the fifth century, but as early as the 470's BC the inhabitants started building outside the walls. The complete population of its territory numbered 250,000 in 415 BC and the population size of the city itself was similar to Athens. Gelo was succeeded by his brother Hiero, who fought against the Etruscans at Cumae in 474 BC, his rule was eulogized by poets like Simonides of Ceos and Pindar, who visited his court. A democratic regime was introduced by Thrasybulos; the city continued to expand in Sicily, fighting against the rebellious Siculi, on the Tyrrhenian Sea, making expeditions up to Corsica and Elba. In the late 5th century BC, Syracuse found itself at war with Athens, which sought more resources to fight the Peloponnesian War.
The Syracusans enlisted the aid of a general from Sparta, Athens' foe in the war, to defeat the Athenians, destroy their ships, leave them to starve on the island. In 401 BC, Syracuse contributed a force of 300 hoplites and a general to Cyrus the Younger's Army of the Ten Thousand. In the early 4th century BC, the tyrant Dionysius the Elder was again at war against Carthage and, although losing Gela and Camarina, kept that power from capturing the whole of Sicily. After the end of the conflict Dionysius built a massive fortress on Ortygia and 22 km-long walls around all of Syracuse. Another period of expansion saw the destruction of
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus, a distinct city prior to its 5th century BC incorporation with Athens. A center for the arts and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent, in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, industrial, maritime and cultural life in Greece. In 2012, Athens was ranked the world's 39th richest city by purchasing power and the 67th most expensive in a UBS study. Athens is a global one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe.
It has a large financial sector, its port Piraeus is both the largest passenger port in Europe, the second largest in the world. While at the same time being the sixth busiest passenger port in Europe; the Municipality of Athens had a population of 664,046 within its administrative limits, a land area of 38.96 km2. The urban area of Athens extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 over an area of 412 km2. According to Eurostat in 2011, the functional urban area of Athens was the 9th most populous FUA in the European Union, with a population of 3.8 million people. Athens is the southernmost capital on the European mainland; the heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.
Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament and the so-called "architectural trilogy of Athens", consisting of the National Library of Greece, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and the Academy of Athens. Athens is home to several museums and cultural institutions, such as the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, the Acropolis Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum and the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, 108 years it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics, making it one of only a handful of cities to have hosted the Olympics more than once. In Ancient Greek, the name of the city was Ἀθῆναι a plural. In earlier Greek, such as Homeric Greek, the name had been current in the singular form though, as Ἀθήνη, it was rendered in the plural on, like those of Θῆβαι and Μυκῆναι.
The root of the word is not of Greek or Indo-European origin, is a remnant of the Pre-Greek substrate of Attica. In antiquity, it was debated whether Athens took its name from its patron goddess Athena or Athena took her name from the city. Modern scholars now agree that the goddess takes her name from the city, because the ending -ene is common in names of locations, but rare for personal names. During the medieval period, the name of the city was rendered once again in the singular as Ἀθήνα. However, after the establishment of the modern Greek state, due to the conservatism of the written language, Ἀθῆναι became again the official name of the city and remained so until the abandonment of Katharevousa in the 1970s, when Ἀθήνα, Athína, became the official name. According to the ancient Athenian founding myth, the goddess of wisdom, competed against Poseidon, the god of the seas, for patronage of the yet-unnamed city. According to the account given by Pseudo-Apollodorus, Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring welled up.
In an alternative version of the myth from Vergil's Georgics, Poseidon instead gave the Athenians the first horse. In both versions, Athena offered the Athenians the first domesticated olive tree. Cecrops declared Athena the patron goddess of Athens. Different etymologies, now rejected, were proposed during the 19th century. Christian Lobeck proposed as the root of the name the word ἄθος or ἄνθος meaning "flower", to denote Athens as the "flowering city". Ludwig von Döderlein proposed the stem of the verb θάω, stem θη- to denote Athens as having fertile soil. In classical literature, the city was sometimes referred to as the City of the Violet Crown, first documented in Pindar's ἰοστέφανοι Ἀθᾶναι, or as τὸ κλεινὸν ἄστυ. In medieval texts, variant names include Setines and Astines, all derivations involving false splitting of p
Villa of the Papyri
The Villa of the Papyri is named after its unique library of papyri, discovered in 1750, but is one of the most luxurious houses in all of Herculaneum and in the Roman world. Its luxury is shown by its exquisite architecture and by the large number of outstanding works of art discovered, including frescoes and marble sculpture which constitute the largest collection of Greek and Roman sculptures discovered in a single context, it is located in the current comune of Ercolano, southern Italy. It was situated on the ancient coastline below the volcano Vesuvius with nothing to obstruct the view of the sea, it was owned by Julius Caesar's father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus. Barker 1908 suggested. In AD 79, the eruption of Vesuvius covered all of Herculaneum with some 30 m of volcanic ash. Herculaneum was first excavated in the years between 1750 and 1765 by Karl Weber by means of underground tunnels; the villa's name derives from the discovery of its library, the only surviving library from the Graeco-Roman world that exists in its entirety.
It contained over 1,800 papyrus scrolls, now carbonised by the heat of the eruption, the "Herculaneum papyri". Most of the villa is still underground. Many of the finds are displayed in the Naples National Archaeological Museum; the Getty Villa is a reproduction of the Villa of the Papyri. The villa is located a few hundred metres from the nearest house in Herculaneum. Although it now lies inland, before the October of A. D. 79, the structure occupied more than 250 metres of coastline along the Gulf of Naples. On the other sides it was surrounded by a closed garden and woods; the villa had four levels beneath the main floor, arranged in terraces overlooking the sea. It has been ascertained that the main floor was 16 m above sea level in antiquity; the villa's layout is an expanded version of the traditional Campanian villa suburbana. One entered through the fauces and proceeded to the atrium, which functioned as an entrance hall and a means of communication with the various parts of the house; the entrance opened with a columned portico on the sea side.
After passing through the tablinum, one arrived at the first peristyle, made up of 10 columns on each side, with a swimming pool in the centre. In this area were found the bronze herm adapted from the Doryphorus of Polykleitosand the herm of an Amazon made by Apollonios son of Archias of Athens; the large second peristyle could be reached by passing through a large tablinum in which, under a propylaeum, was the archaic statue of Athena Promachos. A collection of bronze busts were in the interior of the tablinum; these included the head of Scipio Africanus. The living and reception quarters were grouped around the porticoes and terraces, giving occupants ample sunlight and a view of the countryside and sea. In the living quarters, bath installations were brought to light, the library of rolled and carbonised papyri placed inside wooden capsae, some of them on ordinary wooden shelves and around the walls and some on the two sides of a set of shelves in the middle of the room; the grounds included a large area of covered and uncovered gardens for walks in the shade or in the warmth of the sun.
The gardens included a gallery of busts and small marble and bronze statues. These were laid out between columns amid the open part of the garden and on the edges of the large swimming bath; the luxury of the villa is evidenced not only by the many works of art, but by the large number of rare bronze statues found there, all masterpieces. The villa housed a collection of at least 80 sculptures of magnificent quality, many now conserved in the Naples National Archaeological Museum. Among them is the bronze Seated Hermes, found at the villa in 1758. Around the bowl of the atrium impluvium were 11 bronze fountain statues depicting Satyrs pouring water from a pitcher and Amorini pouring water from the mouth of a dolphin. Other statues and busts were found in the corners around the atrium walls. Five statues of life-sized bronze dancing women wearing the Doric peplos sculpted in different positions and with inlaid eyes are adapted Roman copies of originals from the fifth century BC, they are hydrophorai drawing water from a fountain.
The owner of the house Calpurnius Piso, established a library of a philosophical character. It is believed that the library might have been collected and selected by Piso's family friend and client, the Epicurean Philodemus of Gàdara, although his conclusion is not certain. Followers of Epicurus studied the teachings of this natural philosopher; this philosophy taught that man is mortal, that the cosmos is the result of accident, that there is no providential god, that the criteria of a good life are pleasure and temperance. Philodemus' connections with Piso brought him an opportunity to influence the young students of Greek literature and philosophy who gathered around him at Herculaneum and Naples. Much of his work was discovered in about a thousand papyrus rolls in the philosophical library recovered at Herculaneum. Although his prose work is detailed in the strung-out, non-periodic style typical of Hellenistic Greek prose before the revival of the Attic style after Cicero, Philodemus surpassed the average literary standard to which most epicureans aspired.
Philodemus succeeded in influencing the most distinguished Romans of his age. None of his prose work was known until the rolls of papyri were discovered among the ruins of the Villa of the Papyri. At the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, the valuable library was packed in cases ready
Taranto is a coastal city in Apulia, Southern Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Taranto and is an important commercial port as well as the main Italian naval base, it is the third-largest continental city of Southern Italy. According to 2011 population census, it had a population of 200,154. Taranto is an important commercial and military port with well-developed steel and iron foundries, oil refineries, chemical works, naval shipyards, food-processing factories. In ancient times around 500 BC the city was one of the largest in the world with population estimates up to 300,000 people. Taranto's pre-history dates back to 706 BC when it was founded as a Greek colony, established by the Spartans; the ancient city was situated on a peninsula. The islets of S. Pietro and S. Paolo, collectively known as Cheradi Islands, protect the bay, called Mar Grande, where the commercial port is located. Another bay, called Mar Piccolo, is formed by the peninsula of the old city, has flourishing fishing.
Mar Piccolo is a military port with strategic importance. At the end of the 19th century, a channel was excavated to allow military ships to enter the Mar Piccolo harbour, the ancient Greek city become an island connected to the mainland by bridges. In addition, the islets and the coast are fortified; because of the presence of these two bays, Taranto is called "the city of the two seas". The Greek colonists from Sparta called the city Taras, after the mythical hero Taras, while the Romans, who connected the city to Rome with an extension of the Appian way, called it Tarentum; the natural harbor at Taranto made it a logical home port for the Italian naval fleet before and during the First World War. During World War II, Taranto became famous as a consequence of the November 1940 British air attack on the Regia Marina naval base stationed here, which today is called the Battle of Taranto. Taranto is the origin of the common name of the Tarantula spider family, Theraphosidae though speaking there are no members of Theraphosidae in the area.
In ancient times, residents of the town of Taranto, upon being bitten by the large local Wolf Spider, Lycosa tarentula, would promptly do a long vigorous dance like a Jig. This was done in order to sweat the venom out of their pores though the spider's venom was not fatal to humans; the frenetic dance became known as the Tarantella. In geology, Taranto gives its name to the Tarantian Age of the Pleistocene Epoch. Taranto faces the Ionian Sea, it is 14.5 metres above sea level. It was built on a plain running north/north-west–southeast, surrounded by the Murgia plateau from the north-west to the east, its territory extends for 209.64 square kilometres and is underwater. It is characterised by three natural peninsulas and a man-made island, formed by digging a ditch during the construction of Aragon Castle; the city is known as the "city of two seas" because it is washed by the Big Sea in the bay between Punta Rondinella to the northwest and Capo San Dante to the south, by the vast reservoir of the Little Sea.
The Big Sea is known as the Big Sea bay as, where ships harbour. It is separated from the Little Sea by a cape which closes the gulf, leading to the artificial island; this island formed the heart of the original city and it is connected to the mainland by the Ponte di Porta Napoli and the Ponte Girevole. The Big Sea is separated from the Ionian Sea by the Capo San Vito, the Isole Cheradi of St Peter and St Paul, the three islands of San Nicolicchio, which are incorporated by the steel plant; the latter form a little archipelago. The Little Sea is considered to be a lagoon, it is divided into two by the Ponte Punta Penna Pizzone, which joins the Punta Penna to the Punta Pizzone. The first of these forms a rough triangle, whose corners are the opening to the east and the Porta Napoli channel linking it to the Big Sea in the west; the second half forms an ellipse whose major axis measures 5 kilometres from the south-west to the north-east. The Galeso river flows into the first half; the two water bodies have different winds and tides and their underwater springs have different salinities.
These affect the currents on the surface and in the depths of the Big Sea and the two halves of the Little Sea. In the Big Sea and in the northern part of the Little Sea, there are some underwater springs called citri, which carry undrinkable freshwater together with salt water; this creates the ideal biological conditions for cultivating Mediterranean mussels, known locally as cozze. The climate of the city, recorded by the weather station situated near the Grottaglie Military Airport, is typical of the Mediterranean with frequent Continental features; the spring is mild and rainy, but it is not uncommon to have sudden cold spells come in from the east, which cause snowfall. Average annual precipitation is low, measuring just 16.7 inches per year. The summer is hot and humid, with temperatures reaching up to 40 °C. On 28 November 2012 a large F3 tornado hit the port of Taranto and damaged the Taranto Steel Mill where workers were protesting against the plant's pollution emissions; the tornado is one of nine to hit Italy since 1 October.
It is classified as Geographical
Marcus Vitruvius Pollio known as Vitruvius, was a Roman author, civil engineer and military engineer during the 1st century BC, known for his multi-volume work entitled De architectura. His discussion of perfect proportion in architecture and the human body led to the famous Renaissance drawing by Leonardo da Vinci of Vitruvian Man. By his own description Vitruvius served as an artilleryman, the third class of arms in the military offices, he served as a senior officer of artillery in charge of doctores ballistarum and libratores who operated the machines. Little is known about Vitruvius' life. Most inferences about him are extracted from his only surviving work De Architectura, his first name Marcus and his cognomen Pollio are uncertain. Marcus Cetius Faventinus writes of "Vitruvius Polio aliique auctores". An inscription in Verona, which names a Lucius Vitruvius Cordo, an inscription from Thilbilis in North Africa, which names a Marcus Vitruvius Mamurra have been suggested as evidence that Vitruvius and Mamurra were from the same family.
Neither association, however, is borne out by De Architectura, nor by the little, known of Mamurra. Vitruvius was a military engineer, or a praefect architectus armamentarius of the apparitor status group, he is mentioned in Pliny the Elder's table of contents for Naturalis Historia, in the heading for mosaic techniques. Frontinus refers to "Vitruvius the architect" in his late 1st-century work De aquaeductu. Born a free Roman citizen, by his own account, Vitruvius served in the Roman army under Caesar with the otherwise poorly identified Marcus Aurelius, Publius Minidius, Gnaeus Cornelius; these names vary depending on the edition of De architectura. Publius Minidius is written as Publius Numidicus and Publius Numidius, speculated as the same Publius Numisius inscribed on the Roman Theatre at Heraclea; as an army engineer he specialized in the construction of ballista and scorpio artillery war machines for sieges. It is speculated; the locations where he served can be reconstructed from, for example, descriptions of the building methods of various "foreign tribes".
Although he describes places throughout De Architectura, he does not say. His service included north Africa, Hispania and Pontus. To place the role of Vitruvius the military engineer in context, a description of "The Prefect of the camp" or army engineer is quoted here as given by Flavius Vegetius Renatus in The Military Institutions of the Romans: The Prefect of the camp, though inferior in rank to the, had a post of no small importance; the position of the camp, the direction of the entrenchments, the inspection of the tents or huts of the soldiers and the baggage were comprehended in his province. His authority extended over the sick, the physicians who had the care of them, he had the charge of providing carriages and the proper tools for sawing and cutting wood, digging trenches, raising parapets, sinking wells and bringing water into the camp. He had the care of furnishing the troops with wood and straw, as well as the rams, onagri and all the other engines of war under his direction; this post was always conferred on an officer of great skill and long service, and, capable of instructing others in those branches of the profession in which he had distinguished himself.
At various locations described by Vitruvius and sieges occurred. He is the only source for the siege of Larignum in 56 BC. Of the battlegrounds of the Gallic War there are references to: the siege and massacre of the 40,000 residents at Avaricum in 52 BC; the broken siege at Gergovia in 52 BC. The circumvallation and Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, and the siege of Uxellodunum in 51 BC. These are all sieges of large Gallic oppida. Of the sites involved in Caesar's civil war, we find the Siege of Massilia in 49 BC, the Battle of Dyrrhachium of 48 BC, the Battle of Pharsalus in 48 BC, the Battle of Zela of 47 BC and the Battle of Thapsus in 46 BC in Caesar's African campaign. A legion that fits the same sequence of locations is the Legio VI Ferrata, of which ballista would be an auxiliary unit. Known for his writings, Vitruvius was himself an architect. In Roman times architecture was a broader subject than at present including the modern fields of architecture, construction management, construction engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, military engineering and urban planning.
Frontinus mentions him in connection with the standard sizes of pipes. He is credited as father of architectural acoustics for describing the technique of echeas placement in theaters; the only building, that we know Vitruvius to have worked on is one he tells us about, a basi