Although De architectura is celebrated as the only architectural treatise to have come down from antiquity, its author, Vitruvius, was not the most gifted of writers, and his text was challenging for Renaissance readers. Leon Battista Alberti famously criticized Vitruvius: “What he handed down was in any case not refined … his very text is evidence that he wrote neither Latin nor Greek, so that as far as we are concerned he might just as well not have written at all, rather than write something that we cannot understand.”1

In fact, Vitruvius was not the only ancient author to address architectural topics. Foremost among other ancient writers...