The full title of the book is “Theatrum architecturae civilis”. If I just look at the title, I would say the book discusses the most important aspects of architecture on the level, which ordinary people understand (“civilis”). Somehow my speculation would be correct, as the book consists of three parts: In the first part Carlo Dieussart discusses the question what architecture is and explains the methods how to design long-lasting and goal-oriented buildings (for example what material to use etc.). The second part od the book is all about columns and their orders and the last section of the book is dedicated to the proportions of windows, doors, stairs, arcades and other important parts, that every building consists of. In formal view, the book consists of three big chapters, which are further divided in more chapters.
In the book there are many illustrations – perspective drawings and views, which you can mostly find in the second and third section of the book. Because of its topic the first part of the book consists of less illustrations in comparison to other two parts.
The book is in “normal” size, and it has around 250 pages. The second chapter presents more than 60% of the book, which supports the fact that columns had a big role in architecture at that time.
The author of the book is Charles Philippe Dieussart. He was a Dutch architect and sculptor, active in Germany in the second half of the seventeenth century. Most notably, he designed the Jagdschloss Glienicke, today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
With his book (Theatrum architecturae civilis) Dieussart wanted to give architects a handbook, how to design good and goal-oriented buildings, using the right material, orders and proportions.