Friends with an old Book
Universae Architecturae Civilis Elementa, Christian Rieger, 1756
Universae Architecturae Civilis Elementa is a book that was published in 1756 by Christian Rieger. It was written in Latin at the time and covers civil architecture in about 300 pages.
Christian Rieger was able to print his book with the help of the publisher Johann Thomas von Trattner, probably while he was still a student. The two lived in Vienna and were brought up as Christians. Since Universae Architecturae Civilis Elementa could be a textbook, it is possible that this book was used as a textbook with the help of the Jesuit Order.
As the book states in its title, Rieger writes about civil architecture in the 18th century. At the beginning of the book there is a table of contents which divides the book into 4 parts. With the help of a translator, I was able to find out roughly what it is about. In the first chapter he writes about the principles on which the whole theory of architecture is based. In the second part, he defines the rules that every building or its architect has to follow. From page 145 to page 231, he analyses architectural beauty. In the last part, he presumably explains the practice of directing the work on a building. However, since I know very little Latin and the language can be interpreted in different ways, this is only a rough assumption of what is written.
The book ends with beautiful drawings and calculations of all kinds of architecture, giving the book a much more “sympathetic” feel.
From the outside, the cover is beautifully decorated but weighs less than I had hoped at first sight.