‘’Scamilli impares Vitruvius’’… So far so good, I thought. Vitruvius hmm… Somehow these three words triggered something in me. In the back of my head an alarm set off… Then it got to me. The book was written in Latin.
Already while working on the first task linguistic problems gave me a hard time. With my limited and dusted knowledge of the Latin language, I had to refresh the basics and try to understand what was said word for word. Even translating the title was like solving a little mystery. Therefore, my most promising way of understanding what was going on in the book, was to look at the drawings. With the information and context given by the drawings it was easier to derive the actual subjects discussed in the text. The subjects I discovered seemed pretty dry to me. A lot of columns, pedestals and steps we’re drawn, what gave me a gentle idea of what was going on. The Author Bernardino Baldi discusses Vitruvius’s rules and orders. He’s talking about the unequal Steps one can use to design the stylobate. Sadly, I don’t know if Baldi is on same terms with Vitruvius regarding the way it should be done, which would’ve been pleasing to find out. However, the linguistic barrier kept its doors shut. The book was printed in Augsburg, one of the oldest city’s in Germany, that is still present to this day. It surprised me, that an author of roman decent, had to print his work in Augsburg, which comes to show, how difficult it must have been to publish and acquire a book in these times. The journey this book and other books have made, still beeing present and available to this day, impresses me. That’s why my favourite part of this exercise was going to the bibliotheca of Einsiedeln and holding these almost ancient books in my hands. Still it would’ve been more effective and comfortable to visit the bibliotheca just once and maybe spend a little more time there, instead of having to travel to Einsiedeln twice. Sadly, I couldn’t meet Scamilli in person. Up to this day I’ve only seen his younger brother ‘’De Verborum Vitruvianorum’’ face to face, but we’re looking forward to seeing each other in the future.
One could say Scamilli and I have become pretty good friends.