Vitruvius, On Architecture

LCL 251: 140-141

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non patitur penetrare cariem neque eas bestiolas quae sunt nocentes. Ideoque quae ex his generibus opera constituuntur, permanent ad aeternam 13diuturnitatem. Item cedrus et iuniperus easdem habent virtutes et utilitates; sed quemadmodum ex cupressu et pinu resina, ex cedro oleum quod cedrium1 dicitur, nascitur, quo reliquae res cum2 sunt unctae, uti etiam libri, a tineis et carie non laeduntur. Arboris3 autem eius sunt similes cupresseae foliaturae; materies vena directa. Ephesi4 in aede simulacrum Dianae ex ea,5 lacunaria et ibi et in ceteris nobilibus fanis propter aeternitatem sunt facta. Nascuntur autem eae arbores maxime Cretae et Africae et nonnullis Syriae 14regionibus. Larix vero, qui non est notus nisi is municipalibus qui sunt circa ripam fluminis Padi et litora maris Hadriani, non solum ab suco vehementi amaritate ab carie aut tinea non nocetur, sed etiam flammam ex igni non recipit, nec ipse per se potest ardere, nisi uti saxum in fornace ad calcem coquendam aliis lignis uratur; nec tamen tunc flammam recipit nec carbonem remittit, sed longo spatio tarde comburitur. Quod est minima ignis et aeris e principiis temperatura, umore autem et terreno est spisse solidata, non habet spatia foraminum, qua possit ignis penetrare, reicitque eius vim nec patitur ab eo sibi cito noceri, propterque pondus ab aqua


Book II

flavour. Because of its bitterness it prevents the entrance of decay and of those small creatures which are injurious. And so the works which are executed from these kinds of trees endure an unlimited time. 13. Cedar and juniper, also, have the same virtues and advantages. Just as resin comes from cypress and pine, so from cedar comes the oil which is called oil of cedar. When other things, as, for example, books, are soaked with this,1 they escape injury from worms and dry rot. The tree is like the cypress in foliage; the wood is of a straight vein. In the temple at Ephesus, the image of Diana, the coffers of the ceiling also, are made of these trees2—as also in other famous temples—because of their durability. Now these trees are found especially in the regions of Crete and Africa and parts of Syria. 14. The larch is known only to the provincials on the banks of the river Po and the shores of the Adriatic Sea. Owing to the fierce bitterness of its sap, it is not injured by dry rot or the worm. Further, it does not admit flame from fire, nor can it burn of itself; only along with other timber it may burn stone in the kiln for making lime. Nor even then does it admit flame or produce charcoal, but is slowly consumed over a long interval. For there is the least admixture of fire and air, while the moist and the earthy principles are closely compressed. It has no open pores by which the fire can penetrate, and repels its force and prevents injury being quickly done to itself by fire. Because of its weight it is not sustained

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.vitruvius-architecture.1931