Don Nelson

An elderly Vitruvius is depicted on one of the bronze doors of the Bauakademie, an architectural school in Berlin, designed by the architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel in the 1830’s. (Although this building was torn down in 1962 to make room for the Foreign Office of the former East German Republic, the bronze doors have been preserved.) That Schinkel chose Vitruvius to watch over one of Europe’s most prestigious architectural academies suggests the importance of the ancient Roman architect even in the modern world. Until modern archaeological excavations, Vitruvius was one of the few sources of detailed information about Hellenistic architecture of the third and second century B.C.