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{ Tag Archives } Vitruvius

Measure and proportion.

Vitruvius, De Architectura 1.2: Uti in hominis corpore e cubito, pede, palmo, digito ceterisque particulis symmetros est eurythmiæ qualitas, sic est in operum perfectionibus. As in the body of man the eurhythmy is of a symmetrical sort, from the forearm, the foot, the palm, the finger, and all the other small parts, so it is […]

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Vitruvius on perspective.

Vitruvius, advising proportions of an architrave should vary depending on how high they are relative to the ground (De Architectura 3.5): Quo altius enim scandit oculi species, non facile persecat aëris crebritatem, dilapsa itaque altitudinis spatio et viribus, exstructam incertam modulorum renuntiat sensibus quantitatem. For, given how high the eye’s view is rising, it’s not […]

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Sheaves and blocks.

Vitruvius (De Architectura 10.2): In trocleam induntur orbiculi duo per axiculos versationes habentes. Two pulley wheels are inserted into the block, turning on its axles. From what I can tell so far, classical Latin does not seem to have a word exactly corresponding to ‘pulley’; there was the sheave—the grooved wheel itself—orbiculus, and there was […]

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Vitruvius (De Architectura 10.2): Alligatur in summo trochlea, quem etiam nonnulli rechamum dicunt. The pulley block, which some also call rechamus, is fastened at the top. This mysterious word rechamus appears to be very rare, and I would quite like to know its etymon. [For trochlea.]

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