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On Vitruvius, A Synagogue, And Five Churches In The Provinces Of Syria And Palestine

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents design analyses of five churches and a synagogue to show that all used the 5: 4 proportion in their design. In fact, the 5: 4 proportion is the one mandated by Vitruvius for use in temples: the length of the cella should be one-quarter greater than its width. Vitruvius describes how proportion is the key to harmony, and how principles of symmetry which utilize proportions are the key to beauty in design. In the first stage of research, the most important issue is the identification of the foot or unit of measurement used in the design, for only after metric dimensions have been converted into their original number of feet can the design process be understood. The unified approach to design allows us to compare churches built of cut blocks of stone in the limestone massif to a synagogue with walls made of a core of rubble.

Keywords: churches; Palestine; synagogue; Syria; Vitruvius

10.1163/ej.9789004151864.i-580.73
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