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From Words To Technical Practices: Moulds And Naval Architecture In The Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

In a customary dichotomy, geometry falls into theoretical and practical. Roriczer was a Gothic master builder; what he tells is the way to find by means of a drawing, without calculation, the perimeter corresponding to a given circular diameter. The Icelandic text confirms that the method was widespread. One trace is constituted by the Old Babylonian approximations to the ratio between the diagonal and the side of a square. It appears that the construction of the octagon, both by means of superimposed squares and via the simpler diagram, was known in Classical Antiquity and by late medieval Gothic masterbuilders.

Keywords: constructional procedures; octagon; Old Babylonian approximation; Roriczer



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