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Name documented by Vitruvius (in Latin "chorobate").



Instrument of ancient origin for levelling canals and water conduits. Vitruvius, who called it "chorobate", describes it as being more precise that a bubble level. The instrument consisted of a rule twenty feet (approx. 6 m) long with supports at both ends. Beneath the rule, firmly fixed to the supports, were two crosspieces marked with lines to indicate perpendicularity. Either two or four plumb bobs hanging from the rule indicated the horizontal position on the lines marked on the crosspieces.

Bibliographical Resources

Vitruvio (Vitruvius Pollio, Marcus). De Architectura, a cura di Pierre Gros, Einaudi, Torino, 1997, 2 voll., Lib. VIII, cap. V (vol. II, p. 1137).

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Author of the entry: Filippo Camerota

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