Tetrantis

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Name in use since Roman times, derived from tetrantis (quadrant).

Contents

Inventor

Marco Iunio Nipso


Historic Period

V-VI d.C.


Description

Square-shaped instrument for measuring the width of a river (fluminis varatio) described by Marcus Junius Nupsus (F. Blume and others, 1967, pp. 285-286). The measuring method is similar to the one attributed to Thales of Miletus, used to calculate the distance of a ship from the coastline. In both cases the lines of sight extending from two points along a line parallel to the coast or the riverbank were prolonged on the terrain behind the surveyor, to form a triangle similar or equal to the one having as base the aforesaid line and as vertex the point sighted. A similar instrument serving the same function was described in the eighteenth century by V. de Honnecourt (fol 20r).


Bibliographical Resources

Die Schriften der R├Âmischen Feldmesser. Herausgegeben von Friedrich Blume, Karl Lackmann, Adolf August Friedrich Rudorff. Hindesheim, Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1967, pp. 285-286.
Villard de Honnecourt, Album di disegni. Biblioteca Nazionale di Parigi, ms.19093, c.20r.
Villard de Honnecourt. Kritische Gesamtausgabe des Bauh├╝ttensbuches ms. fr. 19093 der Pariser Nationalbibliotek. Herausgegeben von Hans R. Hahnloser. Wien, A. Schroll, 1935.



Author of the entry: Filippo Camerota

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