The Wise Master Builder: Platonic Geometry in Plans of Medieval Abbeys and Cathederals

1st Edition

Nigel Hiscock

Routledge
December 31, 2018 Forthcoming
Reference - 462 Pages
ISBN 9781138715813 - CAT# Y325024

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Summary

This title was first published in 2000:  Did the plan of medieval churches have any underlying symbolic meaning? This work re-opens the debate about the importance of geometry and symbolism in medieval architectural design and argues the case for attributing an intellectual meaning to the planning of abbeys and cathedrals. In challenging prevailing claims for the use of arithmetical rations in architectural design, notably those based on the square root of two, Dr Hiscock advances a perspective consisting of proportions derived from the figures of Platonic geometry - the square, the equilateral triangle and the pentagon - and provides evidence for the symbolic interpretation of these figures. The investigation further reveals whole series of geometric relationships between some of England's most celebrated Norman cathedrals, such as Norwich or Durham, together with a wide sample from the Continent, from Old St Peter's in Rome to Chartres Cathedral, and sets out a comprehensive design method in each case.

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