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The second five books o^ Juanelo chief engineer to the most puissant king Philip the second King of Spain and the New World

dedicated to his Catholic Majesty by the hand of Juan Gomez de Mora

SECOND VOLUME

Sixth Book deals with the conveying of water in various ways and the manner in which aqueducts are constructed. Seventh Book deals with the way waters are so conveyed that one stream may pass under another. Eighth Book deals with differences in the conveying of springs. Ninth Book deals with various kinds of weirs. Tenth Book deals with cisterns and tanks and the different ways they may be made.


SIXTH BOOK Introduction O n conveying water, and aqueducts After investigating the sources and varieties of water, and having learnt where to find it, the next job is to convey it to the point of use. Once the route has been surveyed, the water has to be brought where it is required; by natural progression we should describe the types of channel or conduits through which it could be made to flow. Broadly speaking this Book Six adopts the plan of Vitruvius (VHI.6), elaborated by Alberti (X.7), but in an independent fashion. The author wishes to apply the wisdom of Antiquity to the task in hand, but at the same time, he can apply the lessons of his own experience reflected particularly in the earlier part of this book. First he describes the enclosure of springs so as to retain as much as possible of the water of the issuing stream. Then along the route it is desirable to construct small settling tanks at intervals- an old Roman practice, to which both Vitruvius and Frontinus refer. One function of these tanks was to remove some at least of the impurities suspended in the water, by sedimentation in a water-trap, or by filtration through a sponge held between perforated metal plates (a note here points out that the illustrations are in the wrong order). In a way this passage takes up a problem already treated in what is now Book Three and the opening section of Book Four, while the following pages on the relative virtues of pipes and open channels also resume a topic broached earlier. Pipes should be buried in the ground, whereas open channels would often require a substructure carried on arches, which presumably would make them more vulnerable to damage, or theft of the water. To maintain a steady flow an adequate head would be needed, and that means sufficient gradient. Here the discussion seems to be based on Alberti and his Ancient sources rather than Aragonese practice. Terms like «paces» and «stades» bear the stamp of books read, not contemporary experience in the field. Different gradients suit different channels; so here the author briefly introduces the possibility of navigable canals. From 78v on, the book is devoted to methods of overcoming obstacles along the way of the conduit. If a small water-course or gully has to be crossed a simple culvert or trestle bridge will do, and no doubt these structures are close to what the author had found in good practice. However, as a child of his time he could not fail to dream of grander things; of real aqueducts after the Antique manner. The late sixteenth century saw a number of urban water supply projects which sought to emulate the achievements of [173]


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the past. Perhaps the most famous is Pope Sixtus V's Acqua Felice at Rome, which dared to seek comparison with those that Consuls and Emperors had had built of old. But there were many others. Among them was that at Teruel in Aragon, erected in 1558 to the design of the French architect Bedel, which had a central arch. Evidently the very thought of aqueducts with two or three tiers was exciting. From 82v the author adopts an approach which will reappear in other books, portraying first a basic design, and then ringing the changes with other possible variants which become more and more ingenious and imposing. The sketch of aqueduct H is missing: probably it should have occupied part of the empty space on 86r-v. The aqueducts shown in later pages are, it is implied, modelled on surviving Ancient examples, although not linked to those he lists on 87r.

Book of tunnels Although this 'Libro de Minas' is not listed among the books on the title page of the volume, nor is its heading given any prominence, we do have a separate book here. Even if the original theme, as usual, leads into other topics and digressions, the tunnel is clearly the main subject. Vitruvius and Alberti do touch on tunnels briefly, for if an aqueduct is to span a valley, there should be a complementary structure to cross an intervening ridge. Alberti indeed claims to have seen the workings for the tunnel through which the Emperor Claudius hoped, in vain, to drain Lake Fucino in Central Italy. But neither of them, nor any of the Ancient authors, gives this detailed account of tunnelling and its problems, from the relative stability of different types of rock to the method to be used to keep the route straight. In early times tunnels served for the transport of water rather than goods, and the art is almost as ancient as mining, from which it presumably derived. Tunnels may be dug and reinforced like mine galleries, but unlike mines which follow the vein of metal, have to keep their direction where the end is not visible. Techniques to this purpose go back to the qanats of Persia and the underground passages excavated to link the hilltop cities of Syria and Canaan with the springs at their feet. Such famous tunnels of Antiquity as that on Samos or Lake Fucino might well inspire the Renaissance engineer. For instance, Leonardo wanted a tunnel to join two tributaries of the Arno for his grand Tuscan canal, which of course remained a vision. In fact very few tunnels were attempted by engineers of the time. One notable example however is the «mina de Daroca», near Teruel in Aragon, in the region of our author's experience; the engineer was that same Pierre Bedel who designed the aqueduct at Teruel. By way of preface, the author distinguishes waterworks tunnels from metal mines, and from the tunnels driven under the fortifications of besieged cities, a practice encouraged by the employment of gunpowder to blow up the ramparts above the tunnel. Then he begins with the need to dig down to bedrock, concentrating on the need for maximum depth, rather than on the risk that if you only dig into the subsoil, it may slip down. Once a start has been made, it will be necessary to keep the tunnel heading in the required direction. Alberti suggests a line of posts, but his remark is here developed into a full account of the 'straight rope' method, assisted by a «planisphere», probably a circumferentor, for this instrument was then becoming quite popular (it has been claimed as Alberti's invention). If mine shafts were often lined with timber, and the galleries branching from them propped with timber, the wooden and even stone cladding described here outdo most works attempted at that time; the final illustration, which here as elsewhere is the most elaborate (101v-102r), looks quite like a nineteenth century railway tunnel.

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This leads to another type of underground construction, a lined and reinforced spring, and this in turn to one intended to trap the seepage from a river which is thus filtered through the ground. That then suggests direct channels to take water from a river for irrigation, and then navigable canals. That suggests general problems of river diversion and control, and so the construction of dykes and groynes. The seepage catch-basin was perhaps inspired by noting freshwater springs near the coast, on the assumption that these were filled with filtered sea water. There is also a mention of the possibility -regarded as expensive, and only to be undertaken when really necessary- of raising water from a river by mechanical pumping. This approach spread across Europe in the late sixteenth century; in Spain the best known example was Turriano's set of rocking-troughs to carry water from the river Tagus up to Toledo and its citadel the Alcazar. Later this topic will reappear, but never any hint of Turriano's waterworks. The author then turns to irrigation and navigation canals, their channels and sluices; it may be significant that he uses the Italian term ÂŤnaviglioÂť in a Spanish spelling, because there were not then any such canals in Spain. Perhaps, as he says, this was because there were few navigable rivers, although his observation must proceed from his Aragonese experience, ignoring those of the west of Spain. This section makes some use of Alberti, X, chs. 10-11, but adapted to the author's aim, to cover all problems much more thoroughly than Alberti had done. The vivid section on flood damage and erosion is particularly indebted to the Tuscan, who for that reason also deals with the issue of strengthening canal banks. Here however the material goes on to discuss diversion dams and sluices to take water from a river, and groynes to keep the current away from vulnerable points along the bank, as well as mattresses and plantations to strengthen them.

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On conveying water in various ways and on aqueducts

Y

ou mark where water is to be found; perhaps it may be found with very little digging but not in sufficient quantity for it to be able to flow off by itself, so as to form a spring- even though an arrangement could be made for it all to combine, for then it will flow if this device is used. I wanted to set this note down so that nobody might be dismayed, if when he found water it did not flow, for that is nothing to wonder at. Knowing how to do this requires great skill because this water has little strength to flow by itself, and therefore a quantity must be allowed to accumulate, for if that is not done it will never flow. That is why these springs are ordinarily enclosed to prevent the water getting lost, and to conserve it thus, combining different veins, and making one out of many. i/fol. 72v] After water has been found, and all proper steps have been taken and preparations made, to convey the water as described above, tanks should be made at set intervals, three hundred paces apart from one another- or more, according to the lie of the land- to conserve the water. That is done because the roots of grass, or trees, lift up aqueducts and even break them; or if they do neither, then they get into the joints, and in the passage of time block up the pipe without letting any water pass at all, and all the more so because a root has the strength to crack a wall which a hundred men would not be enough to move an inch. And if a root will open a wall in the course of time, it is no wonder if aqueducts and pipes are broken, as they fracture so easily. That is why tanks are made, to trace the wastage, for you can lose part of a spring through a root. So without tanks, it would be necessary to disconnect it, [/fol. 73r] and you would have to undo the healthy to find the damaged: and it would be a big job to disconnect the pipes and break them into so many parts to find where the water is being lost. These tanks are made in various places. They should have a large head or capacity, because the bigger they are the more water they will hold, and that gives the greater force to the same amount of water, to keep it moving. Also, when the tank is large any material that the water may carry with it will settle much better, be it mud, sand or slime or countless other things borne by water. So these tanks are designed so that the water will deposit the material it is carrying, in the form illustrated below. To keep the water clear the tank should be filled with coarse sand, and so let the water pass through the sand for then I say that it will be clearer and will lose any bad taste. [176]


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Illustration 41

It can b e d o n e another way: m a k e

the tank of the following construction: at A there is a channel which then falls into B and from B goes up again to D. At C it should be somewhat lower so that it can move better. (Illustration 41) With this break, it leaves behind some of what it has been carrying as that is a heavier material than the water itself. Since it is restrained more in going up than down, it necessarily leaves a considerable part, [/'fol. 73v] under compulsion because that is a movement against its normal practice. With this device water can be clarified and will leave all it carries. B should be wide and spacious so the water can occupy much more room than at E and D; these again should be narrower than the entry A and the outlet C. C is also to be somewhat lower so that it can escape better, and B five or six palms lower than the water line so as to avoid any accidental object the water may carry with it. For the water to lose the sand and slime it carries with it: for there are waters which grow much slime. At the source two or three tanks should be made, not far apart from one another, to preserve the effect of which we speak, but they are not made so much out of a need for tanks as to recognise the source, and so that the water will lose any accidental objects it may be carrying. Inlet of water is at A, and outlet [/fol. 74r] at B. C is the base of the tank, D is a little piece to act as a drain to purify the tank when too much muddy matter gets into it. E is a deflector by which the water passes so work can be done to clean it out. (Illustration 42) If it is required to act with extra care to remove some bad taste from the water, the tanks should be made to another design as I shall demonstrate below. Illustration

42

Sand

The tank. Entry of water is at A, the base H. This place should be filled with coarse and well washed sand- washed before it is put in the tank- and it is to be coarse because when the water escapes at I, the sand would otherwise go out with it, which would be a great inconvenience for the pipes will also be filled with sand. And so through meaning to cure one thing, another will be damaged. To cure this inconvenience, metal plates should be inserted in the wall so that you can remove whatever you require. These plates should be pierced full of fine holes like a grater, set one palm apart from each other. In between the plates put a large sponge through which the water must pass, and so deposit the sand it carries with it. [/fol. 74v] By using this remedy with two tanks the water will lose its bad taste, and all the mud and slime it carries; and so if it were turbid it will [177]

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now be clear, and if not at any rate it will be much clearer than it was by itself. For this is a kind of distillation, and no sand will be able to get out because of the sponge. But care should be taken to clean the sponges from time to time to remove their load of sand, for if that is not done, not a drop of water will pass through. As I should give all information necessary to cure every problem that may arise: a reservoir ought to be made in the manner stated. The plates with the sponge are figured here: (Illustration 43) the plates are to be at I and the sand is at H, four palms in height more or less according to the head of water, for so it will be adapted to the weight of the source. With these devices a cure can be found to remove inconveniences which as has been stated are inevitable.

A

A

c

c

B When we have found the source of water the greatest care should be taken now we have the origin of it: I mean as to the order to be followed in conveying it. When water issues from a spring, a test should be made of its quality. First l/fol. 75r] dig around the spring at the back with great care to see if there is a plentiful supply of water and if it will be possible there to collect as much as may be needed. That done, take note whether the source of the spring is on the level or comes down from above; if it comes up from below that is a sign that it has found no other path, as can be demonstrated. Do not touch this water at its source, because it could be that you then lose it altogether, or meet some snag, and even if it were not wholly lost, it would be much diminished because it had been diverted from the path it had formerly kept. So what you have to do is to dig some way off, to see if you can find any other source- be it understood that this is only when you only have a little at hand, for when there is a fair quantity there is no call to undertake all this work. But often there is only a little, when we observe several springs issuing and then combining, specially when it starts below and goes upward. But you will observe that the water keeps accumulating. So I say that with care the quantity of water can be increased. But if it comes down from above it seldom issues in several sources. For that reason do not excavate along the path where it issues but divert it behind the main source, unless it issues from some rock. For in that case nothing of all this may be seen but instead it often issues in two or three places through the cracks in the rock. l/fol. 75v] When water starts in level ground there is no need to apply force to raise it, because it can easily stray and be made to change direction, except where it only issues in level ground but then goes upward. That happens near mountains, for it may be supposed that it flows down from them. In that case force can be applied to raise it and convey it at your will. When all these measures have been taken the water should be conveyed in a straight line, if it can be done, because the straighter it is conveyed the less of its [178]


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weight is lost, and the more turns it makes the more it loses its level; for the more it travels the more head must it have. If on its path the water should meet with some valley or gully which has to be crossed, to maintain the level of the water it will be necessary to raise the base, unless it be very deep with a [?] of earth to convey the pipes over. If the valley which is to be crossed has water which comes in the ordinary way, or the extraordinary way, i.e. that of the rains, then there will be need of some other device. But let no-one be deluded about this; some say that water goes up as high as it goes down: to that I say that it is a delusion, and a bad one at that, for it never goes up as far as it does down and in case it ever should seem so, it is just a plain delusion. But leaving that aside, I say that making water back up through pipes is very different from what people suppose [/'fol.. 76r], These pipes can not be of the same type as those which lie on the level, for those which go straight up should have much greater capacity, because if they were of the same type there would be a danger that they would burst because of all the air enclosed in them. The pipes used to form the corners should be made of stone: let the angle be of whatever kind you order, these at least have to be made of this kind, or else in the end they would have to be mended every day, as experience teaches us. But the best and healthiest thing to do is to make low arches, round or square, for this purpose. And if the site should happen not to provide the convenience we are looking for, add arches above arches until you reach as far as you need. If by reason of the great depth two orders of arches, one above the other, are not enough, employ three orders, or more if need be. But in employing all these arches one upon the other take care not to make them all of the same size or bigness, but diminish them as they go up. For the sake of both looks and safety each arch of the first order should contain two arches of the second, and each one of the second two of the third, and if more are employed keep to this rule. In this way the level at which the water is to be carried will be attained. Water should be conveyed in pipes very deep in the earth because otherwise they will get too hot in summer and freeze in winter, [/fol. 76v] and if they freeze they crack. Besides, when it is freezing cold in winter the water freezes too, and does not pass through the pipes, and so many of them break. To avoid these inconveniences, water should be conveyed deep in the earth; there are many other annoyances, roots of vegetation, trees, animals walking over them, which can not fail to cause some mischief, even if it were no more than the carts that may pass over them. But leaving all this aside, use it only for the luxury of drinking fresh water in summer, because there is nothing more hateful to a thirsty man than if water has to be drunk warm- leaving all that aside, only just conserving the water in its pipes would be reason enough to convey it as I have said. I leave aside too, those people whose souls are so marred that they will find every least opportunity to effect their evil intentions, so that in case none of these things happen, yet just in order not to give anyone the opportunity to break the pipes, since they may find a handy opportunity, and there are men so malevolent that they only enjoy themselves when they are doing wrong. So the aqueducts should be let two varas deep into the ground. But when water is conveyed enclosed in pipes, a different head should be allowed than if it were in channels. For water in enclosed channels [/fol. 77r] allow one foot of head1 for each thousand paces- these thousand paces 1

'For water in enclosed, channels allow one foot of head ...' The data here probably comes from Alberti, but in somewhat confusing form. Assuming 5 feet=l pace, then this is a ratio of [179]


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are eight stades, each stade being one hundred and twenty paces. For each stade allow one finger of declination, so the water can keep moving, for otherwise it will be becalmed, and if it has no more head to one side than to the other, will go neither forwards nor backwards, and will become like standing water. That is when it is enclosed in pipes, but if it be an open conduit, much more head would be allowed. The geometers say that if a line be drawn along the level there would not be more than ten fingers of interval between the line and the ground in a thousand spaces, that is not more than ten fingers of empty space. And the same thing will be found with water: if there be no empty space between line and water, that water can not move. You should be very circumspect in this, and take note how much water there is, and whether it is travelling along the level or comes down from the heights. Certain it is that everyone should attend well to his levelling both where he begins and where he ends, and also where he starts to excavate the ground. Legal writers call this place the incile2, and Vitruvius calls it especo- they call it so because of the incision it makes in the ground or in the rock. It should be measured from the incile to the emissario, that is from where we begin to where we end. The place where the water discharges into the pipes is also called castelo, that is the end of the spring, as it is called by Vitruvius. Leon Battista, De Re Aedificandi calls it the commencement or especo, [/fol. 77v] and at the end the emissario or castelo; these names are quite different although all denote the beginning and end of the matter, and specially with springs. So the level must be lowered one foot in every thousand paces; this foot should be divided into twenty parts of fifty paces each, so that every fifty paces there is a drop of a twentieth part at one of those divisions or parts to keep the water flowing. With this incline there will be quite a current in water enclosed in pipes, which has much more force than in an open conduit because in the conduit it will keep knocking against objects which check it whereas in pipes it keeps on going in the same way without any widening or narrowing, but in conduits it may be checked in its path when it widens or narrows or turns. Therefore two and a half feet of head are allowed in conduits to every thousand paces, which is four fingers to every hundred paces: that is a quarter of a foot in measurement which by the geometers' reckoning makes three inches, since the foot is divided into twelve inches. That is the greatest head that it is customary to allow. But it should be taken into consideration whether the water comes through a plain or from the mountains, because all water that comes from mountains does so much more rapidly than through the plain, and as the one which comes from the mountains has greater velocity, [/fol. 78r] some of its 1:5000. As 120 paces = 1 stade, 8 stades = 960 paces. There is also an inconsistency in the number of fingers to the foot: at first apparently 8 fingers = 1 foot, and later the usual measure is cited, 16 fingers = 1 foot. Vitruvius proposes a much steeper fall, 1/2 foot in 100 feet («in centenos pedes semipede»), 1:200. Here we have 1:5000 for pipes, 1:2000 for channels, 1:1000 for canals. But if there were a stronger current in a canal, that might help traffic one way, but would it not hamper it in the opposite direction? 2 'Legal writers call this place the «incile»': Alberti uses this term, taken as he himself states from the Digest of Roman law. Inmissarium (inlet) and emissarium (outlet) are also Roman legal terms. Vitruvius uses the former word for the receptacle which receives water from the «castellum», the water tower or reservoir on the course of the aqueduct, from which water is distributed; for Alberti it is the outlet to a public fountain. Both use «specus» (literally, cavern) for the cuttings or excavations for a channel.

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strength always remains if a channel is drawn off it. But with a river that travels gently along, much greater head must be allowed than has been stated, three feet of head to every thousand paces; with that head it will move along wonderfully. I think this subject of conveying waters has been described quite fully, both for pipes and for irrigation conduits, but it still remains to talk of channels or canals for navigation. Much greater head must be allowed here, to let vessels pass; five feet or more for every thousand paces, according to the size, even though the common view does not allow more than three feet, because much head will be lost over a long distance. With water enclosed in pipes they do not allow more than half a foot every thousand paces, which is eight fingers' head. In a long stretch with careful levelling considerable height can be gained- for often there is a great loss, as much as two palms in height- so as to gain great profit or irrigate a great amount of land. For that reason aqueducts were invented, to convey water where there is need of it. And huge arches were made to carry it across3 from one mountain to another, and when people saw that arches did not reach high enough they invented the method of using two orders one upon the other, and then found out the way to make three orders to reach the water line, [/fol. 78v] as may be seen in Spain, France, Italy, and even in Africa. So aqueducts are constructions which the Ancients highly prized; and as we see they built them at such great expense and with so much artifice, placing on them cornices, architraves, friezes, capitals, bases, figures with their niches, all very gracefully made with various kinds of arches. When arches are begun, they should start in odd numbers, as one, three, five, seven, for so they will look much better, but I have also seen an aqueduct begun with two arches; the cause is, that making one alone would be far too wide, and three would be too small, for often the site perverts the order of Architecture. We should begin with lower matters and so go on to the more intimate, those of greater weight. So then, as has many times been stated, in conveying water we may come up against some little valley or gully; to cross it, an embankment of earth should be made to keep it level with the water line and so convey it. Even if the depth is not great the base should be made level, as I have said in many places, although it is true that water could well cross without making it exactly even, for the water will go up as far as it goes down if it is on the ascent, but if it be too much, the water will indeed go up, but it will have to be tended every day. But I should like to note here that when it can be done, I would advise that safety be the main objective even though it involves more expense [/fol. 79r] when these ascents are made. So they are only made when it can not be done any other way, but I would note that pipes are to be much larger in such a site, and besides that the water will have much greater force because it is producing an effect contrary to its nature, since water by itself always seeks the lowest and does not mount upwards. Pipes usually break in such places, and do so even when the water is travelling in a straight line. Pipes are never full of water but are always one third empty, yet when they approach a place like this they do get full, and although they were six times the thickness they get so full the water can not be contained, 3 'and huge arches were made to carry it across'. Roman aqueducts have always aroused admiration, especially for sections which span great lengths of countryside, or are carried on tiered arches across a valley. The author may well have seen some in Spain and Italy, and heard of e.g. the Pont du Gard in France; North African aqueducts would be more remote.


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and that causes them to break, more here than in any other place, as the air can not pass together with the water. It will always be much healthier and better if the base can be raised, rather than make it go up violently, for the Philosopher rightly says that nothing violent can be lasting. And that he says of the heavens which are borne violently from east to west and from west to east, so how much more must it be so, I say, of things made by our hands. The water's path is A, and the valley, B. The earth embankment is C, which has made the path level as may be seen [/fol. 79v] (Illustration 44). Here I shall Illustration

44

set down some inventions of this kind, in order that someone skilful can by their means invent others, for seeing a variety of things raises the judgement of man to things of a higher quality. So it may happen that water has to cross through some gullies, over a long distance: it will be necessary to raise a dry stone wall, to do it at less expense for it need not be made with any ingenuity. Let it be a foot wide, but get narrower as it rises: in the middle an empty space must be left in the deepest part to let the rain water pass, for if it does not find an empty place, even though the wall be of dry stone it could easily be demolished, so even though the water could pass through the wall it will be well to leave it room to pass. It should be made in the manner designated below. At the top a channel must be made with cement so the water can pass, or else make it of wood so it will not cost so much. (Illustration 45) The water is B, the gully C and the passage for water is at D, in the dry stonewall. E is the channel or conduit through which the water is to pass [/fol. 80r],

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The demonstration of different inventions makes a man more aware, for often different things present themselves in the course of the same activity. If water is to pass as has been said from one mountain to another and the site is not such as may suffer arches to be made, but only a dry stone wall which needs to be made in this way: let it be wider lower down than higher up, constructed like a barbican on both sides, and where the rain water comes, let there be a slight outward curve with somewhat of a curved line as here illustrated. E is the wall from the side, C the beginning of the channel, and of the wall, D some openings to let the rain water through, F is that bend in the wall, which will resist floods better than a straight one, and is stronger for any work that may be needed; and the water passes very prettily through its channel made of the stone itself. (Illustration 46) Illustration

46

[/fol. 80v] Making water cross from one side of a mountain to the other is a very common matter; the invention of it has been due to necessity or the lack of water on the part of those who live in such places. But many people have conveyed water not so much out of need, but for pure luxury, and others have done so neither out of necessity nor for luxury, but to ennoble cities, as may be seen at Rome where there are so many traces of aqueducts that in other times there must have been so much water in Rome that it would have seemed as if the whole place was flowing with water. Yet they had the river Tiber within Rome, so there was no shortage of water, nor was it for luxury either, for these waters were laid down in public and not for private persons- as they would have been supposing it were for luxury- but it was solely to ennoble Rome. A spring should be made to pass over a stream, granted it could pass underneath it, but I would be of the opinion never to undertake a work like that, unless it could not be done otherwise, for if it is unavoidable the work can not be left undone, but if you are able to excuse yourself it will be much healthier to build some little arches; they may be low provided that the freshets of the stream are not so great as to surmount the vaults of the arches. A passage should then be made over the footbridge which crosses the stream, right in the line of the stream. For that reason, great care must be taken in this business of water, although in the opinion of some barbarous fellows, [/fol. 81r] they think it a slight matter to convey water from one place to another; in which [183]


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they are very greatly deluded. The river water comes from D, the bridge is E, crossing the river: G is the channel or canal on the other side f.Illustration 47). Countless things may happen in this business of conveying water. If perhaps it so falls out that you have to get water to cross from one side to the other, from one mountain to another, and the distance is not great, a wooden trestle could Illustration

47

be made to avoid expense; here I shall set down the way of it- provided the space is such that two coupled beams can reach across it. [/fol. 81v] (Illustration 48) A is a channel, which is formed of two beams joined together end to end, reaching from one side to the other. Because of the large empty space they would then buckle and in a little time would fall. So before laying down the beams of channel A, two half beams should be attached at B, and then two crosspieces to keep them two palms apart from one another so that the channel may lie better, and also to enable the braces C to support B, for if it were narrow they could not fit. If it were necessary to employ three beams in a row, that too could be done, but then there would have to be another device quite different from this. (.Illustration 49) [/fol. 82r] This invention is quite different from the previous one. It is very secure and has three beams laid one after the other, A B C . This trestle is not very difficult to make, because the beams are not tied to one another, for there Illustration 48

ÂŤ

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Illustration 49

I so

fits cUlan

150 feet in length

are those mortices where the ends of the beams are fixed together. In this trestle there is no specially strong piece but all have their office to perform. This can be employed with a span of up to one hundred and fifty feet, which is quite a width. Another invention could be employed too without having a foot made firm in the sides of the valley, up to one hundred and twenty feet. For that reason I wanted to set down here some inventions of this type both in wood and in stone, so that everyone can make choice of whatever suits his purpose best. The trestle above must be doubled, and also the one below like a bridge. (Illustration 50)

At B some iron hooks with thick pegs of the same material should be inserted in those upright legs because they carry the load of the whole structure. These pieces are to be pegged well at A with the upright legs, [/fol. 82v] above and below, which is D. C is some struts in the middle, which keep pushing from one leg to the other. This invention is very good if it be properly understood; each thing will be treated in more detail under wooden bridges, so let that be enough for this section. (Illustration 51) This invention of square arches is to convey water, which crosses a gully which usually carries water in its season, and so forms a wall that can not fail to obstruct our water's passage. When the water comes down it is in great quantities, or else it

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may be a torrent whose normal flow is only a small amount of water, but when the floods come, a very large amount is brought down, and so it gets much broader, and the level of the spring gets lower. Now round arches can not be made because they would be very thick and occupy too much room, and they would cost too much as well. But water has to pass regularly, and the distance is great. So I think no better invention could be found for this purpose, for nothing else could rise but little and yet any way have a wide space for floods, unless it be these square arches. For they leave a space free and unobstructed so that even if it rises the water will find nothing to knock against, [/fol. 83r] since its path will not get narrower as it would with round arches at every little flood, so it would knock against the arches, and offer much greater resistance. M is the side from which the water should come, and' N O the lower part. (Illustration 52)

Crossing a spring or an aqueduct over round arches: this is to be done in a place which in season carries a great quantity of water, in time of rain, which then comes down with great impetus: to make this footbridge so it can resist the burden of so much accumulated water, an obtuse angle should be made in the centre, since that has greater strength than any other, because the water will strike against the pillars in the corner. So it is all made up of obtuse angles, the water never takes it on the flat, [/fol. 83v] and is cut up by those pillared corners, whereas if the aqueduct were to stand in a straight line the water would take the corners of the piers on the flat, with much greater force than it does if it is this way. (Illustration 53) The way to make aqueducts. They are made of different kinds, as can be seen by the inventions, since most are derived from Ancient works, although I have not made mention of particular places. In this way all the variations can be seen. What is to be noted most is that all have diminished arches as they go up. They are so built that each pillar [/fol. 84r] corresponds equally to a pillar of the second order, one lays its load on firm ground, and the next transfers its load to the air, since its load is borne in the centre of the arch. Almost all those that I have seen are of rustic work without any elaboration. The pilasters of the first arches ought to be not less than a third of the width between the pillars, nor thicker than a quarter. If the arches are doubled, let the upper and lower ones be of the same width. There is no need for them to be so high; let them be one quarter lower, or shorter, than the lower ones. In dividing the arches, care should be taken never to put a [186]


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Illustration 53

pillar in the middle of the valley or gully; let alone the danger, they do not look so well. Some people make the pilasters much thicker or wider than the Ancients did for they allowed a ratio of one to two and a half as between pilaster and the span of the arch. They have even been made much stouter than that, with the pillar one part if the arch has two, and that makes it half the breadth of the arch. But most builders have done things according to the requirements of the site, the great Illustration

54

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weight that is to be supported, and the height the work is to be. In deciding on the width due attention should be paid to seeing that each thing corresponds to the others. In work like aqueducts you will never lose by making things thick for it is important that they are not too thin, so that they will better resist the weight of [/fol. 84v] the structure that rests upon them. (Illustration 54) This invention of an aqueduct is very safe, by reason of the diminution of the arches as they go up; it is made with much reason and art and great ingenuity, to be a work that will stand in perpetuity. In itself, it demonstrates the security and artifice which it possesses in all its dimensions- but I make no mention of all that, [/fol. 85r] as I have dealt with it in the previous chapter. In the pilasters of this aqueduct, I should like to add that an upturned arch, with a downwards curve, should be made in the foundation in the earth, for that will give much greater security. But all things considered, as these arches have the mountains on each side, which serve as props to push them back, they can not make any movement at all in either direction. They are as follows: A is the pilaster, B the upturned arch, C the foundation in the earth. (Illustration 55) Illustration

55

These arches with their shoulders turned down ought to be made where there is no continuous foundation, for all is solid, the whole distance between the two ends of the building, just like at C. These arches should be so made in order not to let the pillars bend to either side, [/fol. 85v] specially where the soil is not very firm. (Illustration 56) The design for an aqueduct AB is rather strange, because of the pilasters which are made in the shape of pyramids; this was the invention of a man of great judgement and very pretty talent, with the idea of making the pilasters diminish upwards, because in the second order the arches are no less in width. It was well considered, for making the pillars of the same thickness as those below gives them some reinforcement. It was done for two purposes, one for the greater strength, and also for when floods come, as however much the river rises it will still find more room to pass, since the higher the water gets the more unobstructed it will find its passage. (86 r and v blank) That widening of the pillars is used here too, [/fol. 87r] but very differently, because the previous one had three orders of arches, one upon the other. Here the [188]

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Illustration 53

arches in the centre are as wide as the lower ones, while the last ones contain five sixths of the width of the centre arches. Also the apertures of the pilasters are square; this aqueduct H has both square and round, but has only two orders of arches, the second arches containing two thirds of the width of the greater arch. Both the first and the second are much higher, and so there is a great difference between the two aqueducts. So you may see the variety of things within the one subject, yet each one performs its own task well, although many will hold the one with letter H to be the better aqueduct because of the diminution of its arches, and because it has those abutments at the sides, above the apertures, which serve as a footpath, and so also as a bridge without a river to shorten the road. These aqueducts are ancient4; there are none of this design in Spain although there are many others in various places there; near Seville there are the pipes of Carmona, which is an aqueduct, at Segovia, at Merida and in countless other parts of the country, in Aragon an ancient one near Sadava and modern at Teruel, in the kingdom of Valencia Monviedro, in Catalonia at Tarragona, and various others of which I will not speak so as not to be too longwinded. Their dimensions I will not discuss at all, for there is no elaboration in them. [/fol. 87v] (Illustration 57) It seems to me that with all the aqueducts I have sketched here, it would be reasonable to include one that should have some elaboration even if it be Tuscan, and only has those figures with their settings and the columns Tuscan, and with their pediments over the aqueduct. An aqueduct like this should not be built in the open country, but rather inside a city, [/fol. 88r] because of its ornamentation, little as that may be, because in public works like these there must be something to differentiate them slightly from private construction. (Illustration 58) 4 'these aqueducts are ancient' ... Those at Segovia and Merida are still celebrated; few books on Roman aqueducts leave them out. Remains of aqueducts have survived also at Tarragona and at Sasunto (an ancient name revived; it was known in the Middle Ages as Murviedro, and appears_ here as Monviedro). Although Carmona was a Roman foundation, l M e now remains of ÂŤlos canosÂť (literally, the pipes) but more was to be seen in the author's time. There is hardly a trace of a Koman aqueduct at Sadava. Since he knew it he must have been familiar with the locality.

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Illustration 107

Ufol. 88v] This aqueduct or conduit 5 - for they are called by various names, some calling them aqueducts and others conduits- the reason is that these arches cover great stretches of ground over which they carry the water conveyed by them This name is not given them for having two or three orders of arches one upon the other, but because of the great distance they carry the water. They are only called conduit when these arches reach from one mountain to another (either one alone or several) or from one side of a ravine to the other- that is from where they take it to where they leave it- whether these arches have two or three orders, and even if they are but one or two hundred paces. These structures have been invented just to carry water wherever it is necessary. But this conduit can serve two functions: one is to carry water, the other to act as a bridge for pedestrians to cross, or for riders on horseback, to avoid a roundabout way because of the ravines. This design is ancient and certainly a pretty invention. A is where the water flows, B the little arches, C the pilasters of the arches, D arches erected crosswise on this conduit, resting firmly on pilasters C. E is a parapet which goes from one end to the other, with brackets which carry this parapet out into the air, to give more room for those who pass over it specially when they are on horseback, so that they do not knock against [/fol. 89r] people on foot. I do not make any mention of its dimensions since I do not know the site- I mean the distance to be crossed there. It only has two arches in the beginning- it would seem extraordinary to put a pilaster in the middle, and that is not done without cause, for if only one arch were made it would be very large, and erecting it would be difficult. But if three arches were built they would be very low and would not reach as far as necessary. So two arches must be built rather than one or three. The ones which 5 'this aqueduct or conduit'. The author uses the Aragonese «maripuente» and «gallipuente». The definition of the latter in RAE may be translated: «a kind of bridge without railings, which is made in conduits for communicating between fields». Here a bridge to convey water is intended, but later the same words are used for a footbridge. Since there are no dialect equivalents in English, «conduit» has been used. Indeed even the modest trestle bridges illustrated are more substantial than the crude «gallipuente» in ordinary use.

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Illustration

58

0

AOVA D VC TO^VSTI

CO

Rustic aqueduct

go above the big arches should diminish in such a manner as to harmonise with them, some pillars transferring their load to the centres of the big arches and others to the firm ground or masonry as the figure shows. (Illustration 59) [/fol. 89v] This form of aqueduct is more slender even if it is on the other hand more rustic, although those that have been built are more graceful by reason of the capitals and bases of the pilasters, firstly, and also because of the roundels in between the second set of arches, although various inventions could be used in this material to get similar effects. For the whole secret in these aqueducts is to give them wonderful foundations, because these structures are built in the country, open to air and sun, frost and rain. For that reason they must expect all the weather that time may bring, and so they should be made in such fashion as to be everlasting, with excellent cement. And the stone used for them should be such as to be able to resist all the burden and weight that may be loaded on to them. No delicate elaboration should be used in them, but rather they should roughly be worked in rustic style, which in itself would demonstrate [191]

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their power to last perpetually. Only, in these aqueducts there should be a policy of having the joints well made and everything should be well laid so they can better resist the weight of this great structure. These aqueducts look much prettier with three orders of arches when the site demands it. The dimensions of this building are: the pillars of the arches to be in thickness one third of the span of the archesUfol. 90r] that is, the width between the pillars-, while the height of the arches will be two squares and one twelfth of their height. The second set of pillars, with all the rest, will be as much as from one pillar to the next below. The second set of pilasters will be two fifths the width between the pillars in thickness. From this you can understand the remainder of the dimensions needed. But for greater clarification let us suppose that there are twenty feet between the pillars, then the arch with its pilasters is to be made forty feet high, which is double its width. When they can not be made so high, it can be made a square and a half, which is 30 feet or 35; or even more than forty, according to the needs of the weight of water it is to carry, although arches are seldom made to exceed two squares in height. The channel is made in the highest part through which the water is to pass along the top. The thickness of the arches: although they are to be thicker than they are wide, it is best that these last should be six feet thick, which will be two feet for the channel or conduit, and two of thickness on either side; they ought not to be thicker than that. Instead of a cornice, a large square is commonly made, which overhangs one foot into the air: if there should happen to be a cornice, an Illustration

60

architrave should also be made. But they are to be of very simple work, and the frieze is to be entirely smooth in the manner here illustrated. Ufol. 90v] (.Illustration 60) If perhaps some structure of this type should have to be made in a city, then in such a place somewhat more decoration must be used, [192]

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and even a little delicacy, putting in some cornices and architraves, capitals and bases, friezes and settings with figures for ornament of such buildings. But in this manner great discretion should be observed in knowing how to fit these ornaments in and put them in the proper places so that they correspond to the size of the building, and so that there are no fiddling bits and pieces of which nothing at all can be seen after they have been placed in the work. An inscription should be added; but let it be in a decent place. In some places roundels could be made, [/fol. 91r] tapering so they do not pass right through. (Illustration 61) Many,

I believe, will think it very novel and even beside the point, to have made so many forms and kinds of aqueducts, specially the ones before this, which use those buttresses or outworks. But anyone who considers the matter well, will see that it is not beside the point, as these are quite different from the rest. The purpose of making the pilasters like a game-bag [/fol. 91v] is so that they can better resist the floods which ravines commonly bring down; and also to give much greater firmness to the arches, specially when there is any fear that the soil lacks firmness, for then this scarp is a great help in the support of the arches of the aqueduct. Since big arches fail at the part where the two ends rest on the mountain, it seemed to me that no better invention could be employed by way of reinforcement in a matter like this, because as I have said they never fail throughout their length. And on the contrary that may be seen to be a common failure with most bridges which always fall into the water from the abutments. So [193]

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Illustration 107

this is a wonderful invention for this purpose because of the great backing the buttresses supply to the pilasters, which thus are helped on both sides. They could be called lewis-shaped pilasters, because they bear a likeness to the iron instrument so named, with which they lift large stones for buildings. L/fol. 92r] (Illustration 62) This aqueduct is quite different from the others, by reason of the second set of arches which are square and round. Although in appearance that is a fruidess addition, specially the square arches as the rounded vault goes above them, yet they do have a function, just because the rounded ones are on top, and they have another. So the invention is not made for nothing, for it is a design to convey two waters in opposite directions; or two can be conveyed just as well in the same direction simultaneously, as they are carried separately. [/fol. 92v] That is what the invention is for. The reason for it is that one water may be excellent to drink, and there is but little of it, and yet it is mixed with another which is not so good, so the one is for the use of animals and for irrigation, while the other is only for drinking. As the expense is undergone for the most universal good and yet for the same expense it can also be supplied to private persons, that ought to be carried on the square arches. It can also be made to go through pipes. To learn if the pipes should happen to be deteriorating there are little doors which pass through the middle from one arch to the next, just as may be seen illustrated here in the arches themselves. Thus there will not be any gap, and the invention of passing one stream of water over another is in the manner illustrated. Even if they come at the same weight or level, they can be [194]


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made to travel together provided one is guided within pipes; it is to be the smaller and better of the two. When this expense is made, it is the cause of great benefit, which results even if it were no more than just having abundance of water: the invention is quite marvellous for such purposes6. As various designs of arches for aqueducts have been discussed, I thought I ought not to stay silent about how to make tunnels through which water may pass, as they serve the same purpose as aqueducts, although they do it very differently, for the one conveys water high up to stretch from one mountain to another, while tunnels do the opposite, for they are used to convey it from one plain to another. l/fol. 93r] Aqueducts pass through the air and the tunnel passes through the earth, inside the mountain; thus one goes over and the other goes below. The industry of man has invented all these inventions to supply the necessities of human life, and to adapt to our needs. There are two ways, or even three different ways of making tunnels. The first invention was discovered for digging out metals from inside mountains: this was the first and most universal method, since metals and other minerals can not be extracted from the earth without making tunnels. Although they are not made straight or in one line, but keep following the vein of metal, all excavations of earth in mountains are called mines on account of metal mines. The second method was invented by those who lay siege to cities, to take them by force of arms- that is, this second type was invented by military people to undermine city walls, and then set fire to a great quantity of gunpowder there, and so bring down the walls and more easily take the city. This kind of tunnel is very different from those made for the excavation of metals, which have little order or plan, as they follow the material to be excavated, and sometimes go down and sometimes up, just as the vein of metal goes. Mines for war have another arrangement altogether; [/fol. 93v] they are constructed in bends, like a snake, casting about now to one side and now to the other, but following the same principle: at other times these mines are made with square bends, just as each engineer thinks will best fulfil his own intentions. But these two kinds of tunnel never pass right through a mountain; when they have dug as far as some particular point, they stop, whereas tunnels made for the passage of water always do go right through- granted that they do not go through the middle- and besides, they always travel in a straight line. But I should like to give a warning to all those who profess this art, to avoid and shun the making of tunnels if there is any remedy by going some other way, even if the route be longer, for it will be healthier and less dangerous, because they do not always turn out as their makers think they will. Therefore, let me give this advice. When it is required to make a tunnel, first consider whether it is to go very deep, for if it is not deep it will not be safe, but in danger of subsidence; chiefly when it rains there will be a great risk of its falling in. For that reason it should be sunk deep in the earth to make it safe; it should have at least twenty feet thickness of earth above it- and that is the very least. If there is less than this, the channel should be left uncovered, for so it will be more secure and free from danger that way even though it involves more expense, [/fol. 94r] Always, before you begin making a tunnel you should start by 6

The tide Book of Tunnels is written in small letters in the middle of a paragraph. It continues: 'how they are to be made, and how conduits are made to convey water in various ways. It is the 7th book'. [1951

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taking into consideration the quality of the earth 7 - whether it is compact or loose, dense or crumbly, if it is fit to support the weight of earth that must lie upon it, whether you are gong to find rocks when you dig, that may hamper operations. Or whether the earth is sandy or gravelly- of this there are two kinds, one very loose so that when an iron tool bites into it, a great quantity falls in; and the other sort is very compact and strong enough for anything that may dig into it. There is one which goes in veins, sometimes compact and sometimes loose. And if in that mountain there is any of that earth called picora any work made in it will be very safe, although it is more laborious to dig than sandstone. The same applies if it is a porous earth that runs in veins with sandstone, or if it is an earth that looks like sandstone, which they call salagon. This earth looks as if it is a rock but when sun or air touches it, it will split into fragments, as do certain stones which begin to scale when touched by fire. But when neither sun nor air can affect this earth it is very firm. If it is a clay soil it is quite fatty, and water penetrates it but little, as also if it is a white earth which when touched forms a powder, or any other ashcoloured earth, although of this too there are two kinds, one very greasy, the other lean and thin. i/fol. 94v] In excavating a tunnel in a mountain, note should first be taken of the weight of water that is to be conveyed. Then, on reaching the mountain, before starting anything at all, you should have ready some pine wood posts, 25 or 30 palms in length and one jeme thick, squared off, straight grained and without any knots. They are then to be driven in set precisely upright and up to 30 feet apart. This is to be done in the plain before you reach the point where you want to begin the tunnel. Once two have been driven in straight along the line on which it is intended to convey the water, then you should survey form one to the other to see if they are properly aligned. If they are conformable to the route intended for the tunnel, drive the other posts in by stages until you reach right over to the other side of the mountain, putting them all in at the same distance as the first two. When you have reached the other side another two should be driven in in the plain just as was done with the first two. These two pairs on each side are the ones you will use, for all the rest serve only to keep a straight path for placing the last two, and so were only used as guides between the two mouths of the tunnel. That is when it is required to work from both ends of the tunnel, [/fol. 95r] for the first and last pairs make that sure, since they have the function of leading the tunnel straight. So as you keep digging into the mountain , drive posts inside the tunnel, although they are not to be so large, and check with a cord if they are laid conformably to the survey line of the posts driven in first. With this arrangement dig from both sides of the tunnel, so as to make it quicker and for less cost- for if you were to extract all the earth from one side of tunnel it would be a huge job. But I should like to give a warning here; if the tunnel is long, vent-holes should be made to extract the earth; they also serve to give a little light down below, and to admit air to breathe, for in these tunnels it is very close. But these vent-holes can be used to extract earth at less cost, if you install some instrument above, by which it can be done with less labour than through the mouths of the tunnels. If it should happen to be necessary to form an angle in the tunnel, in order to shorten the route 7

'you should start by taking into consideration the quality of the earth'; this question is to be developed later. The definition of «salagon» in RAE may be translated «a clayey or hydraulic limestone». «Picora» is a sandstone which can be dug out with a pick. [196]


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or because some obstacle was found within, then some other instrument should be used, a graduated level or a planisphere, by means of which the line to be made in the tunnel shall be found over the mountain, be it a right angle, obtuse or acute; and also to find that same line again so that the line inside will correspond with the one outside. L/fol. 95v] (Illustration 63). The way to lead a tunnel inside a mountain is depicted here although here it is all done in miniature on account of the lack of space. For greater understanding of this subject I have made this little demonstration here only to show the method to be observed in driving in the posts. A B are the two to be placed on this side and C D those on the other, for all the rest serve only to keep it straight, [/fol. 96r] as I said, as a guide for the line of the tunnel B C. And M N is the line of sight of the engineer taking the level to align the posts as they cross the mountain. In all this there is no more subtlety than keeping the posts straight, but in the picture very few have been illustrated. Illustration

63

To understand the way to change the line inside the tunnel, as stated, and then get back on to it after turning an angle- either because you have come up against a piece of rock, or perhaps have found some expedient to convey the water another way at much less expense; after a large stretch has already been constructed, and it is unavoidable. Let us suppose the line is being taken from east to west, and you are obliged to change it. The two mouths of the tunnel have been marked, and now because of something that has happened it is necessary that the line which went to the west must be altered to north by west. To know how far this north-west line will be from the old one, take the planisphere, and set it up very carefully on the east-west line. Then rotate the sights until you reach the line which you want to follow. Observe what number passes on the planisphere, which is divided into three hundred and sixty six degrees- but most instruments divide into three hundred and sixty degrees, so that each quarter is ninety degrees, and further subdivided into units of ten degrees. The line then will pass close to thirty three degrees from north, which is 57 degrees northward from west. [/fol. 96v] [197]


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Then lay the planisphere, on which is fixed a compass needle, as is done on dials used to indicate the time. The needle ordinarily marks south and north. With this instrument you can with very little trouble change the mouth of the tunnel to the more convenient CIllustration 64) side without missing a point, if you are sensible. Let us suppose some hindrance or obstacle is discovered in the tunnel, so it is necessary for the line to twist about several times, and then get back to the original mouth; it is very easy to do this with the procedure and with the instrument that have been described here. There is another instrument to lead a tunnel, that is, with a long rule, up to twenty palms. It should be broad and thick so as not to bend. After it has been made with care, you then see where the line is to lead your tunnel, and once that is determined take the rule and lay it on the line proposed. Then take a dial and lay it in the centre of the rule (that is, the centre from all directions). But note that it must be a large dial. [/fol. 97r] Before fixing the dial, you have to place the rule in the line of the tunnel. Then take your dial, and make the needle rest along the centre as firm as can be. When the needle or arrow lies straight along the meridian, you will make a long mark on the ruler. If the dial is moved you can easily set the ruler again as you turn it about, for the mark can not fail to fit the line on the dial precisely, since the two lines, of the dial and the mark, correspond. But you must pay attention to do this carefully, specially when laying it at the first point where it was decided to make the tunnel; then with this procedure you can not miss, and will not have to adjust the rule and set the dial every minute. (Illustration 65) Illustration

65

This is the ruler with the dial laid on the meridian line; when it turns however little, the arrow of the dial will not lie exactly on the line AB. It can be done another way, but that is a cruder invention. Take twenty feet from the mouth of the tunnel, and there drive a large peg into the ground, and another peg next to the mouth, [/fol. 97v] Then draw a cord from one peg to the other, mark out two parallel lines, the cord serving as one (and the other can be made in the same way). If that is done the two parallels can not fail to keep you straight so long as they [198]


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Illustration 53 Rule with compass

hold their position. These lines are A B, C D. But line E is not, for C and E are such that the distance from C to A will be seen to be greater than that from D to E. As the distances are not equal, the mistake can be recognised. But if it should touchthe peg N the lines can not fail to be parallel, as if it began from peg M and did not touch peg N, it could only be because it has moved further away from where it began, otherwise it must keep straight if it is well and carefully drawn. (Illustration 66) It may happen that it is necessary to reinforce the mouth of a mine at the start, in order to stop it falling in; [/fol. 98r] perhaps the ground is very loose

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and ill-compact there. Some protection or reinforcement should be made- to prevent it falling- with an invention- a wall of hewn stone- so it will not be destroyed but will be able to resist the weight of earth whose load it must bear. But a flat wall will not be suitable for a protection of this kind so I think I have discovered an invention which will be appropriate. (Illustration 67) It may happen when you are making a tunnel, as has often been said, to convey water not in pipes but in a channel, that you meet with a type of earth through which the water is lost [/fol. 98v]- gypsum stone does this because it normally has holes in it through which the water permeates through many swallows. And even if a river were to pass through them not so much as a drop would get through, for all would soak down into them. With my own eyes I have seen more than six mills of water8 go in and not a thing came out, neither by the tunnel nor anywhere else lower down. So I think I should give the necessary procedure here, for I think I have found the best and most efficacious remedy that has been discovered to this day. The remedy is, to dig in the place where the water permeates until you reach firm solid ground- and do the same if it is gypsum stone. That done you should collect a great quantity of pebbles, not bigger nor smaller than a fist, and fill the place with these pebbles- lay them dry, no course of anything else, just pebbles- until you have almost reached the line where the water is to pass. Then lay a base of lime, with egg-like stones in a setting course of lime. Do the same with lime along the sides, except that they are to be made with boards along the inside of the conduit, so that you can keep filling in with stones up to the whole height of the sides of the conduit. These sides are made as high as may be necessary, in conformity with the width of the conduit, that is, three or four palms. So the conduit is protected by boards along both base and sides, [/fol. 99r] That is done so as not to wait until the lime dries out to let the water through. The boards are left like that until they decay, and thereafter a channel of the lime remains. Where this remedy has been used it has been found very good, because stones never settle, as earth or any other material does. With this invention any empty space can be filled even if it is not for the passage of water. If you should happen to want to level up or even out some pit or hole in a road, there is no better remedy than filling it in with stones, for if it is done with earth, at the end of a few days you need to do it again. (Illustration 68) This is the illustration to show how it is done. The stones are C, the lime which forms the channel is B, the wooden part A. With this invention anything of the sort can be done, as stated above. [/fol. 99v] Nobody could give definite rules without hesitation about things which may intervene when digging tunnels, because there are so many snags that can befall you that it is not possible to give detailed rules. But the plainest is when the earth in the tunnel is found to be loose, not thickened or compact, so that it falls in when the least thing touches it. Some soils are to be found, of such a kind that no iron tool can so much as make a mark in them, and there is greater difficulty in excavating them than in cutting through some rocks. But some rock may be found which needs a great deal of work to break or to penetrate with a pick. Those who dig for metals often meet with things of this kind, and have 8

'six mills of water'; a «muela» was the quantity of water needed to drive one millwheel, used as a measure of the amount of water conveyed by any particular leat. Later, the Aragonese «muela» was estimated as 260 litres per second.

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therefore discovered remedies for them with their long practice and experience. To this day the best thing they have discovered is burning with fire. But with some rocks, after they have laid fire to them, they sprinkle the strongest vinegar over them once they have been well heated by the fire. This is a much better remedy than any other, or certainly would be, were it not for the waste of vinegar. But instead of vinegar, water may be used; after the rock has been well heated water is sprinkled over it, the colder the better. In places where the earth is very loose some other remedy or protection ought to be applied, such as making stone arches, without any mortar, erected at intervals to help to support the weight of the tunnel vault, [/fol. lOOr] so it does not fall in. These arches should be made of stone with pilasters built into the sides of the tunnel. Everything which is excavated under the earth to serve as a conduit or tunnel should have the upper part rounded like a vault, for then it will last much longer, otherwise it could not fail to collapse unless the roof were of rock. Arches put in tunnels need not be worked, for the rougher they are, the better. Only, let the ashlars have a firm base where the curve begins. If it is necessary to make some remedy or protection, let it be done in this manner: where there is timber and trees on the mountains, between the arches place green logs, with their bark, not squared off, for so they will last much longer. They are to be laid in such a way that each one is seated contrary to the next, the foot of one to the head of the other, for they keep better so and support the weight better. After they have been laid, all the empty space that remains between the logs and the earth of the mountain should be filled in, so that the earth can not fall on the logs. For if any space were left unfilled, nothing would have been achieved because the earth continually crumbles away little by little of itself, and so the remedy would be no use because of the great weight that would be loaded on to the logs. And everything would go to ruin. For that reason the timber only supports the earth fill, for as the earth above has no empty space underneath, it can not fall down nor move from its place, because if the tunnel had not been dug out of the mountain the earth would not move by itself, [/fol. lOOv] So if care be applied in filling in, it will certainly be quite safe. If timber should be so far away as to cost much more than stone, I would advise in that case that stone be used, which would be more permanent than wood. But ingenuity will be needed in vaulting the arches inside the tunnel even though [201]

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these arches or vaults are built without mortar. As you excavate so you should keep turning the vault, but it must needs be done piecemeal- that does not mean that the whole of it is to be done in this way, but only some portion where it may be necessary, for security where there is danger, so no harm will come to the workers; and the bigger the stones, the better. The pilasters ought to be taken some little way out of the earth when the tunnel is to carry either rain or river water. But in this there is a great difference between what is regular and what is not, because regular water produces quite different effects from irregular. For a flash flood does more damage at one go than a regular flow of water in a year. That can be seen very plainly in so far as very few rivers do any damage to properties that border them with the water they bring down regularly, nor do they ever change their beds- unless it be when they bring extraordinary amounts of water- still less break their banks, carry away trees or do any of the countless other kinds of mischief caused by floods. Ufol. lOlr] (Illustration 69) These are the arches with their logs of which as I said the pillars are made. The pillars are A B, logs C and the tunnel D. Note that it is necessary to remove the bark for it causes the timber to decay much faster, specially if it is pine or fir or any soft wood. (Illustration 70) Illustration

69

/

To avoid expense, so as not to have to make stone arches it occurs to me that a scissor-shaped gable could be made, of the same timber, double to give it more strength, without having to make any pillars for they could be firmly seated in the sides of the tunnel itself, which is A: the gable is B, the logs C. Ufol 10lv] (Illustration 71) To make it of timber alone. Any wood is good for this purpose, savin, juniper, oak, olive, chestnut, holm-oak, walnut, provided they are green. If they are dry, they should be scorched in the fire until they begin to burn. They they will last an endless time without decaying because of that small amount of charcoal the fire has made, as charcoal does not allow any moisture to penetrate it. [202]


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Illustration 53

This is the invention of arches to be made in tunnels so that they will not fall in: the arches could be erected alone without a vault if the earth is not too loose, but if it is, a vault would have to be made, even though the cost would then be much greater, and the pilasters will need to be built almost entirely into the sides of the tunnel. A is the arch, B the earth, C the side. [/fol. 102r] (Illustration 72) This is the way the tunnel vault is to be constructed, whether it be of hewn stone or rough. The pillars should go a few stones into the earth, to make them more stable.

Illustration

71

I should now like to give an explanation in this treatise about tunnels. At the commencement of digging, it will be necessary to excavate evenly as far as eight varas in height, and then you can begin to enter the earth. But a tunnel to convey water from a spring should be at least twelve palms high, because there must be room inside for the workers to stand upright; and indeed even more so they can dig and raise their picks. It is to be up to five palms in width, but should be wider if it is to carry a conduit. If the mountain is low, so that there is but little distance between the tunnel and the surface, an open channel should be made, because in a short while it will fall in, [/fol. 102v] even if there were up to fifteen to twenty palms' thickness of earth above the tunnel. Therefore a tunnel should not be made where there will be such a small quantity of earth. But for that reason it should be laid open all the way down, even if it does cost more it will be much safer- unless you wish to make the buttresses described previously for this purpose. An open channel would have to be wider than a tunnel, if only to give a slight inclination to the sides so they will not fall in, as they would otherwise do straight after rain. Likewise it may be desirable for the channel to be more spacious in order to lay the pipes so two men can work together. So then, the higher the mountain the safer the tunnel, and the lower the mountain the greater the danger that it will fall in, or collapse- although it will not collapse straight after it is made, but in a little while. Even if it does not collapse at a stroke, it will do so piecemeal in the course of time, because if the [203]


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earth is suspended in the air it must necessarily fall, specially if the earth is fairly friable, loose or sandy, or of similar species. But when the earth is dense or well agglutinated and fatty, it is much stronger and is better preserved than the aforesaid. Ochre is a very simple yellow earth9 possessing a certain acridity. Melian earth contains alum, and therefore is composed of simple earth, but also contains water, air, or fire. [/fol. 103r] These indications can be used to classify the properties of earth, which is by nature heavy. An earth which contains air, whose entire body is dispersed, will be very light and by nature desiccative. An earth which is of itself very cold and contains water, has the property of binding or compressing. An earth which contains water and air is highly agglutinated, that which has air and fire is very light. Some earths are of themselves very lean, or fat, or a bit of each, are rare or dense, or in between, are loose or hard. But that is enough on the recognition of the properties of earths. If anyone would like to understand more of this subject, let him read it in Pliny, where he deals with the properties of earth, or Columella, in his work De Re Rustica where he deals with earths for agriculture, I should like to give a warning about one thing here: in improving springs by laying pipes, raise them somewhat higher than they would normally be. It once happened, when it was required to raise a spring so as to collect more water, that twenty eight days passed without a drop issuing from it. The reason is, that where it came from, there were great cavities in the ground. It was necessary to fill in all those empty spaces throughout its path. [/fol. 103v] It was claimed that it had been lost; but really it was due to not filling in those hollow places, and that is why not so much as a drop had flowed, because they wanted to raise it higher than it would normally stand. But to avoid the suspicion that you may have lost it because it has changed its path, take a rod, and measure how far the water in the reservoir has 9

'ochre is a very simple yellow earth'. This section may indeed, as the text suggests, be inspired by Pliny, particularly H N XXXV, which is devoted to rocks and metals, and by Columella, whose De Re Rustica also deals with the subject more cursorily, in Bk. II. But he may simply be drawing on Vitruvius VII.7, which mentions ochre and Melian earth, a marl obtained in Vitruvius' time from the Aegean island of Melos.

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gone up each day. It was a remarkable thing how the people in the town claimed that the spring had been lost because they did not see a drop issuing from it. I wanted to give this piece of advice so anyone who undertakes something like this may be free of anxiety as to how he can satisfy people with proper reasons. For lack of springs water is extracted from rivers, but only in place of springs, not that the water is less, but just because river water is often turbid. That is why a device has been sought to deal with this, and pipes are laid. Even if the river is made of mud, it can become clear and pure. Water is extracted from rivers in two ways: one is to draw a conduit of water from a river, of such quantity as may seem sufficient for the town. On the route several tanks are built, as is done with springs. But these tanks are only used so the water will deposit the mud it carries, and it does indeed leave a very great part of it there. That is one way; but a firm place should be chosen, [/fol. 104r] which the river can not break down, still less bear off in its flood. When water is taken from a river, it is firstly for drinking, secondly for trades which can not be carried on to any great extent without water; as, dyers, leather dressers, fulling wool and other trades; also to irrigate kitchen gardens, and various other such things which states may have, like pleasure gardens and parks. With the other way to take water from a river, it becomes clear even though the river stays turbid and full of mud, yet the water will be as good as that of a spring which ordinarily flows clear and pure. Where the river is spacious and of great width, a convenient place should be chosen to take the water, well away from the river, forty paces or more. Then dig in the sandy ground until water is found, and there build a structure of several vaults (if one alone were made it would have to be very high, whereas with two or three it can be lower). These vaults are to be under the ground. Then make a tank to collect the water and direct it through pipes. This building will serve as a spring, from which water will flow regularly as if it were a spring issuing from the river. With this device you have clear water regularly at all times of the year. [/fol. 104v] Note is to be taken first to survey the whole distance of the ground to be covered, to see whether the water can reach high enough. Be warned that everything is to be built under the ground, for without that nothing would be achieved. Tanks are to be erected along the route just as is customarily done, to identify whether water is being lost because a pipe has cracked. This invention is of no small importance; necessity has been the teacher of invention as we must have clear water to drink. Although this is an ancient invention it is ever new for anyone who has need of it. As a result of it I have seen sweet water drawn near the sea, which is salty by nature. And as it lost its saltiness, it would much more easily lose its turbidity. Even if the river at some time were to pass over it, it would not fail to come out quite clear, for all that, and even if it were to move away from it, it would still flow regularly. For as the floor of the vault is lower than the bed of the river water will never fail. The walls of these vaults should be very strong. There is to be no decoration in this structure. But at the part where the tank stands to receive the water the vaults should be somewhat lower, and slope downwards toward the river. The tank which will be the main collector of the water should be the largest. A staircase should go down into it to see if anything is preventing the water from flowing, or to begin looking at least, and so proceed along the entire work. [/fol. 105r] If you want to understand how the effect is produced, that water never fails at any time to flow in this structure, the reason is, that this place is much lower than the river bed, so the water is inevitably obliged to descend there, because of the attraction [205]

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which the place exerts on the water. Also, water is heavy by nature and normally seeks to descend because of its heaviness, and to fill any empty space beneath it. There are many more reasons that could be given about this subject. We could really call this an artificial spring since it is made by the industry of man. This is the design and plan in the method of making vaults with the tank for the artificial spring although in effect it will be natural. I have made one of three vaults and one of two, in order to show that the broader they are the more they will raise. (Illustration 73)

Ufol. 105v] This is the design for the vault. They may be made of different kinds- I mean, as to the material. But they ought to be made of masonry as it is an underground work, and that would be less expense and more advantage, if they were well made; and they will last longer because the lime becomes very strong with moisture. I wanted to show these two inventions for this purpose of making the receptacle of the spring. That I did because as well as these, others could be made (Illustration 74) of greater ingenuity, and as much to the point, but for one thing, to show the difference between the vaults, which are all three equal in height except that the one with the tank is somewhat higher Ufol. 106r] because it has to push against the others, and diey on the contrary must point toward the tank which lies across them. Care must be used in making it, since it is to preserve the other three. These vaults are square, not more than three varas in width by three in length. In that area quite an amount of water can issue from one only, never mind three. Its height will not be more than three and a half varas, although a much greater amount will have to be excavated because the deeper underground they are built the safer they are, and the fresher the water. And there will be a great quantity of water to share out into various portions, if the town is a big one, at least there will be abundance where the invention has been installed and it will be the more beautiful as it pours out through as many pipes as the supply of water allows. It would be a great deception to claim that it would not be clear, since it may regularly be observed how in places where they drink from rivers, when they are turbid the remedy to obtain clear water is to dig three or four palms deep in the river bank; then they get clear water straightaway. What experience easily teaches us, we have to believe, for it is a matter that can very soon be proved, at no expense. The more you dig the more depth; where there are four or five palms height of water it is unmixed with the sand because of the walls. [206]


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Illustration 53

.A

I wanted to set down this information in case anyone has doubts, [/fol. 106v] I leave aside all the inventions that have been invented to make water clear and sweet. For if that can be done with artifice how much safer and more certain ought it to be when done naturally, how much truer and more reliable. Here many inventions could be applied for a similar effect, and the water can be divided into various portions for private and general use. Waters themselves are all clear, and have no natural colour or smell, so if water is turbid it is not so by itself but from something mixed with it. If that be true, even though water should be passed through various objects or instruments it would not lose its colour, as can be done by means of fire, unless there were some remedy, as is done with wine when you want to make alcohol in its instrument by the force of the fire, passing it through the pipe of the retort so that it loses its colour. It is the same with the tastes that water acquires as it passes through places that possess those tastes, which are mixed with the water, and the same with colours; they are caused by the water passing through places so crumbly and loose that however little water touches them, those colours are left in it. [/fol. 107r] For water can not have any colour or taste any other way than by taking it up on its path, for as it goes it ordinarily licks away at the colour or taste. Often water is drawn to irrigate estates in the country, large or small according to the quantity of water and the quality of the river, but also according to the convenience of drawing and conveying water from the river. But however much may be drawn, it is never as much as is needed, it always falls short. When water is drawn off without sluices, so the water enters the channel without any artifice to raise it, just with some protection at the conduit's mouth to reinforce it, so that [207]


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floods will not break the mouth down. But water can not be drawn regularly from these channels, because when the river falls and it is low water no water can get in except in time of flood. In order not to have to wait for floods, sluices are commonly made to raise the water, of various kinds, according to the disposition of the site. For sometimes a place is found so convenient that it seems as if nature has made everything for that purpose, but most times such structures have to be built by main force; and often the work goes for nothing. Conduits are always made wider at the beginning than in the middle or at the end, and so get ever narrower as they go on. [/fol. 107v] That is done because at the beginning they have to receive a greater quantity of water. Than as it later finds the space narrower, it travels with greater force than it did when the channel was as wide as it was at the mouth: it did not have so much vigour there for as water accumulates, it acquires very great force. All conduits are made wider at the top than at the base; if there are twelve palms at the base, let there be fifteen at the top. That is done to stop the earth falling in, for if they were made as wide above as below they would fill up with fallen earth. It is the same with moats around cities, and is likewise observed with trenches for war, which are always made broader at the top than at the bottom. Now if that is to be observed for something that is only used for a short time (and for all this precaution the edges still fall in), then surely the broader channels are at the top the safer they will be, and even if there is somewhat more expense it is well spent because it avoids the greater expense of having the sides fall in, and instead they will be very stable. (Illustration 75) [7fol. 108r] In order not to need any dike sluice or other remedy for the water to enter the channel, or if perhaps some place should be found convenient such that it is an excellent protection in itself and needs no other, we should begin with the lowest and simplest types, and then go on until we come to the most difficult, proceeding by stages until we reach those made of stone. Illustration

75

26 Palms 12 Palms

The first remedy to be made, to let water enter an irrigation conduit, after having built the channel and taken the level from the river bed, and after having made choice of a place where you can be sure the water will not change bed, nor move away nor be diverted through eating away its bed- all these precautions must be taken to make the structure firm and durable, because if the river gets deeper, the irrigation site may have to be changed. But that can not be done without changing the mouth of the conduit, which would be a considerable loss since another mouth and a piece of conduit would have to be re-made, as you [208]


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Illustration

76

River

would then have to go upstream to look for a solution. So it will be necessary to make a stone sluice of such a kind that the river can not break the entrance for the water. These sluices sometimes form by themselves, [/fol. 108v] but at other times it is necessary to make them in the manner sketched here. (Illustration 76) A is the mouth of the channel, the wooden sluice-gate is placed at B to close it so water can not get in, C is a spillway, as is ordinarily made in any channel, to return it to the river when required. [/fol. 109r] Channels or canals on which it is possible to navigate ought to be of sufficient width for two barges or skiffs to pass freely when they meet, without touching or having any contact. So navigation canals are only drawn from great rivers, (they are called navillo because they are navigable) as the rivers have to contain plenty of water for so much to be taken from them. The construction of these canals. Before you start, first reflect well if the water is to be conveyed over a plain or over mountains, if there are any which can block the way; if the earth is loose or dense, and if when the canal is made the banks will keep falling in. For where navigation canals are to be made the earth should provide very firm banks, and there should be no rough places in the bed which would have to be removed because they would obstruct the path of the barges. [209]

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So it should be a level ground, and broad, and the water should have great depth for barges to sail in it, for the weight they carry would stop them sailing if the channel had not depth and breadth of water enough. If it should happen that you had not both of these two features, let there be one of them at least, preferably the depth. For barges have greater need of depth than of a good bed for navigation, [/fol. 109v] even though breadth is very advantageous too, and although water has less current when it is broader and more spacious. When the water is broad, the banks are lower and then the bed of river or channel is not stable, nor are the banks, because they keep changing, unless they are constructed in such a manner that you can rely on them entirely because of their stability, or if the earth of which they are made is as firm as some- for there are some earths on which water can not make a mark, nor do workmen's tools as they dig. Some kinds of bed regularly change position, specially when the banks are clay and it runs through a plain, and has height under the bed like plough ridges or like little hills. Whatever conveys the water goes round over the river whose banks are of poor earth, for its bed will be the same. In this case the bed will be uneven, like steps, and badly cluttered and obstructed with things the river has brought down with it, such as branches, tree-trunks, stones, and countless things like that. The worst river banks are those the water has brought down in flood, for it continually eats away at them. It may be observed that rivers whose banks are of this type of earth undergo great changes and do not stay regularly in one bed, because of the lack of stability, this earth being so mobile. And as such rivers vary their position so much, depositing in one place and taking away from another, they can quite easily change their beds every day. [/fol. llOr] So we can consider the situation where a river makes great bends, and against which ramparts of earth are erected as a defence. These ramparts or dykes of strong earth should be built in straight lines as far as possible, for if they go crosswise they have very little strength and so become very dangerous. They must be made after due reflection and follow the line of the current in the river. This may be seen in Italy in the river Po, which almost goes through the air, since it has no banks of its own, for they are in most places made by the hand of man, so it would certainly drown a great deal of land were it not for these dykes. So it is kept straight with these dykes with small outlets from its course, bed, or matrix. If the dykes or embankments are low the river will pass over them when in spate, so keep making it larger until you reach the bed in order that the water may not undo or carry it away any day. It is certain that water will constantly leave behind objects it has brought down with it, and so they will pile up, almost as if it wanted to climb up, and so it will keep raising its bed. As the river can no longer carry them they are left behind, and then pushed further along, or carried for a while and then returned to another part of the bed. If in its furious impetus it should leave the dyke behind and ruin it, then that shows how all its force is applied to filling in the places it finds empty. So it varies its course or path, and carries off all those things it finds in its way, [/fol. HOv] although it leaves heavy and weighty objects, specially those which do not move of themselves. And so they travel along little by little, driven by the fury of the water. This may be seen in floods where the water breaks into the fields, and leaves the coarser sand behind first, and then in the highest places it leaves as much of the lightest and muddiest earth as it has lifted. But if the flood should prove too much for the [210]


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dyke, it will then move a great part of the earth it is carrying, because of the head it has acquired, and with its furious waves, will transport everything it brings down in its current. And it will dig so far down as to form a cave under the dyke, and undermine it, until it is wholly ruined. But if the waves should knock against banks which are not straight, nor yet across their path, and so meet them sideways on, they will oppose them and damage them, because they must turn and double back across the breadth of the river, affecting both banks equally, both the one that receives the blow and the one that gives it. These bends are like something lying across the river, and suffer the same effects as if they were in fact so, and both are ruined together, because of the great fury and impetus of the water. The more its fury, the more violent and turbid the whirlpools it will make in its eddies. Ufol lllr] This whirling about of the water is like additional water in the river, and its fury is such that nothing is strong enough to resist it over the course of time. This can commonly be seen in bridges of stone; we ordinarily see the piers undermined much worse down stream than in front. So the river bed is much more eroded there than anywhere else. It is the same with a river in a narrow place where it comes out of its banks and moves into a wider space: because of its head it forms great whirlpools which wear away and devour whatever they meet before them. Hadrian's bridge at Rome10 is one of the best made bridges that has ever been seen, strong and of the best design that any building could have; but in the end we see how floods have brought it to such a term that it is believed it can not survive for long, it is so worn away by floodwater, which year by year regularly loads its piers with great amounts of rubbish and rotting vegetation, branches, and tree trunks, which the flood has carried off the fields. By this means the arches are blocked, so the water presents great resistance at that point, and a continual pressure and burden; and as it now falls from above, makes great pools or eddies, so impetuous that it looks as if it had fallen from a great height. It keeps whirling around the piers, eroding them, and does the structure great damage. L/fol. lllv] And let that be enough of river banks. Herodotus writes11 how King Nicotrixes near Mesopotamia took away the current of the river Euphrates, which from being rapid and swift he made gentle and kindly. This he did by making bends, and turning it as twisted as a screw, so the river travelled from one side to the other, now up now down, and so with this invention he made it gentle and quiet. It is certain that the more water is restrained, the more heavily it moves; it is just as if a man were to go down a road that is not too steep, he will then travel much further than he would by a track that one moment went one way and another the next, as if we should say one moment he went to the right and the next to the left. (Illustration 77) 10

'Hadrian's bridge at Rome'. This passage was evidently also inspired by Alberti, who refers in almost the same words to this bridge, now the Ponte Sant'Angelo. The observation was therefore already a century old by the time our text was written. Since then four more centuries have passed, and with some restoration work, the bridge still stands. 11 'Herodotus writes' ... in Histories 1.185- he extols the wisdom and hydraulic achievements not of a king, but a queen, Nitocris. Unfortunately, modern commentators agree that no queen in any Babylonian text so far recovered can be identified with her, and indeed insist the name is Egyptian. All her engineering projects they ascribe either to Nebuchadnezzar, or to Nabonabit. In any case nothing remains of any attempt to tame the Euphrates by imposing artificial meanders on its course, so Herodotus may have been deceived by the interconnecting irrigation canals of the basin. In any case, would not this practice lead to worse flooding by retaining excess water, and putting additional strain at the bends? Later engineers certainly tried to control flooding by cutting new and shorter channels to remove the water. [211]


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Illustration

77

This is a screw like the one which it may be understood King Nicotrixes made in the river Euphrates; these screws may be understood in various ways, but really there are only three, and I shall here portray all three. Ufol. 112r] (Illustration 78) Illustration

78

This one is almost conformable to the first. This is the second kind of screw, although in my judgement it can not go well because of the points made in the screw; in my opinion it would be much better if they were round like those here. (Illustration 79) Illustration

79

This one almost conforms to the first, although it is somewhat different, but the function is as I have stated. (Illustration 80) This one is different from the rest, even if it does have a little of the first in it, but it is quite different in the end. You could ask me why I set these screws down here- what purpose do they serve, as there is not anyone now who would wish to be so ingenious as to try and tame a river that flows too furiously. [7fol. 112v] For there is no prince who gives anything for such matters, the golden age is past when princes were so heedful of public business in their kingdoms that their only care then was to leave some memorial of themselves in such notable achievements. Certainly, if in these days those ancient architects should return, who made so Illustration

80

[212]

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many theatres and amphitheatres, buildings which are used only for the presentation of comedies and plays, I hold it for very certain that they would find it necessary to look for another kind of livelihood. For I see that in matters of utility for their kingdoms, the kings of today will not pay out a hundred thousand ducats- so would they spend three hundred thousand on benefits that do not last an hour? (Illustration 81) Returning to the subject we began, I say that the velocity of a river is caused by whether its bed is inclined or sloping, and not level. The water in any river whose bed is level will never travel at great velocity12. It is quite clear that if a river's current is too rapid or swift, that is caused by its descent from mountainous regions. A river which goes gently does no damage to our necessities, but a strong one regularly erodes its banks and throws them down and ruins them. Ufol. 113 r] A gentle river lets vegetation grow and freezes over very easily. But if we wish to make a river narrower, it may be assumed that the water will have greater depth, and anyone who digs out a river bed will have the water lower. Anything that can obstruct a river should be removed: in cleaning it out almost the same procedure and the same rules are to be followed as shall be given in another place. But lowering the bed to make a river level will be work in vain unless it is level and equally low in the direction of the sea, for otherwise the water will not be able to move. Illustration

82

Conduits ought always to be made13 at least one third wider on top than on the bed, as may be understood from the figure. (Illustration 82) For there are rules on how conduits ought to be made; ordinarily it is desirable that they may be deeper 12 'the water in any river whose bed is level will never travel at great velocity' ... some interesting observations on the relation of velocity to other characteristics of streams. 13 'conduits ought always to be made'; the dimensions of channels simply for conveying water and compared with navigable canals. The phrase ÂŤone third more in depth than widthÂť is somewhat awkward; clearly the author intends 1/3 of 12, rather than 1/3 of 8. The numbers on the diagramme may match, but it is not to scale.

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than they are wide, although that is not a general rule. What I feel is, that conduits ought to be made in this manner: sixteen on top, twelve on the bed, eight in depth. But navigable canals require to be much deeper than they are broad, which is taking the rule for conduits in reverse. Instead of being twelve at the bed and eight in depth, [/fol. 113v] these have eight in width at the bed and twelve at the surface, and let them have twelve in depth, which is one third more in depth than width, because of the weight carried by barges, skiffs or boats. Navigable canals ought to have a great quantity of water which must never fail even if it might drop in level. There is to be no obstruction in them that could hold up the passage, nor any break which could cause water to be lost, as often happens in matters of this kind. There are two ways of conveying conduits. The first is when the water is plentiful where we start to take it, and it is then conserved in the same state in which we took it, we do not lose any nor does it even drop in level. Attention must be paid to cleaning and maintaining the work, removing anything that may have been thrown in or fallen in, so they do not obstruct the current, nor cause any damage to vessels navigating on it. These channels we could certainly call a river asleep or becalmed: they should have all those parts which rivers are required to have. The first thing is a firm and secure bed and sides of good earth which will not fall in or collapse, and very firm so the water is not lost through the seams in the earth. As stated, they should be deeper than they are broad. All rivers which flow through a plain are navigable, and indeed are very suitable for that. [/fol. 114r] But all those which have strong currents and a great head can not be navigated because of their great velocity, and also because of the great changes they commonly undergo, and because of the sandbanks in the channel, due to their lack of stability. On account of all these inconveniences they can not be navigated. But in Spain there are very few navigable rivers, unless it be the river Ebro, and that only for a little distance. Sometimes we may want to detain a river at some point for the sake of some benefit, supplying conduits mills or sluices, or for other purposes. You should begin to detain it gradually, because when it is narrowed it fills up with too much body to be navigable. So make some protection or remedies14 along the sides of the banks in the manner here illustrated. It can be done in various ways, according to the disposition (Illustration 83) of the site and the material available, [/fol. 114v] Some people make them of stakes and wooden mattresses and then fill in with stones. They should be started a good way into the earth and project gradually into the river, going very gently. The more of these breakwaters they make the further they get into the middle of the river. Defences may be made of gabions, of branches with stone infill, laid sideways, and they then drive stakes in by them. But these gabions can not rise very high. As well as mattresses and stakes these defences may also be made of planks nailed to timbers driven well into the ground with stays behind them, and in that way a wall can be made if there is not much to do. (Illustration 84) The gabions are laid sideways then, with stakes driven in to hold them firm so the water does not roll them about. They are to be as required, and of any material. 14 'so make some protection or remedies'. Alberti writes briefly on dykes as a means of river control. This the author develops into a discussion of the potential of groynes to direct the flow, and mattresses to reinforce the dykes. The diagramme on 115v is meant to assist in establishing the best angle for a breakwater in any particular situation: once again it seems to imply engineering without precise angle measurement.

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Illustration

83

They should be so laid as to move out into the stream very gently, for if you tried to move out across the current, the great force of the water would destroy it. l/fol. 115r] They should be laid almost as the water moves. For when it does not find anything to offer it much resistance, it does not exert much force against it; so keep gradually moving further and further out. Then the water will deposit sand and gravel in the bays at A B C D, and so will itself reinforce this defence. It strikes at E F G H and as it finds dead ground in those places between the angles it there leaves all that it has violently brought down; and the same happens with all objects brought down, which now find a place to rest and be still, for the breakwaters forming walls or stone should be made according to this rule set down here to keep their due proportions and design. This invention has many uses: firstly to measure high objects, to make things appear equal, as big below as above, and in perspective too. The method to be followed is to describe a quarter of a circle, and divide it into as many parts as you think best, as can be understood from the figure. Illustration

84

C u r r e n t of river Gabions

(.Illustration 85) L/fol. 115v] But where there is a narrow place through which an outlet must be found, or a river emerges from narrows, a remedy must be applied to stop the outflow causing damage, for as it spreads out it may drown much land to reach some wide and spacious place. To prevent [2151

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Illustration

85

such damage, its fury must be tempered so it does not form great whirlpools which would lay waste the fields. (Illustration 86) Ufol. 116r] In applying this remedy, let it be understood that it is to be carried out only in cases where the river is damaging fields or estates thereabout, otherwise there is no call to go to so much trouble. Letter A is the narrows, letters C C are where it may spread out, the defences to prevent this are at letters B B; these should be very large and broad dykes of earth made in the manner shown at B B, and likewise at D D. But they can not be built without wood and branches for in that lies all the strength of this artifice. Care must be taken not to let them fall vertically; they need to have plenty of width in the lower part, conformity with what we demonstrated because of floods which could at some time pass over the

Illustration

86

tops of these dykes or embankments. C too should not fall vertically, but slope evenly down so as not to be destroyed. The water will flow and pass straight through them without any head producing eddies, for it is they which erode the earth from under dykes, and cause their ruin. But if water has damaged or eroded them, it is necessary to apply this remedy: lay some fascines of matweed or branches of savin, juniper or the like, [/fol. 116v] for they have fine leaves, and close it well where the damage is to be repaired; then lay a course of large stones so they are quite firm (Illustration 87) (if they are squared off so much the better and more effective); then throw on fascines of various fine materials in turn so the water does not reach the foundation, because in that case it would not be long before it carried off the banks. It is very useful to make these dykes of turf, dug out of meadows with the grass in it because the roots take hold of each other again- if it is laid skilfully so that no empty spaces are left and the earth is well mixed, [/fol. 117r] Much more care must be used in making the part in contact with the water, to see that it is firm. There are other remedies that can [216]


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be made of wood, such as osiers, which are good work so long as they last but they decay very quickly and so begin to wear away, and let the water in at those points, and large gaps begin to form there, whereby much damage is caused. So I judge it best to put in stakes of green willow throughout. In it are placed or planted willows, poplars and black poplars, or any other species of tree that requires much water. They are to be thickly planted with several rows of them, that is very suitable for this purpose, although they too will be found to have their defects and accidents. For in the course of time holes form in the trunks of these trees, from old age and drying out. Then they fall and leave gaps, specially the willow and black poplar, trees which in time decay of themselves, and leave holes in the ground through which water can get into the dykes. [/Jol. 117v] I am most pleased with those who plant on their banks osiers, briars, vine-bearing dwarf elder, other grasses and plants of that type which grow plenty of roots or shoots, such as reed mace or rushes, or anything else that requires much water: and does not grow unless in water; and which are very fibrous and do not form branches, as osiers, rushes, brambles, reeds, dwarf elder, or wild vines for all those things- all those species of grass or plants- produce no branches, grow very tangled and do not get very thick. As soon as water touches them they give way to it and do not resist it. They have very large roots- I mean very long thin ones- so they are useful plants since they travel far and reach right down into the river. Where these remedies are applied to dykes, so that they follow the current along the river, nothing should be planted right on the banks, against which an object brought down by the river could be detained, come to rest, and so resist the current. But where a dyke is built to turn a river in a different direction, a great fortress of beams and planks must be erected against the stream, to resist the whole weight of the river's water. These defences ought to be made in summer when the water is very low. To make a dyke or sluice to cross the stream, the bed of the river should be carefully examined, then make a wonderful stockade of tall wooden posts of oak, driven in thickly for this purpose, bound well together with wooden ties, and put in its mattress like a sluice as the figure here shows. Ufol. 118r] (Illustration 88) With this kind of defence any kind of river can be turned aside. But you have to know how to employ this device, by knowing how to make it cut the water in such a way that the whole weight of the water does not fall wholly on this structure. Do it in such a way as to divert the water gradually in a diagonal line, for water can be diverted from its course in no other way, without considerable damage to the defences made to keep the water out. Two ranks of these stockades should be employed, with plenty of stones in between [217]

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them, alternating with fascines so the weight of branches and stones will lie much better; these are to lie crosswise in the middle of the mattress or matting. At intervals abutments should also be placed at the back, [fol. 118v] to make this defence more secure, so as to divert the river from one side to the other.

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SEVENTH BOOK Introduction Passing one stream under another The crossing of two channels may not seem so different from crossing a dry valley by means of an aqueduct. Even the author admits that the engineer will only rarely need to carry his water over another stream, which is somehow unsuitable for human uses. Still, culverts will sometimes be called for, and the situation does provide a neat problem for the imaginative and the ingenious to overcome. Evidently the idea appealed to the Renaissance taste for subtlety and bravura in such enterprises. In his travels through Italy Michel de Montaigne, in 1580, was much impressed by the crossing at Battaglia, south of Padua. There a stream coming down off nearby hills cut across the path of a canal; to avoid any 'interruption', the canal was carried over the stream on a stone aqueduct. The stream itself was embanked to allow its use for some navigation, while a bridge over the canal took peoples and vehicles above the canal so they could look down on the intersection. So the programme of this book, perhaps the intended Book Seven, if the title of the book of tunnels is an afterthought, could be accepted as all in the waterworks engineer's remit. Five procedures are described: a) laying a pipeline on a wooden deck that bridges the river, when the latter is lower than the crossing channel; or else laying it on the river bed. Here the author notes that the current is stronger at the surface than on the bed; a comment justified by observation of bridge failures b) an inverted syphon, a method used sometimes by Ancient Roman engineers. This passage may well have been inspired by Vitruvius (VIII.6.5-6). The Ancients were dubious about the value of this siphon, and, as is done here, warned of the risk of air docking, and of burst pipes at the bottom of the curve. Nevertheless, a few were constructed. We are also reminded that the spring from which water is to be drawn must be a little higher than the point of delivery. The drawing [fol. 122r] explains why, although the minimum difference in height could hardly be quantified. The theory of the siphon is then explained in terms of the law of the balance. In a way it could be argued that this section is rather out of place, suiting a dry valley: it might fit better in the book of aqueducts. But it does serve to introduce c) where ÂŤwe are dealing with equality on both sidesÂť, so that the two channels are so nearly on a level that neither can actually be carried over the other. An inverted syphon [219]


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will then have to be employed. It will be necessary to tunnel under one stream, so that the water of the more desirable will reappear on the other side. d) if there is a little head, let one stream leap over the other; it is more important that its current be the faster than its relative quantity of water, for it must have enough velocity to pour down in a broad arc, sufficient to clear the stream below. Both are probably to be seen as small artificial channels. Here, as with his observation of bridge failures he is apparently aware of the effect of greater velocity- the purpose of tapering the upper channel is to increase current velocity, making it more 'contracted' (recogida)although he perceives this as force rather than speed. e) finally, a simple conduit or 'maripuente', with one stream carried on arches over the other. The crossing at Battaglia probably looked much like one of those shown. As usual, one subject leads to another. This does seem to be the first instance where the author refers back to 'the book of cements' [120 r] and the 'book of levelling instruments' [123 r], and forward to the 'book of stone weirs' [130r] and the 'book of wells' [136 v], By this stage presumably the general plan of the work with its division into books had been established (not necessarily the 'libros' we have now). Besides, he also refers back to the first part of this book as to 'the previous chapter' (el capitulo precedente) [126 r], which implies that the books were to b e further subdivided, as they are in Vitruvius and Alberti. N o w the account of moving intersecting channels over one another leads to another brief note on river diversion, and this to an interesting comment on the erosion of river banks in time of flood. The concept of ÂŤresistanceÂť introduced here also plays a part in the mechanics of the author's contemporary, the French mechanician Jacques Besson. This then leads to other ideas of removing water and so to marsh drainage. Curiously enough, this topic, so important for most sixteenth and seventeenth century writers in this area, is touched on quite briefly. Perhaps it was not regarded as pressing in Aragon. Indeed, the author recommends it not so much for land reclamation as to control disease. Since this drainage technique depends on a series of regular parallel dikes, it can be transferred to a method of irrigation by contour ditches on a hillside. W h e r e the source of water is high enough, the slope below can b e watered from it; as it drains into the uppermost ditch, until it overflows, when it runs down to the next, and so on down. In practice most sixteenth century irrigation was on flat low-lying pasture, although contour terraces had been built on hill slopes to retain water and soil, as well as to provide level ground for planting since time immemorial- or at least since before 1000 BC. As the irrigation procedure shown here might be rather expensive, the author moves to an application of a similar concept, of water in a staircase, falling from step to step just for pleasure. Indeed most of the rest of this book takes u p the theme of water as a source of aesthetic satisfaction and entertainment, in the gardens of the great. Almost all the palace gardens of the day had something of the sort. For patron and architect alike, the exterior of the noble or royal residence had to be extended into neighbouring space, as if to incorporate surrounding nature. Water with its fluidity, its rapid movement set off beautifully the massive solidity of the building. N o doubt in the arid heat of a Spanish or Italian summer they helped to cool the air around them too. In Spain these features were introduced by the Moors, and the fountains of Andalusia remain among the most celebrated. Still, this section of Book Seven was inspired more by Italian examples: the best known gardens there, the Villa d'Este, Villa Lante, Pratolino were admired as much for their waterworks as for arbours, plants and statues. That being so, there is another curious omission here; where are the designs of fountains and water-organs, such as appear in Salomon de Caus' 'La Raison des Forces Mouvantes', for instance? Nowhere in the Twenty-One Books. [220]


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Instead a natural progression takes us from stepped ditches to the water-staircase- the cascade- one of the most popular features of the grand water-garden well into the nineteenth century. Then another popular piece; the hydraulic practical joke; a fountain whose pipes are concealed under a pavement, or as here in the ceiling of a little pavilion, which can suddenly b e turned on to soak the unwary. King Ferdinand of Aragon had one in the grounds of his palace of Poggio Reale in Campania. Few are as elaborate as this version; it does seem a shame that it is unillustrated, despite the promise to depict it elsewhere. But is there not a strong hint of sexual aggression in this notion of jets of water spurting u p to wet the unsuspecting ladies (under their skirts, no doubt); he does stress that ladies are to be the intended victims of this prank? A more i n n o c e n t - and less c o m m o n - presence in the water garden is the ornamental fishpond. This must be one of the first accounts of the fishpond as a purely decorative feature, although digging out artificial ponds to raise fish for food was a longstanding practice. H e r e the p o n d is more like a modern aquarium, or a pool for carp or goldfish, in which the satisfaction that comes from watching the movements of the fish is reward enough. An economic fishpond does follow, but it is marine, a man-made lagoon to trap and farm inshore fish. The salt water pond is described as if it was established practice; perhaps as the author says, because pirates had made fishing out to sea too dangerous. Certainly raiders from the north African coast had frequently harassed the shores of southern Spain in the years this work was written.

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To convey one stream under another t may seem impossible to convey a spring so as to pass under a river, reservoir, lake, ravine or arm of the sea when required. Nevertheless, the method and device used shall be set down here, even though it is quite difficult, for it demands much ingenuity and careful thought. You have found the source of water it is intended to convey: it is excellent for human health, but it is on the other side of a river from the town it is to serve. There is no bridge over which it could cross, yet the goodness of the water is such as to dispose you to apply the greatest care in finding some way to bring it to the town, even if it should involve great expense before it can be enjoyed. So then: the water is to be conveyed in pipes to the river's bank where there are to be held in readiness as many oak beams as may reach across the river from one bank to the other, when joined together, [/fol. 119r] They should be thick beams for in them a channel is to be dug out wide enough to take the lead pipes which are in it, as stated- or it could be earthenware pipes, but for this purpose lead ones will be better unless it was required to avoid expense, when earthenware ones could be used, except in the joins, where they would have to be lead, fastened and fixed well to the earthenware pipes. At the joins the beams are to be firmly attached to one another, but with some play because as the beams attached to each other in the stream are under a continual strain, they must necessarily form an arch curving downward towards the river bed. For that reason they should be much longer than the breadth of the stream, and the lead pipes should be bedded firmly in them, so as to be quite unable to move. If the beams should bend, the lead pipes must buckle or bend at the same point, so the joints will have to be well cemented and the pipes covered with fairly thick oak boards. Note that there should be an excess of beams on both sides so that the pipes there can be joined up conveniently to those on the beams. [/fol. 119v] After this, heavy weights should be laid on the beams so they stay evenly over the river bed, and also to stop the water moving them too easily. When you want to erect this structure in the river bed, you should begin in the middle, laying the weights on the beams in the manner illustrated here. A is the weight, the beams with the pipes are as follows; B firm in the ground, C in the (Illustration 89) water, D and E show how the pipes are covered, as at F.

I

With this invention (Illustration 90) a source of water may be made to cross under a river; the deeper the river the more secure this structure will be from being carried away by floods, although for still greater security it might be better to drive in some oak posts to push it back. [/fol. 120r] You must know that anything on the [222]


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Illustration

89

Stone

bed of a river will be very little troubled by floods, since the water's greatest force is exerted in the centre at the top. If we were to say that our river was twenty feet deep, the upper ten would carry much more force than the lower ten in the centre. Experience shows us this in various ways, particularly in the piers of bridges which are never worn away at the root, in the river bed, but always where they touch the surface of the water. We see the same thing with the posts of timber bridges; the post driven into the bed is never lifted first, as if it were we should see it fall in the opposite direction, just like when a man is walking and falls over on his back because his feet have given way in front of him. In this case we see it is quite the contrary; they always fall forward and not backward when the river floods. Illustration

90

The difference between the straight line and one that tends to curve: and so curves because of the arc that they make

The lead pipe will necessarily keep bending in the joins of the beams and so it is to be noted that the pipes will have to be fixed firmly in their channels with mortar or twice cooked gypsum, or some such material. The beams should be of oak, as that lasts much longer in the water before it decays. Thus you will achieve your intention if you lay the beam straight with metal hinges so they can have play at the joins. The lead pipes should be well cemented to the earthenware ones, as I said. The cement for this will be found in the book of cements. But in order to make sure whether all has been well cemented the first time, or not, take ashes well sifted and mixed with water, [/fol. 120v] and gradually introduce them into the pipes, so that if anything remains to be cemented, the ashes will fill it and so close it. So let the water in a little at a time, for if it is let in all at once, some air will be enclosed in the pipes and the water will not be able to pass through them, because air is a great opponent of water, so if any is enclosed in the pipes it makes them burst, specially if it is enclosed as a body within water, for then so great is the resistance it presents as it seeks to escape, that it breaks and destroys the whole thing. When it is required to lower the beams into the river they should be helped with ropes and boats so the structure goes down evenly and does not tilt or let the weights fall. If need be, when the structure is erected in a river, posts may be driven in to form a defence to preserve it when the floods come; they need not be thick, just one to each of the beams holding the pipes. But if the structure is to be [223]


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erected in a lake or arm of the sea, there is no need for any posts because in such places there are never any floods at any time, once they are in position. But there is a great difference between a river and a lake. Although waves do form on the lake, it does not flow like the river, nor does the sea, [/Jol. 121r] even though winds do move the water of the sea and run a swell of rising waves. But all that is only on the surface, not on the bed, unlike rivers all of whose parts move together, along the bed, on the surface and in the middle. So for reasons stated above, posts are unnecessary in reservoirs, lakes or arms of the sea. But it should be understood that all this is only to be applied when no other convenient route can be found to convey this source of water, for where it can be found, no-one should take on a job of this kind which will cause him great trouble and danger. Human need has given men incentive to look for new inventions to supply their wants, and has been the cause of their finding out many things that had never before been so much as thought of, still less invented. It has had the chief part in making men thoughtful and even imaginative in curing with artifice or ingenuity what nature has denied them. So we see how it has been the cause of the invention of various kinds of machines and new designs of instruments for the sustenance of life. "Water is one of the four elements which God has created for the benefit of man. Without it no animate thing can be sustained, nor can they live without it. As water is so noble and necessary an element, why should we not use all our strength to bring it to the places where we live, to supply our needs, and forour convenience and pleasure too? i/fol. 121v] We see how countless towns go short of it for lack of people who may lay down the procedure and method by which it could be conveyed or brought to their towns, because these things require great judgement and much ingenuity, specially when the job is hard to do, when the spring rises in mountains some way from the town to which it is to be brought, and the town itself situated on another mountain. It may seem impossible to raise it to a placethat is so high and steep, and has a valley in between, so that it will have to be raised from the depths of the valley to such a great height. The level should be taken from the source of the spring to the lowest part of the valley, and from there to the town. Having seen the difference between the two places, if the point on the mountain where the spring rises and the mountain where the town is are equal in height, the water can in no way reach the town; it is true that it could be conveyed near the town. But when the water rises higher than the town, in that case it could be conveyed into the town, even if it be very high. But when the water rises lower than the mountain it will be hopeless to make it enter the town- if it could not be done in the case of equality, how much more must that be so when it is lower! That can easily be seen by experiment; we shall take it from glass siphons Ufol. 122r] in which the water never goes up as high as it comes down. Experience shows us that if that happens in such a little thing, how much more must it be so with something so large and the distance so far apart: it will never be able to get up so high, as we may see in various ways and can be shown by demonstration. (Illustration 91) The vessel full of water is A, B is the siphon, that is, B is placed inside vessel A, takes the water and raises it to C, the highest point in the siphon, and discharges it at D. If D were not much lower than B, not one drop would go up, and all the more so if the end of the siphon were at E. From this demonstration the method to follow can be understood; if it is higher or equal it can not be raised. But this [224]


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Illustration

invention is to be taken in reverse with the spring and the town; what is the beginning in the siphon is the end in the spring.

91

Outlet

[/fol. 122v] But to show it all more clearly, let us put the siphon in the position of spring and town. Let us suppose A is the spring, B the town, C the valley that lies between them. Then I say that if we take the glass siphon and put water in it, if the glass were as high at B as at A, the water will never be discharged except in so far as the water being poured into the siphon may come from above, for then it will pour out. But if the water Solicit? A\ 1 should enter at A, without coming B //$ h from somewhere higher up, then U ' I ツ」h I say that not a single drop would escape at B. So the place where the F water is discharged should be \V h somewhat lower, that is, B should W h h be somewhat lower than A, and only then will the water be discharged at B. Thus the example given in the one demonstration verifies the other. If we are willing to use a little imagination, the point is verified. I wanted to demonstrate it before giving instructions on the way to carry out this invention. It is true that in small things the water will be found to go up to equal points where the distance between inlet and outlet is very slight. But when the two are far apart I say that no water will be discharged at all. I would say even more on this; taking the siphon with the numbers and placing the two ends in equality, and filling it with water, when the water has reached equality with the end into which the water was put, [/fol. 123r] then I say that even if you keep pouring water in, none will come out at B at all- rather I say that as much as is poured in at A will overflow at A, without a drop coming out at B. From this it may be understood that as the effect is not produced with a small thing, it could not be done with a large one, and with a large quantity of water. How can one weight prevail over another if it is not greater than the other? And that we can confirm with balances, for we see that when the weights are equal the balance lies on an even line but when the weight on one side is greater it prevails over the other, and so descends, while the lighter one goes up. It is the same with water. From this the differences between the two places may be understood. '

+

Coming then to the case where the water is to be made to ascend or rise, the level should be taken, as I said, from the spring to the town, to see the length of the route, and to observe the difference between the spring and the point to which it is to be conveyed. As for how to take the level, that will be found in the book of [225]

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levelling instruments. So if the source of water is lower, all our thoughts of raising the water must vanish away (but it could be conveyed near the town). If it is thought that it could be done by making arches, that is madness- it could not be brought so because of the loss of head- do not think it may be raised in that way, for it is a great mistake to think so, saying it could be done by making some kind of stagnation or immobility or stoppage or backflow by means of which a great quantity of water will be raised on high. It is a thing which I do not say a town, but a whole kingdom would not have enough to make arches cross from the one mountain to the other even if there is but little distance between the two. [/fol. 123v] But when the town is somewhat lower than the source of water, it can well be done, and the cost will not be great. After the levelling, account is made of what is going to be lost when it is conveyed from the spring to the valley bottom, making tanks in suitable places. An effort should be made not to have it descend in a straight line, which would cause great damage and expense too, so it should travel now this way now that, so the enormous weight does not break the tanks and lift up the conduits or the pipes. For that reason it should be conveyed in bends as the figure shows. And the tanks at the bottom should be heavily reinforced because of the great load of water that lies on them there. The greatest care must be taken in the lowest part of the valley, more than in any other part of the work. If there should happen to be a river in the middle, you should act in conformity with what has been said before. No tank ought to be built where the water descends because it would interrupt the water's path, and would be the cause of great damage. Tanks should be built to inspect the water, in a level place without a slope for the reasons stated above, because in such places a great deal of air would collect and exert a certain check upon the water, so as not to let it move. Since when water is checked a great quantity accumulates, it soon comes about without any interval of time that the great weight breaks the whole thing because of the air enclosed between two volumes of water, [/fol. 124r] So these tanks should be made in a level place in order to be preserved and maintained intact through the course of time, and so that inspection can be made where water is being lost. But the water's path should be enclosed, unlike what is normal practice with the tanks of ordinary sources travelling over a plain, which are left open between the two walls without any conduit or pipe inside in between the tanks. To retain sources of this kind the tanks should have in the centre a large stone pierced right through, ten palms in length, or at least eight, with a metal tap set in the middle, well sealed with lead so the water can not lift it up for all its great force. A tank is to be built every five hundred paces. Even if there is no level place in the descent or the ascent they should be made to stand on a level by going along the side of the mountain. In the places where the water is to go level, at each angle a large stone should be set, whose hole is much greater in width than the other pipes, because a much greater amount of water accumulates there than anywhere else. The stones at these points should be loaded with great weights. The taps which I said should be fitted to the stones of the tanks are to inspect if any water is being lost. [/fol. 124v] To lay pipes which are to be set between walls, you should dig very deep because the work will not otherwise be very stable. The walls are to be of thick stone and mortar so as to be more secure. In addition a great weight should be laid on the walls. The pipes are to be bedded in mortar all round so as to be [226]

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firmer. The water should continually have to enter tanks; it should go a good stretch over level ground, as from B to C. Having given this exposition of how the water is to travel from spring to town, I add that at E and F it should be heavily reinforced because of its descending to and rising from the line L parallel to M1. At the point where the water is to rise, an effort should be made to convey it as level (Illustration 92) as possible before it enters the tanks. [/Jol. 125r] The Illustration

92

Line of equal level

Illustration

93

same should be done in these tanks as in the others, as we said, that is, where there is an angle in the pipe a stone will be laid, forming the angle, and pierced in the manner sketched here. (Illustration 93) So the conduit should be well reinforced at the end of the water's descent, and likewise at the commencement of its rise, because of the great force exerted by the weight of water in the pipes or earthenware conduit specially from D to E, from E to F and from F to G, although indeed it should be reinforced everywhere, as that is necessary in order to resist the weight of such a quantity of water. That is because of the great resistance which the water makes to itself, as anybody could understand on account of the rise from E to G: and from F it exerts very great force on the whole structure, beginning at F and as far as G - here is the greatest force and the greatest source of trouble. I should like to note one thing here, and that is that the pipes through which the water descends ought to be much thicker- or else larger pipes- than those on its ascent, which are to be much narrower in calibre. That is because the force of the descending water pushes the water on and raises it, and if it is less in quantity it will rise more easily even though it be travelling in a path contrary to its nature, [/fol. 125v] Water should be made to travel fifty paces- or up to one hundred paces- in a level line so it can rest in its course, and after that it could descend ten or twelve palms. Then make it travel upwards; and so it could 1

'The drawing recalls one in Apianus' ÂŤInstrumentbuchÂť (1533, Part III, ch. 13) and those used in some Vitruvius editions. [227]


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gradually reach its destination. The fall in level should be made in the way here illustrated from M to N, with the weight of wall above the pipe in order that the water should not lift up the whole construction. It could be done in the same way provided there is not more than one tank in the middle, like the two illustrated here, K, L. I is another weight for the protection of the pipes; it should form a curved line, as at H or at P. The bend should be rounded as I have said because of the air enclosed at that point, for if it were to form a right angle, as at the stone K, the water would only be able to pass it with the greatest difficulty. So it is necessary to reflect carefully in this business of water. (Illustration 94) Illustration

94

All these inventions to make water rise by itself are quite difficult work. [/fol. 12 6r] It should be made to do so as gently as it can, so the great weight of water does not make the pipes burst; and so gradually raise the water to a point almost equal to its source. Although in countless places I have said that this whole construction must be reinforced, the part which most requires it is in the descent where it travels with greater force than in the ascent, because in the ascent its whole weight tends toward the centre of the earth. So does the descending part, but that means that the ascending part is turning back while the descending is not, so that the one exerts a force on the other, in such a way that we can suppose the upper part is reinforced, as it exerts force on the water to push it on, but as it ascends it is more sluggish and travels with an ill will against its nature. Making water rise needs many inventions. As we have dealt with raising water, we should now discuss the way to make two streams cross over one another, without mixing, even if they are on the same level, without any artifice, because they are of different quantities. It would be a plain deception to claim that a device could be constructed whereby each one will retain its own proportion. It can not be so arranged that the same difference is [228]


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kept throughout, because the stream will be checked by the stone, or whatever other device is used. I do realise that some could confront me on this subject with my own reasonings which I gave in the previous chapter, and even demonstrated them. [/fol. 126v] But the question is different here, we are dealing with equality on both sides. It is to be noted that the stream which passes underneath would not have its source where it makes contact, but has it some distance away; and so we have to consider that as it comes from some way off, in all that space it will have some amount of head to keep it moving; and for that reason the substances are quite different. Here the water is only raised so as to prevent mixture, one stream being good to drink and the other not, so if they were to mix, one would spoil the other. So it is necessary that each one go its own way because they do not agree. But if they were on the same line, bed and height they would come into contact; so they must necessarily cross over one another. A kind of bridge should be made such that one goes underneath and the other on top, as will be illustrated here. Two wells should be dug in the bed, with a passage between them as is commonly done in summer rooms when for the luxury of cool freshness wells are dug and a pipe passed between them under the floor although that is not to carry water. For normally a wind will pass between the two, for even though there is no wind to be felt; not the least bit of air, yet very cold air can always be felt coming out of both mouths of the well. [/fol. 127r] And if two or more should happen to be dug in the same room, not a breath of air would be felt there. Returning to our subject of a little while back, where the two streams are to come into contact, a well should be dug, not very deep but just enough to preserve the base of the other stream's conduit, which is to pass on top; for the better understanding of all this, let us put it that the upper stream is to be M, the lower N, which goes under the other and then goes back up to be level with it, as here we shall demonstrate; these are the two. (Illustration 95) This is the way it is to be done. The two streams are to cross as at figure 1, one stream being M and the other N2; [/fol. 127 v] to keep them from mixing, as in figure 2, which demonstrates quite clearly how the walls N are to be made to pass under conduit M, whose bottom part should be rounded where the dotted lines go from one to the other. The third way, which bears the number 3, with the two N N at the side has the whole structure cut away in the middle so that the method of making the division between the streams may be clearly understood. The fourth way shows how the stream passes under conduit M. The fifth is the two wells with the passage between: underneath the 5 it is to be rounded as the figure demonstrates. At this point the stream will easily rise to the same level from one end to the other, as the figure demonstrates, as the distance is very small and they are so well joined. It should be noted that the greater quantity of water is to pass underneath the less, because the greater amount has much more power. For that reason it returns to the same level as it held before it went down. But the lesser amount will have the same effect of rising to the same height as it held before its descent. There are countless other ways of making two streams cross without any division between them, as in these last inventions but in these cases there is 2

There must be an error in the letter key of the illustration; the right arm of the cross should be N, of which it is an extension. [229]


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Illustration 107 Water which runs into other water Water which runs into other water

AgLUi/it/fy** N un

Bed of the conduit Water which is the conduit

equality of rise, it is just that the two parts do not mix. Here the lesser should always pass under the greater, since the greater has more force, and so makes a much greater curve, l/fol. 128r] Plainly making one stream pass over another is a problem that very seldom occurs, even though there is little ingenuity in it. Only there has to be some slight head between the two as in the figure here below (Illustration 96). To do this, begin at some distance from the fall of water, and start by constructing walls, the space between which is to be wide at A, and then taper steadily till they reach B, to make the water more contracted, for the more contracted it is at B, the greater the curve it will make at C. And so it will avoid the conduit D and touch E, lower down. So the two streams will not mix even though there is no division between them. (Illustration 97) It could be done another way, as I shall illustrate here below, although many will think that the bottom one is the same as the top, yet anyone who reflects properly will see that it is entirely different. L/fol. 128v] It may happen that it is required to make a mill, with a sluice to raise water from a brook or small river, where there is a conduit which passes in front of it, and the owners of the conduit do not want their water to be mixed with what is going to another mill. So they want their conduit to stay free, and no room is left for the other. This device should then be used, as sketched here, because this stream is taken well above the first conduit, and prevents the two mixing. A half arch is built whose stones are to be as drawn. This half arch will cover part of the first conduit E. The water G will [230]


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emerge at F F, so as to avoid the conduit H. In this way one stream passes over the other, without any division between them, only that part of a circle which the water makes (although the fall could never make a semicircle if it were necessary to do so since it is impossible for water by its own natural violent movement3 to make such an angle, for many reasons which are not relevant here). Streams can be made to pass over one another without mixing in various ways, as demonstrated in these last inventions. But it does happen that when two streams are to cross there is no room to arrange for one of them to be diverted, nor for one to pass under the other, because they lie almost on the same line or level. But they are rivers and should not be mixed, for if they were to be [/'fol. 129r] each owner would want his water separated from the other, because one is better for drinking or irrigation than the other, or the quantities differ. So the inventions of the last chapter can not be used. A structure must be built to make one pass overhead and the other beneath. A waterbridge should then be made. If the water be in great quantity, it must necessarily have great depth, and then the other stream will not be able to pass over the other. A device should be used so the water occupies less volume in the air. To make this structure, the water is to be divided into three or four parts, or more, according to the quantity. It will have to be divided in this way on account of the vaults which are to pass the one stream overhead. The lower these vaults are, the more easily the water will pass, although the structure is to be made quite broad because the water which passes under the vaults will spread out because the water does not rise far enough for the two to cross conveniently. But it should be established which of the two streams is commonly more subject to freshets or floods, because less account need be paid to the amount of water than to the amount of floods the rivers or brooks are likely to have. 3

'impossible for water by its own natural violent motion'. Strictly speaking it is impossible in Aristotelian mechanics for a motion to be both «natural» and «violent», a plain contradiction in terms. But then Aristotelian dynamics would expect the water to fall directly down, not describe this arc. If the phenomenon was well known, no-one tried to explain it before Galileo. [231]


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Illustration 107

[/fol. 129v] It could well be that one stream is large and the other small, yet it is the samaller one which has more floods and ordinarily greater ones at that. Much attention should be paid to this point; there should be someone with experience of the territory, or an enquiry should be held as to which of the two streams has most floods. Much depends on this, since if the stream which has great floods should happen to pass under the other which has none (or if it should happen to flood, then not very high, and at a very late season), now the more powerful and vigorous stream will do much more damage to the structure than the gentle stream, so it is the gentle one which must pass underneath. For if the one subject to flooding were to flow underneath the vaults, it would not be able to pass as they are so low. In its fury it would overthrow the whole thing for lack of room. Because of this disadvantage, it must always be made to pass overhead. The vaults should be large, to give the stream a broad and spacious bed, so floods can find room to pass freely and spread out. As they do so their fury will be less, and they will do less damage. This stucture is to be very stable and solid and set firm. Suppose someone is making a structure of this kind; he is to build a bridge in a river which should be excellently founded in the way sketched here. A is the river's entry and B its exit. The parapets are C. [/fol. 13Or] At F the water goes under the vaults. The two sides are D E. The size of the vaults will vary according to the width of the river; no definite rule can be given for this, only the same arrangement must be followed as in the book of bridges, that is the way to do it. (Illustration 98) As for the descent of the water at B, the way to do that will be found in the book of stone weirs. [232]


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The way to excavate and divert a stream. The structure should be made dry. The bed is to be embanked above and below, at A B and F, which is the lower part where the water passes under the vaults. A B is the bed of the river, that has more floods, [/fol. 130v] with the walls along the sides of its channel or conduit. A is the part where the river enters over the structure. The bed at A should be let down into the ground facing the river. The sides C should spread outwards so the river in its floods can not break anything down, for if it should happen to do so, it would find resistance in the walls along the side and the water would return to its path; that is done by the walls C H. The bridge B (Illustration 99) serves as reinforcement for those walls and as a passageway for people. The holes in the two walls of the parapets of the footbridge, at D D D, are for when the river rises very high, to relieve it of water and increase the lower stream, [/fol. 13lr] But these holes should be made in such a way that the current of water does them no damage, being made oblique so as to direct the water upwards; in this way it can do no harm to the parapets. The two walls F F give protection to the bridge. The Illustration

99

[233]

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piers Q Q Q are circular. The mouths of the vaults, E E E, are wider by one quarter4 than the piers Q, so that for every two parts of the width of the piers the vaults have three. In the lower part there are two walls II which give protection to the bridge. They should be embanked for greater security, so the water finds nothing to knock as it flows along. At R there should be more protection, of the kind that will be found in the book of stone weirs; it should be made with the same arrangement so the water can not wear away its bed with the great fall of water which would normally excavate at that point. At the beginning of this chapter, I said that the two streams were coming on the same line or level, as if both were equally elevated; that, I say, is true, but certainly all moving streams have some fall, for water can not travel at all over a flat plain, it must have some head, and by that head it is raised from stagnationso it rises as far as it needs and in that way comes to pass over this waterbridge. It occurs to me that in this matter of waterbridges [/fol. 13lv] I have not completed it as I ought unless I demonstrate a difference in the passage, specially when I have said that these structures are made very low so that both streams can pass, one above the other, as we were discussing. Certainly it is quite difficult to do, but in the end the intelligence of man measures up to everything. So I believe many will think this one quite different in its effect, because the ceilings of the vaults are square. But I shall not stay here going into every detail in these matters, as in the two last designs it has been treated thoroughly, I only show the form of it, and add the advice that a mill could be installed at the fall of water, which would be very profitable. That way two things could be done, building the mill and having a bridge, for the same expense, so it is a very useful invention; as the bridge is covered it will serve to keep animals in while grinding is going on, and for the millers to stay in the shade, and for countless things- there is no need to recount them all, it is plain enough. The way the mill is to be made may be found in the book of mills. (Illustration 100)

[/fol. 132r] The way to turn a river will be found in the book of weirs, but I will not fail to speak, although briefly, of the diversion of rivers, which presents a great deal of hard work. In order to divert a river the new bed in which it is to 4

'wider by one quarter' whether the quarter refers to the span of the culvert arch, or the width of the piers, I do not see where the 2:3 ratio comes from. [234]


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flow should be made first, and the necessary depth excavated from one end to the other, until the river is reached, and the level of the two beds must be surveyed so they will correspond. Then begin by driving stakes in along a diagonal line where the old bed is to be left dry, until the new course or bed of the river is reached. Starting from the bank which is to be left dry, lay down branches and earth in alternate layers, and so proceed little by little, pushing the river in the direction in which you intend to make it go. In this way it will be done but only with a great deal of work, because it is a mighty business trying to divert a river all at once, or in its entirety. The bank should be made very even (but this subject will be found in the place already stated) for if the banks are gentle the water finds nothing on which to make an impact and when it floods it does so evenly, meeting with nothing that may offer resistance, and does not break anything down as it would when high banks rise vertically, for there is very great resistance there, and the water strives to carry all away, even rocks, for I have seen huge pieces carried off; Ufol. 132v] but I have never seen a river do any damage where the banks are low, for if the river does rise it meets nothing that would provoke its force. So those who do not want rivers to do them any harm should make an effort to flatten out their banks. Here I shall set down the figure below so my meaning will be more easily understood. A is the river under discussion, B is the good bank and C the bad one. D is the river bed, which is flat. Banks B and C are the same height, but it may be seen that when the river rises at bank B, (Illustration 101) the water spreads out and does not have as much force as at C, where it can not spread out and lose part of its force. Let that be enough of this business of river banks. But it should be noted that the water at B can not exert any force because it continually gets broader and makes no contact, whereas at C, as it can not spread out, it is raised higher, and so does more damage, [/fol. 133r] Because of the resistance offered to it, the river will normally carry off these high banks, which it does not do with flat ones. It is true that when rivers rise where the banks are flat they drown a great deal of land in their floods, but at least they do not carry away as much as with steep banks. Illustration

101

D As I have given the method to make streams cross over one another, we should now treat of the remedy for removing any water that is doing harm. For in many places lands are lost because of irrigation, and at other times because of rains, and marshes of standing water are formed, which sometimes occupy huge stretches of land which would be very fruitful if it were cultivated, but is barren for this reason. So I thought it would be good to give a method whereby instead of being useless it could be profitable for various purposes, even if it were only to keep the air from spoiling on account of its corruption5. For I have seen how for 5

'even if it were only to keep the air from spoiling on account of its corruption' ... malaria was associated with swampy ground long before the role of mosquitoes in its transmission was [235]

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that reason in summer everybody has a fever and a very ill colour; and all is caused by these standing waters. At Alcaniz, a town in Aragon, they used to fall sick every summer because of waters of this kind, but after outlets were provided their fevers ceased and the ill dispositions they had all stopped, and they gained perpetual health as far as the water was concerned. I say then that to cure something of the kind we are discussing, we should reflect on how architects have done it. They have had ditches dug going from east to west- [/fol. 133v] or channels, but it is all one, ditches or channels- which are to be twelve palms in width, and all the excavated earth and mud should be piled at the top so as to leave a channel, with twenty five palms between each channel. With the pile and the excavation the water descends into the channels, what is on top is left dry because air and sun can get at it much better. And so proceed until the whole has been gradually excavated in this way. The channels are to be dug to a depth of at least eight palms. So keep drawing lines and marking out the whole area. If the ditches are very long, each strip could be crossed every hundred places by another ditch or ditches from south to north so the strips will not be too large. Then trees or vines can be planted there, and what was useless becomes profitable. (.Illustration 102) Illustration 102

^^^/VL edio ĂŒ5 > South East North West

~~

"

J

"

Ç^Llentçj

epKntuopJ,

Oaks could be planted or sown, as it customarily done in many such places, for these trees attract so much moisture, [/fol. 134r] and also because of their fallen leaves which dry out and raise the soil: and also for their many roots which day by day raise and increase the soil. In this way the place will grow very dry. The opposite of this could also be done: instead of making a wet land dry we shall now discuss how to make a dry land wet, so it becomes a green meadow, even if it were on a mountainside, provided some water may be found nearby, some spring to irrigate that dry place. For then by artifice it can be made green and full of plants. To do this, a conduit should be dug across the mountain, made level along the bottom. This excavation is to have no outlet so that when it fills with water that has flowed into it, as it gets full it must necessarily move up higher, and so irrigate the mountain. To do this, dig ditches at intervals up the mountain, crosswise like the first: but they should be made in such a manner that their whole extent is quite level- I would even recommend that a wall be built so the water will come out evenly. These channels need not be very deep, a slight depth will be enough nor does the water need any other guide, for the first will understood. Supposedly, warm standing water corrupted the air above, making it hot and humid, and so unhealthy. Alcaniz is in the province of Zaragoza. [236]


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Illustration 103

be enough, because if some of the water that irrigates between the first and second channels is superfluous, it will be added to the second and so it will go on until the whole mountain is gradually irrigated, [/fol. 134v] But for easier understanding, A (Illustration 103) is the method, B the spring, C C is the channel to receive the water, and for irrigation. D is the level with which the conduit or wall is to be levelled. E is the second channel, which receives water from, the first, and irrigates in the same way as the upper one; that is, when it is full, the water has nowhere to go but to overflow and branches out evenly over the whole area and irrigates it, producing grass equally everywhere. But this can not be done without some source of water, whether it be a spring or drawn artificially by waterwheels. This same invention can be set up in a garden too, to make the water of a little spring look large, beside the great pleasure which the invention itself presents to the view. But it can not be done unless the spring is high up. [/fol. 135r] For this effect then, where the place is suitable, it should be made in this way: after the fountain for the water has been built, some steps should be made with three palms drop between them; they are to be made of stone, but not like ordinary steps; in the manner which I shall illustrate here they are to be battered like a barbican as is ordinarily done with castle walls. At the very bottom there is to be a very slight turn, where it should rise some two fingers upwards. Then it keeps sliding downwards. On these steps there is no landing as there is with steps of six to eight palms in length. At the sides there is a staircase, each stair four palms in width. As the stream goes down the steps the whole forms one sheet of water, which is a great pleasure to see. This invention is as sketched here. (Illustration 104) [/fol. 135v] The water is collected in vessel A and discharged through the lions' heads D, and passes through the water pipes into a trough before giving on to the steps C, which it gradually descends. At G there is to be a slight rise. D is a platform on which to rest and watch the water going down the steps. E is one or two flights of stairs to go up and down the spring. F is a backing of myrtle or jasmine with its railing, as many things can be added for pleasure, which I leave aside as they are not relevant to the subject we are discussing. This invention could be installed in some building put up for pleasure in a garden, to gladden the eyes: it is to be erected on a summerhouse of stone columns, one of which should be pierced from top to bottom. Through it a lead pipe will go right up to the top- the water to be used for this purpose should come from somewhere higher up. The summer house is to be made with eight or six faces, each with architrave frieze and cornice to give it solidity. The floor of the structure is to be flat, in order that another device may be [237]

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installed in the ceiling to make it look as if it is raining, when you want to snatch a moment's amusement, specially when there are some ladies there, who have come to see what is under cover and they get wet although it is not raining. But before that, a fitting could be made in the cornices in such a way that a sheet of water will fall all around, [/fol. 136r] This invention is like the one with the stairs: a channel should be made all round above the cornice, which should be very exactly levelled so that no one cornice rises higher than any of the others, and upon this structure rises a half-globe or 'half an orange' as the common people call it- this is so that the whole thing will be better concealed. Then when you want to make it look as if it is raining, as the water rises it passes to the ceiling, and will then fall to the table. There should be controls to produce this effect. Then the water will fall all round and those standing at the table will be shut up inside. A fountain could be installed as well, in the same building, so those at table can wash their hands and water their wine; and then the man who knows the secret can give them all a wetting- with his feet. These charming diversions can be varied by just fitting tiny jets in the ground to wet the ladies at table; they could be laid under turf, to conceal the whole thing; the turf must be grassed over; so they find themselves in the midst of the water. So the whole secret is either under the table or up on top. Then by turning a key which looks like a tap, all these effects are produced. As many lead pipes should be fitted, as effects are required. Jets can be installed under bricks projecting between the joins, or under paving between the joins, or in the grass, whatever anyone thinks best. [/fol. 136v] Some steps can be set around it, to give the summerhouse more solidity. If required the summerhouse could have another set of steps all round for the water that falls from the summerhouse. The top step should then be raised somewhat higher than the floor itself, so that when it fills with water it will have something to retain it, so as to produce its effect the better. To make it all even better hidden, put it in a piece of lawn; then when the ladies are at their most carefree and have settled into conversation, the little jets [238]


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are turned on- and when they get up to escape, they find themselves surrounded by water- there will be much laughter, and their conversation will be the merrier. Since this has to do with water I have set it down here. But I will not go into the way to make these tiny jets as I appreciate there is no gardener who does not know how to do it. I leave aside other devices that could be installed in this connection; the one thing most necessary is that the water should come from high up, to produce all these enjoyable amusements. The design of this structure will be found in the book which deals with wells. As we have begun to treat of gardens, as objects of pleasure and satisfaction, they could have fishponds too which are an entertainment to look at, where those who have a moment's relaxation can watch the fish playing with one another, specially when you throw something to eat into their pond. [/fol. 137r] When you want to make this kind of thing, it should surely be placed in a suitable part of the garden, as it might be in the centre or near a summerhouse, for if it is in the centre it may be enjoyed by everybody, and if people are picnicking or relaxing in the summerhouse they have the pleasure and recreation of watching the water and the fish, and so it is a great source of delight, specially for visitors. To make a fishpond. Dig in the ground in such a way that the water does not leak nor seep away, nor yet get so hot as to damage the fish, nor yet should it be in a place where it may freeze in time of great cold. For when it freezes that is very detrimental to the fish, even more than heat, since we see that they show themselves more at the season when the heat begins than at any other time of the year, and they appear to enjoy that season more than the cold weather. Some holes should be dug all round in the sides of the fishpond for the fish to take shelter when they hear a noise. The water of these fishponds should be changed regularly so it is not corrupted by standing still, for in that case it will change colour and turn greenish. Then, fish endure heat better than they do cold and ice, and they rest in the noonday heat, or noonday sun, in their pond in the garden, [/fol. 137v] These ponds should be surrounded with walls of large stones, with broad footpaths laid all round, with parapets on which to lean to look at the fish. They must necessarily be deep, for the deeper the pond the less it freezes, and that is better for the fish, whether the water is from, a spring, or from a river, sea or lake. A fitment is usually installed in these ponds to empty them of the water they contain; it is called a drainpipe because it drains all the water. In it is fitted a plate of copper or brass perforated with very fine holes so water can get through but not the fish, even if they are only little ones. A little gate which they call a plug is set with great precision into stones, at the top, in such a way that no water can get through. The water ought to be made to leave as well as enter, for if it does not do so regularly, it will always change colour and at times even the surface of the water will be turned into a greenish substance, like green tow; and that is caused by the water not flowing. Fishponds made in coastal districts and in muddy places are much better for one species of fish than another, specially those that are broad and thin. Sandy ground is better for shellfish, and clams, and others of that type, while others grow best further in the sea, like giltheads and mackerel, and such like fish. Other species grow best among stone. [/fol. 138r] Where the sea is very shallow and the land flat, that is a good situation for a marine fishpond. They are made by digging in the earth in an enclosed place, where the sea can not get in at a single point- any place where it [2391


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does get in can be enclosed with a stockade and dyke of earth. It can then be opened to let in the fish at a time when they are in flight, or in passage to couple with the females. When they reach land for help, it is left open for the space of fifteen days or more, according to the type of ground and of the fish. Then it must be closed, and so the sea fish stay behind, shut in, and thereafter these ponds can be fished in great safety, for there are no storms there, nor any danger from pirates. A low place should be chosen so that when the shore is cut next to the sea, water can enter, and it should be closed at the time stated once the place is level. They are a quarter of a league in length, or more; some are a whole league, and even more, depending on the situation and position of the site. The cutting is to be not more than a hundred paces, or two hundred at the most, more or less according to the size of the pond. It is not excavated very deep so that too much water will not get in and drown too much land. For that reason a fence is made between land and sea which the sea then loads with the material it brings to land. [/fol. 138v] That way it keeps raising the land, as ordinarily happens in flat places where the sea does not meet with any resistance, since there is nothing in front of it that may get in the way and offer any resistance. And if the land is flat where the waves die, they find nothing with which to make impact and so nothing on which to break; and so they leave there whatever they have brought to land. In these places the sea can very easily enter, and flow in up to a quarter of a league, in which the water will be nowhere more than knee deep. Such places are very suitable as ponds for sea fish.

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EIGHTH BOOK Introduction Of the differences in the conveying of springs Now that the author has explained how to convey water across so many obstacles, over valleys, through ridges, even under other streams, he now tackles the last, most ambitious task; how to take water along the side of a cliff, where his route must go through a ravine whose sides are too steep to take any ordinary conduit. The title may suggest a miscellany of problems, but in practice the book concentrates on this alone. The principal solution is a cantilevered wooden gallery, whose structure is described in detail, with the pipedine, and the cradle for the builders to put it up. Twice he comments that 'the more a thing is thought about, the more it is perfected' (f,144v, 145 r). It is as if ideas occurred to him as he proceeded, and as the book was written, he tried to develop his account with fresh improvements. Perhaps that also explains the constant insertion of subjects out of order, and his frequent return to some of his themes. Even if stronger materials would be used nowadays, his cradle is in essentials that still used to clean and maintain high rise buildings. Its early use shows us something of the problems that could occur in the maintenance of lofty Gothic structures. Since the cradle has to be raised and lowered into position, he then describes the main haulage machines; the capstan with its vertical drum, here given Vitruvius' name 'ergata'; the winch with its horizontal drum; and a mobEe crane. As an alternative to the gallery, he suggests a conduit that would move from one side of the ravine to the other over bridges, either of stone, or of wood- the arched bridge shown on f,151r. The triangle D C C to spread the load is interesting, as is the information that it was inspired by the centring for a stone bridge the author had built. In the final section of this Book the author becomes much more personal, even emotional, as he laments the hardships produced by a shortage of water. In eastern Spain, which gets one of the lowest rainfalls in Europe, much of the population must have suffered real misery in long, hot and dusty summers, needing long and tiresome journeys for water to drink and cook with, let alone for washing.

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Of the differences in the conveying of springs

I

t may be required to convey to some town a spring where it can not be done because there are rugged mountain ranges or a huge rock in the way of such sort that it can not be passed, as it is cut away almost sheer from top to bottom, and is obstructing the route; so then the construction may have to be abandoned, as there is no way an alternative route can be fitted anywhere else, and the rock is too smooth for conduit, pipes or aqueduct, as I have said. Instead I have thought out a way, although the cost would be somewhat greater and there would be some danger too; not that the water might be lost, nor that there could easily be some omission in the procedure to be followed, for indeed I would say it will be very durable, more than any other manner. But to understand my meaning, and the method to be followed: after the water has been brought as far as it can, to convey it up past the mountain a device should be used like those made by the men who take falcons from the highest rocks. This remedy is to be employed when it is not so bad and so inconvenient that one or two cradles can not be used- the ones commonly used for cleaning churches- or more according to how much work there is to do, for by means of them some men, stonemasons or quarrymen, l/fol. 139v] can be lowered to cut holes along that stretch of rock which it is intended to pass. They chip holes in the rock, which are to be two palms deep, as straight along the line of the water as can be, and two palms wide also- although it will not matter very much if some are a litde higher than others. But care should be taken to dig them out of the rock in such a way that afterwards a square object may be inserted inside so that the end which goes in may slope downwards a little, and the other end point upwards; and this is for the greater security of what is to be done after. The mountain where the water is to be conveyed is A, the rocks B, the channels C, the footrests D; it leaves the mountains at E. The ends which project outside the holes are to be twelve palms or nine feet apart; these wooden pegs are to be of oak or holm-oak, (Illustration 105) and not longer than five palms. Vfol. 140r] The part which projects outside the holes is to be somewhat higher, with the intention that when the channels with their pipes are laid on them, they can not fall, nor can any wind or stone that falls on them from above make them move. What I here call channels are to be oak beams hollowed out in the middle like channels so the pipes through which the water is to pass can be laid in them. The pipes, of earthenware or lead, are to be coated with pitch before they are laid on the footrests, and they are to be wide enough for the water to be [242]

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able to pass freely through them; and to fit tight in their channels so they can not move. After the hollow beams have been laid, they should be covered with planks of the same wood, but where they join a little should be left uncovered, so it can be observed if any water is lost. A space of one palm is thus left open at each join of the planks, except the two end pieces, until the channels have passed right along the rock. These sections were left open for caulking the joints and for observing whether the water is failing or not. The beam that goes into the rock is F. (Illustration 106) [/'fol. 140v] The hollow beam that holds the pipes is G, the Illustration

106

upper edge H, and the pipes I; the covering of the beam is K, that is the board that goes on top and the piece that covers the two joints. The channels which lie on the footrests are M N. (Illustration 107) Take note that these beams should not be hollowed out more than half this depth, so as to leave them bulk enough not to make any movement over the course of time, nor to buckle under the great weight laid on them. The timber beams fixed within the rock should be two palms wide by two high. Although channels could be used without pipes, it would then be necessary to cement them well at the joints so no water leaks away; it could be done where they make a tight fit with one another. They are not just to be laid close together because the [243]

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Illustration 166

water could rot the timber. So the shorter the sections the more durable the channels, as the strength of the wood is more compact. If it were done without pipes, as has been said, the weight and the cost would be lightened, l/fol. 141r] although the only part of the expense to be reduced would be that of the pipes, with the cost of laying and cementing them, and no more of the weight saved than not having to move them, which would make the work much lighter. The channels should be laid very straight with a level, because otherwise too much will be left open between them. They should all be caulked with a mixture of pitch and sulphur- at twenty pounds of pitch to five of sulphur- and with this application the wood will be preserved a long time. Care should be taken that no water is lost, because where there are so many joints the water could not get from one side to the other if it is not properly caulked; and then all the expense will be in vain, and the work lost, so if you want to lay channels by themselves, they should be made of very good timber. Round pipes could be made of wood, bored out as gunsmiths bore out muskets with the same kind of device, except that everything is to be larger, the device and the boring bars alike, for the pipes are to be from twelve to fourteen palms. The boring bars do not have to have a long shaft- I do not mean the handle which turns them, but the shaft which has the turns of the borer or head at the end. The turns are to be made in one piece so they can be mounted tightly over the shaft as a lancehead is mounted on a lance. After boring, the pipes are put to the lathe so they can make a tight fit with one another, with male and female parts as they are called, as indicated here below, to show how the insertion is to be made so one will enter the other, [/fol. 141v] "When they have been fitted tightly upon one another, the male and female parts could be caulked all round, and the superfluous cement removed with an iron ring, which is mounted or fixed upon a bar which is longer than the pipe; the ring is not to be entirely round like the pipe, but a little on the wide side. The part where it is mounted on the bar should be almost sharp, so that when it is inserted in the pipe, it can remove all the superfluous cement inside. With this invention nothing will be left in the pipe to block the water's path. The pipes are to be of this shape: A is the middle, so it may be seen how they are to be inserted, B is where it is (Illustration 108) mounted over another piece, as D goes into C, which is pipe E. Pipe F is only to demonstrate the female part, H. G is the ring to clean the superfluous (Illustration 109) cement from the pipes. These four figures I have put in for the better comprehension of this subject. [244]


Eighth Book

Illustration 110

Illustration

109

But what ought to have been demonstrated first was the instrument with which men are let down to make the holes in the rock: it is as follows, although some others will have to be set down before it, to show where this instrument is to be held firm, and another one too with which the instrument is raised after the man has been let down to make the holes in the rock, [/Jol. 142r]even though very little goes into it, since it is first necessary to deal with the subject of the instrument or machine with which the man is lowered, which is to be made in such a manner that the man can stand up in it without fear, and quite comfortably, so he can work. A frame is made of some straight-veined wood, without knots, four palms wide or more by six high. The wood is to be poplar, because that has plenty of vigour and toughness, and is light besides- or else of pine. This machine the common people call a cradle or cage. The parts are to be properly assembled, and are to be three fingers thick, with many crossing members between the pieces, with a base entirely of boards, and with iron clamps in the corners to hold the two parts together. The clamps in the base cross from one side to the other so as to hold the two corners of the cradle or cage together. The ones in the base should be nailed down properly and reach from one side to the other, as has been said. Then lay others on top to hold the two ends together, and then on all the crossing members, even if they are not very big it does not matter. On the side towards the rock this machine should be up to the operator's belt in height, or even somewhat more, and up to his shoulders at the back. L/fol. 142v] The two sides are to be enclosed with boards five palms or more in width with their crosspieces, and at the shoulders likewise. To these four corner pieces at top and bottom iron rings are very firmly attached so that a weight can be hung from the lower ones to keep the cradle steady so it does not sway about; this is a big lead ball with a shackle in the middle so it can be hung from those four shackles at the ends of the ropes. Four more iron rings are placed in the upper part, with very powerful clamps from which this cradle or cage can be suspended- call it what you will so long as it produces the desired effect. Inside something ought to be fitted so the man can rest from his work, and a winch so he can raise or lower the cradle. The four corner pieces should be attached to four pieces of rope of the best hemp, attached to a large iron ring, which is attached in turn to the cable by which the machine is suspended. To this cable another shackle is to be tied, much higher up than the one that holds the four rope ends, and to this a pulley block is attached holding two sheaves. After this, take two pieces of rope, much longer than those of the four shackles; these two are to pass over the pulley attached to the ring, [/fol. 143r] and after they have passed over the two sheaves they are attached to the two shackles at the front: on the other side there are two other pulleys over which those two rope ends are to pass, which have [245]


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been made fast to the winch. As these two rope ends turn in the winch it is raised three or four palms, or more as the man needs, and so he puts it in position conformable to his needs. This winch is to be fitted in the cradle at the operator's shoulder height, because there is no place more convenient than that. The arms which go up are A B C D, the rings E F G H, the weight I, the rings K L M N. The ring where the ropes are attached is O, the one that holds the pulley P, the pulley Q, the other two pulleys R S, and the ropes which pass over them T V G Z X. Those on the winch are Z, the winch 2. The handspakes to turn it are 9, the cross pieces I I I , the second row Z Z Z Z, the third 3 3 3 3, the fourth 4 4 4 4; and so the instrument is complete. The weight should be quite heavy to keep the cradle or cage from swaying. [N.B. From here to 144v seems to be a repetition of the preceding in slightly different words. It should be noted that the illustration he mentions is not to be found: the existing illustration on f. 143v applies rather to this second version. But I translate both anyway]. They are to be nailed down. The machine is to be six palms long. [/fol. 143v] Rings are to be placed at the corners above and below, from which a weight can be hung to hold the cage steady so it does not sway about. Above there are also four rings (Illustration 110) from which this cage- for so they call it- can be suspended. It is to be as high as a man, and five palms high where the operator is to stand, so he can stretch enough to do his work. [/fol. 144r] Those four pieces which move up take all the work; to the four shackles are attached four pieces of rope, which are then attached to a large shackle, where a rope is attached, of a good thickness so it can support the weight of cradle and man, and the things the man will need. Besides, in this machine, there are to be things to eat and drink, so as not to have to rely on when they want to let it down. Three sides of this cradle are to be enclosed with boards for the sake of greater safety and less fear of the machine. It will have to be properly understood as it is somewhat difficult; as it can not be explained in words how to fit in this cradle a winch, with which it could be raised three or four palms for convenience of working. Great caution should be exercised in knowing just how to hang the cradle so it can go up and down. To fit the winch, after the pieces of rope have been attached to the four shackles or rings of the cradle, and to that large one, and the cable which holds the whole weight suspended, to the cable another shackle or ring should be tied, six palms higher than the one that holds the four rope ends, and to it is fixed a pulley over which ropes are to pass. These are made fast up above where the other four pieces of rope are attached to their four shackles, [/fol. 144v] So, after they are attached these are to pass over the pulley, and so come to the winch, so that when it is turned the whole machine is raised or lowered. The whole structure is to be equipped with iron clamps to hold all the parts of the said machine together, on both sides, and all well nailed down. Some call this machine a cradle, others a cage; let each give it whatever name he chooses, so long as he knows how to fit it out to perform the function for which it is used. For the more something is thought about, the more is discovered that could be added to it, and so to improve it. So we should state further that this invention- I mean as to raising and lowering by the man in the cradle- is not intended to mean that he can raise it right up to where it began to descend (although that could well be done if the cable to which the cradle is tied were to [246]

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Illustration 110 Here the ball goes into the cradle below

V cuM<

cnhaa L

CaSo.

be applied in a different way)- but my intention was only for when it has already been lowered some way and has reached the place where the man is to work. In order that he should not have to stay in a place to which they have raised or lowered him any more than is necessary, I have discovered this way the man [247]


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himself1 can raise himself four or six palms, to adjust to his job. The invention is as follows: L is the cable from which the cage is suspended, the first shackle is at E. It is attached to a knot of cable L; from ring A is suspended pulley B, containing two sheaves over which are passed two doubled ropes K K K K. C is the second shackle to which are attached the four ropes D. [/fol. 145r] These are attached to the four rings 1111. Ropes K K K K pass over through rings, held firm, E E E E; the two ends are attached to the two shackles G G. The other two pass over the two pulleys F F and are attached to winch H, which has two handspakes M M to turn it. So the man in the machine will be able to raise it himself from D to B without anyone helping him, nor will he have to keep shouting whenever he wants to be raised a little. This invention can be used for various purposes. Even though this business of raising and lowering himself may appear difficult, yet it is not. In the same way, instead of a short distance, it could be raised a long one. But then a little more invention should be added, so it can more conveniently be raised; it would be better to fit an endless screw rather than anything else, because then even if the man gets tired while he is raising and lowering himself, he can rest; the rope will not help any more than the endless screw, for with this instrument any weight can be raised or lowered, however great it may be, with very little effort. So, the more a thing is thought about, the more it is perfected; this I say because really there is no need to put in those two rings G G, since it would be enough to tie those rope ends to the rings E E, and then the two pulleys F F would go where the two rings G G are, that is, the pulleys could then be at G G. In that way this machine could work much better than the way it has been drawn here. To lower this machine a capstan or winch should be set up at the top of the rock- although the capstan is really different from the winch even though both serve the same purpose and perform the same function, [/fol. 145v] The capstan A revolves, taking hold and releasing simultaneously as it goes round. The towline is E, and is turned at B. The frame is D, holding the capstan. At part H H are two pieces of timber or stakes driven in in front, to prevent the frame from sliding forward. (Illustration 111) The baulk K is to be buried well in the ground in front of the stake I, to which the frame is attached by the rope M, at the beginning of towline F. At the end is L, where the capstan has free play on pivot G. When baulk K is buried, the ground will have to be made wet first, and then keep moistening it, as they do with adobe walls to make them firm. [/fol. 146r] (Illustration 112) This is the machine they call capstan. It is not used to lift weights on high, but with it they draw ships on land to repair them; with it great weights are drawn from one place to another. (Illustration 113) This is the instrument they call the winch- although indeed there are many instruments which the common people call by this name [/fol. 146v], The winch is a machine on which should be loaded heavy weights, because weights are lifted up high with it, and lowered too; and the winch could well be lifted together with the weight. For that reason, it should be ballasted with some large stones. This instrument can be used like the capstan, although a pulley should then be fitted, over which the rope is passed so it will run much better. 1

'I have discovered this way the man himself can raise himself ...curiously reminiscent of the designs for siege towers in which the soldiers haul up their own fighting platform, as depicted in some medieval war-engine books.

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With either of these two instruments, it will be necessary to have a man stand behind pulling on the rope first, although he does not have much work to do, because it passes over a pulley where it is doubled, so as to take hold of, and release, the end L. If there were no-one to hold the end, nothing could be done, because it would get slack and however much the men were to revolve [249]

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Illustration 147

the capstan or the winch it would be to no avail. It is not necessary to tug on the rope, just hold it so it does not go slack. But as for this subject, it has been discussed quite long enough.

Illustration

113

We have dealt with the way to convey water, and the material to be used to get it across, and also the way to let a man down to work, and how he can raise and lower himself, varying the arrangement of the ropes, with only two ropes, whose four ends are K K K K, and these are wound round the winch; then when he wants to lower himself it is in his hand; and the same if he wants to go up. And the figure shows ^ it. Although this can be done in different ways, it seems to me that this is the safest, as sketched here. The man who is to go down in it need have no fear; after he has gone down two or three times he will lose all fear unless he be altogether cowardly, or so helpless there is no spirit in him. What appears to me more difficult is the getting in and out of the cradle, [/fol. 147r] and the procedure for that will also be given, so it [250]

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can be done without danger and without fear. A framework of two beams, thirty palms long, should be made, well coupled together at the two ends by two or three crossbeams, which should hold them firmly fixed to each other, morticed and pegged down, as they need be for such a purpose. The dowels are to be of oak, because they are better, and it is to be a temporary work, so it can be removed and replaced for the assembly and dismantling of the framework, on account of the ruggedness of the site. When assembled it should be at least ten palms in breadth, so it can go up and down conveniently. On the side away from the rock, toward the deep, two pieces of wood should be attached, which should stand at least twelve palms; there should be one to go across like the frame or lintel of a door. These two pieces go up straight and are morticed to the beams, and are to be well pegged in. The framework is to be as sketched here. The frame is A, which holds it firmly on the ground. B is a piece of the ground but outside the opening where the machine is to go down. The man goes inside at N2. The parapet will surround this opening so the man can get in and out of the cradle; it may also be used to station someone to listen to what the man asks. Two men can stand in this machine. It ought not to be let down without having a weight suspended from its base, at O and P. The two uprights are C C, Ufol. 147v] and the crosspiece D, while the beam which goes on top is E, holding the two guide pulleys F G and the cable passing over them, M. The beam can be bent so as to form two holes each time, without changing the frame. The roller is H, which the cable turns first before it reaches winch K, which has legs II and handspakes to turn it round, L L L L. At point Q it must needs be loaded with a weight to keep it stable, so the frame can not move. At H a pulley block could well be fitted, but I thought it would be much firmer and more secure to put that round bar which serves instead of a pulley, for the rope will go on it more securely. And so all this machine is complete, but I should like to repeat that the weight suspended under the cradle should be of lead because it has less bulk. It is to weigh at least one quintal, and if it were heavier it would hold the cradle so much the more firmly so it does not sway about or shake too much. From inside the instrument a hook could be lowered on a very long rod, so as to catch hold of some crevice or hole in the rock, so it would be even steadier; it could also be used for something which is causing a nuisance by not letting you get close to the rock. To catch hold with the hook, fasten it to the bars of the shackles or to other parts of the cradle; by its means the frame can easily be changed, by fastening balls underneath, which can turn in any direction by putting thick boards where the balls are. (Illustration 114) L/fol. 148r] We have dealt with everything now, and yet not with the most important thing, which is the method of making those holes go straight following the line along which the water is to be conveyed to the edge of the rock. One should keep surveying: it can not be done- think of levelling even less, as it is quite difficult because of the rock which does not go straight, so that is both one and the other ruled out. To find a way to convey these holes as straight as they should be: the best way to do it, I think, is to take a rule at least sixteen, up to eighteen palms in length, having a level mounted in the centre. Set it up at the end of the line of water; and the same is to be done at the opposite end. The rule is to be suspended edgewise from a cord. Then hold it six palms from the place so you can make use of it, and look to see if the level is exactly in the line of sight of 2

The drawing omits letter N, which presumably should go under cable M. [251]

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Illustration

114

the centre. As I say, the rule is to have a cord, in such a way that when it is wound round an iron peg placed at one end of the frame or cradle, it goes up or down until the rule and level are in the proper position, [/fol. 148v] Then mark where you see that the lead or bob is in the horizontal line, and in this way proceed by stages until you reach the pipe. The measurer should take note that before the line goes down it does not go up although in laying the pipes this fault can be cured, whereas if it were to go up here the cure would not be so easy. The method of this rule or level is as follows below. (Illustration 115) Illustration

115

I know well that someone could tell me that to avoid labour it would be much better to have somebody on the other side of the rock, to level from there. I say no: it could not be done because the rock is not straight, neither vertically nor horizontally, and besides it would not be so convenient to do it. Certainly so much ingenuity would not be required to fit it. Besides, I say that the man who Illustration

116


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is to make the holes will do it much better on the rock. It could not be done by instructions from the other man telling him what to do, because the distance could be so great that neither can understand or even hear the other- so how much harder would it then be, ever to convey the line straight (that is not to be understood so much of the holes as of laying the pipes, for I say they never could be laid straight, for some would come out too high and others too low), [/fol. 149r] The same difficulty would appear with the deep ones as with the high through the levellers being too far apart, specially if the leveller stands higher up, the whole line will go backwards; and the same will happen if he stands lower down. So the job could never be done well, nor could the lines ever be drawn properly. There are countless other ways to carry out this levelling3, but among so many that come to mind, this seems best and easiest, even though many others could be used for the same purpose. In the middle of the machine a square hole is made in the parapet of the cradle, or an iron clamp is inserted and nailed down, in order to put in the instrument illustrated here. On the levelling rule put a lead, and mark on a piece of board fastened to the rule the correcting line, A. It is mounted CIllustration 116) on level B. This line is to be drawn as long as may be necessary. Bob F passes over board C. The whole rests firmly on leg D, which has free play to rotate, [/fol. 149v] Cord H which is attached to level B at E E serves as a regulator to lay level B straight. At I is a tenon which is placed inside the cradle. The cord has to be drawn as tight as can be so that the level will be firmer and even if it is touched will not move at all. When it is required to lay the level fine, the handle G is turned in the direction in which it is required to correct, raise or lower, until the lead or thread is in the correcting line, and the peg I is placed in the guide to position it finely and firmly. It does not matter at all if this level is not very straight, as the cord corrects it and puts it in the proper position. The more a subject is examined the more is found to add to it or amend it so that weight which is under the machine would be much better placed in the floor of the cradle on the upper side. The four rings will then be better used holding the four ends of the ropes made fast underneath and up above, and then knotted. That way the machine will be more secure, being attached at the foot and so having strength and stability at both points. Another device could be used in conveying this water, provided the site allows us the conditions for it, I mean when the place is not too wide, to avoid having to cut holes in the rock and making so many instruments, so when the site is suitable our plan can be varied, when it is not too far from one side of the rock to the other- although occasionally it will happen that the terrain on the other side is too low or too wide, so that it will be much more sensible to make trestles [/fol. 15Or] than to have the chief expense of the arch to get the water across. But when the site is not too wide, it would be convenient to make a masonry arch with its channel in the centre of the stone. In that way it could cross from the other side and be conveyed such distance as might be necessary, until it has come past the whole of the difficult stretch, and then cross back on to the other side with another 3

'there are countless other ways to carry out this levelling ...this seems best and easiest'. Surveying such a very awkward route demands special techniques. One is a long straight beam with a central plumbob level. This method, «the best» is a plumbob level too, but the design seems to be influenced by Vitruvius' chorobates, portrayed in the Book of Levels. The name «alignment level», (nivel de borneo) is not used in the earlier account of surveying mstruments. [253]

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arch- although very seldom are sites found to be as suitable as they would need to be. As a work like this should not be abandoned through not having anyone to give advice on it, I wanted to do so, just for those who are not properly informed on these matters of water by those who deal with them, specially when the water is a utility, and particularly when it is in such quantities as may be used to irrigate a great amount of land. For that reason, I have resolved to set down this invention here. Let us suppose the water is brought over the ground as far as the first arch; the water then has reached A A but can not pass any further along the ground, so it must pass through the air by B over an arch to the other side. From B then it should be brought somewhere where there is ground enough, so as to pass the whole of the rocky stretch F, more or less according to convenience so as to cross back again by another arch from C to D, and thus get back on to its path once again at E. And this invention could serve very well. Ufol. 150v] At some points sections of wall should be raised, and at others the rock should be cut. But I should like to note here that in places like these, levelling should only be done with the alignment level, (Illustration 117) because the striding level can not be used on account of all the rugged and craggy ground. Besides, it would cost much more to keep looking for circles, in order to level with that instrument. And I say Illustration

117

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that the alignment level is much truer than the striding level, with which a hundred mistakes will be made. [/fol. 151r] And in case the striding level should have to be used, I would rather like to use the graduated level which is much surer than any other, only that instrument is understood by very few- indeed very few know what it is. So, the job may be done very briefly with the alignment level. If by chance it should happen that some more rocks are discovered while this water is being conveyed, a place should be sought where more arches can be made of the same kind as the others. If there should be arches conveying the said water, they could be used as a bridge too, to shorten a route, and even to take logs down from the mountains: and if it is not used for that, it could serve to take livestock across. If it so happens there is no way to make arches owing to the great expense it would present, a framework could be made of wood, which will be very strong and secure, and will last a long time. I have used a framework like this as centring for stone bridges, and also to serve as a wooden bridge, but as chance has brought it here, I shall illustrate it for greater comprehension. Two of these frames should be made, some way apart from one another for the sake of greater stability. (Illustration 118) [/fol. 151v] At B some pieces should be inserted to cross Illustration

118

between the frames to retain the two in existence, to preserve them better and to support channel A. All the members of this frame should be of oak so they will last much longer without decaying, for such a large structure could not be preserved by itself. If it were not made double - I mean by making another one as big- it could not be kept upright, or else it would be necessary to prop it up in many places, and indeed I believe it would have some sag because it could not be propped in the middle on account of the great depth in some parts. Considering the very great shortage and need of water there is in many towns, which suffer great trouble in consequence, I thought I would give advice in such cases of need, as to how a living spring in which water would flow regularly can be drawn from a well, as I have seen done in various places. I should also like to note that in every level valley where rain water commonly lies, if you dig in such places water will normally be found. But a well should be dug ten or twelve palms wide. In such places it is not common to dig very deep before finding water because we are taught very plainly where it is by seeing where the ground is full of vegetation and very green, which is a great indication that it contains water, and you may take it as certain that water will be found there, [/fol. 152r] But true information on the [2551

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goodness of the water, of its colour and taste, can not be given, for guessing what material the water extracted will contain is a very uncertain business. Where there are mountains of gypsum or gypsum stones, that is a true sign that the water will contain something salty or bitter. But we often see great deception in this, specially in clayey land, or land found in layers with gypsum, or some type of earth that contains chalk or the like. But this material will be found many times in the beginning of this aforesaid work. And if those qualities were understood then there is no need to repeat it all over again here. So, digging in such soils, water will be found as I have often said, which can be exploited at need in the service of man and beast. After it has been found, if it is in large quantities the depth of the excavation must be measured, and the level taken so that the water may be drawn above ground where it can be used. But if the water were in small quantities only, you ought not to undertake the expense of it. If that water is seen to be abundant, and there is a vein of living water, it will be a great satisfaction. In case the water can not reach quite as far as may be necessary inside the town, at least convey it as near as can be, for it will be no small benefit to a town to have fresh water. Certainly it is a great pity to see dry places that have no water but their ponds, and at times these are full of mud, and they have nothing to drink unless they go three or four leagues for good drinking water in time of drought. l/fol. D2v] Then the water in the ponds runs short, and the little that there is becomes full of frogs and tadpoles and maggots, and the mud stinks so that animals are unwilling to drink it, never mind people. Then as to use in their homes, specially doing the laundry and other things necessary for use in houses, for lack of water they do not have anything clean; I leave aside the need which the animals suffer through shortage of water; if we were to deal with all the other details that then appear- surely it horrifies me to see so many towns suffering such misery for want of water, specially towns in the plains, for those in the mountains or in the ranges only have such need very late in the season, because mountain regions normally enjoy an abundance of water, on account of the heavy snows they have in winter. For that reason we see that all rivers have their beginnings and origins in the mountains, and not one do we see rise in the plain- or if there is one, then it is very small, and not a mighty stream. Returning to the subject, I say that once water is found and it has been observed whether the depth is great or small, you should consider if it is possible to tunnel4, which would be less expense than conveying the water in an open channel, in pipes or conduit, in order not to have to excavate so much earth, all the more so because the water is kept much fresher, and there is not so much danger of breaking the pipes by reason of the excessive weight above them. [/fol. 153r], And if some root should happen to get into the pipe, it can be much more easily noticed than if the earth above the pipes had to be excavated all over again. The excavation should be made somewhat lower than the bottom of the well, so as to collect all the water from the well. If no vein of water issues where it has been excavated, you ought not to go to the trouble of digging further, but after finding water must leave it as it is for a few days, because it often happens 4

'you should consider if it is possible to tunnel' ...this looks a little like a Middle Eastern qanat. It might sound strange that the author thinks a tunnel would involve less excavation than an open trench and be in less danger from slippage of earth, but evidently a trench would have to be deeper than the bottom of the well, whereas a qanat would be dug as a tunnel. [256]


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that a large and abundant quantity only appears after the excavation has been made. (.Illustration 119) For ordinarily water travels downward, and always seeks to fill in any empty spaces it finds beneath it. Then excavate a trench along which the path of the water is to be conveyed, [/fol. 153v] It ought to be dug quite deep if the level will bear it, for earthenware pipes are better preserved the deeper they are laid in the earth; and also the water will be fresher in summer, and in winter there will be no danger of freezing, nor yet of the pipes breaking because of ice, and countless other annoyances tht happen in this business when the pipes are laid above ground, and you ought to keep to the order of which we have spoken elsewhere about the subject.

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NINTH BOOK Introduction Book of weirs After the books devoted to the problems of conveying water across all conceivable obstacles, it would be natural to move on to the task of storage. However this will be the theme of Book Ten. As Garcia-Diego points out, in the only historical article which deals specifically with one of these books, these weirs are intended to divert water from a river for purposes of irrigation or to supply power for a mill. Storage dams, to impound water, already existed in Spain, indeed three have survived from ancient Roman times, but apparently not in the region where the author probably worked. That being so, this section is perhaps out of place, and could have gone after the earlier passage on river diversion taking water from a stream [/fol. 108 on]. The author normally uses the older (Arabic) term 'azutes'; the word 'presa', added to the title by a later hand, seems to mean for him only stone dams, and even then not always consistently. This book is in fact by far the oldest detailed account of dam and weir construction in any literature. Neither Vitruvius nor Alberti offered any starting point. The author here follows the procedure he had adopted in his book of aqueducts, and was later to apply in his books of bridges, beginning with the crudest and simplest version and going on to more elaborate and ingenious forms. Again his own suggestions tend to be added toward the end. So he deals with wooden structures before stone, dry stone before masonry. Just possibly this approach may have been inspired by Vitruvius' potted history of building. We open indeed with a stone weir, the simple line of stones, whose gaps should be filled with silt: then we have cobble and brush weirs, and some with complex truss designs. The author notes how these triangular structures brace the weir and ease the pressure. Then there is a stone dam whose slabs are clad with timber. The danger of erosion, rather than collapse seems to worry him most. Hence he prefers gently sloping water faces to a more traditional stepped face. Like many engineers of his day he particularly admired curved walls, for the circle was agreed to be the perfect shape, although such curves can not have been easy to build in practice. He believes that then the water behind the dam will exert a force spread evenly over the whole surface, although perhaps seepage was the real threat to those stepped faces. [259]


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All the dams described were gravity dams, although some Spanish dams had already been built arched, and the first arch dam in the proper sense was to be built at Elche in the seventeenth century. The drawing on [/fol. 174v] appears to illustrate an arched dam; the text is not very clear. Again at 178r there are concave arches flanking the convex arch, and the intention seems mainly to deflect water into the outlet sluices. Although buttressed dams only appear regularly- first in Spain- much later, the treatment of arched buttresses here does suggest they were already in use at least for these small diversion dams. The author was concerned to advise against the danger of scouring caused by overflow over the air face of a dam. To this end he proposes a curved channel in the apron [/fol. 168v], or the elegant water traps [/fol. 177v], both meant to provide a stagnant area into which water will fall harmlessly; or the recessed arch [/fol. 164v], under which a man could stand unsoaked, unless by water splashing upward over his feet. As Garcia-Diego notes, he debates the relative merits of building such weirs and dams 'dry', or in caissons, but decides for the former. His experience had taught him the demands the jobs would impose on the workmen, and he was anxious to spare them the most unpleasant conditions. On 17lv a dam of more simple construction is depicted with its various accessories. A long outlet sluice takes small boats through the weir down a ramp. To prevent water (and boats) pouring over the side, the passage is enclosed by groynes. He insists the ramp should have a gentle slope, but even so, it must have been rather like shooting the rapids At the end of the book, another subject is introduced, evidently linked to the main theme of diversion: how to embank the mouth of a river to reduce marine erosion and the formation of sandbanks. In this way a port in such a position can be protected. This then suggests giving a river a second outlet near its mouth, to ease removal of flood water, and offer an alternative, if shipping is prevented from entering the existing mouth by contrary winds. Altogether, this book can only have been written by a man with great experience, with an observant eye for the various problems that arise in his practice; a man who could be exasperated by the frustrations of his work but was always thinking how to overcome difficulties. As Smith has commented, Spain was at this time the leading country in dam and weir construction. At the time, this was not really appreciated abroad. When nations were credited with expertise in their own specialities, Dutch for drainage, Germans for mining, Italians for fortification and so on, Spaniards were honoured as pioneers in navigation, not as dam builders. Only in the nineteenth century when French and British acquired colonial territories with irrigation conditions like those of eastern Spain did they send experts to learn from Spanish practice.

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Which treats of various kinds of weirs

s I made mention of weirs when I was dealing with conduits, it seems to me that it would be proper to discuss them here in turn. They are constructed in various ways, according to the character of the site and the river, and whether it is needed for irrigation or for mills, and according to the amount of water the river brings down, and the amount of land to be irrigated. But, if the material is similar there are many differences in the details. Let us begin with the simplest form and go on to the most difficult. The easiest and simplest then, is as follows: in this form of weir no more is done than to place the stones of the river itself piled in a heap, and then lay some turf on them on the side from which the river is coming. By means of this invention they divert the water to enter the conduit; others in place of stones lay blocks across the river, filling in with turf, and with this device make the river take its path to enter the conduit. L/fol. 154r] (Illustration 120) The river is A, the weir C and the conduit B; it is made of stones, turf, grass and undergrowth. This kind of weir does not raise the level of the river, but just retains it somewhat so it does not travel freely in its usual path; it is only made so the water will be directed into the conduit. The water that passes between the stones is not enclosed at all, so it seems as if there is no weir. They may be made another way with a litde more ingenuity: in this kind of weir wooden stakes are driven into the river bed, when it is not rock, and after that is done branches and stones are interwoven. These are called forest weirs. They are raised until they reach the proper height for them to cross the riverbut these weirs are not built in large rivers save in some place where it is just to direct the water, l/fol. 154v] but if floods come down it has to be repaired anew. It is never built in a straight line, only in a diagonal. This is done with the purpose of robbing the stream of its force, and also to divert the water. The weir is much firmer along this line because the river does not strike the whole of it equally, but aslant, since it formed an acute angle with the bank at one end and an obtuse angle at the other. But if right angles were to be formed the weir would not last long since at the least flood the river would carry it off. Three or four rows of stakes are employed, according to requirements. (Illustration 121) These forest weirs are ordinarily made in various ways, as may be seen, l/fol. 155r] The river is D and F, the weir H, the conduit E and also G, for I wanted to show that if the [261]


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conduit is made to turn back opposite the direction of the river it will not fill up so much with mud as would conduit E, and will carry much more waterand besides the river will not wear it away so much as it would conduit E, on the condition that the bed of G is somewhat lower, because as the water meets the weir it always meets something of a check until it finds a path where it may turn backwards. If the place is somewhat lower it has great attraction for the

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water which always seeks to go downward. That is the reason why a conduit should have all those features. And besides the weir will also be much firmer because the part near it will be much laden with mud which the river has brought down, as the water will not flow close to the weir. Therefore all is to no avail; whatever the water brings down is left where it is still. That is why I said that conduit G is much less laden with mud than conduit E. These weirs should be firmly secured, loading them down well with branches and stone, driving in three or four rows of paling, which should be sharpened a little so that it can better penetrate the ground, specially if their points are scorched a little to harden them, so they can be driven home better; this is done with large wooden mallets, or an iron mallet with a slender haft. Another kind is also made with more ingenuity and rigged up quite differently. It is done this way: [/Jol. 155v] First look for a place where the water will go in almost by itself. Endeavour to make these weirs in a place where the river can never move away. Someone might ask me why I say this, for if the weir is to cross the whole of the river, how can it move away from its path? And if the river were to erode its banks in such a way as to be diverted, it would be necessary to increase or enlarge it until it managed to take hold of the entire river. It is true that the broader the place where the weir is, the more secure it will be. In making these weirs, lay beams pierced to receive stakes or long pales driven in with a mallet, which are to go in point first facing the current, and then cross over. Between the beams large stones like ashlars- but unworked- are laid; but they are just squared off with the hammer, and laid edgeways one against the other, and so beams and stones are gradually laid down. This they call mattress, A. The stone B C is laid between the mattresses in the way they go. Some are turned over from one beam to the other, and so they are laid until they reach the desired height. The beams of the mattresses are a palm and a half wide by one palm thick. The holes in them are made square, with two palms between each hole, and each side of the hole half a palm. So the mattresses are driven in with no more than four palms between each.

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Then they [/fol. 156r] lay two rows, three or four, according to the force of the water. (Illustration 122) There is another weir made with more nicety. These are to raise the level of the river; there are various kinds, of wood, others of wood and stone or slabs, like B C. There are various frames for these weirs as may be seen earlier in this material, because before we set down the method we should show how you are to begin. The posts A B should be laid with their points in the direction of the river, (Illustration 123) and driven in head down into the river bed C. They should be raised in the middle at D, by at least a ninth, if the post is long, Illustration

124

[/fol. 156v] because the water pushes post A down, so B sinks into the ground. When these posts are too short they should be joined to one another at the heads, and spliced in the manner sketched here, in three forms E G H. (Illustration 124) At I a wedge of holm-oak should be placed, as it sinks through hole I it remarkably compresses the two beams joined together. At K it should enter point first into the other, toward K, so the wedge does not bend as it falls, and also so they will be much stronger. Illustration

125

(Illustration 125) G is the second kind of splice, made to insert the two chocks or wedges M and N, which double the splicing. But for all that, that point at L should still be made on both sides of the splice to secure it better. (Illustration 126) Where a weight is to lie upon these splices iron hoops should be employed, [/fol. 157r] so they will be much stronger, as firm as if all was made of a single piece. Since moisture spoils iron by burdening it with rust, some protection should be used against it. The remedy to be employed is that after the hoops have been forged take wax and pitch mixed in equal proportions, melt them in a vessel, and then lay the hoops in the mixture as if you wanted to temper them. With this application they will be preserved from corrosion. These dikes are built to raise the water of a river for irrigation, or to turn a river back because where it now goes it is no use, but it will be of the greatest benefit somewhere else, to which it must be diverted. So it should have its defences, dikes or levees, whether to raise it or to turn it from its path. But here [264]


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Illustration 127

we shall first set down the method of raising the level of the water by way of a weir, instead of having instruments to lift it. (Illustration 127)

Illustration

128

[7/ol. 157v] The structure B and D is beams linked with stakes, one upon the other, with stones C inset between the beams, and laid one opposite the other, and so proceed by stages. If the wood be green and newly cut, and then laid upon another, it will last much better. Since this structure or woodwork is to be capable of resisting the whole weight of the river, it should be made in the summer when the water is very low. A ramp should be made, to cross the entire river or weir, for in that season the bed can easily be seen. Then a paling of oak posts should be made; they must necessarily be very long. Drive them in very thick, and linked to one another, bound well at the back. Lay some more beams to keep them straight on their points the better to resist the force of the water: the posts are driven in upright so they can not bend backward. Then board it over with thick planks so the water can not penetrate the structure, with the planks well joined together. This dike is more to divert the water than for a weir. The posts are to be driven in as close packed as the bed will allow room for them. [7fol. 158r] Iron shoes should be placed over the driving points, mounted firmly on the posts, like the one at P, to ease the posts into the ground. (Illustration 128) If stakes which have much thinner wood are used, shoes should still be put on them, but they need not have those clasps to nail them down. It will be enough to make them like lance ferrules. So it will be necessary for these works to be tied together, and for the posts to form crosses with each other.

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The frame should be loaded down with large stones, under which are laid faggots of juniper branches, which are very good for retaining water- if it should happen that juniper is not available, matweed laid in bundles would be good; and cat-tail or reed mace are marvellous for this purpose, as they grow in water. So, keep laying first a bed of branches then one of stone, and the work will be very good, for the water can not move it because of the great weight of the stone and the binding of the wood. If the water should happen to hollow out a place where it seeks to pass, or exerts force against the structure so as to overturn and undermine it at its base, then as it is excavated by the water underneath, [/fol. 158v] it must needs lower itself into that place and settle in it; and as it settles it stays firm. But if it be the case that the river normally brings down much water, then the plan should be changed, for it will not be possible to work as usual, it will be necessary to make use of the same device with which the piers of bridges are commonly made. The wood for this device will be oak, if it is to be found nearby, as that is a wood that decays less in water than any other. For the posts or stakes to be used for driving

into the mattress- any wood will be good, provided it is one palm in thickness and twenty to twenty-five in length, according to need. This is how the weir is to be made (Illustration 129)- I mean erecting it; not to confuse your judgement I did not want to put in all the parts joined together as they should be- [/fol. 159r] even with this little bit it looks as if there is great confusion, so if anyone wanted to put in all the pieces joined together it would be all the worse. But let the invention suffice: A is the beginning from which the water comes, beam C is the commencement of the whole structure, B is the stakes, that is, struts which bind almost the whole of the work, E reinforces it at H (that is to be understood of both sides). G supports the whole of this framework, which is F, and serves as a guide to the whole structure. I are beams which cross the frame; they go on both sides, so there are many more of them, made fast to the stakes. And all are pierced with square holes, with stones inset as shown in the previous structure. The stones are laid just as in the way they make braided baskets with some of the osiers going opposite the others. After this has been done, there are some who board over the whole weir with thick planks, nailed down well; but there are weirs where this is not done except [266]


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for the frame, which is boarded with planks well joined, so it is possible to pass right under the weir from one side to the other. As it is difficult to explain all these matters in words; illustrations must be made to show what is meant to be done, so that we may know where the strength of this structure lies, l/fol. 159v] It is necessary to have a great many stakes, driven well into the ground, at least those which hold the tie-beams A C; the stakes to be driven home furthest are B, which is the whole front part- although all should be, but these in particular, because the whole stability of the weir depends on their firmness in the ground everywhere. So they should be made secure. The more footing or breadth or width they have in the ground, the firmer it will be, and the more convenient the water's ascent, because it will be flatter. Indeed, if it is made in this manner, the water will exert much less force against it, and indeed rather make it more secure because of the great weight it lays upon the structure, so it sinks down more, which is why no force can be exerted against it, as we have said. Making weirs of wood. This can be done in various ways or shapes, provided the water finds nothing to knock against- I do not mean in the weir but in the things laid on it. If the weir were to be made curved like a vault it would be much better, for the water will more easily slide over. This kind of weir should be boarded over with thick planks. Most weirs have eight to ten palms flat in the middle on the top, but others come to a point like a pediment. They ought not to be higher than is necessary to raise the water, so that when floods come they can pass freely over the weir without doing it any damage, [/fol. 160r] The current comes from M, otherwise the braces N in the frame would be no use- if they faced the opposite way they would exert no force, nor be any help in resisting the water. (Illustration 130) Illustration

130

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These weirs should not be higher than the fourth part of their breadth, that is from M to O; even in this proportion they are rather sharp and steep- it might be better if their height was no more than a sixth of their breadth. (Illustration 131)

(Illustration 132) This is almost the same invention as the preceding, although it is rather more ingenious. Its height is a sixth of its breadth, that is P Q. It is better than the previous one, with those two struts which provide much more strength at R, than in the other. [/fol. 160v] This is another frame for a weir, well harmonised in the parts L M, the tie-beams for these are the beginning of the structure. The braces S T strike at V, so if this frame is carefully considered it will be seen that no part is superfluous or barren. For Z Y support the whole weight of the fabric, and are so well linked that the invention can not be bettered, as the braces I K help mightily to support V S T , and at H these two pieces are a great help in preserving the structure.

A very great structure, this one, with many more parts than the one abovecertainly it is much stronger and (Illustration 133) more secure, [/fol. 161r] because it has more ingenuity about it. Although it seems of the same kind, really it is quite different because of the greater number of parts. But the broader it is at the foot the more secure this type or work will be and the more the water will but reinforce it, by reason of its being made up entirely of triangles, as the figure shows. The mouth of the conduit should be made close to the weir, in such a way that the conduit can be shut off with its wooden sluice-gate so that when the river is in flood, no more water may get in than is necessary. If much more water than usual were to enter the conduit, it would burst it in many places, making its banks or sides collapse and causing much damage. Even if the sluice-gate were only to serve for closing the conduit so it can be cleaned, it would be a good thing, all the more then if it is used for so many other advantages. The method of them and the raising of them will be set down elsewhere. [268]


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There are some weirs of very little ingenuity but which contain a great deal of very thick oak wood; they are boarded over with planks three fingers thick, and well joined. In the places where they are sinking in the water, they are commonly enclosed with turf or a plant called moss which is produced in shady spots. These remedies are for weirs which are empty underneath. But certainly I hold that weir very secure which is empty in the middle, but not that which is full of stone. The reason is this- [/fol. 161v] although I do not want to treat at this point of the forces of all the lines of which this structure is composed- just one reason, which is unbeatable. In the weir that is full of stone in the middle, the stones can never be laid so tight nor so well joined that no empty space will be left in the interstices between them, and that leaves room where it can be penetrated from the ground right up to the top, where it would offer great resistance or force to the water's free passage. Now this does not happen with the one boarded over, for after the water has risen to the top there is no room for it to penetrate. And if by chance a little should penetrate, you can see where the damage is and cure it diligently, whereas the one full of stones can be not cured anywhere, as you can not see the right place. Illustration

134

The method of making wooden weirs has now been dealt with, so now we should treat of stone ones of all kinds, and discuss how they are best made. Stone weirs differ greatly in the setting of their stones. Certain weirs are made of stone and timber; with these we shall deal later, now we shall discuss those made of dry stone only, without any mortar in it at all. These weirs are built where there is but little water, whose level is to be raised, in some gully, [/fol. 162r] either for irrigation or for a mill. They are made in several stages: it would not be well to do it all at once, for the water would not be retained at all. So first one piece should be built, and then it should be left as it is until the water has brought down enough mud and earth to fill in all the empty space between the stones until the river bed is level with the built up section of the weir. And so another piece is made, with very large stones; seat them well so as to leave the least possible empty space in it so the water does not undermine it. Then this other piece is left as it is, and so it goes on until the desired height is gradually reached. But in seating the stones you should know the necessary [269]

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method of placing them, and what shape the weir is to have. I shall here set down two sorts so that my conception may be better understood. I leave aside weirs of loose stone in rivers large or small. It may seem that it is a matter of but little ingenuity, yet there must be imagination and intelligence in reflecting on the way to get it to be secure and stable, for there very seldom fails to be some head. Ufol. 162v] So, to discover a way it may keep level or even rise slightly; when it is to rise anew, begin much further back towards letter M, so it may make its ascent like a staircase. (Illustration 134) In this way begin further back the second time than the first, and so too with the third, so that within a year the weir is raised very conveniently and at little expense, without receiving any damage, and without the river having exerted any force to raise it, indeed it will rather have risen by itself without any violence. For that reason it will end up firm and more secure. And if when it had less firmness it was still secure so now it has more force and quantity it has now much more security than it did before. Illustration

135

(Illustration 135) Ufol. 163r] This is the second kind of dry stone weir, like a stair with two ascents, one on each side; in front of P is face N. The water comes from direction M. But the first is certainly a better invention than the second. From the foot of N that very gentle ascent should be made- the flatter it is the less resistance the water offers it. If the corners of the stones were to be cut as the weir rises, Ufol. 163v] it would be the firmer because then the water will not find anything against which to knock- for it must exert some force on whatever it knocks- and will slide over better on top than if it were confronted with each stone upwards, at O. Otherwise it can be made of another very different shape, likewise of dry stone but very firm, in the following fashion: (Illustration 136) this kind of dry stone weir, as has been said, is a very secure design, made in the form of a vault with those arches, Ufol. 164r] (Illustration 137) as the illustration itself shows at letter N. For the water passes between the joints as the material is much finer than earth or stone. For that reason the weir does not find anything to offer it any resistance- the only thing it finds is the earth and stone which the water [270]


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brings with it, and these things by themselves usually do not offer any resistance. For they stop wherever they find a place which retains them, being heavy by nature, and not things that move by themselves as water does. For if they are not moved, they are not capable of moving by themselves, and even if they are moved by something else, once they find something to check them they stop, as they have no more motion than what the water has given them. But when water finds something that checks it, it just passes by and cares no more for what it has brought down. So this invention is a very secure weir, which raises the water to a higher level than any other kind and with less material for none of the stone need be worked save with the hammer, no more refinement than that, for the more sufficient is the working the securer it is, and the less it costs- it requires no more than to be made ingeniously. (illustration 138) [271]


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Illustration 166

Ufol. 164v] The mouth of the conduit is at A, at B is a wall of the weir which makes the water flow back into the conduit; the superfluous water falls at D. Wall B is higher at E than at D, and so when a little more water comes down than is usual it will fall at D. For that reason it can do the weir very little damage since the weir is not all of equal height. Arch C is made so that in case there are very great floods the water will not scour the bed as it falls from above, and if it should happen to do so it can not cause any damage for wall G can not receive any damage as it is set further back into the waterfall, recessed eight palms toward the river face. The arch serves to allow less material, and also to support the weight better. Besides, it leaves that empty space so the falling water can not injure any part of the weir, and all the more if it falls from some high place, it never touches the bottom of the wall. If the wall is built vertical the water with the impetus it acquires always behaves just the same as a man jumping down: for he always jumps forward of where he was when he began his jump, and it is the same with water, which always leaps forward of where it began to leap. So anybody could stand between the wall and the water and not get wet from the falling water- it is true that whatever leaps up from the ground would wet him, but not what falls from above the weir Ufol. 165r], As we have dealt with the way to make dry stone weirs, we should now turn to the method of making stone weirs or dams, which are built in various forms according to the diversity of their sites, and also the diversity of their builders. Let each man follow his own opinion, his own understanding and judgement: but I have thought of a kind of weir that it seems to me could last for ever, because of its shape and its design. This invention is to go in the water of some great river. Now I shall not bother with the method of founding it, for that is to be done in the same manner as has been set down for the foundations of the piers of stone bridges, which is just as suitable here. So there is no need to repeat what has been said on another occasion. What I want to say in this case is, that when a work of this character can be built dry, it will be much better for it, and much less expense than if it were founded in the river in which it is intended to raise it, for if you estimate the cost of [272]


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diverting the river and then the cost of building it in the river, it will be much more trouble to divert the river, what with so many dikes that will be needed, and so much timber and so much labour required, that it will be impossible to count it all. So I judge that the cost of caissons and defences is incomparably more than making foundations in the water, and diverting it, which is not the chief expense of the weir- Ufol. 165v] I mean the stone and lime, and digging the foundations, and workmen and masters and overseers or foremen. Diverting a river is not a very difficult business, I find much greater difficulty in building the least caisson, than in diverting a river's water to lay foundations there, and greater trouble and expense too- let alone all the caissons that will have to be built to cross a whole river, for there must needs be many, in various places, and in the midst of the river, which means so much difficulty, and all the more because it must be done so often and with so many risks. So even if it involved no more trouble than just emptying the water- I do not say enclosing it inside a caisson, I do not treat of that at all, that is the least of it, but it will keep on seeping through as they make the foundations, and the water will disturb the workers, so I find making it dry will be much more convenient, less trouble and expense, the work will be done more perfectly, with greater security for your people and your work, and less to fear than working in water which involves more risk and much less done. Just emptying the seepage you must stop working to draw the water night and day and that needs a countless multitude of men with various instruments; and where instruments can not be installed it must be done with a wooden tub for two men, with which much water may be emptied. But it is necessary to keep changing the workers [/fol. 166r] because no-one can endure this work for a whole day, never mind the night- just the thought of all this is enough to put me in fear and trembling, never mind actually having to do it; and you must bring so much earth and make so many bridges to go in and out with stones Illustration

139

and mortar and countless other things that will be required for the building every minute. As for the removal of earth no more is needed than emptying it in front of the coffer dams made for defence against the water. The manner of the weir is in the fashion I indicate below in plan, elevation and profile. (Illustration 139) As I reflect on this form, I say that it has very great strength by reason of having its head driven into the ground and its upper corner curved to meet [273]


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the water, which it will resist with marvellous force. The more weight is laid on it, the more secure the work becomes because the weight keeps sinking into the ground and so supports it from above as many shapes do. [/fol. 166v] If it were constructed in the water, this building would be made another way, since it would then be necessary to make the walls and vaults of masonry; and the larger the stones the better they would perform their function. This work is to be tied with clamps of iron or bronze for otherwise the water would do it much injury. If the work is of fine material, as I said, all that is desired could be made dry. Illustration

140

n, e ĂŽ Ăš t f ^ 30 feet 6 feet Foundation inside the weir

Illustration

141

30 feet long A B 6 feet thick

The method of the weir should be just as we are going to treat of it verbally here: the weir will be made up of vaults, which are constructed in the following manner; low on the one side and elevated on the other side behind the weir until they reach the appropriate height. If a weir is to be very elevated, it should be made broad, but if not it may be narrow. This is the form of the foundation; it is to be as deep as it is high, from the bottom of the foundation right up to the top, from A to B, that is the length of the weir, facing the water. From B to C is the mattress, [/fol. 167r] (Illustration 140) One wall of the vault is at D and F, another from E to G; the head is from one letter to the other (Illustration 141) [/fol. 167 v]. The lower type has arches, at letters B C D E F G H I K L . It seemed to me there were too many arches for the shape of the vaults to be intelligible, so I will illustrate the fall of this weir in two ways, and will indicate which one enjoys more stability. After the vaults have been built, they should be paved over with slabs Illustration

142

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in the manner of M and N: these are large thick stones, although I said slabs, for without them I would leave the arches prey (Illustration 142) to the first blow given them by anything which the stream had brought down; and so they would break. Therefore they should be thick. If this building were to be made out of the water you need not take the trouble to square off the stones, it could be made of fine stone, and would be much more durable than if it were of masonry, for the more ties it has the better all is bound together; but in this kind of work fine stone is needed. Put in a great abundance of lime, put in mortar wetting, and with all the mortar and sand- if it were quarry sand that would be better- but if that were not to be found sandstone is marvellous- break it up and make sand of it- and if not that, then use the sand formed in gullys by the rains, l/fol. 168r] In the centre of the vaults empty spaces are left, if they are built in water: for if they are built dry, centerings can be made of the earth itself. Thus the work will remain very stout and much more secure. There are various ways of turning the vaults, according to the availability of building material: one method will be used for building dry, and another if it is done in water. If it is dry, it should be made of stones the size of a fist. Keep beating the walls and vaults with a beede, as pavers do, after the stones are laid, and so proceed by stages. Do the same with the vaults, using the same material, then leave it to dry, a stretch at a time, and so proceed to build the work in water. The vaults should be turned on centrings, erected over planks; and then lay the slabs with best stone, as is suitable for work like this, and as well bound as possible. I have seen many walls of the ancients as strong as can be, which could not be demolished- all the force of picks could not remove them. [/fol. 168v] In making these walls all depends on the abundance of mortar- they must not be poor in lime- but it would be well if this weir were to be so made that at the back where the water is to fall there should be a kind of glacis, at B C D. The vaults should all be enclosed on the side where

they approach the arches of the other vaults. This is to have a wall like a glacis, and is bound to the rest of the work of the weir. Many details may be set down here, but in the end for a man of intelligence a little material is enough for him to undertake a King's work. In this construction the vaults should be well made at front and back: at the back some means should be provided whereby the water is not precipitated with such fury that it scours the rear part of the weir, if some remedy can be found so that it does not do so, as at C D E in the figure of the weir. At E there is a place where the water is to load, and as it is stagnant, at E, it does not break anything and that is much better. (Illustration 143) [/fol. 169r] Countless other things are necessary for such buildings, and I have only set this much down so that anyone who has never seen a weir may understand the names of the parts; and that is why I put in the illustration. In masonry weirs, [275]

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I say that if they are made well there will be no need to carry out repairs on them every day, like those of stone and timber, anyone who can build one just as we have indicated above, will not have to repair it. Returning to the subject of weirs, I say that those of stone and timber must be founded with ingenuity, I mean judgement is needed to lay the mattress with the stakes, and to know where force must reside in the parts that are driven in, and also where there is need of plenty of material; for all weirs must have much greater strength lower down than in front- that is because of the fall of water which scours the base with its great impetus, falling so vigorously as to reach the base and there form great eddies. So most weirs fail down below, like the piers of bridges. Never have I seen a bridge fall, among the countless ones that I have seen, that did not fall backwards, and the cause of this can only be the great revolutions of the water on that side. Illustration

144

l/fol. 169v] In one river I saw a huge cavity which the water's revolution had scoured there, right in the rock; there were no other such holes anywhere. This I have said so that no-one should be surprised by it, for wherever water makes these revolutions it must scour the bed to a great extent. So even if I have dealt with weirs of timber and stone elsewhere, and given some forms for them, I think it will not be beside the point to treat of them a little here, so we shall speak of their forms at the end of the stone ones. This weir is formed like a bastion; in fact anyone who saw it without the text would have no doubt that it was a bastion and not a weir. As I see that it is going to be difficult to understand on account of the letters being at one end, I think it would be best to figure it here so it will be more intelligible. (Illustration 144) l/fol. 17Or] These weirs are of the greatest benefit for purposes of irrigation. Weir A B, with the point, has great strength to resist the water. At C D and E F it forms an angle so as to produce the narrow inlet G, and H on the other side. The angles I K and L M are formed by two pieces of wall, for the preservation [276]


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of the weir. This is an excellent shape for a weir because it gives good protection, being built like a knife to cut the water, and direct it into the two narrow inlets H G. If someone were to ask me the reason why I left the two angles C F at those two places, it is in order that as the water follows the sides of the weir, it will have no strength to scour, for as it knocks against F and C it suffers some check, and leaves whatever it is carrying in the obtuse angle, and does not bear off any of the bed next to the weir. That is the reason why I made the two angles, and likewise the other two, I and L, which perform the same function as F C, for they too make the water leave what it is carrying. So these four angles are of the greatest benefit to the two inlets of the weir, by directing plenty of water into them. 1

'this place they call t h e h a r b o u r ' ... evidently a t e r m in c o m m o n u s e - although it might seem m o r e natural to apply t h e t e r m t o t h e landing, F. 'Mesas' has b e e n literally translated as ÂŤtablesÂť, b u t refers to t h e groynes.

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Illustration 147

The weir is to be rounded in shape so there is less for the water to strike, and it will be shed on both sides, in front of A as well as at B and D E. Ufol. 17Ov] (Illustration 145) This form of weir is quite different from the previous ones because of its shape, in spherical line which has more strength than any other, because the more force the water has the more this figure is buttressed and united in itself and bound together, and the water itself is directed into the two inlets I H for the reason I have related, [/fol. 17lr] (Illustration 146) The square figure A B C D outside the circle (Illustration 147) is for the reduction of the walls upon the foundations; the circle K is the thickness of the foundation and E F G H is the wall above it, K L being the foundation itself. In all weirs in large rivers there is usually somewhere for barges and wooden rafts to cross. This place they call the harbour1. It is unenclosed so the barges can pass as I have said. It is to be made with enough art not to have too much fall, so they do not drop too deep. These harbours are made to conform to the current, and must be quite long, for the longer they are the less danger there will be that anything which passes through it may receive any damage. It is K.

Illustration

148

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(Illustration 148) [/'fol. 171v] This is a weir with all the walls required so it may have the proper complement of refinements. The weir is A B; A is a batter and B the flat part on top of the weir. C D is a harbour with the tables at its sides. E is the outlet where the water enters the conduit G. H is a sluice gate to empty water from conduit G, so it will enter I, in the river. At F timber, stone and lime are taken up from the river; it is also an entry for people to go down to fish and so on. [/fol. 172r] The reason for the angles at the outlets- that is, the two angles B G is so that whatever may be unloaded there leaves the water. This weir too is built like the bastions anciently used for the defence of cities, like a barbican as the form of it shows- that is, from B C and G E, for at E it is flat. The batter is to be on both sides in conformity with the figure V, here above the weir; the square is the foundation of the weir. Those who take on the burden of making weirs must be very honest in mind: they should not be the kind of people who take account of every interest, for if they do, they will seldom produce the work they ought. For this kind of work has to be rich in material and ingenuity; taking into account that the work is built to last forever. There must be no niggling in it, everything has to be in abundance, with plenty of anything that may be necessary. The walls should be built very thick with a full complement of whatever they need to resist any trouble. Weirs made in great rivers are commonly of various kinds, as may be understood from our discussion of the subject. In other rivers mattresses and stakes are commonly used in making weirs, and all according to an original design. The shapes are different too, specially those which have two outlets in the same weir, [/fol. 172v] where the water has to be directed to both sides equally; that is why they are built with an angle in the centre, or are spherical or circular, or may be only a quarter-circle or sometimes semi-circle, with the curve toward the current. Others are made with right angles at both sides of the current. To make these works, it is necessary to be well provided with barges large and small, much timber both thick and thin, much stone, lime and sand, nails, cord, ropes, rings, tubs, osier baskets, basins, spades, shovels, clamps, pulleys, carts, saws, hammers, picks and countless other things that will be needed. Stone weirs are different from those of wood, since they can very seldom be made of stone and mortar in large rivers, so they will have to be of masonry or ashlars because of the great hindrance presented by the river water, unless the river is not so wide, when you can begin by making one part of the weir dry. Then once that part is built proceed until the river may be diverted to the dry part; in this way it may be done. [/fol. 173 r] If it could be made entirely dry it would be much better, as we said of the first type of weir. If it could be so made it would be a very important undertaking and great expense, but it would be of great value too. The form for this is quite marvellous; it is as follows, making the form sketched here of freestone; it has great ingenuity and is very secure. The front part is A, B the middle and C the lower part of the weir. This is to be understood after the foundation has been completed, when you have managed to find firm ground to lay the foundations, and that has provided a solid and firm base; this base has to be made in sections, as has been said, because it can not be done at a stroke and all in one piece, unless it is made dry as we have said countless times. When it is made in sections room ought always to be left so water can flow through the work. The largest possible stones must be employed, and tied with iron or metal hooks- if they are of bronze metal [279]

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Illustration 166

they would last much longer without spoiling, nor would they get corroded or rusty. But certainly that would be the greatest expense that could be, so they can be of tempered iron as we said of stone bridges. And that is the remedy which ought to be followed for their preservation, [/fol. 173v] (Illustration 149) This weir has a very good shape, as can be understood from the many points in it, which are the strength of the whole structure, because the circular is the strongest of all lines, which all coincide in it. Now the more stability the shape gains the more it is strengthened in itself. So the more force the water exerts upon it, the firmer the construction becomes, for the reason stated. The front part is A, forming a quarter circle, linked to the semi-circle B; and the semi-circle C does the same. These two A C turn their backs to the ground, which gives them the greatest stability. Vault E remains even if curve B is eroded. If it is required to leave the vault empty it can be done to avoid so much expense; but if it is not so required, it can be filled with earth which would give it greater security. At D there is a spillway paved with slabs in conformity with what goes at D; [/fol. 174r] and in part G too several large stones should be laid in conformity with what is indicated. The shaded section is the foundation F. At C there is an invention to kill the force of the water so it does not scour the weir there. As the water falls from B to C it strikes the water under the line at C, so even if the water should fall furiously when it touches that water which has already been stopped and does not flow, it loses all its force. Certain it is that in every place where water falls it does so into more water, but if that is flowing, like the rest, it will scour the bed. That is the cause of the great whirlpools the water forms when it finds room to do so, where it can make eddies for the reason given. If it should chance to make them when it rises it could not do so when it turns down again, because the force of the falling water makes it rise, and so it can not scour, as has been said. All that is necessary for the weir may be seen in this design that is, the side, front and back all in one shape. So B illustrates the circumference with Z C, and E the centre and C D shows how the upper part is to go. So all the parts are included in a single form, which is indeed very strong because the water lays no weight on any part of it, in front, in the middle or behind it, since it has no fall nor does it take it in perpendicularly, [/fol. 174v] but only obliquely as may be seen from the two figures below. (Illustration 150) Illustration of the difference between these figures or forms, which is wonderful to think on. It shows very plainly the contrast between these two [280]


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Illustration 150

forms of weir: weir M is no higher than weir N, so there is no higher level of water in N than in M. But what is the reason why M is much more affected by the water than is N? It is produced by the great weight because the water does not rest anywhere, and that is why most weirs last very little time. In weir N the water does rest, because from A to B the one water does not gain at all over the other, nor does it from B to C as it keeps at rest between these letters, [/fol. 175r] as the figure demonstrates. As for figure M, the water does not rest at all from A to B, nor yet from B to C, but rather all these parts keep giving trouble to the weir, and all push together, which does not happen in N, where none of the parts help each other as the ones in figure M do. Now all together will offer greater resistance, because one water affects the other. So it will be found that the water at E is lighter than at D, while at C it is heavier than at D: in the same way it is lighter at C than at B and lighter at B than at A. That is caused by the water being stagnant and calm there for if it does not flow it will not produce these divisions. And therefore it is plain to see that weir N is not affected at all by the water, nor does one water weigh upon another there, as those of weir M do. These divisions are to be understood as being one upon the other, only of the water as it touches the weir, as it tends to vanish away. To demonstrate the truth of this, there would be need of further illustrations. But leaving all this aside, in one weir the water does much damage and in the other it is an advantage, for in the one the whole weight is borne at one point, which does not happen in [281]


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Illustration 166

weir N, for there the weight is divided into many parts so that the load is spread equally over the whole weir. I find no figure or form worse than weir A, whereas weir B is one of the best possible, l/fol. 175v] A is so feeble and of such little value that there can hardly be anything less, because it receives every blow at a single point, and all the water strikes it along a single line. This kind of weir has little ingenuity; it is to raise the level of a small stream to make a mill, or for irrigation, at but little expense. (Illustration 151) A vault T is made, so as to cross the stream. For this building is to be built dry, and in front at V, room is left so the water can pass, and the same on the other side, at N. It is to be crossed in front and is to have two channels from top to bottom, Z and R behind the place where the water passes, at V. The beams to be laid in this channel, Z R should be well trimmed so they will join better at the sides where Illustration

152

Water Channel

they touch. After this has been done, have ready plenty of men to throw in earth until no water can pass at all. The level of the water will then be raised and it will go into the place you desire, and then the place where the water has passed can be closed with stones, once the earth has made a bed for them. [/fol. 176r] And [282]


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in this way a very firm structure will be obtained, because eventually timber decays in the course of time, and so the building will fail, but if the two parts V X are enclosed their weir will be secured till the end of the time, so it is required to last. To reduce the stream so it will pass through this narrow place a channel should be made- or channels depending on the amount of water, for if there is too much, it should be divided into two or three parts so it can pass more conveniently. As the water collects in the channels, its level rises and it takes up less room. Any weir can be made like this provided the river is not too big; and in this way what was required shall be done. (Illustration 152) Ufol. 176v] In any place weirs can be made with this arrangement of dividing the water into many channels, since the more divisions the more conveniently the work will be carried out. The higher the channels are made at the sides the greater content they can have, even if they are narrow they will be very good so long as they are high at the sides. In this weir those gates should be made at V V V V, closed at S S S S. They should be made narrower below and wider above so as to make a tighter fit in their position. The work should be dry when this is done, and the channels removed before the gates S are closed. (Illustration 153)

This is how the mouths are to be closed with beams or thick planks F. In making the weirs a vault should be left in the middle to close the mouths S, although that could be done another way Ufol. 177r] by going into the mouths to close them- but let it be done any way whatsoever, so long as they are closedand once that is done the weir is finished with all its proper appurtenances, to convey water for irrigation or for a mill. For once the water is raised above the Illustration

154

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weir it can serve any trade that may be necessary, as it might be a fulling mill or a forge- to drive the stamps and hammer, as commonly used in such buildings, or to grind and burnish arms. If when this weir is built it should happen to be required to leave that arch in the middle, as indicated at T in weir S, it should begin to turn down on the ground, for so the whole structure will have greater strength and security than in any other way. Steps should be made to go down for the necessary operations. The outlets of the channels I would like as narrow as can be at both ends, and broad in the middle. No continuous wall is to be built, only in these two places so it may be proportionate to the wall. If it is required to enclose the whole, both arch and vault, it could well be done but when the arch is not enclosed, the two parts which are, should be made to come into contact. There are different forms and ways of making weirs, [/fol. 177v] and as I have demonstrated them and given the order how they ought to be built, I shall not bother here to keep on repeating myself. This weir M is of great ingenuity, (Illustration 154) specially in the interior M, for that circle has very great strength and can not be undermined by the fall of water, which lies in the concavity like a vessel and falls evenly like a pipe. That is the reason why the water does no damage to the weir. The water is taken at N, where it is directed through a conduit. (Illustration 155) This weir V is the front part of it, formed almost like the figure above, although there are many points of difference, [/fol. 178r] for weir M comes to a point in the centre and the other is flat, although it too forms a circle at the back- but they do not do it the same way, since in M it is shaped like a smooth vessel, and although the lower part of this other is rounded too, it is not smooth but rather built in steps, at T. (Illustration 156) Illustration

155

This kind of weir has a very strange shape because of its spherical form; that is, at A B there is a semi-circle, at C D another semi-circle, and behind it is convex; and likewise at F E. The two oudets are H I. This weir is composed of two slopes and the level part M; opposite A is G. I do not think there is any need to give the measurements for it, because the quantity depends on the form- [/fol. 178v] I mean that these constructions ought to be as thick as bastions, which resist artillery2 the better the thicker they are, and it is just the same with weirs which have their opponents continually before them, which do not stop harassing them by day or by night; and when floods come it is like a battery playing on them. So, this weir has two outlets and that is why it is made in this shape, because when 2

'as thick as bastions, which resist artillery' ... the comparison of this design to fortification (also on 172r), and of erosion to bombardment by cannon would come easily to a sixteenth century engineer, and re-appears elsewhere.

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the water comes to A it is diverted into two streams, so as to slide from A to C, and easily enters the two outlets. When this structure is made of freestone it will be very secure and firm. But let that suffice for this subject of weirs- although I could have thought of many other forms, but in the end it seems to me that it would be more longwindedness than anything else, for if half a dozen are not enough, a hundred would not serve. It is required to ennoble a city so that it will be frequented, which would be effected by changing the course of a river so that it will pass through or near the city, for the sake of the ships that will bring merchandise, for if that river were navigable even for small boats it would be a very important matter, [/fol. 179r], For as we see, many cities have become celebrated because of their rivers, on account of their commerce among the rest. The greater the river, and the more abundant its water, the more celebrated the city; and seagoing vessels will be able to enter it- small ones I mean, for very few rivers have such abundance of water that big ships can enter them, as they do the river of Seville3, and the Ebro where it joins the sea near Tortosa. Ordinarily the sea with its waves deposits too much sandy material in the mouths of rivers, and even breaks their banks with its regular motion. Rivers like these should have their mouths fortified so vessels can enter them, and the wasting of the sea's vexatious waves repaired, for it keeps eroding everything and continually persists with all its strength in trying to defeat whatever may confront it. So, as I have said, they will have to be fortified, keeping to the same method as was used in the fortifying of harbours. The largest possible stones should be set somewhat sloping toward the waves so that as they hit the stones they do not find so much exposed as if they did so full face. With this invention the fortification can be constructed, even though the sea is very cunning and deceives all the skill and ingenuity and all the forces of men, who for all their industry see themselves conquered by the sea's waves. This I say ought to be taken seriously. 3

'as they do the river of Sevilfe' ... i.e. the Guadalquivir. As is made clear later he knew of this only by repute, and had never visited Seville. He would certainly have been familiar with conditions on the Ebro, and perhaps imagined a port on the river which could flourish like Seville. 12851

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When it is proposed to divide a great river into two where it enters the sea, take it half a league further back, [/fol. 179v] or at least a third of a league, and there separate it from the other branch. When there is enough water for it to be divided into two parts, it will prove very convenient for navigators, because even if it is not possible to enter the mouth of one arm, there will be room to enter by the other. Besides, this division is useful when rivers are carrying too much water because of floods; it will be much more convenient for them to discharge the water through two mouths than one alone, and so with these two exits, they will not drown so much land. But for this, it will have to be fortified in three places, one where it is divided, and the other two where the water is discharged. (Illustration 157) A should be fortified with great ingenuity and forethought, [/fol. 180r] and likewise B C and D. The fortification should be made of the largest stones, spherical in figure, as illustrated in the fortification of harbours; the same design and the same form will be used. At E it ought to be reinforced, as we have explained when talking of weirs; and so whatever has been eroded and needs attention will be remedied.

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TENTH BOOK Introduction Book of tanks and cisterns Now that all the problems of the transport of water have been solved, there is at last a book on storage. Cisterns may well be the most ancient technique for coping with life in dry seasons; older than aqueducts, perhaps older than wells. As the author notes, they are frequently mentioned in the Bible- although it is curious that he would cite the story of Samson's battle with the lion, in the book of Judges, which makes no mention of a nearby cistern. These containers would collect rain water from local run-off, perhaps from roofs, or tapped from flash floods in normally dry water-courses. Perhaps in later times, as the author suggests, they might well be filled with water brought from a well, in case the well would run dry in summer. Vitruvius allows only one paragraph (VIII, 6.14-15) to cisterns: Alberti's chapter (X.8) is much longer and may have suggested the structure of this book, in which general observations on how to make a cistern are followed by notes on linings and the purification of water. But the information here is far more detailed, and keeps the pattern of a simple design, which is then elaborated in more elegant versions. Alberti only distinguishes between cisterns strictly for drinking water, and those intended as a reserve supply for fire-fighting. Here the various ways cisterns can be filled precedes the different types. Possibly the method of taking hillside run-off in a settling tank before piping it to a cistern may be inspired by Alberti, although the idea could equally come from the other ideas for tapping this source earlier in the Twenty-One Books. As quite often the author is faced with two words of overlapping sense, one from a Latin root, the other from Arabic (aljibe). Given the arid conditions of Aragon, it is not surprising that Spanish waterworks should have so many words; the author tries to make a distinction on grounds of shape- round cisterns, square 'tanks' (aljibes)- or of size, but the distinction is fairly arbitrary. Hence English is less rich, and 'tank' has to translate more than one Spanish term. Cisterns evidently need to be lined properly to prevent leakage; the author clearly regards this as a general preservative. Here and a little later, recipes for the purification of drinking water reappear; by filtration through sand, through the perforated plate and sponge {cf. f. 74) and through cloth; also techniques of stirring or boiling water, and putting in some kind of coagulant. Until the nineteenth century, water-borne diseases were not perceived to be produced by microscopic creatures living in the water. Instead, inactive, still water was thought of [287]


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as dead water. Like any other dead thing, it would go off, lose its goodness, decay and turn green. Algal growth was simply taken to b e a sign of this change in the nature of the water. Understandably, water in cisterns was more likely to suffer these 'accidents' than bubbling brooks, and so buildings had to guard against its corruption. H e r b s with strong savour, used to protect food from going off, would at least mask unpleasant odours, and might b e expected to slow down the process of decay. The author also returns to comparisons between water from various sources: springs, rivers, conduits- with another note on the best materials for pipes, worrying in particular about the supposed dangers of copper- then rainwater from rain, snow and ice, streams, lakes, pools and marshes, lagoons (here apparently standing pools of flood water); and fishponds. This subject repeats material from Book O n e and Three but in a different way, with somewhat different conclusions and more information, derived in part certainly from Alberti and Pliny, w h o seem to b e the sources for the many Classical allusions.

Baths Once he mentions the large reservoirs of ancient Rome, he is easily led on to Roman baths [/fol. 199-203], Probably he was somewhat unsure about the function of the 'thermae', which were in fact always baths, b u t in any case baths do resemble tanks in their general rectangular shape. H e r e too, Vitruvius may have been the starting point, developed by Alberti (VIII. 10) who could have inspired the plan shown here, at [/fol. 202], This was supposedly based on the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla and Diocletian at Rome, two of the grandest public baths erected in the whole history of the Empire. N o doubt these two were the famous «princes who ordered them to b e made». As the author says, the Romans probably took the idea of public baths f r o m the Greeks, whose «balaneia» were quite common in the Greek colonies of Italy. However, it was the Romans who really made the baths into a major social centre, and their buildings of the baths among the chief sights of any city. Although the practice of bathing in cold, tepid and hot baths, as a pleasure in itself, declined with their power, the Moslems revived the custom. (Nielsen, 1990). From Moorish Spain public baths spread to much of Western Europe. Whereas some only of the installations of Imperial Rome had been linked to hot springs and mineral sources- such as Bath in E n g l a n d - in late medieval Europe, health-giving waters were the main attraction, indeed the main justification for taking off most of your clothes in front of other people and getting thoroughly wet. So here the section ends with an attempt to treat baths in terms of the ailments they might cure. By comparison, Alberti is less medicinal, more archaeological. In the sixteenth century enthusiastic searches for health through water were drawing patients to such spas in increasing numbers. A book by Thomas Junta, published at Venice in 1553, describes the leading baths of the day, for the most part in Italy, Switzerland and Germany; none are Spanish. The buildings were far simpler than those of Antiquity, as appears also from a well known woodcut of Plombieres-les-Bains in Alsace, dating from this time, or indeed from the Dürer woodcuts of 'the men's bath' and the 'women's bath'. So the account here relates more to a vision of ancient splendour restored, than to contemporary reality. Curiously enough, to date only five ancient baths have been excavated in the Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis, which covered most of eastern and northern Spain, far fewer than in Italy or Roman Gaul; admittedly three of these were in the E b r o region best known to our author. H e [288]


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at least does not speak of any Spanish baths, ancient or modern, and so relied on information from antiquarian architects like Serlio and Fulvio. His 'artificial baths' are the ancient structures described in their texts. Of medicinal baths he must have had some other sources of information, perhaps even from the hearsay of acquaintances. H e also tells us more of the entertainment side of public baths: «women» follow «things to eat» among these 'modos de regalos', which recalls the saucy reputation of such baths in the Renaissance.

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Of tanks and cisterns, and how to make them

H

ow to make all kinds of cisterns to conserve drinking water. These vessels are constructed in various ways. Water does not flow into cisterns as it does in wells, normally it is put in by hand to be conserved for the use of houses or castles, to supply human needs. They are filled in many different ways: the first is, by carrying the water on animals from a river or spring; the next way is by arranging the roofs of houses in such manner that all the rain that falls on them goes through pipes and drops into the cistern either direcdy, or else through some kind of gutter. The next way is by fitting out a clough or gully when it rains in open country. [/Jol. 180v] Once the place is full and the water has settled it is brought in pipes to the cistern. At other times they may be filled yet another way, with the water of some conduit which temporarily holds standing water. So there is not one single way to fill them, and therefore they may contain clear water, or turbid, or even muddy, even though they are made in order to hold drinking water. So there is variation in the filling of them as well as in the construction; and indeed while we make some cisterns for drinking water, others are for household use.

Cisterns must be made in such fashion and manner, rounded at the base as everywhere else, as to be most firm and solid, so they can nowhere be destroyed. Whether the water is for drinking or for use, much care should be applied to seeing that it is not corrupted at any time, however much may be in the vessel. For if the water is naturally bad, and then begins to stink, that will be no fault of the vessel, but of the water itself. And so I say that before it is filled with water, be it from spring, river or conduit, note should be taken whether it will be preserved or will be corrupted. For if that does happen it is like having poison and corruption in your house. [/Jol. 181r] Cisterns are usually made double, in this way, one inside the other, so there are two in one vessel as sketched here; which are to hold the rainwater from heaven that falls on rooftops. They are so made that one is larger and the other deeper than the other. The one in the middle does not receive the rainwater, which enters A only. B is the one in the middle; it is deeper than the outer one A. The walls of B are made of rough stone, so that the water can be filtered from A into B. If it were convenient to have the cisterns inside the house, so that the water of the two cisterns could be drawn through taps, it would be a great luxury, for water could be taken from A for household use and [290]


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from B for drinking; B will be fresher because of the water it has round it. And so these two are made very neatly, and without taking up much space. Cisterns and wells are a very ancient thing, since we find in the book of Judges1, how Samson slew the lion, near the cistern.

Illustration 163

l/fol. 181v] (Illustration 158) The large cistern is A, from which water is drawn for use through C, a hole much higher than the base of cistern B. From B it is drawn through D, which is more than eight palms lower. For better comprehension of this matter, I made the second figure, cut away down the middle, from which it is plain to see how the base of A is higher than C and the base of B higher than D. This is done so the water will be clearer and purified as it is filtered through the stones which remove all that is fatty and nasty, and leave it quite clear. Another kind of cistern which I have thought up, can be filled with the water of a gully or somewhere like that when it rains. For most ordinary cisterns are filled with rainwater from roofs, Ufol. 182r] but in many places the houses are not big enough nor so adapted for the water from their roofs to be enough to fill the cistern. That is chiefly so with village houses which need much water for use, specially where there are many animals. So, to make a structure like this, a large square space should be excavated in the earth, at least twenty palms wide and as many long, and thirty palms deep. And once that is done, erect a round vault in the space, like half an orange. In the centre, instead of a keystone, leave a round hole, so as to insert a mouth into the cistern for drawing water. This mouth is to be from ten to twelve palms in height, or more. The walls of the vault are to rise straight up to the very top of the inlet, but where the water is to be collected as it comes from the gully, or wherever it may be, there is to be a spacious entrance. The water stands there, and all the dirt it has brought with it settles. The upper surface of the vault is to be made even with sand and stone. The vault should be made of rough stone, or else turned dry if no rough stone is to be found. So the water that enters above the vault will filter down, through the sand and through the joints or holes in the stone, and the mud in it will be left up above, l/fol. 182v] As the place should be quite large so as to contain a great quantity of water, a way down should be built, with stairs; then make an entrance in the circuit of the walls to draw water from the cistern; the stairs will serve for this, and also for cleaning out the mud when there is too large a quantity of it. At the side a drainpipe could be made so that when it is full of water up to the rim, it could be diverted somewhere else, in order not to do any damage (Illustration 159) to the fabric. And so it will contain a large amount of very clear, clean water. 1

'we find in the book of Judges' ... i.e. Judges XIV, 5-6. But there is no mention of a cistern in the text. [291]

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Ufol. 183r] (Illustration 160) In this kind of plan, the cistern is B, A is the entrance for the water up to capacity, the mouth is C, the stair D. In the profile of the cistern, the letters are the same except that the vault is H, the lower part I, the sand is at G. And this is an excellent invention to conserve a large quantity of water. Illustration

160

After a cistern has been built, it should be washed out in this manner: take scoria left over from the mining of iron, and chop it up very fine so it can line the cistern. This lining or wash is just so the water can be kept fresh. By washing it I do not mean like washing it with water, [/fol. 183v] For I call it washing when a room is whitewashed and scrubbed down with gypsum or lime to leave the wralls smooth. To keep water fresh in summer, the water with which the scoria is kneaded may be made up with various seeds; that is, take roots of elm, licorice, take coriander, fennel, box-thorn, juniper grains- the black ones which smell nice; [292]


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then cook all these seeds with the roots, and after they have boiled knead the lime and iron scoria used instead of sand in the water; and so wash down the whole of the interior of the cistern. This material gives a good smell to the water and keeps it fresh and preserves it from corruption. If some nutmeg, cinnamon, or other such things, like mace flower, grains of paradise, galingale zoroardia and other aromatic herbs of that type, like ginger and cloves, were to be put in the decoction, they would remove the roughness of the lime. Afterwards the whole of the cistern has to be washed three times to remove all the unpleasant taste of the lime from the water. For it will then acquire a good smell. But the cistern ought to be left to dry properly before any water is put in it. Cisterns are made in different ways as can be seen, but all are to conserve rainwater, [/fol. 184r] Some are built to receive it from channels in the roof, which then pour into the cistern. Another smaller one may be built at the side much lower than the one which receives the rainwater. In the wall that forms a partition between the two, some holes must be left at the bottom near the ground, and in these large sponges are nailed, fixed or laid upon a copper plate perforated with fine holes so the water which filters through the sponges can fall into the smaller cistern. There are to be two rows of holes, one beneath the other, and all to have their sponges and perforated plates. The walls themselves should be built very firm and solid so the water can not leak through. In most cisterns the water is drawn up with pulleys or other instruments in the same way as from wells; most of them are dug out of the ground like wells, but when one is in the airI mean not dug out like wells- it will have to be lined with pitch inside and out, in order to hold water. In this kind of cistern the water is drawn through a tap, which will be much less work, and it will be drawn cleaner too. These taps should be placed a little way above the ground, specially in the one which receives rainwater, [/fol. 184v] because of the dirt it leaves below on the floor. In the other one, where it is filtered, it is not necessary, as it falls ready filtered, on account of the sponges. These cisterns are square. The large cistern is A, the small one B, the sponges are to be at C. A is not to be as deep as B, whose floor E is lower by one third than floor D. The sponges are to be near D, the sponge being A with its perforated plate, as the figure shows. (Illustration 161) [/fol. 185r] Here I have set down two figures so that my meaning may be better understood. The first is the side-view, which is the exterior, the second is to show the interior, to make it more intelligible. Sand is usually put on the floor at D to keep the water fresher, and to purity it. There is another kind of cistern, very different from the aforesaid; this is quite an ingenious invention. It can be built anywhere, even in a plain. But note must be taken, when a work like this is required, where most water collects when it rains, for a large ditch or conduit will be dug there on a large hill or mountain; this conduit is to incline in one direction to keep the water moving. At the end a very large square pit is dug and if it were in the rock that would be much better. This pit is to collect the water. After it has done so, the water is left to stand until the dirt or mud or the like, that it bears, has settled. Once it is standing, a device should be fitted at one end of the square pit which can be opened and shut. Under the mountain a cistern is to be excavated in such a way that water can be drawn from below it. Stone pipes are then installed from the square pit to the cistern, in such a manner as not to be visible. When the water has collected the [293]


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Illustration 166

place is opened, the water goes out and reaches the cistern through the pipes. l/fol. 185v] In this way the water will be very clear, clean and fresh. The cistern is to be built like a vault above, with only so much of an opening as may contain the pipe. A little gate is to be made in the top, to observe if the cistern is leaking, and a tap in the bottom near the ground, well placed for drawing water from the cistern. Cisterns are made in different ways; two or three may be joined together. But cisterns do not differ from tanks save that the latter are square and cisterns are round for the most part. Tanks then are square and vaulted; there is a difference there, but for the rest it seems to me that both are vessels to conserve water- I do think the cistern copies the well rather in its structure, except that the water seeps into the well2 but in the cistern is collected from rain. (Illustration 162) The mountain is A, the conduit B, the reservoir C, which the water leaves by the square orifice and enters the pipes D. It then enters the cistern at E. [/fol. 186r] The cistern is F and G; the water is drawn at H. In order to have fresh clean water, take somewhat coarse river or brook sand, well washed, and lay it on the floor of 2

'water seeps into the well' ... 'mana el agua'- the usual term for water issuing from a spring. [294]


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the cistern, up to two feet thick. This keeps the water fresh, clean and purified, with an excellent flavour. The more sand is laid down the fresher and clearer the water will be. It often happens that cisterns are ruined or lost through being badly lined, and then the water is lost because of all the cracks, because the walls were not well built. Also the water is corrupted because the cistern is full of dirt which has collected there in the course of time, either mud or something else. It is a very difficult matter keeping water imprisoned between walls, which therefore have to be very firm. A cistern is usually made of common building stone. After it is finished all the walls are left to dry out before any water is put in, because water is naturally heavy and offers great resistance to the walls so that sometimes it gets out because its moisture keeps pushing through the walls. Besides, they commonly give off a certain sweat of themselves, and when this sweat finds the porosities in the walls it [/fol. 186v] opens them up and continually filters through until it has widened a path by which the water can get out as freely afterwards as if it were through some pipe. To remedy these accidents which may happen in buildings, specially in the corners, the ancients were accustomed to employ the following remedy: they applied many layers of plastering on the fabric one upon another; and so cured these cracks or porosities. The last layer they made with such care it looked like marble, as strong and durable as stone. But in the end this waste of water can not be cured. The best remedy they found is to fill in between the walls with clay, which should be beaten down as they do with adobe, or in paving streets with [295]

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fine stone. This beating is to be done with great care so it is even. And the clay is to be dry and all powdery as if it were flour. With this arrangement the whole is filled in from the floor to the top of the cistern between the wall and the ground at the sides. If it be made in the air two walls should be made, and the clay applied as has been said. There have been some philosophers3 who thought water could be conserved in cisterns without corrupting if a glass vessel were taken and filled with salt, and then closed properly so no water can get in- L/fol. 187r] the closure is made with lime that has been slaked in olive oil. Then suspend the vessel upright in the midst of the water in the cistern. With the vessel suspended like this the water will be preserved a very long time without corrupting, even though the vessel is enclosed. Others are of the opposite opinion; they say a large glass vessel should be taken and filled with mercury or quicksilver, and closed tight so no water can get in, and if this is then suspended in the water, it will keep for a long time without spoiling. Other philosophers are of a different opinion. They say: take a new earthenware vessel and fill it with vinegar, the strongest available, close the vessel tightly with lime as stated above and put it in the water. For if it is so suspended, it will remove a certain rheumatic smell it may have acquired, the smell which wine gets in damp cellars. Others again are of a contrary opinion; they say the water of wells and cisterns is kept very pure if certain tiny little fish are put in, for they say the fish are sustained by that taste, as said above of the moisture of the soil. Others claim that statement or saying of Epigenius4 is very true, that water which has spoilt is restored in the course of time, L/fol. 187v] loses its stench and becomes good again, and that then it never spoils again. Others who want to cure water of starting to stink, say this remedy ought to be employed: keep beating it and drawing it out fine even if you throw it back again into the same vessel; and if it is not extracted, take a fairly large stone weighing two arrobas, tie it to a rope, dip it in, taking it out and letting it drop all of a sudden, for it will very soon beat up the water; if this is done for two hours each day the water will be cured in the space of eight days; it will return to its true nature and be good. This remedy also serves for wine or for olive oil that has the same taste or smell. (Illustration 163) This is the method to cure cisterns of leaking. The leaking cistern is A, the clay is applied between cistern and wall B, the remainder C is the space to be filled with clay; this prevents water getting out of the cistern. Josephus in De Antiquitatibus5 treats of a similar matter. L/fol. 188r] For they say that when Moses was crossing the deserts of Moab with the people of Israel, and they found no water to drink, he found a little bitter stinking water, which Moses commanded the soldiers to draw with great haste, and then throw back into the well. Then the water from being bad turned good to drink again. Plainly, cooking water purifies it of all the accidents it may contain. The same thing happens when it is passed through something- not that it is distilled like the water extracted from plants- but take a large vessel, put water in it, make a hole in the base, put a cloth over to close it, 3 'there have been some philosophers' ... it is hard to say who these various thinkers were: in any case could the contents of hermetically sealed vessels affect the water? 4 'that statement of Epigenius' ... this reference probably comes from Alberti (X.8), who would have taken it from Pliny (HN XXXI.34); several Ancient medical writers bore this name. 5 'Josephus in De Antiquitatibus' ... also from Alberti; the reference is to De Antiquitatibus Judaeorum (III.7), where he retells the story in Exodus XV. Alberti improves on losephus, just as the latter improves on the Biblical narrative.

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but not so tight that no water can get out, indeed it should rather be quite loose. Then put it in another vessel to receive it, and so it will keep on filtering through the cloth; although I have set down these vessels in this form they must be big ones, with a large capacity, and the receptacle too. This filtration of water can be done in various ways. (Illustration 164) [/fol. 188v]

Illustration 163

Illustration

164

By the above manner of passing water through a cloth, water which contains saltpetre, or is bitter, can also be cured. It is said it may be cured of that by putting in it a loaf of barley flour, which is a most efficacious remedy. If it is fried before putting it in, the water will be drinkable ^ Âżgp^ within two hours. But water can also be filtered quite a different way: Take a large copper vessel, drill some very fine holes half way down, and then fill it with river sand, well washed, before it is placed in the vessel, in such a manner that the water can pass, and so be wonderfully purified. This vessel could also be made of earthenware; when it is to be baked, drill very fine holes all round. To stop the sand getting out, a bag of thick linen can be made, and put in the vessel before the sand. Water is commonly filtered through certain stones, like shelly stone6 which is as full of holes as a sponge, or else coarse stone for in these two species of stone, water can pass like through a sponge. So they have great strength in the filtration of waters, and make the bad good. Solinus says7 that if sea water is passed through clayey soil, it turns sweet and good to drink; it has also been discovered that straining it through sand removes its saltiness, provided it is fine brook sand. If a new earthenware vessel whose mouth was well closed so no water could get in were to be put in the sea, [/fol. 189r] at the end of several days it would be found to be full of sweet water. The historians relate that the river Nile is ordinarily turbid but if its water is 6

'Shelly stone' ... i.e. 'caracolina', snail stone, a fossiliferous limestone, rich in gastropod fossils. 'Solinus says' .. Solinus was a late Roman collector of curious tales about faraway places which was very popular in the Renaissance. This passage, however, and the comment on Nile water lower down are from Alberti (X.8) again. In fact Solinus may have taken this, like much of his material, from Pliny; here from HN XXXI.70. 7

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Illustration 166

put into vessels and then they take green almonds and rub all around the mouths of these vessels, it turns clear. This is the method of the vessel to filter water. (illustration 165) Although the generation of waters has been treated both in general and in particular, let me say again here that of all drinking water, that of springs is extraordinarily wholesome, if it is fresh, and of such kind as we have spoken of in detail, so really spring water will in fact be much better than that of wells. The reason is, that it is ordinarily in continual motion, and it originates of itself in the earth, whereas that of wells lies within the well like a thing imprisoned, and does not move from there at all by itself, unless it be moved, nor does a drop get out if it is not extracted by hand with some device. And so it is much thicker, and when drunk it moistens our food and viands the less, nor does it wash our nourishment properly as it washes through the parts of the body: and it leaves the kidneys and is evacuated from the bladder with greater difficulty. [/Jol. 189v] It is much more apt to stay drunk. If it often is extracted it is because to a certain degree one water always gradually succeeds the other, which has been drawn, and so water taken from wells is as fresh as from springs. The water of pits and rivers is always conserved in the manner of spring water where it originates, but for some time only and then it is subtle and not very cold but later it loses that goodness it has naturally and turns very cold and thick. Rain water becomes much better because it contains less cold and is more subtle. But simple waters are better preserved. Those which are mixed become such of necessity, for the beds of rivers and brooks must necessarily be of pure dense earth, and not have any bad property or anything harmful in itself. So the bed should be of some compact, tough sand, compressed in itself without any stench or evil taste. So it should be that sand they call male, which is as if to say very compact of stone or rock, for these soils contain no evil stench or taste. For if it were to have any, it would lose its value and goodness. But river beds are impure and of bad quality, if they contain some juice mixed or congealed with a layer of loose earth, or a juice congealed in a soft or thin sand or a loose gravel [/fol. 190r] or some evil property infected with metallic flavours. It often happens that brooks and rivers have beds which are very good in some places, so that their water there is healthy and highly praised, and in other places are bad where they pass over a different bed. And we find too that bad waters have some good parts. But in the end it is not wholly a question of the bed: it is partly that waters are neither very good nor bad, nor are the juices of the plants over which they pass, for this too has a share in making waters what they are, even when very bad. Indeed brooks themselves may infect the water of rivers, as we can see, for a small brook which is bitter can make a great river bitter8, as the Lupartus in Pontus, and as do the springs of Arco in Aragon, 8 'a small river which is bitter can make a great river bitter' ... problems of pollution by a relatively minor inflow are not new ... The Lupartus in Pontus (now northern Turkey) is

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which spoil the water of the river Martin; as Pliny says too of the brooks in Borysthenes which enter the river Poo and change the taste of its water. Likewise one river can infect and spoil another though its water be excellent, for the strength of the bad will be enough to spoil the good. And likewise a lake will spoil a pool. From the above material it may be seen that I did not treat of this subject of the differences between rivers without cause. Among all river waters9, that of the river Euleus is one of the most highly praised, [/fol. 19Ov] and that of the river Choaspes; the kings of Persia used to drink the water of these rivers, which was carried to various provinces of their kingdoms wherever they went, as may be found written in certain Greek authors. In time past, we find that a prince of Spain, wishing to imitate these kings of Persia had the water of the river Tagus and the Ebro brought to Rome, as he believed their water was the best in the world, without any comparison to any water of Italy. Ptolemy called Philadelphus the second, king of Egypt, having married his daughter Berenice to Antiochus, king of Syria, had Nile water brought to her, as Polybius writes, because that was the water she was accustomed to drink. The water conveyed to towns in open conduits has the same properties as that of rivers and brooks. But that conveyed in covered pipes is much better than well water, even though they are much broken up, because it is not so frequendy moved as that which travels under its natural motion, but as it strikes through the pipes it grows more subtle and becomes much better; but it is still not so good as that of streams and rivers, because the heat of the sun can not penetrate it when travelling through pipes, since the sun certainly much refines the water that it strikes, [/fol. 19lr] Yet it is sometimes better to convey water to a town in pipes than in open conduits, so that it is not polluted by being mixed with any other water that could give it a bad flavour, and so it does not pass over any loose thin earth from which it might acquire some bad flavour, or anything else that might do it any notable harm. So these conduits are cut in rock or constructed of walls, masonry or ashlars, so nothing can be mixed with the water, and it will be conveyed cleaner and purer. For it can not then lick up anything that might do it harm, nor give it a bad taste. But water is conveyed best and cleanest in pipes of wood or earthenware, and also in those of lead. Those of bronze or copper are not so good, for when the water is not continuously flowing through them a certain subtle material of verdigris grows in the pipes, and this latter turns to calamine10. As the water washes it away little by little and absorbs it, this material will do much damage to the intestines. So lead pipes are much less harmful than copper ones. The Arabs speak very badly of copper pipes, in a most frightening way, although in Germany, Italy and France unidentifiable. Pliny does mention (HN XXXI.52) the effect of tributaries on the Borysthenes (which was probably the Dnieper), but does not say it flows into the Po. By comparison the Martin is local, being a tributary of the Ebro: one source is near Torre de las Areas. 9 'among all river waters' ... Pliny reports the fondness of Persian kings for the streams that flowed near their capital, Susa, a story originally in Herodotus (1.88). These may be identified with the modern Karun and Kerkha. We can not identify this Spanish prince. The story of Berenice, daughter of the Hellenistic king of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285-246 BC) is not in the main surviving text of Polybius but only in a passage quoted by later authors, and must have come down through some collection. 10 'this later turns to calamine' ... This seems the best translation for ÂŤcadmiaÂť, but calamine is a zinc oxide. Some oxidation of the pipe metal is surely intended. [299]


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they make great use of copper to hold water and other things like that, and they do not find that it does them any harm, or even lose any of its worth- [/fol. 19lv] and if it does happen that some have damaged intestines, the cause does not lie in the copper pipes, but rather in the water itself which has that particular property. We shall therefore need to make use of pipes of bronze or lead because those of wood or earthenware are not so good, for in places where there is much water and it has great force, specially when the water rises up from below, copper is needed, specially in machines which lift water violendy- although in this case lead ones are even more advantageous than copper. But that is enough of this subject of water conveyed artificially. Before we treat of lakes, pools and marshes, we should first deal with rainwater, because anyway the water in lakes and pools comes from rain or snow for the most part, that melts in spring; and so these waters do not have such great variety; so we shall now deal with them, giving reasons as with the rest. Rainwater is not very good because it is mixed or mingled with evil exhalationsgranted that at every time of year it rains in different places when exhalations mixed with vapours are evaporated from the earth, and these are the cause of the rain's heat or cold. But that is not why in hot regions, and in temperate ones too, the same thing commonly happens in summer and autumn, [/fol. 192r] because of excessive sun- or rather solar heat- for this heat attracts the exhalations mixed and mingled with vapours from the earth in just the same way. They then return, mixed afresh and from this originates rain mixed with salty or nitrous water or other such kinds. Simple waters are the contrary; they are subde, clear, light and sweet, and therefore very good. They are not cold like spring water. When this water is drunk it penetrates deep, right to the intestines and in a little while it gets to the senses. This kind of rain usually falls in the spring in temperate regions, and in those which are cold in summer. In those areas which are less cold, the water stays in the intestines and in the entrails, as does the rain which falls in the winter, when it rains in places normally cold even in summer, spring and autumn when cold winds blow, like the Tramontana, Aquilo and Boreas11, and other winds beside these, of the same kind. Rainwater is taken and conserved in vessels just like other simple waters. If any of these are drunk after they have begun to spoil they damage the intestines and when used in cooking cause a distillation or running at the nose, and catarrhs which besides being very tiresome and annoying in themselves cause coughs which make the voice hoarse. Stream water even though it comes from very good rain and has grown from similar water, [/fol. 192v] is later on usually neither healthy nor good, because it is normally slimy and turbid. Water from snow is the same, although it does nearly approach the goodness of rainwater, being naturally congealed by the cold, and constricting on itself, so the subtle part of it is given off and the grossness or thickness remains; that is why it hardens and becomes cold. So it is not so good or healthy to drink as rainwater, unless it be the sort of which Strabo writes that in the Caucasus12 mountains certain stones are generated and grow which contain 11

'Tramontana, Aquilo and Boreas' ... Spanish and Classical terms for the north wind. 'Strabo writes that in the Caucasus' ... Alberti does mention these peculiar snow worms, but puts them in the mountains of Armenia. He names Strabo, but not his sources, Apollonides and Theophanes, so the author must have gone to Strabo's Geography (XI. 14.4), converting the names given by Strabo to the better known Apollonius and Theophrastus. What these creatures really were remains mysterious. 12

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a very good water. And within the very snow itself certain animals grow out of which, if their skin is broken open comes a snow water which is very good to drink. These animals were called earth grubs by Apollonius and mountain woodworms by Theophrastus (marginal note: Leon Battista calls them hairy grubs). Besides snow water contains the properties of the bad lands on which its has fallen; and if it has fallen on trees or the like, it will be so much the worse. Ice water may be the worse for the same reason, granted that otherwise ice water is the purest, as it forms from ice, which has been frozen hard for a great while. The water found in the passes of the highest mountains has never thawed, and although it is very cold, it is good. But that from hail or stones which fall from heaven, [/fol. 193r] even if it is not bad in any other respect, just for that reason is excessively raw. Cistern water if it were not still and motionless as it ordinarily is, would be as good as rainwater, which is why it is collected like the river water which we bring for drinking. But because that from cisterns has been idle and enclosed is has lost much of its value and goodness for health, since it is usually corrupt and loathsome little animals are generated in it. And those who ordinarily drink such water, are harmed by it. But if sand or gravel, coarse or fine, is put in cisterns, it is kept from spoiling for a very long time. Let us now deal with the water of lakes, pools, marshes and lagoons. Where rivers or streams whose water comes from good springs flow into lakes, and then come out again, the lake water is better than if these streams did not enter them at all. Likewise, when lakes receive the water of mighty rivers rich in excellent water, which then comes out again, the lake water in mixing with the river water undergoes a certain change like wine that mixes with water and so loses some of its strength. And the same occurs with water which is less bad and does less harm than it would by itself if [/fol. 193v] some river flows into it and out again. And that is why it does not spoil, as it may often be observed how when the river water floats on top of the lake water, that water is very bad to drink, but where it mingles with that of the river it is quite healthy. The water of those lakes into which neither springs, streams nor rivers enter, but only torrents and foul rains, is very much worse. For the sun drying up the subtle parts and leaving the coarse, they must necessarily be bad and poor. Those who dwell in such places, as they have no better are obliged to drink that in summer. In those places which are particularly hot in summer, or indeed at any other season of the year, the only advantage or benefit people obtain from their water, is that it hardens their spleen, and it swells up, and for that reason becomes very weak and does not attract as it ought, and as the water mingles with their blood it engenders quartan fevers, as it rises to the head it causes lethargy or insanity, descending to the lower parts of the rectum it causes piles and descending further to the legs causes swellings of the veins. Then it creates an ill humour in the liver, which then hardens and in consequence causes the oppilation of the veins; and it is then diffused through the kidneys, [/fol. 194r] The blood is watery, and from this arise convulsions: the external parts of the body are obstructed; this then gives rise to a feebleness or debility of the body and the oppilation of those other parts where women are purged of their menses. Among such nations certain illnesses frequently arise which are particular and proper to them; either in their intestines a very great abundance of humours are caused to combine together, which ordinarily leaves countless ailments with which the peoples that drink such [301]


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waters are greatly troubled. Lake water is not only gross, but also salty or nitrous, and so gnaws away at the intestines and constricts the stomach and hardens it. Granted that in summer, even in a cold country, and in spring and autumn lake water gives rise to these aforesaid accidents much less than at other seasons of the year, it is an accepted fact that this water is excessively cold because of the melting snow that enters the lakes; this is very bad for the brain, very harmful for the chest and lungs, and it awakens coughs and catarrh. There are also plants which spoil and damage lake water, as Pliny writes of lake Sinvao13 in Asia, whose water is spoilt by the absinth or wormwood that grows around it. The water of lagoons is much worse than that of lakes, [/fol. 194v] because they are so slothful in motion, since they are retained a long time in their depressions; and ordinarily their waters are most often putrid and spoilt. Such places, which are of themselves so corrupt, will corrupt water itself, and for that reason it normally has a bad taste there and a very bad smell too, and those who drink this water are much troubled with various ailments, as has been stated. That water which is permanently standing or still, in marshes, is wholly bad and pestiferous. Yet Rufus Ephesus does not fail to praise14 the water of the Nile swamps of Egypt, and says they are very healthy and good, because they do not corrupt. That is because in the summer the river Nile rises, and in its flood collects or takes up much land, and so comes to draw up the water of cavernous places or hollows in the earth, and this new water which it bears in its flood it later leaves again. Winter rain is very heavy and continuous for many days, more than in cold regions in spring and autumn, and it carries off something of the badness of the water of pools, lagoons or marshes. The water of lagoons and pools is of the same quality. Lagoons are the name given to those waters which fill hollows in the earth when rivers flood. Their water usually dries up in summer; and at other times these lagoons or ponds become very thick and nasty, [/fol. 195r] What is not good to drink is always bad. Sometimes water remains in lagoons but it is pestilential to those who drink it. The water in fishponds derived from streams and rain is of the same quality as that from which it is collected; if that is good so is that in the fishpond, and if it is bad, so is that; as the one is, so is the other. But since all these waters are usually flowing, it is the same as with lakes, they lose a part of their goodness and value, and finally it is no longer safe to drink the water, but harmful as it is spoilt and mixed with whatever it might be, and so it corrupts the blood and members as it washes them, debilitates the arteries, and mingles with different parts of the body according to its varieties as has been said in various parts of this subject. As we have dealt with the method to be followed in making wells and cisterns, it remains to treat of that used in making tanks- although indeed they are almost like cisterns, except that a cistern is a small vessel, and a tank a much larger one, to hold a greater quantity of water, [/fol. 195v] Tanks are constructed in two ways: 13

'as Pliny writes of lake Sinvao' ... lake Sannaus (HN 11.232) can not be identified. The form of the name suggests that the author may have used the translation by Domenichi (Venice 1561), rather than earlier versions, for he alone writes Sinnao. 14 'Rufus Ephesus does not fail to praise' ... another admirer of Nile water ... Rufus of Ephesus was a leading physician in the period before Galen. Some of his work had been published in the sixteenth century, but this reference probably comes at second hand.

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one is by excavating in the ground, like wells, the other is built above ground; but each of them is covered with a vault and very spacious so as to be capable of holding a great quantity of water. Tanks are ordinarily made in fortresses, and where they cannot be reached by running water and are also customary in . the houses of great lords and in convents of monks or nuns. They are made to hold standing water because most of them are filled by hand, although there are some which fill with rain water- none of these are covered. These tanks are almost always made square with a stair to go down to take water. I have seen some covered ones in open country; ordinarily this is done where there is a shortage of water, so that it can be conserved a long time in the tanks in such a way that no animals can get in; so the water is kept much cleaner for travellers since animals can not foul it with their dirt, which may be the cause of the water's corruption; and also for the sake of the cleanliness of those who have to drink it. They are also made in houses. In Venice much use is made of tanks so that as water is brought in from the mainland it is kept standing in tanks15. At Rome there are countless tanks of an unbelievable size, a matter for great wonder. Many of these are ancient buildings16, which they call Thermae, Ufol. 196r] of which those who are curious about ancient things can read in Andres Fulvio's De La Anteguedad de Roma, and in many other authors, above all Sebastian Serlio in his third book on the antiquities of Rome, which is really a book on architecture. These tanks have been called by different names; some called them zonae, others call them reservoirs, others caverns as they are so huge, covered with enormous vaults, with very thick pilasters to support them; and some of these pillars have five orders of pilasters, others three orders. So then, tanks are ordinarily built square, or rectangular, and made of masonry, others of ashlars, although only worked in rustic style; some work the joints of the stones too, so there will be no need of lining to stop the water getting out, but others do give them a good coat of plaster all round to hold the water. This the ancients did in various ways, for they retained the plastering in the joints with different materials, which may be found in the book on cements. Some have supposed that the ancients made their plaster of coral- which is a big joke because after coral is ground it is not red, it has nothing of that colour, but is rather like flesh colour, so no-one should imagine that the vermilion colour of tanks comes from coral, it is red ochre or burnt ochre, for these two mixed with lime make quite a good colour specially when this plaster is well burnished Ufol. 196v], There are others who hold it certain that this colour is made from blood, which the ancients applied to their tanks to hold water. But it is not that either, because at the end of eight days blood comes out (Illustration 166) a very dead colour, not like coral. I grant that the ancients may have applied blood around their tanks, for it was blood they put instead of cement to stop up the cracks which usually form in the mortar, and also to give a certain sweetness to 15

'in Venice much use is made of tanks' ... Galileo's theory of the tides, which he imagined would prove the rotation of the earth, was inspired by the barges which brought water daily to Venice for storage. ,• 16 'many of these are ancient buildings' ... an understandable confusion between the reservoirs and the baths of ancient Rome. Here the author names the sources he had consulted, Andrea Fulvio's 'Antiquitates Urbis', probably in the Italian translation 'Delle Antichità della città di Roma et delli edificii memorabili di quella' (Venice 1543); and Sebastiano Serlio. The third book of Serlio's 'Architettura' was published separately as 'Le Antichità di Roma' (Venice 1544). [303]

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Illustration 166

the water. But that sweet savour in the water is something which lasts a very little time. And that they used to apply blood to their tanks- I do not find that they could have, unless it were to close cracks in the mortar, but not for anything else. Indeed, I would say the blood of any animal whatsoever would be enough to spoil the water within a few days. In the case that the blood were dry, it would make it stink, and whenever it was applied would have to be washed with something to remove the blood [/fol. 197r] Tanks made in open country are excavated in the ground for two reasons: first because if that is done there is much less work since the least bit of earth all round serves instead of a wall; the second, that it is less expense; the third that it conserves the water longer, and keeps it fresher, and besides it is much better adapted to receive rainwater. If it be then covered with a vault the water will be better conserved, and it will be much firmer and more secure in quantity. There are different views on these matters. Those made in houses are quite different from those made in the open. The former are for drawing water, just as it is drawn up from a well or cistern, although it is true I have seen somewhere the water drawn through a tap, and others I have seen with a stair to go down to them. So I will set down a few here just as I have seen them, and others conformable to my own opinion. The reason why some are made with a stair is that when the water level goes down, you can go further down by the steps. Those in the open are covered with a vault, in which an entrance is made with

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a vent on the opposite side so air can get in and move what is enclosed within. (Illustration 167) [/fol. 197v] (Illustration 168) A is the entrance to the tank, D is the stair to go down17, B the sides, C an air vent, D the interior, E is where the water enters. This tank is to be in the open. The water is some six to eight palms lower than E; the deeper it is the fresher the water and the greater the capacity. (Illustration 169) Illustration

This tank is indoors, because the water is drawn through the mouth A, which is placed over the vaults. C is one end. In this tank there are in most cases no steps, [/fol. 198r] At E there is a basin to collect the water, and at D a tap to take water from the tank-1 have inserted in this one what should have been in the other as well. Two or three are installed together so there will always be water standing ready, and when one is finished, it can refill again so if there are three there will be water for one year, each one lasting four months. If water is drawn from a tap, it can be closed straight afterwards. (Illustration 170)

169

This is another design for a tank, with three vaults joined together so that when you begin to drink from one the other two are at rest; and so it goes on. This same design can be arranged to have taps to draw water down below, which are then closed straight after use. These tanks are ordinarily lined in various ways, and then given a wash with a decoction made of elm roots, fennel, aniseed, coriander, all put into a large vessel; and after all these seeds have been cooked, [/fol. 198v] it is washed down well three or four times to remove the bad smell of the mortar. In addition, a certain surface coat forms on to the wall, incorporated upon it, and leaving a good flavour in the water, because all these seeds are slimy and stick well to the wall, as they possess 1

Letter F in the drawing refers to the steps D in the text. [305]


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something of a character of gum, specially the roots of elm, the coriander and the rest. Other tanks are constructed in another way: they are built square with four stairs which rise from the ground to the top, so that as the water level goes down you can descend to the very bottom. These are filled with water brought by animals, or collected from the roofs of castles. There should be a large space between tank and wall, so the night dew can not touch it, and the water will be better preserved. Other tanks are built in very different ways from those aforesaid; three are joined together, but not in a row- these are circular and the three of them form a triangle, as we illustrate in the picture below. (.Illustration 171) Ufol. 199r] The plan of these tanks is A B C, and the elevation A B C likewise. Water is to be drawn from them. On A the tap is to be placed at D; in C it is at E, and in B at F. If it should chance that there is no room to draw it underneath, it could be done from above for those little domes could serve as orifices. Certain it is that the deeper they are sunk in the earth, the fresher the water will be. So this design will occupy quite a small amount of space, as they are very compact, and for that reason too they will be much fresher. Tanks usually serve a whole community; these structures are made very large and solid. For if they are for the use of a town

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they ought to be made very capacious, holding a great quantity of water, with very thick walls so they can support the weight of water, if they are above ground. But if they are sunk in the ground there is no need for them to be so thick because the earth embraces and preserves them. Well beaten chalk should be applied to the outside of the tank, that is all round it, so as not to have to plaster it; with this chalk the water is conserved so it does not waste or leak through the walls. Taps ought to be fitted, as stated of the other tanks. More attention should be paid to the floor than to any other part, for that is where most water can be lost. The floor ought to be made of a mortar of lime and gravel three palms thick, and well beaten; the stones to be laid in it must be no thicker than eggs, [/fol. 199v] with an excellent mortar, made with pit sand, rather than any other kind since it takes better. This is one of the tanks sunk in the ground, as described. (Illustration 172) It has those steps all round for greater convenience so it is possible to get to the water from any direction.

Baths are constructed in various ways for different diseases. Some serve only to bathe in during the summer. These are of great capacity, and contain cold water; they were made in various territories; the Greeks used them chiefly. The Romans made them too, with very great refinement and at very great expense, for they built them of stone with pilasters, arches and columns, architraves, friezes, cornices, [/fol. 200r] and huge vaults upon the pilasters. There were baths like these in Rome which were more than a thousand paces in length, and as many in width; but were used only for bathing and swimming. Some historians related that in Greece there were baths of this sort with a hundred columns on every side, both large and small, according to the taste and ideas of those who ordered them. These structures were built in various forms, but all had pilasters, arches and vaults, all or most were made of large hewn freestone. Some of these buildings had much fenestration, and were adorned with columns and cornices; and all were worked with great skill. But now we are unaccustomed to make such things, and I believe that nowadays many builders would not know what kind of structure baths are. Most of these buildings receive no light save through the sides. Baths were filled with water brought in pipes, aqueducts or from rivers or springs, or in conduits, according as suits each architect's convenience. For the most part they were used only in summer, to wash and swim in; that is why they are so huge and contain such a large quantity of water, and for the same reason are covered with vaults so the water will be fresh. In most of them there are no withdrawing rooms [/fol. 200v] Some of these baths were surrounded by an enclosure, some had places for recreation after washing, and also to keep property safe, and private [307]


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rooms so they could perfume themselves after washing. But these luxuries were only in hot water baths, which were heated artificially; in these there were people who lived off the baths as their trade; this will be treated at the end of the subject. These buildings of the thermae were only decorated on the outside; inside all was plain except only that the backs of the arches were worked; in all the rest there was no decoration. One of these structures extended for an eighth of a mile. They have been called by various names18; some call them thermae, others baths, others seven zones, and others again by the names of the princes who ordered them to be made. They have all kinds of decoration, but all in Doric- in some the main body is Doric and the rest of other kinds, but all made with large pilasters. They are built rusticated too. The arches have no cornice, except for the backs which have some fillets; the architraves are plain without guttae or frieze, nor do they have triglyphs or metopes, the sills are plain with only a cyma [/fol. 201r] which runs from one end to the other without projecting. The second order is Ionic, on account of its columns which are plain without any fluting, nor any other decoration except the capital and base; these are Ionic, for the imposts and bases have a cyma which runs all round, with a mensula for the keystone of the arch. The architrave is plain and does not project in front above the columns. The frieze is plain, with very few members. The lower arches are five broad by twelve high, and the pilaster is one third of the 18 'they have been called by various names' ... Renaissance students of the remains of ancient Rome sometimes found it difficult to link buildings mentioned in their written sources with surviving ruined structures; much less was visible then than now, indeed Fulvio and Serlio do agree that what was then known as the 'sette sale' (seven halls) were the underground cisterns which supplied the Baths of Titus on the Esquiline. Serlio devotes several pages to public baths, notably those of Diocletian. According to Fulvio the 'septizonium' was quite different, although he does give 'settesolis' as an alternative name for the 'septizonium', which another antiquarian of the day, Lucio Mauro ('Le AntichitĂ  di Roma', Venice 1556) identified with the tomb of the emperor Severus.

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width of the arch and one quarter of the third of the architrave. The frieze and cornice are in height one quarter of the height of the pilaster or lower columns, under the sill upon the cornice of the pilasters. This serves as a pedestal for the columns, and is one fifth of the whole column. The upper arches are the same width as the lower ones; (Illustration 173) [/fol. 201v] at the back they are decorated with mouldings and base with its mensula in the middle. The members of the arches are half of the column in width. The lighting between the arches is five wide by seven high. The architrave with the frieze and cornice are in height one fifth of the height of the column. These are the two other kinds of baths, the artificial, and medicinal, whose waters have a particular virtue to cure infirmities. In these, people wash at certain hours of the day- there are others in which they do not wash themselves, only drink the water at fixed hours. After they have drunk it, they sweat a lotand it is the same with the water of artificial baths, after people wash in them they sweat a great deal, and so obtain relief. In these baths there are many kinds of luxuries, things to eat and women too, beds to rest on, and so these baths are very different from the previous ones, because in these there are private individuals who take on the job of washing and shaving all parts of the body with razors. The water here is heated artificially in vessels over a fire. They are enclosed, and contain various rooms in them, to leave property as well as to wash and to perfume oneself. There are great squares to take the sun in winter, and enjoy the shade in summer; there are places for games and for coundess luxuries; [/fol. 202r] and people bathe in them at all times of the year. These baths are for men particularly, but it is the Illustration

174

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same for women, women bathe in the women's baths just as men do in the men's. These baths are common in various places, and they are very ancient, for Vitruvius makes mention of them in his work De Architectura, and even gives detailed instructions how they ought to be made. The buildings ought to face the south, for the sake of the light and because if it is done this way it is protected from the tramontana in winter, and it gets the sun better. Then in summer they have it fresh at their backs to eastward in the mornings, and face westward in the evenings. They are never placed facing north with their backs to the south. In these places there are places to sit for every time of the year, suited to the season. The following plan is of an artificial bath, (Illustration 174) [/fol. 202v] which has its entrance A, which is a covered loggia with columns at the sides. Further in is B B, two reception rooms for the baths, one for men and the other for women. At C C they undress, at G G they bathe, at E E they perfume themselves, D D is for amusement. F is a great hall which has those two open loggias H H; it is very high and receives light from above the roofs. The two rooms 11 are chambers for amusement, K K is for sleeping and L two rooms for seclusion, N N two gardens or flower beds, M an assembly room for meeting. At O there is a small open loggia. P is for taking the fresh air in the evenings with the windows open, and for taking the sun at mid-day in winter with the windows closed. At the sides there are two more loggias for recreation with ball games of every kind. For the rest, in other parts of the world they can be provided with other luxuries, games and recreation, for conversation in the mornings and evenings, for summer and winter, for sun and for shade. In this arrangement the rooms are fitted round the baths, attached to the same surrounding wall. There are other baths, of hot water, naturally heated by subterranean fires, in which people bathe to obtain health. They are hot of their own nature, without the intervention of any material fire. [/fol. 203r] According to the different accidental characters the waters of these baths possess, they cure the ills which each man bears from his own ill disposition. Some of them serve only for bathing in, staying for two or three hours according to the ailment. Others are worthless for bathing and are only used for drinking their water morning and evening while fasting, because they purge well through the urine. It is drunk in the evening too, and makes the patient sweat and urinate plentifully: and so they are purged of their ailments by drinking this water and recover their health. Some of these baths are built in spherical line, digging them out in the ground to a great width, and they are indeed so deep that a man can be entirely covered. Steps are made all round so anybody can go in as suits his ailment; some are put in up to the shoulders, others to the chest, others to the waist, to the thighs, or knees, and so with each patient in conformity with his ailment. After they have sweated they are put to bed to have the sweat wiped off, for the bath is very near their lodging, and so each sick man has someone to serve him while he is at the baths. Baths are also built where there are houses so as to be under cover. In some places they are constructed of wood, in others with stone walls. One piece of advice I should like to give those who are going to baths; before they go they should first enquire about the property of the water, and what qualities it possesses, because the waters of baths contain different materials, [/fol. 203v] some cure one ailment but may instead harm another, and so they will find in the book of waters their properties, and what ailments each particular [310]


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water cures. For if they do not notice this, instead of recovering their health, they may find death. But let that be enough of this subject of natural baths, for my intention is not to teach medicine, only to show the method of the bath as it is a matter of water. So here we shall set down two kinds of them, one round and one square. The hot water is brought in channels to the baths because it would not be possible to get into it where it originates, there is no man who could endure the heat- for in many places they cook eggs in them and pluck chickens and bake twists without any further heating of the water but just as it emerges. In different places there are baths with different properties. They may be made rectangular, eighteen varas long by twelve wide; or round, some being a perfect circle, others a prolonged or oval circle. (Illustration 175)

This is the form of the square baths in which people bathe.

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