The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 416 pages of information about The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci Volume 2.
to infer that they were made in obedience to some command, possibly for the use of Cesare Borgia himself; the fact that they remained nevertheless in Leonardo’s hands is not surprising when we remember the sudden political changes and warlike events of the period.  There can be no doubt that these maps, which are here published for the first time, are original in the strictest sense of the word, that is to say drawn from observations of the places themselves; this is proved by the fact—­among others—­that we find among his manuscripts not only the finished maps themselves but the rough sketches and studies for them.  And it would perhaps be difficult to point out among the abundant contributions to geographical knowledge published during the XVIth century, any maps at all approaching these in accuracy and finish.

The interesting map of the world, so far as it was then known, which is among the Leonardo MSS. at Windsor (published in the ‘Archaeologia’ Vol.  XI) cannot be attributed to the Master, as the Marchese Girolamo d’Adda has sufficiently proved; it has not therefore been reproduced here.

Such of Leonardo’s observations on places in Italy as were made before or after his official travels as military engineer to Cesare Borgia, have been arranged in alphabetical order, under Nos. 1034-1054.  The most interesting are those which relate to the Alps and the Appenines, Nos. 1057-1068.

Most of the passages in which France is mentioned have hitherto remained unknown, as well as those which treat of the countries bordering on the Mediterranean, which come at the end of this section.  Though these may be regarded as of a more questionable importance in their bearing on the biography of the Master than those which mention places in France, it must be allowed that they are interesting as showing the prominent place which the countries of the East held in his geographical studies.  He never once alludes to the discovery of America.



Canals in connection with the Arno (1001-1008).



Sluices should be made in the valley of la Chiana at Arezzo, so that when, in the summer, the Arno lacks water, the canal may not remain dry:  and let this canal be 20 braccia wide at the bottom, and at the top 30, and 2 braccia deep, or 4, so that two of these braccia may flow to the mills and the meadows, which will benefit the country; and Prato, Pistoia and Pisa, as well as Florence, will gain two hundred thousand ducats a year, and will lend a hand and money to this useful work; and the Lucchese the same, for the lake of Sesto will be navigable; I shall direct it to Prato and Pistoia, and cut through Serravalle and make an issue into the lake; for there will be no need of locks or supports, which are not lasting and so will always be giving trouble in working at them and keeping them up.

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