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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 416 pages of information about The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci Volume 2.

a b the new wall, c the old wall, which has already settled; and the part a b settles afterwards, although a, being founded on c, the old wall, cannot possibly break, having a stable foundation on the old wall.  But only the remainder b of the new wall will break away, because it is built from top to bottom of the building; and the remainder of the new wall will overhang the gap above the wall that has sunk.


A new tower founded partly on old masonry.



Stones laid in regular courses from bottom to top and built up with an equal quantity of mortar settle equally throughout, when the moisture that made the mortar soft evaporates.

By what is said above it is proved that the small extent of the new wall between A and n will settle but little, in proportion to the extent of the same wall between c and d.  The proportion will in fact be that of the thinness of the mortar in relation to the number of courses or to the quantity of mortar laid between the stones above the different levels of the old wall.

[Footnote:  See Pl.  CV, No. 1.  The top of the tower is wanting in this reproduction, and with it the letter n which, in the original, stands above the letter A over the top of the tower, while c stands perpendicularly over d.]


This wall will break under the arch e f, because the seven whole square bricks are not sufficient to sustain the spring of the arch placed on them.  And these seven bricks will give way in their middle exactly as appears in a b.  The reason is, that the brick a has above it only the weight a k, whilst the last brick under the arch has above it the weight c d x a.

c d seems to press on the arch towards the abutment at the point p but the weight p o opposes resistence to it, whence the whole pressure is transmitted to the root of the arch.  Therefore the foot of the arch acts like 7 6, which is more than double of x z.





An arch constructed on a semicircle and bearing weights on the two opposite thirds of its curve will give way at five points of the curve.  To prove this let the weights be at n m which will break the arch a, b, f.  I say that, by the foregoing, as the extremities c and a are equally pressed upon by the thrust n, it follows, by the 5th, that the arch will give way at the point which is furthest from the two forces acting on them and that is the middle e.  The same is to be understood of the opposite curve, d g b; hence the weights n m must sink, but they cannot sink by the 7th, without coming closer together, and they cannot come together unless the extremities of the arch between them come closer, and if these draw together the crown of the arch must break; and thus the arch will give way in two places as was at first said &c.

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