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Benvenuti in queste pagine dedicate a scienza ed arte. Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A dodecahedron of a Roman soldier

In a recent  post (April 2012) I have discussed about Roman Dodecahedra.
After preparing a model of a Roman Dodecahedron, I was able to investigate it as an optical instrument.
In the  paper "A Roman Dodecahedron for measuring distance", published in arXiv, http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.6497 you can find how a Roman soldier could had used it to determine the distance of a target.The dodecahedron is quite simple to use and portable. Someone could tell (or is telling)  that it is more complicated compared to a simple cross-staff. Well, a cross-staff is rather long. In the case it were of bronze, the instrument turned out to be too heavy. Moreover, it seems that the cross-staff had been developed during the 14th century, therefore it was an instrument of the Middle Age in Europe.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob's_staff)