Measuring Up: The Greek Analogies Behind Vitruvius' Geometry of the Body

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Abstract

Vitruvius’ description of the ideal body as both circular and square conflates two traditions of aniconic bodies from the Greek world: the square body of fifth-century sculpture and the circular body of pre-Socratic cosmology. The Vitruvian version of geometrical man stands in contrast to other, more metaphorical conflations of body and building in this author, yet he evinces an internal tension in how best to account for the relation of part to whole, especially protruding limbs. Close consideration reveals that the Vitruvian body exists, not as an approximation to square or circle, but as its own abstract unit of measure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
JournalRamus: Critical Studies in Greek and Roman Literature
Volume(In-press)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Sept 2022

Bibliographical note

This chapter has been accepted in a special thematic issue of Ramus edited by Matthew Hanses, Elena Giusti, and Giovanna Laterza

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