TWO STONE CLOTH MEASURES, ITALY
TWO ITALIAN MAZES
1. MAZE IN THE ENTRANCE PORCH OF THE DUOMO S. MARTINO, LUCCA
This maze is embedded in the right pier of the portico and is believed to date from the 12th century or 13th century. Its importance is that it may well pre-date the famous Chartres maze, yet is of the Chartres pattern that became a standard for mazes. The attractive and rustic incised Latin inscription refers to ancient pagan mythology: “This is the labyrinth built by Dedalus of Crete; all who entered therein were lost, save Theseus, thanks to Ariadne’s thread.”
HIC QUEM CRETICUS EDIT
DAEDALUS EST LABERINTHUS
DE QUO NULLUS VADERE
QUIVIT QUI FUIT INTUS
NI THESEUS GRATIS ADRIANE
Both these maze images are now featured in the excellent and fascinating maze website at MAZES & LABYRINTHS This site covers the history of mazes, with prolific examples both photographic and diagrammatic, and a multitude of links to other maze-related material. Once you start in there, you may never find your way out…
This excellent analemmatic sundial is installed in the square at the very top of the small medieval town of Calenzano Alto, which perches on a hill above the major industrial sprawl and motorway network of the Arno plain between Prato and Florence.
The sundial takes up a substantial area of the large piazza, and consists of a central sun/moon stone mosaic with radiating ‘sight’ lines to small brass plates numbered from VI to XVIII (in fact number VI is missing, the rest are there). The gnomon is the person who stands at the centre of the sun. There are no buildings close enough to obstruct the sun’s light, so on a sunny or even a bright day, the time can be easily told at least approximately… were it not for the cars that are normally parked all over the square!