By Alice C. Guess
Master’s Thesis: McGill University, 1998
Abstract: This thesis is an exploration of the chapters of Francesco Di Giorgio’s Trattati di Architettura, Ingegneria e Arte Militare, that pertain to mechanical devices. While it is difficult to imagine actually constructing Di Giorgio’s machines from the drawings and descriptions in his treatises, given their apparent inefficiencies and ambiguities, the Aristotelean science and philosophy referenced throughout the Trattati provides a basis for looking at them as demonstrations of concepts beyond their immediate applications for architecture and engineering. By considering these devices in Di Giorgio’s own terms, terms suggested by his own experiences, as well as his writings and paintings, strong associations can be made to the science, philosophy and the theology of his time.