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XIII. Theoretical Writings on Architecture Index
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p. 83



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

I ask, given a weight at a what counteracts it in the direction n f and by what weight must the weight at f be counteracted.

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