Emeriti Exile: 338-348 CE

Emeriti Exile: 338-348 CE
Exile: 338-348 CE, Thassos, Greece

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

23: Φ Structure and the Fifth Element

Golden Spiral Derivation
Fibonacci Squares in Golden Rectangle

                                                      Φ = 1 + √5  = 1.618

Emeriti Insight: 
"Man is not the measure of all things, he just measures things." (Anonymous Emeriti)

The Emeriti were students of Greek and Roman architecture and were particularly interested the economics of early building and design.  It was Vitruvius, the Roman architect in the 1st Century BCE, who codified the practice of building by laying out principles of design and construction in his Ten Books on Architecture.  The books were aimed at educating the emperor about how to understand architecture with regard to utility, stability, durability, and beauty (The book was actually a clever marketing scheme to convince the emperor to hire Vitruvius for a big job, and it worked.  It was billed as “overhead.”). Vitruvius was a hero to the Emeriti because he received a pension from Augustus (by way of his sister Octavia), allowing Vitruvius to enjoy financial independence in his later years.  

In the 15th Century, the Emeriti frequently associated with Leon Battista Alberti (1404-72) and Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), both of whom read Emeriti copies of Vitruvius’ Ten Books on Architecture, during wine and cheese parties.  Alberti was an “author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, cryptographer, and general Renaissance humanist polymath," so like Copernicus, he had much in common with his Emeriti colleagues. In 1452, he published his famous book, De re aedificatoria, (On the Art of Building), which was heavily influenced by Vitruvius (It even had 10 chapters--remember, in the arts, plagiarism is merely "Reiterative Science"). 

Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), a pivotal Venetian architect published his book, I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura, (Four Books on Architecture) in 1570.  His influence would last for centuries and the lessons of his book can be seen in Jefferson’s Monticello and even in the Nova Scotia Legislative Building, built in 1819 (Harry Jost, take notice).

The Emeriti encouraged Alberti, da Vinci, and Palladio to study Fibonacci’s 1202 book, Liber Abaci, which provided a more lucrative fee structure than the older Greek architects’ standard Φ structure of 1.618% of the construction costs.  (The Greek architects barely covered overhead expenses using that fee standard).  The Fibonacci squares derived from the Spiral progression of the Golden Rectangle square dimensions, gave rise to the modern architectural fee structure; the series includes the numbers 3, 5, 8, 13, 21 or 3%-21%, depending on the nature of the project.

Sources: Emeritipedia, Wikipedia, and One Book on Architecture, EPI ©1961

Brotherhood of the Emeriti ©2013