The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci


The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci Page 34

The circle below shows the position of Romorantin. The words 'orologio del sole' written below do not belong to the map of the rivers. The following names are written by the side of the smaller sketch-map:--tors (Tours), Abosa (Amboise) bres--for Bles (Blois) mo rica (Montrichard). Lione (Lyons). This map was also published in the 'Saggio' (Milano, 1872) Pl. XXII, and the editors remark: Forse la linia retta che va da Amboise a Romorantin segna l'andamento proposto d'un Canale, che poi rembra prolungarsi in giu fin dove sta scritto Lione.

M. Ravaisson has enlarged on this idea in the Gazette des Beaux Arts (1881 p. 530): Les traces de Leonard permettent d'entrevoir que le canal commencant soit aupres de Tours, soit aupres de Blois et passant par Romorantin, avec port d'embarquement a Villefranche, devait, au dela de Bourges, traverser l'Allier au-dessous des affluents de la Dore et de la Sioule, aller par Moulins jusqu' a Digoin; enfin, sur l'autre rive de la Loire, depasser les monts du Charolais et rejoindre la Saone aupres de Macon. It seems to me rash, however, to found so elaborate an hypothesis on these sketches of rivers. The slight stroke going to Lione is perhaps only an indication of the direction.--With regard to the Loire compare also No. 988. l. 38.]

1079.

THE ROAD TO ORLEANS

At 1/4 from the South to the South East. At 1/3 from the South to the South East. At 1/4 from the South to the South East. At 1/5 from the South to the South East. Between the South West and South, to the East bearing to the South; from the South towards the East 1/8; thence to the West, between the South and South West; at the South.

[Footnote: The meaning is obscure; a more important passage referring to France is to be found under No. 744]

On the Germans (1080. 1081).

1080.

The way in which the Germans closing up together cross and interweave their broad leather shields against the enemy, stooping down and putting one of the ends on the ground while they hold the rest in their hand. [Footnote: Above the text is a sketch of a few lines crossing each other and the words de ponderibus. The meaning of the passage is obscure.]

1081.

The Germans are wont to annoy a garrison with the smoke of feathers, sulphur and realgar, and they make this smoke last 7 or 8 hours. Likewise the husks of wheat make a great and lasting smoke; and also dry dung; but this must be mixed with olive husks, that is olives pressed for oil and from which the oil has been extracted. [Footnote: There is with this passage a sketch of a round tower shrouded in smoke.]

The Danube.

1082.

That the valleys were formerly in great part covered by lakes the soil of which always forms the banks of rivers,--and by seas, which afterwards, by the persistent wearing of the rivers, cut through the mountains and the wandering courses of the rivers carried away the other plains enclosed by the mountains; and the cutting away of the mountains is evident from the strata in the rocks, which correspond in their sections as made by the courses of the rivers [Footnote 4: Emus, the Balkan; Dardania, now Servia.], The Haemus mountains which go along Thrace and Dardania and join the Sardonius mountains which, going on to the westward change their name from Sardus to Rebi, as they come near Dalmatia; then turning to the West cross Illyria, now called Sclavonia, changing the name of Rebi to Albanus, and going on still to the West, they change to Mount Ocra in the North; and to the South above Istria they are named Caruancas; and to the West above Italy they join the Adula, where the Danube rises [8], which stretches to the East and has a course of 1500 miles; its shortest line is about l000 miles, and the same or about the same is that branch of the Adula mountains changed as to their name, as before mentioned. To the North are the Carpathians, closing in the breadth of the valley of the Danube, which, as I have said extends eastward, a length of about 1000 miles, and is sometimes 200 and in some places 300 miles wide; and in the midst flows the Danube, the principal river of Europe as to size. The said Danube runs through the middle of Austria and Albania and northwards through Bavaria, Poland, Hungary, Wallachia and Bosnia and then the Danube or Donau flows into the Black Sea, which formerly extended almost to Austria and occupied the plains through which the Danube now courses; and the evidence of this is in the oysters and cockle shells and scollops and bones of great fishes which are still to be found in many places on the sides of those mountains; and this sea was formed by the filling up of the spurs of the Adula mountains which then extended to the East joining the spurs of the Taurus which extend to the West. And near Bithynia the waters of this Black Sea poured into the Propontis [Marmora] falling into the Aegean Sea, that is the Mediterranean, where, after a long course, the spurs of the Adula mountains became separated from those of the Taurus. The Black Sea sank lower and laid bare the valley of the Danube with the above named countries, and the whole of Asia Minor beyond the Taurus range to the North, and the plains from mount Caucasus to the Black Sea to the West, and the plains of the Don this side--that is to say, at the foot of the Ural mountains. And thus the Black Sea must have sunk about 1000 braccia to uncover such vast plains.

[Footnote 8: Danubio, in the original Reno; evidently a mistake as we may infer from come dissi l. 10 &c.]

III.

THE COUNTRIES OF THE WESTERN END OF THE MEDITERRANEAN.

The straits of Gibraltar (1083-1085).

1083.

WHY THE SEA MAKES A STRONGER CURRENT IN THE STRAITS OF SPAIN THAN ELSEWHERE.

A river of equal depth runs with greater speed in a narrow space than in a wide one, in proportion to the difference between the wider and the narrower one.

This proposition is clearly proved by reason confirmed by experiment. Supposing that through a channel one mile wide there flows one mile in length of water; where the river is five miles wide each of the 5 square miles will require 1/5 of itself to be equal to the square mile of water required in the sea, and where the river is 3 miles wide each of these square miles will require the third of its volume to make up the amount of the square mile of the narrow part; as is demonstrated in f g h at the mile marked n.

[Footnote: In the place marked A in the diagram Mare Mediterano (Mediterranean Sea) is written in the original. And at B, stretto di Spugna (straits of Spain, i.e. Gibraltar). Compare No. 960.]

1084.

WHY THE CURRENT OF GIBRALTAR IS ALWAYS GREATER TO THE WEST THAN TO THE EAST.

The reason is that if you put together the mouths of the rivers which discharge into the Mediterranean sea, you would find the sum of water to be larger than that which this sea pours through the straits into the ocean. You see Africa discharging its rivers that run northwards into this sea, and among them the Nile which runs through 3000 miles of Africa; there is also the Bagrada river and the Schelif and others. [Footnote 5: Bagrada (Leonardo writes Bragada) in Tunis, now Medscherda; Mavretano, now Schelif.] Likewise Europe pours into it the Don and the Danube, the Po, the Rhone, the Arno, and the Tiber, so that evidently these rivers, with an infinite number of others of less fame, make its great breadth and depth and current; and the sea is not wider than 18 miles at the most westerly point of land where it divides Europe from Africa.

1085.

The gulf of the Mediterranean, as an inland sea, received the principal waters of Africa, Asia and Europe that flowed towards it; and its waters came up to the foot of the mountains that surrounded it and made its shores. And the summits of the Apennines stood up out of this sea like islands, surrounded by salt water. Africa again, behind its Atlas mountains did not expose uncovered to the sky the surface of its vast plains about 3000 miles in length, and Memphis [Footnote 6: Mefi. Leonardo can only mean here the citadel of Cairo on the Mokattam hills.] was on the shores of this sea, and above the plains of Italy, where now birds fly in flocks, fish were wont to wander in large shoals.

1086.

Tunis.

The greatest ebb made anywhere by the Mediterranean is above Tunis, being about two and a half braccia and at Venice it falls two braccia. In all the rest of the Mediterranean sea the fall is little or none.

1087.

Libya.

Describe the mountains of shifting deserts; that is to say the formation of waves of sand borne by the wind, and of its mountains and hills, such as occur in Libya. Examples may be seen on the wide sands of the Po and the Ticino, and other large rivers.

1088.

Majorca.

Circumfulgore is a naval machine. It was an invention of the men of Majorca. [Footnote: The machine is fully described in the MS. and shown in a sketch.]

1089.

The Tyrrhene Sea.

Some at the Tyrrhene sea employ this method; that is to say they fastened an anchor to one end of the yard, and to the other a cord, of which the lower end was fastened to an anchor; and in battle they flung this anchor on to the oars of the opponent's boat and by the use of a capstan drew it to the side; and threw soft soap and tow, daubed with pitch and set ablaze, on to that side where the anchor hung; so that in order to escape that fire, the defenders of that ship had to fly to the opposite side; and in doing this they aided to the attack, because the galley was more easily drawn to the side by reason of the counterpoise. [Footnote: This text is illustrated in the original by a pen and ink sketch.]

IV.

THE LEVANT.

The Levantine Sea.

1090.

On the shores of the Mediterranean 300 rivers flow, and 40, 200 ports. And this sea is 3000 miles long. Many times has the increase of its waters, heaped up by their backward flow and the blowing of the West winds, caused the overflow of the Nile and of the rivers which flow out through the Black Sea, and have so much raised the seas that they have spread with vast floods over many countries. And these floods take place at the time when the sun melts the snows on the high mountains of Ethiopia that rise up into the cold regions of the air; and in the same way the approach of the sun acts on the mountains of Sarmatia in Asia and on those in Europe; so that the gathering together of these three things are, and always have been, the cause of tremendous floods: that is, the return flow of the sea with the West wind and the melting of the snows. So every river will overflow in Syria, in Samaria, in Judea between Sinai and the Lebanon, and in the rest of Syria between the Lebanon and the Taurus mountains, and in Cilicia, in the Armenian mountains, and in Pamphilia and in Lycia within the hills, and in Egypt as far as the Atlas mountains. The gulf of Persia which was formerly a vast lake of the Tigris and discharged into the Indian Sea, has now worn away the mountains which formed its banks and laid them even with the level of the Indian ocean. And if the Mediterranean had continued its flow through the gulf of Arabia, it would have done the same, that is to say, would have reduced the level of the Mediterranean to that of the Indian Sea.

The Red Sea. (1091. 1092).

1091.

For a long time the water of the Mediterranean flowed out through the Red Sea, which is 100 miles wide and 1500 long, and full of reefs; and it has worn away the sides of Mount Sinai, a fact which testifies, not to an inundation from the Indian sea beating on these coasts, but to a deluge of water which carried with it all the rivers which abound round the Mediterranean, and besides this there is the reflux of the sea; and then, a cutting being made to the West 3000 miles away from this place, Gibraltar was separated from Ceuta, which had been joined to it. And this passage was cut very low down, in the plains between Gibraltar and the ocean at the foot of the mountain, in the low part, aided by the hollowing out of some valleys made by certain rivers, which might have flowed here. Hercules [Footnote 9: Leonardo seems here to mention Hercules half jestingly and only in order to suggest to the reader an allusion to the legend of the pillars of Hercules.] came to open the sea to the westward and then the sea waters began to pour into the Western Ocean; and in consequence of this great fall, the Red Sea remained the higher; whence the water, abandoning its course here, ever after poured away through the Straits of Spain.

1092.

The surface of the Red Sea is on a level with the ocean.

A mountain may have fallen and closed the mouth of the Red Sea and prevented the outlet of the Mediterranean, and the Mediterranean Sea thus overfilled had for outlet the passage below the mountains of Gades; for, in our own times a similar thing has been seen [Footnote 6: Compare also No. 1336, ll. 30, 35 and 36.-- Paolo Giovio, the celebrated historian (born at Como in 1483) reports that in 1513 at the foot of the Alps, above Bellinzona, on the road to Switzerland, a mountain fell with a very great noise, in consequence of an earthquake, and that the mass of rocks, which fell on the left (Western) side blocked the river Breno (T. I p. 218 and 345 of D. Sauvage's French edition, quoted in ALEXIS PERCY, Memoire des tremblements de terre de la peninsule italique; Academie Royale de Belgique. T. XXII).--]; a mountain fell seven miles across a valley and closed it up and made a lake. And thus most lakes have been made by mountains, as the lake of Garda, the lakes of Como and Lugano, and the Lago Maggiore. The Mediterranean fell but little on the confines of Syria, in consequence of the Gaditanean passage, but a great deal in this passage, because before this cutting was made the Mediterranean sea flowed to the South East, and then the fall had to be made by its run through the Straits of Gades.

At a the water of the Mediterranean fell into the ocean.

All the plains which lie between the sea and mountains were formerly covered with salt water.

Every valley has been made by its own river; and the proportion between valleys is the same as that between river and river.

The greatest river in our world is the Mediterranean river, which moves from the sources of the Nile to the Western ocean.

And its greatest height is in Outer Mauritania and it has a course of ten thousand miles before it reunites with its ocean, the father of the waters.

That is 3000 miles for the Mediterranean, 3000 for the Nile, as far as discovered and 3000 for the Nile which flows to the East, &c.

[Footnote: See Pl. CXI 2, a sketch of the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, where lines 11 to 16 may be seen. The large figures 158 are not in Leonardo's writing. The character of the writing leads us to conclude that this text was written later than the foregoing. A slight sketch of the Mediterranean is also to be found in MS. I', 47a.]

The Nile (1093-1098).

1093.

Therefore we must conclude those mountains to be of the greatest height, above which the clouds falling in snow give rise to the Nile.

1094.

The Egyptians, the Ethiopians, and the Arabs, in crossing the Nile with camels, are accustomed to attach two bags on the sides of the camel's bodies that is skins in the form shown underneath.

In these four meshes of the net the camels for baggage place their feet.

[Footnote: Unfortunately both the sketches which accompany this passage are too much effaced to be reproduced. The upper represents the two sacks joined by ropes, as here described, the other shows four camels with riders swimming through a river.]

1095.

The Tigris passes through Asia Minor and brings with it the water of three lakes, one after the other of various elevations; the first being Munace and the middle Pallas and the lowest Triton. And the Nile again springs from three very high lakes in Ethiopia, and runs northwards towards the sea of Egypt with a course of 4000 miles, and by the shortest and straightest line it is 3000 miles. It is said that it issues from the Mountains of the Moon, and has various unknown sources. The said lakes are about 4000 braccia above the surface of the sphere of water, that is 1 mile and 1/3, giving to the Nile a fall of 1 braccia in every mile.

[Footnote 5: Incogniti principio. The affluents of the lakes are probably here intended. Compare, as to the Nile, Nos. 970, 1063 and 1084.]

1096.

Very many times the Nile and other very large rivers have poured out their whole element of water and restored it to the sea.

1097.

Why does the inundation of the Nile occur in the summer, coming from torrid countries?

1098.

It is not denied that the Nile is constantly muddy in entering the Egyptian sea and that its turbidity is caused by soil that this river is continually bringing from the places it passes; which soil never returns in the sea which receives it, unless it throws it on its shores. You see the sandy desert beyond Mount Atlas where formerly it was covered with salt water.

Customs of Asiatic Nations (1099. 1100).

1099.

The Assyrians and the people of Euboea accustom their horses to carry sacks which they can at pleasure fill with air, and which in case of need they carry instead of the girth of the saddle above and at the side, and they are well covered with plates of cuir bouilli, in order that they may not be perforated by flights of arrows. Thus they have not on their minds their security in flight, when the victory is uncertain; a horse thus equipped enables four or five men to cross over at need.

1100.

SMALL BOATS.

The small boats used by the Assyrians were made of thin laths of willow plaited over rods also of willow, and bent into the form of a boat. They were daubed with fine mud soaked with oil or with turpentine, and reduced to a kind of mud which resisted the water and because pine would split; and always remained fresh; and they covered this sort of boats with the skins of oxen in safely crossing the river Sicuris of Spain, as is reported by Lucant; [Footnote 7: See Lucan's Pharsalia IV, 130: Utque habuit ripas Sicoris camposque reliquit, Primum cana salix madefacto vimine parvam Texitur in puppim, calsoque inducto juvenco Vectoris patiens tumidum supernatat amnem. Sic Venetus stagnante Pado, fusoque Britannus Navigat oceano, sic cum tenet omnia Nilus, Conseritur bibula Memphitis cymbo papyro. His ratibus transjecta manus festinat utrimque Succisam cavare nemus ]

The Spaniards, the Scythians and the Arabs, when they want to make a bridge in haste, fix hurdlework made of willows on bags of ox-hide, and so cross in safety.

Rhodes (1101. 1102).

1101.

In [fourteen hundred and] eighty nine there was an earthquake in the sea of Atalia near Rhodes, which opened the sea--that is its bottom--and into this opening such a torrent of water poured that for more than three hours the bottom of the sea was uncovered by reason of the water which was lost in it, and then it closed to the former level.

[Footnote: Nello ottanto 9. It is scarcely likely that Leonardo should here mean 89 AD. Dr. H. MULLER- STRUBING writes to me as follows on this subject: "With reference to Rhodes Ross says (Reise auf den Griechischen Inseln, III 70 ff. 1840), that ancient history affords instances of severe earthquakes at Rhodes, among others one in the second year of the 138th Olympiad=270 B. C.; a remarkably violent one under Antoninus Pius (A. D. 138-161) and again under Constantine and later. But Leonardo expressly speaks of an earthquake "nel mar di Atalia presso a Rodi", which is singular. The town of Attalia, founded by Attalus, which is what he no doubt means, was in Pamphylia and more than 150 English miles East of Rhodes in a straight line. Leake and most other geographers identify it with the present town of Adalia. Attalia is rarely mentioned by the ancients, indeed only by Strabo and Pliny and no earthquake is spoken of. I think therefore you are justified in assuming that Leonardo means 1489". In the elaborate catalogue of earthquakes in the East by Sciale Dshelal eddin Sayouthy (an unpublished Arabic MS. in the possession of Prof. SCHEFER, (Membre de l'Institut, Paris) mention is made of a terrible earthquake in the year 867 of the Mohamedan Era corresponding to the year 1489, and it is there stated that a hundred persons were killed by it in the fortress of Kerak. There are three places of this name. Kerak on the sea of Tiberias, Kerak near Tahle on the Libanon, which I visited in the summer of l876--but neither of these is the place alluded to. Possibly it may be the strongly fortified town of Kerak=Kir Moab, to the West of the Dead Sea. There is no notice about this in ALEXIS PERCY, Memoire sur les tremblements de terres ressentis dans la peninsule turco- hellenique et en Syrie (Memoires couronnes et memoires des savants etrangers, Academie Royale de Belgique, Tome XXIII).]

1102.

Rhodes has in it 5000 houses.

Cyprus (1103. 1104).

1103.

SITE FOR [A TEMPLE OF] VENUS.

You must make steps on four sides, by which to mount to a meadow formed by nature at the top of a rock which may be hollowed out and supported in front by pilasters and open underneath in a large portico,

[Footnote: See Pl. LXXXIII. Compare also p. 33 of this Vol. The standing male figure at the side is evidently suggested by Michael Angelo's David. On the same place a slight sketch of horses seems to have been drawn first; there is no reason for assuming that the text and this sketch, which have no connection with each other, are of the same date.

Sito di Venere. By this heading Leonardo appears to mean Cyprus, which was always considered by the ancients to be the home and birth place of Aphrodite (Kirpic in Homer).]

in which the water may fall into various vases of granite, porphyryand serpentine, within semi-circular recesses; and the water may overflow from these. And round this portico towards the North there should be a lake with a little island in the midst of which should be a thick and shady wood; the waters at the top of the pilasters should pour into vases at their base, from whence they should flow in little channels.

Starting from the shore of Cilicia towards the South you discover the beauties of the island of Cyprus.

The Caspian Sea (1105. 1106).

1104.

>From the shore of the Southern coast of Cilicia may be seen to the South the beautiful island of Cyprus, which was the realm of the goddess Venus, and many navigators being attracted by her beauty, had their ships and rigging broken amidst the reefs, surrounded by the whirling waters. Here the beauty of delightful hills tempts wandering mariners to refresh themselves amidst their flowery verdure, where the winds are tempered and fill the island and the surrounding seas with fragrant odours. Ah! how many a ship has here been sunk. Ah! how many a vessel broken on these rocks. Here might be seen barks without number, some wrecked and half covered by the sand; others showing the poop and another the prow, here a keel and there the ribs; and it seems like a day of judgment when there should be a resurrection of dead ships, so great is the number of them covering all the Northern shore; and while the North gale makes various and fearful noises there.

1105.

Write to Bartolomeo the Turk as to the flow and ebb of the Black sea, and whether he is aware if there be such a flow and ebb in the Hyrcanean or Caspian sea. [Footnote: The handwriting of this note points to a late date.]

1106.

WHY WATER IS FOUND AT THE TOP OF MOUNTAINS.

>From the straits of Gibraltar to the Don is 3500 miles, that is one mile and 1/6, giving a fall of one braccio in a mile to any water that moves gently. The Caspian sea is a great deal higher; and none of the mountains of Europe rise a mile above the surface of our seas; therefore it might be said that the water which is on the summits of our mountains might come from the height of those seas, and of the rivers which flow into them, and which are still higher.

The sea of Azov.

1107.

Hence it follows that the sea of Azov is the highest part of the Mediterranean sea, being at a distance of 3500 miles from the Straits of Gibraltar, as is shown by the map for navigation; and it has 3500 braccia of descent, that is, one mile and 1/6; therefore it is higher than any mountains which exist in the West.

[Footnote: The passage before this, in the original, treats of the exit of the waters from Lakes in general.]

The Dardanelles.

1108.

In the Bosphorus the Black Sea flows always into the Egean sea, and the Egean sea never flows into it. And this is because the Caspian, which is 400 miles to the East, with the rivers which pour into it, always flows through subterranean caves into this sea of Pontus; and the Don does the same as well as the Danube, so that the waters of Pontus are always higher than those of the Egean; for the higher always fall towards the lower, and never the lower towards the higher.

Constantinople.

1109.

The bridge of Pera at Constantinople, 40 braccia wide, 70 braccia high above the water, 600 braccia long; that is 400 over the sea and 200 on the land, thus making its own abutments.

[Footnote: See Pl. CX No. 1. In 1453 by order of Sultan Mohamed II. the Golden Horn was crossed by a pontoon bridge laid on barrels (see Joh. Dukas' History of the Byzantine Empire XXXVIII p. 279). --The biographers of Michelangelo, Vasari as well as Condivi, relate that at the time when Michelangelo suddenly left Rome, in 1506, he entertained some intention of going to Constantinople, there to serve the Sultan, who sought to engage him, by means of certain Franciscan Monks, for the purpose of constructing a bridge to connect Constantinople with Pera. See VASARI, Vite (ed. Sansoni VII, 168): Michelangelo, veduto questa furia del papa, dubitando di lui, ebbe, secondo che si dice, voglia di andarsene in Gostantinopoli a servire il Turco, per mezzo di certi frati di San Francesco, che desiderava averlo per fare un ponte che passassi da Gostantinopoli a Pera. And CONDIVI, Vita di M. Buonaroti chap. 30; Michelangelo allora vedendosi condotto a questo, temendo dell'ira del papa, penso d'andarsene in Levante; massimamente essendo stato dal Turco ricercato con grandissime promesse per mezzo di certi frati di San Francesco, per volersene servire in fare un ponte da Costantinopoli a Pera ed in altri affari. Leonardo's plan for this bridge was made in 1502. We may therefore conclude that at about that time the Sultan Bajazet II. had either announced a competition in this matter, or that through his agents Leonardo had first been called upon to carry out the scheme.]

The Euphrates.

1110.

If the river will turn to the rift farther on it will never return to its bed, as the Euphrates does, and this may do at Bologna the one who is disappointed for his rivers.

Centrae Asia.

1111.

Mounts Caucasus, Comedorum, and Paropemisidae are joined together between Bactria and India, and give birth to the river Oxus which takes its rise in these mountains and flows 500 miles towards the North and as many towards the West, and discharges its waters into the Caspian sea; and is accompanied by the Oxus, Dargados, Arthamis, Xariaspes, Dargamaim, Ocus and Margus, all very large rivers. From the opposite side towards the South rises the great river Indus which sends its waters for 600 miles Southwards and receives as tributaries in this course the rivers Xaradrus, Hyphasis, Vadris, Vandabal Bislaspus to the East, Suastes and Coe to the West, uniting with these rivers, and with their waters it flows 800 miles to the West; then, turning back by the Arbiti mountains makes an elbow and turns Southwards, where after a course of about 100 miles it finds the Indian Sea, in which it pours itself by seven branches. On the side of the same mountains rises the great Ganges, which river flows Southwards for 500 miles and to the Southwest a thousand ... and Sarabas, Diarnuna, Soas and Scilo, Condranunda are its tributaries. It flows into the Indian sea by many mouths.

On the natives of hot countries.

1112.

Men born in hot countries love the night because it refreshes them and have a horror of light because it burns them; and therefore they are of the colour of night, that is black. And in cold countries it is just the contrary.

[Footnote: The sketch here inserted is in MS. H3 55b.]

XVIII.

Naval Warfare.--Mechanical Appliances.--Music.

Such theoretical questions, as have been laid before the reader in Sections XVI and XVII, though they were the chief subjects of Leonardo's studies of the sea, did not exclusively claim his attention. A few passages have been collected at the beginning of this section, which prove that he had turned his mind to the practical problems of navigation, and more especially of naval warfare. What we know for certain of his life gives us no data, it is true, as to when or where these matters came under his consideration; but the fact remains certain both from these notes in his manuscripts, and from the well known letter to Ludovico il Moro (No. 1340), in which he expressly states that he is as capable as any man, in this very department.

The numerous notes as to the laws and rationale of the flight of birds, are scattered through several note-books. An account of these is given in the Bibliography of the manuscripts at the end of this work. It seems probable that the idea which led him to these investigations was his desire to construct a flying or aerial machine for man. At the same time it must be admitted that the notes on the two subjects are quite unconnected in the manuscripts, and that those on the flight of birds are by far the most numerous and extensive. The two most important passages that treat of the construction of a flying machine are those already published as Tav. XVI, No. 1 and Tav. XVIII in the "Saggio delle opere di Leonardo da Vinci" (Milan 1872). The passages--Nos. 1120-1125--here printed for the first time and hitherto unknown--refer to the same subject and, with the exception of one already published in the Saggio-- No. 1126--they are, so far as I know, the only notes, among the numerous observations on the flight of birds, in which the phenomena are incidentally and expressly connected with the idea of a flying machine.

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