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MO´DULUS (ἐμβάτης), the standard measure used in determining the parts of an architectural order. It was originally the lower diameter of the column; but Vitruvius takes in the Doric order the lower semi-diameter for the module, retaining the whole diameter in the other orders. Modern architects use the semi-diameter in all the orders. The system of dividing the module into minutes was not used by the ancient architects, who merely used such fractional parts of it as were convenient. The absolute length of the module depends of course on the dimensions of the edifice: thus Vitruvius directs that, in a Doric tetrastyle portico, 1/28, and in a hexastyle 1/44 of the whole width should [p. 2.175]be taken as the module, if diastyle, or 1/23 and 1/35 respectively, if systyle (Vitr. 1.2; 4.3; 5.9). Instead of the accepted view, that the bottom diameter of the column was taken as the modulus, M. Aurés, in his Nouvelle Théorie du Module (Nîmes, 1862), has tried to prove from Vitruvius and extant examples, that both for the column and for the intercolumnia the measurement was taken at the middle height. This seems improbable, as such a measurement could not be obtained till the building was complete; and the passages quoted hardly bear such an interpretation. (See Reber, Philologus, xxvii. pp. 185-191.)

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