), anything of a
spiral form, whether in one plane, as the spiral curve, or in different
planes, as the screw.
1. In architecture, the spiral volutes of the Ionic and Corinthian capitals.
The Roman architects, while they used the word volutae
for the angular spirals, retained the term helices
for the smaller spirals in the middle of
each face of the Corinthian capital. (Vitr.
2. In mechanics, the word designates the screw in its various applications;
but its chief use was to describe a machine used for launching ships, said
to have been invented by Archimedes. (
a, where Schweighäuser notes that the
exact nature of it has not been discovered.)