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θαιρός, στροφεύς, στρόφιγξ, γίγγλυμος). A hinge, a pivot.

The first figure in the annexed illustration is designed to show the general form of a door, as we find it with a pivot at the top and bottom (a b) in ancient remains of stone, marble, wood, and bronze. The second figure represents a bronze hinge in the Egyptian collection of the British Museum; its pivot (b) is exactly cylindrical. Under these is drawn the threshold of a temple, or other large edifice, with the plan of the folding-doors. The pivots move in holes fitted to receive them (b b), each of which is in an angle behind the antepagmentum. When Hector forces the gate of the Grecian camp, he does it by breaking both the

Door and Hinge.

hinges (ἀμφοτέρους θαιρούς)—i. e., as explained by the scholiasts, the pivots (στρόφιγγας) at the top and bottom. See Cataracta.

According to the ancient lexicons, cardo denoted not only the pivot, but sometimes the socket (foramen) in which it turned. Postis appears to have meant the upright pillar (a b) in the frame of the door. The whole of this “post,” including the pivots, appears to be called στροφεύς and cardo by Theophrastus and Pliny , who say that it was best made of elm, because elm does not warp, and because the whole door will preserve its proper form, if this part remains unaltered.

The Greeks and Romans also used hinges exactly like those now in common use. Four Roman hinges of bronze, preserved in the British Museum, are shown in the following illustration.

Cardines. (British Museum.)

The proper Greek name for this kind of hinge was γίγγλυμος: whence Aristotle applies it to the joint of a bivalve shell; and the anatomists call those joints of the human body ginglymoid which allow motion only in one plane, such as the elbowjoint.

The form of the door above delineated makes it manifest why the principal line laid down in surveying land was called cardo (see Agrimensores); and it further explains the application of the same term to the North Pole, the supposed pivot on which the heavens revolved (Ovid, Epist. ex Pont. ii. 10, 45). The lower extremity of the universe was conceived to turn upon another pivot, corresponding to that at the bottom of the door; and the conception of these two principal points in geography and astronomy led to the application of the same term to the east and west also. Hence our “four points of the compass” are called by ancient writers quatuor cardines orbis terrarum; and the four principal winds, N., S. , E., and W., are the cardinales venti (Serv. ad Verg. Aen. i. 85).

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Vergil, Aeneid, 1.85
    • Ovid, Ex Ponto, 2.10
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