a hinge. The older and simpler form of hinge was a pivot
working in a socket; of this kind must have been the θαιροὶ
of Homer (Hom. Il.
) and the στροφεὺς
of the later Greeks (Aristoph. Thes. 487
). The word γίγγλυμος
is applied to the hinge-joints of the
human body, and to joints in armour (see L. and S., s. v.); but there is no
authority for the statement that it was used for door-hinges. In this
construction the stile or axis of the door (Lat. scapus
fitted with pivots at each end, turning in a socket excavated in the sill
and lintel respectively. The notion that the pivots were called στρόφιγγες,
the sockets (στροφεῖς
(Rich; L. and S., ed. 7), wants sufficient proof:
thus Sextus Empiricus (adv. Math.
10.54) writes ὁ κατὰ τού̀ ὁλμίσκου βεβηκὼς στροφεύς,
is clearly the pivot and
“the little mortar” =the socket.
The first of the annexed woodcuts illustrates this description of hinge. The
upper figure to
Hinges: pivot working in socket.
the left shows the general form of a door, as we find it with a
pivot at top and bottom (a, b
) in [p. 1.365]
ancient remains of stone, marble, wood, and
bronze. Theophrastus specifies the hard woods which were preferred for
making the pivots (Hist. Plaut.
5.5, 4 ff.); but they were
more frequently of metal. The second top figure represents a bronze hinge in
the Egyptian collection of the British Museum: its pivot (b) is exactly
cylindrical. The lower figure shows the ground-plan of a pair of
folding-doors. The pivots move in holes fitted to receive them, each of
which is an angle behind the antepagmentum
door-jamb (marmoreo aeratus stridens in limine
222). In Eur. Phoen. 114
have been explained as
hinges, but are more probably bolts or bars.
The Romans (and perhaps the Greeks, though this is less certain) also used
hinges exactly like those now in common use. Four Roman hinges of bronze,
preserved in the British Museum, are here shown.
Hinges: modem type. (British Museum.)
The form of the door above delineated makes it manifest why the principal
line laid down in surveying land was called “cardo” (Festus,
s. v. Decumanus;
]; and it further
explains the application of the same term to the North Pole, the supposed
pivot on which the heavens revolved. (Varr. de R. R.
Ovid, Ex Ponto,
2.10, 45.) The lower extremity
of the universe was conceived to turn upon another pivot, corresponding to
that at the bottom of the door (Cic. N.
D. 2.4. 1
, § 105; Vitr.
); 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. (Lucan
.) Hence our “four points of the compass” are called
by ancient writers quattuor cardines orbis
and the four principal winds, N. S. E. and W., are the
(Serv. ad Aen. 1.85