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mail: Bill Thayer 
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A Few Sundials

When it comes to sundials, I'm the merest layman: if you want to delve into the arcana of gnomonology, see the excellent websites in the navigation bar at the foot of the page.

On the other hand, I like them, and keep my eyes peeled, especially when there's something odd about them. Here are some pages on dials that I've seen, all but one in Italy:


[image ALT: A detail view of the upper part of a stone building of regular courses of squared blocks of varying widths, on which an array of diagonal lines has been lightly carved, tagged with carved numbers running from 5 to 12, as well as the astronomical symbols for Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. It is the astronomical sundial on the façade of the church of S. Vito in L' Aquila, Abruzzo (central Italy).]
L' Aquila

[image ALT: A painted surface with a blazing sun in the center and above it, scrollwork with roses. From the center of the sun a stylus pokes out at an angle. It is a detail of a sundial in Cesi, Umbria (central Italy).]
Cesi

[image ALT: A piece of inlaid stone pavement depicting a centaur. It is a detail of a meridian dial in the cathedral of Fossombrone in the Marche (central Italy).]
Fossombrone

[image ALT: Three faces of a seven-sided stone boss, each face bearing a round sundial. It is a detail of the sundial at the top of the Seven Dials column in London.]
London
[image ALT: a blank space]

[image ALT: A stone inscription, 'AD OPVS NON AD OCIVM', with the incised figure of a bell or plumbline. It is a detail of a sundial in Pitigliano in Tuscany (central Italy).]
Pitigliano

[image ALT: The last meter or so of the top of a stone obelisk, surmounted by a spiked ball. It is a detail of the Obelisk of Augustus in Rome.]
Rome

[image ALT: A surface painted with half of a stylized sun and rays and arrows directed both to it and from it. It is a detail of an imitation sundial in Scheggino, Umbria (central Italy).]
Scheggino

A bit of background on sundials in Antiquity:


[image ALT: An engraving of a pyramidal structure topped by a four-horse chariot, with a 10‑column portico at its base. It is an imaginative reconstruction of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, serving as the icon on my site for the De Architectura of Vitruvius.]
Vitruvius:
Book IX

[image ALT: A woodcut of a taurobolium: a Mithraic adept slaughtering a cow. It serves as the icon on my site for Smith's <I>Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities</I>.]
Horologium

And then there's this object:


[image ALT: A round dial crudely etched on a stone wall, numbered clockwise I thru VI, and with a bent metal stylus projecting from the center. It is a sort of a game in the prison of the church of S. Domenico in Narni, Umbria (central Italy).]
Narni


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Site updated: 19 Dec 20