Measuring in the Renaissance

June, 2023

In 2019, Cambridge University approached Prof. Emanuele Lugli to write an introduction on the topic of measuring in Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. While measuring is commonly seen as crucial in defining the Renaissance and “the scientific mind,” Prof. Lugli offers an alternative perspective that challenges this widely accepted connection. The result is “Measuring in the Renaissance,” a book that presents measuring as a creative activity rather than a purely objective one. By delving into diverse sources such as fencing treatises, tailors’ patterns, legal textbooks, and the arts, Prof. Lugli uncovers an unexpected history of quantification and sheds light on the (sometimes deliberate) failings of standardization.

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