The Roman Labyrinth: The Long and Winding Way to the Middle

Up to now we have examined the “detour factor” of the Classical and of the Chartres labyrinth. That’s why the Roman Labyrinth as own type in the long history of labyrinth may be considered today.
We choose a sort of prototype with 21 m for the side lengths and an axial distance of  1 m.

The path in the Roman Labyrinth

From A to Z: The long and the short way in the Roman Labyrinth

The direct way from “A” to “Z” straight across all boundary lines to the center amounts to 10.55 m.
The whole, long way from the entrance into the center amounts to 433.50 m if I follow all the twists through the four sectors. This proves a relation between the long and the short distance of 433.50: 10.55 = 41.1. This is a much higher “detour factor” than the value of 24.4 for the Classical labyrinth. However, it corresponds approximately to the Chartres labyrinth with 40.78.

If I handle the thread at the beginning and at the end and stretch it apart, I will get a straight line which reaches from “A” to “Z” and which corresponds to the way into the middle, that is 433.50 m.

If I join together the beginning and the end, I will get a circle. The circumference corresponds to the straight line of 433.50 m. The diameter would be 137.99 m.
I can also make a square with the same size from it. This would have four side lengths of 108.38 m.

The following drawing, yet not true to scale, illustrates the different figures and the true ratio among each other:

Ariadne's Thread unrolled

Ariadne’s Thread unrolled

Don’t be surprised that the original labyrinth looks so tiny. This is due to the “detour factor” of 41.1.
The unrolled thread of Ariadne is much longer relative to the original labyrinth. The proportions in the drawing however are right.

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3 thoughts on “The Roman Labyrinth: The Long and Winding Way to the Middle

  1. Pingback: From the Classical 7 Circuit Labyrinth to the Roman Labyrinth | blogmymaze

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