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Sigmund Gossembrot / 6

The Complex Labyrinth

On folio 54 r, finally, is depicted the complex labyrinth shown in figure 1 (see also: related posts, below). In it’s center is written: „laborintus melior inter priores aquia magis errabunda inducens et educens“ – this labyrinth is better than the previous ones, as it is more misleading, leading in and out. This labyrinth has 12 circuits and its’ turns of the pathway are arranged in a confusing order. The number of arms cannot be easily counted.

Figure 1. The Complex Labyrinth on Folio 54 r

The pathway enters the labyrinth from below on the first (outermost) circuit (fig. 2). There it first bifurcates, and one can follow it in both rotational directions (clockwise or anticlockwise). On top of this circuit deviates another piece of the pathway. This then leads further into the labyrinth. Thus, the outermost circuit is designed not unicursally but multicursally as a maze.

Figure 2. The Outermost Circuit

The outermost circuit can be removed (fig. 3). This brings us to an autonomous core-labyrinth with 11 circuits. Additional circuits, however, cannot be simply removed without destroying the core-labyrinth. The core-labyrinth has clearly recognizable a main axis that is oriented to the top and it rotates clockwise.

Figure 3. Core Labyrinth

For a further investigation (in fig. 4) we now rotate the labyrinth, such that the main axis points to the bottom. By this, the labyrinth presents itself in the form we always use as a baseline. The main axis (in a blue frame) has exactly the same shape as the one of the Chartres type labyrinth. The other turns of the pathway are arbitrarily distributed over about the upper 2/3 of the area.

Figure 4. Main Axis

However, in view of the shape of the main axis the idea suggests itself, that also the remaining turns of the pathway could have something to do with the Chartres type. Indeed, three areas can be easily identified (fig. 5). The turns of the pathway inside these trapezoidal areas (red) can be aligned axially.

Figure 5. Side Arms

For this purpose, they need to be shifted along their circuits. Two turns of the path (the innermost of the 1st and 2nd side-arm are almost already in their right place. This is shown in fig. 6. The other ones need to be shifted further. This is illustrated with the red circles and arrows. In their new alignment they indeed result in a Chartres type labyrinth.

Figure 6. Type Chartres

Considered the other way round, we can state, that Gossembrot has derived a multicursal maze from the Chartres type labyrinth. For this, he has dispersed the regular order by shifting the turns of the pathway away from the side-arms and arbitrarily distributing them over the area of the labyrinth. Then he has attached a further circuit at the outside and on this circuit has introduced a multicursal course of the pathway.

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