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Posts Tagged ‘concentric’

In the last post I have presented four variants of the seed pattern of the Cakra Vyuh type labyrinth. Perhaps somebody might be interested, how the matching complete labyrinths look like. Here I will show them.

I thus add three other examples to the only example (Original) of this type of labyrinth that has been well known until now. Or, more exactly, only two of them are really new: the examples in the Classical and in the Concentric styles. I had already published the example in the Man-in-the-Maze style previously on this blog. Furthermore it has to be considered, that the original labyrinth rotates anti-clockwise. I have horizontally mirrored the three other examples. It is still the same labyrinth then, although rotating clockwise. I use to show all my labyrinth examples in clockwise rotation so they are more easily comparable.

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A Brief Stylology

In my last two posts I have described six styles.  Of course, these can also be used to order labyrinths. I will show this here in an illustrative manner. I do not take the effort to group all or as many as possible labyrinths into the different styles. I will just use a few examples of each style to illustrate how such a grouping would work.

klassisch

 

Labyrinth Examples in the Classical Style

 

 

konzentrisch

 

Labyrinth Examples in the Concentric Style

 

 

MiM

 

Labyrinth Examples in the Man-in-the-Maze Style

 

chartres

 

Labyrinth Examples in the Chartres Style

 

reims

 

Labyrinth Examples in the Reims or Bastion Style

 

knidos_stil

 

Labyrinth Examples in the Knidos Style

 

Labyrinth Examples in other styles

Of course, with the six styles described above it is not possible to cover the entire spectrum of all labyrinths. Therefore I have added another group to capture other styles and attributed some examples of labyrinths to it. Among the many labyrinths that cannot be attributed to one of the six styles above, it is possible to identify other styles. This particularly applies to labyrinths of which several examples exist in the same style. This, for instance, applies to the last two examples shown in the other styles group (Other 8, Other 9).

We have now ordered the individual labyrinth examples by styles. The result is also a typology or at least an approach to a typology. The only criteriun we have used for the definition of the types is the style. We thus have defined: type = style.

Because style cannot be defined clearly and unambigously, to me it is not well suited as a criterion for the constitution of a typology. Based on style it is not possible to form a complete range of mutually exclusive groups or types of labyrinths. Furthermore, style does not show the essential of a labyrinth.

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What is a Style?

What determines a style cannot be defined as easily and clearly as a type of labyrinth. Style can be described as a trailblazing way of the design of labyrinths. Usually various types of labyrinths can be designed in the same style. And, vice versa, the same type of labyrinth can be realized in various styles.

In the following I will show some styles. Please give attention to the figure and do not care about what is in it. Regarding the style, the numbers of arms, circuits or the level sequence have no importance. These are important for the type. We can also say: The style is not the content but the form. Or more sensually: What’s the wine for the enologist is the type for the labyrinthologist, and similarly the vessel is the style. Therefore I deliberately show the styles using a figure that is no labyrinth in the strict sense. This figure has one entrance and one access to the center, but only one circuit. It can be considered as a predecessor of a labyrinth. This also helps me to show that the style is something truly different, complementary to the type.

The classical style results if we start from a seed pattern and finalize a labyrinth quasi freehand. This results in a particular form of layout. There is no exact definition of this layout. Rather it may vary between almost circular and rectangular according to the drawer or the type of labyrinth shown in this style.

klassisch

Figure 1. The Classical Style

Fig. 1 shows the essential features of this style. The center of the labyrinth is narrow and formed like a dead-end. The circuits on this side and the opposite side of the axis are shifted. Every one-arm labyrinth can be designed in this style; it is even possible to realize labyrinths with multiple arms in the classical Style.

The example in the concentric style shows best which figure I used for the presentation of the various styles.

konzentrisch

Figure 2. The Concentric Style

The essential characteristics of this style are that the middle of the figure and the center of the labyrinth are matching. Also, the center is somewhat enlarged. The axial wall can but does not need to lie on a radius aligned to the center. A point in the center may but does not need to be visible. This style can often be found in labyrinths of manuscripts. In some of them one can see the central point where the compass has been applied.

The Man-in-the-Maze style has already been extensively described on this blog. It is a very good example for what determines a style: This is the original way of a graphical realization – in this case on a strict geometric grid.

MiM

Figure 3. The Man-in-the-Maze Style

Although they lie on a template of concentric circles, the MiM labyrinths are eccentric. In this style, the center of the labyrinth cannot lie in the middle of the figure. The middle of the figure matches with the center of the seed pattern.

Also the extraordinary design of the labyrinth in Chartres cathedral illustrates well what may constitute a style.

chartres

Figure 4. The Chartres Style

What particularly characterizes this style are the lunettes in the center and the lunations at the exterior of this labyrinth. Several labyrinth examples exist that adapted the Chartres style either in the use of the lunettes or the lunations or both elements of this style together. So, Chartres is also a style! We therefore have to deal with a Chartres type and a Chartres Style. We will have to come back to this later.

The same applies to the labyrinth of Reims too. We could also speak of a Reims style or a Bastion style.

reims

Figure 5. The Reims Style

The labyrinth that has been laid out in the Reims cathedral also has a pioneering design. I do not primarily mean the lawful proportions and composition of the octagonal forms. This per se also deserves attention. However, what constitutes the Style is the bastions. Such bastions, also with varied, rounded shapes, have been adapted in many other labyrinths.

Many other labyrinth examples have special graphical features, e.g. Nîmes, Ravenna, Al Qazwini, Cakra-vyuh. Some of these are singular examples. What constitutes a style cannot be conclusively resolved. Which element may characterize a style, and whether only one or multiple elements be required to characterize a style will be controversial. However, what seems a central requirement to me is that a style can be found in various examples of labyrinths. So that it has influenced other labyrinths.

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