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Leon Battista Alberti (Genoa, 1404 - Rome, 1472)

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The writings of humanist and architectural theorist Leon Battista Alberti address many technical topics. In Descriptio urbis Romae, of 1447, he illustrates a topographic instrument also useful for military purposes. He describes a variant of the device in Ludi mathematici, about 1448, which is largely devoted to problems of practical geometry.

Alberti deals with many aspects of engineering, notably hydraulic engineering, in De re aedificatoria, about 1450. Among other things, he describes methods for excavating underground conduits, dredging rivers, and building embankments and dams.

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