Fol. 2v

Codex on the Flight of Birds of Leonardo A scale suspended from a pulley.
Leonardo defines these as bilance rotonde (round balances) and affirms that in these instruments the equilibrium positions of the weights can be different. A mysterious instrument is shown in the drawing at the bottom of the folio: according to some scholars, this might be an enormous scale for weighing very large objects.

«se fosse possibile sospendere la bilancia nel centro della sua gravità essa resterebbe sempre ferma senza alcuna oscillazione in qualunque pendenza fosse collocata, come accade nella bilancia rotonda»
(If it were possible to suspend the scale from its centre of gravity, it would always remain still [level] without any oscillation no matter at what inclination it was located, as happens in the round scale.)

NOTE. For each page of Leonardo’s Codex we provide a brief summary, with the quotation of one that page’s most significant passages edited in modern Italian, with an English translation.

translation by Kim Williams