For my book “Architectura militaris” by the author Andreas Cellarius I decided to use the concept of a manual. Cellarius presents us his work as a kind of manual, as it combines and even expands the basic knowledge of fortress construction as well as their instructions (see title). The whole work, besides a general basic introduction, is divided into 6 parts, 4 of which are marked as books and 2 parts are appendices for the precise tables and illustration. Due to its architectural theme, the key word of geometry is omnipresent.
In his 4 books, Cellarius proceeds in a building up manner.
Starting in the first book, where he briefly summarizes the theory & findings of several standard works and explains their natures, there is also a first introduction to the mathematical structure of the whole design and construction of a fortress.
After the introduction to the basic knowledge Cellarius starts in the second book with the concrete plan drawing and measuring on the field. He explains the importance and art of the actual plan drawing, as the first practical action in the construction of a defensive installation. In order to be able to put the plans into practice, the author also explains the practical field measurements and field staking. In the additional chapter of the second book, Cellarius also briefly discusses the subject of installations outside the actual fortification.
To start with all the basic theoretical and practical knowledge, the third book is introduced. It deals with the subject of irregular fortifications and their construction on the model of regular fortifications.
As the fourth and last book Cellarius explains the well-known offensive & defensive practices, siege strategies and defense possibilities from within the own fortification.
In the two appendices that follow, about a quarter of the entire work is filled with tables and illustrations of the preceding books that are very precise in their drawings. These are sketches or illustrations which are intended to serve as practical examples of the terms, strategies or concepts explained in each case.
So overall we can see very well the common thread behind all the knowledge, theories and practices, which should make Cellariu’s book not too difficult to understand even for a layman. The whole book is written in German and on each page the sub-topics or terms are listed again in a small way, which makes it easy to use a manual. By labeling the illustrations, one can always look them up quickly and accurately in the appendix while reading.
The actual title of the book “Architectura militaris, oder, Gründtliche Underweisung der heuttiges Tages so wohl in Niederlandt …” shows us an exciting detail of history. The book was published in 1645 in Amsterdam, which at that time still belonged to the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation until 1648, thus explaining the language of the book.
“Architectura militaris, oder, Gründtliche Underweisung der heuttiges Tages so wohl in Niederlandt als andern Örttern gebräuchlichen Fortification oder Vestungsbau / auss den besten Authoribus zusammen getragen und in ein volkommen Werck gebracht durch Andream Cellarium” (Book title)