Quincunx


Quincunx

:"For Sir Francis Galton's machine for demonstrating the normal distribution named "quincunx", see bean machine. "

A quincunx (IPA ['kwɪnkʌŋks] ) is the arrangement of five units in the pattern corresponding to the five-spot on dice, playing cards, or dominoes. The quincunx was originally a coin issued by the Roman Republic c.211-200 BC, whose value was five twelfths ("quinque" + "uncia") of an as, the Roman standard bronze coin. On the Roman quincunx coins, the value was sometimes indicated by a pattern of five dots. Typically, a modern quincunx consists of five objects arranged in a square, with one object at each of the square's four corners and the fifth in the square's center. If the four corner objects form a rectangle, the pattern is still considered a quincunx.

The significance of the quincunx pattern originates in Pythagorean mathematical mysticism. This pattern lies at the heart of the Pythagorean tetraktys, a pyramid of ten dots. To the Pythagoreans the number five held particular significance and the quincunx pattern represented this significance.fact|date=May 2008

Examples

Quincunx patterns occur in many contexts:
*A quincunx is a standard pattern for planting an orchard, especially in France.
*Quincunxes are used in modern computer graphics as a supersampling pattern for anti-aliasing. Quincunx antialiasing samples scenes at the corners and centers of each pixel. These five sample points, in the shape of a quincunx, are combined to produce each displayed pixel. However, samples at the corner points are shared with adjacent pixels, so the number of samples needed is only twice the number of displayed pixels. [http://www.nvnews.net/previews/geforce3/quincunx.shtml]
*In astrology (and less commonly in astronomy), a quincunx (also known as an "inconjunct") is an astrological aspect of five-twelfths of a circle, or 150°, between two objects (the Sun, Moon, planets or signs).
*In architecture, a "quincuncial plan", also defined as a "cross inscribed in a square", is the plan of an edifice composed of nine bays. The central and the four angular ones are covered with domes or groin vaults; the other four are surmounted by barrel vaults.
*Initial cards are laid out in a quincunx in the eponymous card game [http://www.fecundity.com/pmagnus/decktet/quincunx.php Quincunx] .

In literature

*The English physician Sir Thomas Browne in his philosophical discourse "The Garden of Cyrus" (1658) elaborates upon evidence of the quincunx pattern in art, nature and mystically as 'evidence' of intelligent design.
* "The Quincunx" (ISBN 0-345-37113-5) is the title of a lengthy and elaborate novel by Charles Palliser set in 19th-century England, published in 1989.
* The Quincunx is the name of the lake with an island containing Mistress Masham's Repose in the novel of that name by T. H. White.
* Lawrence Durrell's novel-sequence The Avignon Quintet is arranged in the form of a quincunx, according to the author. The final novel in the sequence is called Quinx, the plot of which includes the discovery of a quincunx of stones.


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  • Quincunx — Anordnung Portugiesischer Wappenschild …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Quincunx — (lat.) d. i.,1/10, eines Ganzen; 1) Maß = 5 Cyathi; 2) Gewicht von 5 Unzen; 3) eine Münze von 5 Unciae, s. u. As 1); die Bezeichnung war mit 5 Punkten; 4) die Ordnung bei der Anpflanzung der Bäume, daß dieselben in der Form der Bezeichnung von 5… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Quincunx — (lat.), fünf Zwölftel eines Ganzen; altröm. Münze = 5 Unciae oder 5/12 As, die auf der einen Seite neben dem Bilde der Dioskuren 5 Punkte in der Form trug. Der Name wurde dann auch auf die römische Schlachtordnung, auf Baumpflanzungen, Säulen… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Quincunx — Quin cunx, n. [L., fr. quinque five + uncia an ounce. The quincunx was marked by five small spots or balls. See {Five}, and {Ounce} the weight.] 1. An arrangement of things by fives in a square or a rectangle, one being placed at each corner and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Quincunx — Quincunx, lat., Gewicht von 5 Unzen: 5/12 As, s. d.; die Fünfform (V) …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Quincunx —    • Quincunx,          πεντώγκιον, первоначально обозначение меры в 5 cyathi и монеты в 5 unciae, 5/12 фунта (Hor. а. р. 327 слл.), что и обозначалось на одной стороне, рядом с диоскурами на конях, 5 точками в следующем порядке : · : Эта фигура… …   Реальный словарь классических древностей

  • QUINCUNX — apud Ciceronem, de Senect. c. 17. directi in quincuncem ordines, ubi de arboribus, hanc notam habebat Xenophon ὀρθοὺς ςτίχους τȏυ δένδρων καὶ πάντα ἐυγώνια. Virg. l. 2. Georg. v. 278. Omnis in unguem Arboribus positis sectô via limite quadret.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • quincunx — (n.) 1640s, originally astrological, of planetary alignments, from L., lit. five ounces, from quinque five (see QUINQUE (Cf. quinque )) + uncia ounce, a twelfth part, related to unus one (see ONE (Cf. one)). Applied, especially in garden design,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • quincunx — [kwin′kuŋks΄] n. [L, lit., five twelfths < quinque,FIVE + uncia, a twelfth: see OUNCE1] 1. an arrangement of five objects in a square, with one at each corner and one in the middle 2. Bot. an arrangement of five petaled flowers in which two… …   English World dictionary

  • quincunx — noun Etymology: Latin quincunc , quincunx, literally, five twelfths, from quinque five + uncia twelfth part more at five, ounce Date: 1545 an arrangement of five things in a square or rectangle with one at each corner and one in the middle •… …   New Collegiate Dictionary


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