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Leonardo da Vinci's Notebooks



Leonardo da Vinci's Notebooks
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.01

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    deals, geometry, reality, writing, diverse, online, originally, reverse, original, various, left-handed, valuable, elsewhere, belonging, unfinished, death
     content words:    Bill Gates, Codex Leicester, Codex Arundel, British Library, Codex Atlanticus, Milan Library, Windsor Folios, Windsor Castle


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Leonardo da Vinci's Notebooks
By Sharon Fabian
  

1     Every August, a local discount store puts its notebooks on sale - ten notebooks for $1.00. In 1995, one notebook went on sale, a used notebook, filled with sketches and notes. Some of the richest people in the world placed bids as the notebook was auctioned off to the highest bidder. It was sold to Bill Gates for $30.8 million.
 
2     Of course, it was the contents of this notebook that made it so valuable. The notebook, called the Codex Leicester, once belonged to Leonardo da Vinci. This one of his notebooks is mainly about water and light. Filled with Leonardo's brilliant observations, it encourages people to think and wonder, even today, as they see his own handwriting and his sketches in a small notebook.
 
3     The Codex Leicester is one of several notebooks filled with Leonardo da Vinci's ideas. Originally, his notes were not bound into notebooks as we know them today. They were in many separate parts and on single sheets of paper of different shapes and sizes. After his death, they fell into the hands of various people. At one time, a large part of his notes was split into two sections, one about art and one about technical matters. Later owners tried to restore them to their original order. Today, Leonardo's notebooks are divided among several collections. The Codex Arundel, which deals with geometry and architecture, is in the British Library. The Codex Atlanticus, which deals with various subjects, is in a library in Milan, Italy. The Windsor Folios, which include many of Leonardo's drawings of horses, among other things, is located in Windsor Castle. Other sections are located in various other places, but the Codex Leicester is the only large section belonging to a private owner.
 
4     Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks cover a wide range of subjects. They reflect Leonardo's own interest in a wide variety of topics. Their topics include painting, architecture, mechanics, flight, and anatomy, among other topics. In his notes, Leonardo recorded detailed observations, made plans for his artwork, and sketched his inventions.
 
5     Individual items in the notebooks are even more diverse. In addition to his scientific observations, one notebook contains a grocery list. Another contains a list of people who owed Leonardo money.

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