1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Quadrilateral

QUADRILATERAL, in geometry, a figure enclosed by four straight lines. It is also a military term applied to a combination of four fortresses mutually supporting one another. The fortresses of Namur, Liége, Maastricht, and Louvain, and also those of Silistria, Rustchuk, Shumla, and Varna, were so called. But the most famous quadrilateral was that of the four fortified towns of north Italy—Mantua, Peschiera, Verona, and Legnago, the two former of which are situated on the Mincio and the two latter on the Adige. The real value of the quadrilateral, which gave Austria such a firm hold on Lombardy, lay in the great natural strength of Mantua and in the readiness with which troops and supplies could be poured into Verona from the north.