- "An architect should live as little in cities as a painter. Send him to our hills, and let him study there what nature understands by a buttress, and what by a dome."
– John Ruskin
- "Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out."
– Revelation 3:12
Mathematical developments lead to the invention of this important architectural element, which allows civilizations to build very interesting, large-scale structures, capable of supporting incredible stress. The element quickly finds use in civil construction, enabling the next stage of large-scale infrastructure. We're talking of the Dam district, which is the most reliable method against river floods, also useful as a source of mid-game Housing. Also, this tech unlocks the Hagia Sophia, an important Wonder for any religious player.
Buttress is an indispensable tech for sea-faring civilizations, since it leads to Cartography and Mass Production, both representing the next level of exploration and sea military tech. And these, in their turn, lead to the later Industrialization, which unlocks a sea of new opportunities for players! However, all of this is quite a forward thinking (we're talking two Eras in the future). Now, the Dam district is a nice new addition, but not that urgent to build - unless your cities close to rivers have hit a serious Housing ceiling. So, unless you're an exploration aficionado, you should go for other Medieval techs first, such as Apprenticeship.
Buttresses are architectural elements that reinforce walls, allowing for the construction of higher walls than unsupported construction would permit. The oldest known buttresses were used in the Temple of Eanna in Uruk, dating to around 3200 BC. Gothic architecture saw the proliferation of the flying buttress, where the lateral force of the wall is transmitted via half-arch to a supporting column or pier, allowing the construction of lighter and larger walls. Cathedrals in Europe are particularly illustrative of this construction technique which allowed the builders to add large stained-glass windows to the cathedrals.