darius pontoon bridge

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September 21, 2016

darius pontoon bridge

Mycenaean. Early Life . The weight of a square meter is made up of 50 kg of logs and 360 kg of earth[44] adding up to 410 kg[45] As a result, each ship had to carry 25.2 m2 x 410 kg/m2 = 10,332 kg plus the weight of 4 x 7 = 28 Persons with luggage adding up to 2,520 kg, thus a total weight of some 13 tonnes which appears to be a reasonable load for the ships of that time. [47] Pontoon bridges of the last centuries have shown that it is entirely sufficient to have simple guardrails made of wooden lattices or ropes in order to keep the horses on the bridge.[48]. Herodotus does not give any indication of the width of the bridges or of the roads passing over them. Today, you don’t have to go to as much trouble as Darius did to cross the strait. That meant leading his army of 600,000 men across the Bosporus Strait. Having first sent a naval reconnaissance mission to explore shores of the Black Sea (cf. However, the shore at Abydos would not have been wide enough to accommodate two such bridges. The spirit of Darius rises and she tells him of their son's misadventure, and what preceded it. ISTANBUL, Turkey March 24 —When the last steel road section was welded into place yesterday, the major step in the first road link across the Bosporus since Darius's pontoon bridge … If a number of ropes were necessary they would have been placed close to each other paying attention to tensions on these ropes being equal. For this reason, it has been assumed that initially, during the period of rope production, the ships would have been moored next to each other in order to withstand the tension of the ropemaking taking place across them[37] One may imagine this procedure being executed across three or four ships, but with any larger number of ships in open water, severe damage to the ships and serious disruptions of the ropemaking must be anticipated. Therefore, replacement deliveries of ships, cables, ropes and logs would have taken at least some months. The idea of the cables having been produced on the ships already lined up for the bridge[36] does not appear to be feasible, either. When the Persian king, Darius, tried to invade Skythia (Scythia), Aristagoras and other allies were left at the Ister (Danube River) to guard the pontoon bridge which had granted Darius’ army entry into Europe and assured his return to Asia Minor. Darius had to commission a temporary one, a pontoon bridge of many boats - likewise, the bridge whereby he crossed the Ister (Danube) later on in the same campaign. ATOSSA: Ev'n so, some god assisting his design. Notable examples are concrete-pontoon bridges over Lake Washington (Seattle, Wash.), 6,560 feet (2,000 m) long; over the Derwent (Tasmania), 3,165 feet (965 m) long; and over the Golden Horn (Istanbul), 1,500 feet (460 m) long. If they could not be kept in position by anchors because of the depth of the strait, they must have been held by cables reaching from shore to shore (no matter whether by a single long cable or by a series of cables). Updates? At Abydos, the distance between the shores is some 2,000 m.[25] Yet, the bridges would have been longer. It connected the two shores of the Bosphorus at the narrowest point, where the width of the Bosphorus did not exceed 660 meters. Modern historians do mention the depth,[20] but do not discuss it anywhere as a problem for anchoring. [33] Herodotus appears to talk about undivided cables reaching from shore to shore. only naval vessels, were used for the bridges. Pontoon bridges across rivers are usually held in position by anchors fastened to the bow and stern of each boat[19] and thus, at a first glance, Herodotus' description appears to be correct. Fol and Hammond, pp. Having first sent a naval reconnaissance mission to explore shores of the Black Sea (cf. could he chain the mighty Bosphorus? [49] When winds caused the load on the cables to increase the triremes would have been pushed deeper into the water but this was only temporary as long as the wind lasted. [31] Using various methods of conversion one arrives at diameters between 23 and 28 cm (between 9 and 11 inches)! In that play, Atossa, the mother of Xerxes, learns of what a disaster her son's invasion of Greece has been. After Herodotus hardly indicated the location of the pontoon bridge across the Bosphorus built some 30 years earlier by Xerxes' father Darius I, but did not provide any specific information about that bridge, the wealth of details given for the bridges across the Hellespont is astonishing and, upon cursory reading, seems to provide a clear picture. Volcanic Eruption from Mount Thera. [28] A larger bridge would not have any positive effect since the road at the end of the bridge could not take up all the arriving masses. The lowest oar ports of a trireme were about 30 cm above the waterline and were normally fitted with leather sleeves,[18] an aspect which does not really qualify them as a bridge carrier. But then, the whole load has to be borne by either the ropes or the cables, without the other (slack) one contributing anything to the horizontal load bearing capacity of the installation. Darius was the fourth king of the Achaemenid empire, but not directly descended from the founder Cyrus II (~600–530 BCE). Alexander the Great is said to have crossed the Oxus by rafts made of his soldiers’ tents of hide stuffed with straw. During this time, the army waiting at the shore would have got into a very serious situation, since the provisions of food, fodder and water had not been calculated to cope with a prolonged stay. He is then said to have thrown fetters into the strait, given it three hundred whiplashes, and branded it with red-hot irons as the soldiers shouted at the water.[4]. Even if iron anchors existed already then,[22][23] it is unlikely that the iron manufacturing was capable to produce some 183 tonnes of iron anchors. [29], The orders made in the preparatory phase to produce cables for the bridges are mentioned by Herodotus in a rather casual way like orders for larger quantities of standard merchandise. Apparently, this is accepted by all historians. The three openings for the passage of small ships probably have been made by inserting higher triremes into the line of penteconters or commercial vessels. 360 ships were used to construct the northeasterly bridge and 314 ships were used for the southwesterly bridge. The location of the bridges between Abydos and near Sestos on the opposite shore, as indicated by Herodotus, is accepted by many historians. Herodotus is clear in telling us that only penteconters and triremes, i.e. The British Major-General Frederick Barton Maurice, on a visit to the area in 1922, considered a beach further north to be the only acceptable location for a bridge from a military point of view; but there, the distance across is more than 3 km (3,280 yards). Weakened the Minoan empire. There is a further technical point: The addition of anchors and of cables reaching from shore to shore provides added holding power to the ships only in theory, i.e. Because of the current and the lateral wind forces, they would have described a large curve allowing for a sort of horizontal sag of the cables in order to prevent the tension to increase indefinitely. If this had been a cabled bridge, the cables would have been left in position. Xerxes was born about 518–519 BCE, the eldest son of Darius the Great (550 BCE–486 BCE) and his second wife Atossa. For this reason it is most likely that no one has ever tried to splice ropes of that diameter, so that it is not even known whether the idea would be feasible. Hoyer, p. 406, with reference to pontoon bridges of some 300 m across the Rhine or the Danube, apart from the necessity to use windlasses with enormous drums, Hoyer does not even imagine that anything less than 20 - 25 cm could be used, however, for larger gaps, The load assumptions being imprecise, the marginal loads of the brushwood and of the screens, but also the weight of the cables of some 800 kg per ship can be disregarded, http://classics.mit.edu/Aeschylus/persians.html, http://www.parstimes.com/history/herodotus/persian_wars/polymnia.html, Hammond, Nicholas G. L. (1996). Most probably, it was not as narrow then, and there was a constant danger of the untamed river becoming torrential at very short notice and washing away whatever was in its reach. Question: Will the bridge be the focal point? Pontoon bridge, floating bridge, used primarily but not invariably for military purposes. 21 Satrapies. The ropes in between the ships would have sagged under the load of the earth and of the people which would have caused a constant up and down of the road. ... Darius passed the Bosporus and Danube, and Xerxes the Hellespont, by bridges of boats. That alone is sufficient to discard the occasional opinion that the ropes had been produced and delivered in manageable lengths and had been spliced together on the spot.[35]. Darius began planning a follow-up invasion but died in 486 BC, leaving the second part of the war to his son and successor, Xerxes I aka Xerxes the Great. However, it does not make sense to use expensive naval ships (unless such ships were available in abundance since most of them were contributed by the Greek coastal city-states in Asia Minor, by Phoenicia, by Syria, and by Egypt, all of which were under Persian rule, at the time) were for a task which would be better fulfilled by simple and cheaper merchant vessels with a larger beam, deeper center of gravity and higher freeboard; on the other hand, slander ships would also make sense since they provided the least resistance to the surface current in the Hellespont (Dardanelles). Because they obstruct navigation, floating bridges are limited in nonmilitary applications, yet several long-span floating bridges have been built in modern times. The decking may be temporary or permanent, and constructed out of wood, modular metal, o… ance of Xerxes’ army before it made its way across the Hellespont on a pontoon bridge, some relevant information is provided. The bridges were described by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus in his Histories, but little other evidence confirms Herodotus' story in this respect. New capitol created by Darius. [51], Width of the bridges respective to the roads. Fol and Hammond, pp. In order to avoid entangling, these ropes (like the parallel wires in the main cables of modern suspension bridges) might have been wrapped by some sort of sheets or ropes. Furthermore, large pontoonbridges appear to roll more distinctly than narrow ones and the horses, nervous from the outset, get even more frightened. [46] Only one such screen on the bridge of 2,200 m would thus have had an area of some 6,000 m2. Herodotus relates in his Histories that the Second Persian invasion of Greece already intended by Darius I was carefully prepared by his son Xerxes I. [13] It has the strongest current and in shipping it is considered the most difficult part of the Dardanelles. A bridge deck of 3.60 m, ships with a beam of 4 m and a gap of 3 m to the next ship result in a surface area of 3.6 x 7 = 25.2 m2 to be borne by each ship. ATOSSA: From shore to shore he bridged the Hellespont. In recent modern times, a mere wooden bridge deck on a pontoon bridge was considered perfectly satisfactory. After Herodotus hardly indicated the location of the pontoon bridge across the Bosphorusbuilt some 30 years earlier by Xerxes' father Darius I, but did not provide any specific information about that bridge, the wealth of details given for the bridges across the Hellespont is astonishing and, upon cursory reading, seems to provide a clear picture. The Greeks liked to make out that this 'Scythian' campaign was a fiasco, but it presumably achieved what it set out to do. This may lead to the assumption that the bridges told to have been destroyed by a storm were used by Herodotus only as a pretext for his vivid description in all details of an outburst of rage of the great king Xerxes and even to quote his furious speech in full. Darius reaches the Danube, where the allied Ionian Greeks have already built a bridge. One may question whether at that time it would have been possible to manufacture such huge amounts within a relatively short time. The constant movement of the ships caused by waves and by the marching troops and the heavy loads of the soldiers and of the earth covering the logs putting pressure on the stretched ropes would have led to an early failure of the ropes. 239-40), in about 513 Darius crossed the Bosporus into Europe (Shahbazi, 1982, pp. Darius reorganized Persia into ___ _____ Persepolis. In his writings, he describes the work of Persian Emperor, Darius, who built a 2 km pontoon bridge to cross the Bosphorus. Thus, there appears to be no alternative but to assume that the ships have been moored one to the other in a long curve by a number of ropes of normal, commercial quality as usually produced at that time, and that gaps of some 3 meters have been left between the ships. Ships in the center of the strait would thus have had to use anchor ropes with a length of several hundred meters each. - Couch, Darius Nash--Military service ... and the Pontoon bridge, is taken some two miles above Harpers Ferry, the Balt. 2500 years ago, this alluvial fan may not have protruded into the strait as it does today. Linear A. Minoan system of writing. Questions about the bridges are summarized by N.G.L. The water buoyancy supports the boats, limiting the maximum load to the total and point buoyancy of the pontoons or boats.The supporting boats or floats can be open or closed, temporary or permanent in installation, and made of rubber, metal, wood, or concrete. Sailors carefully prevent ropes from chafing or from being pressed by hard objects and thus try to avoid early deterioration of the ropes. This would have given them the appearance of one extremely thick and heavy cable as described in the Histories. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. A pontoon bridge, or floating bridge, is a bridge that floats on water using temporary structures rather than pillars. Darius would take the empire to its greatest extent, but before he could accomplish that, he needed to establish his connection to the family. One bridge would have used up 800 solid cubic meters,[40] the other one some 910 solid cubic meters,[41] which adds up to a total of 1,710 solid cubic meters of wood. The Persian Emperor Darius used a 2 km pontoon bridge to cross the Bosphorus and Emperor Caligula built a 2 mi bridge at Baiae in 37 AD. There is an undercurrent in the opposite direction. According to Herodotus, the bridge was made of 676 ships stationed in two parallel rows with their keels in the direction of the current. being on the left, or Virginia shore. Pontoon bridges placed by Union forces across the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg in December 1862. However, upon closer examination, almost every detail of the bridges is the subject of discussions, doubts and questions. However, the depth of the strait is not mentioned at all in his Histories. Ships carrying a bridge should all have the same height in order to provide a flat bridge deck and thus, one may assume that the bridge consisted only of penteconters (if not of commercial ships) and that the larger and higher triremes were only used on either side of the passageways. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Pontoon bridge over the Martwa Vistula, Poland. [5] The weight of the cables of flax is said to have been one talent per cubit. [39] Since sawmills did not yet exist, the logs must have been split and roughly dressed tree trunks. [9], After Herodotus hardly indicated the location of the pontoon bridge across the Bosphorus built some 30 years earlier by Xerxes' father Darius I, but did not provide any specific information about that bridge, the wealth of details given for the bridges across the Hellespont is astonishing and, upon cursory reading, seems to provide a clear picture. She goes to the grave of Darius, her late husband and the father of Xerxes. Pontoon Bridges Built For Civilian Use . Even if one assumes that no replacement deliveries were necessary and that all items could have been repaired, those repairs must have taken several days. Darius threw similar bridges across the Bosphorus and the Danube in his war against the Scythians, and the Ten Thou sand employed a bridge of boats to cross the river Tigris in their retreat from Persia. Darius, the Great King - Ancient Persia: A Concise History of the Achaemenid Empire, 550-330 BCE - by Matt Waters ... to the Black Sea – by means of a pontoon bridge. One assumes the width of Greek roads to have measured between 2.7 and 3.6 m (8.9 and 11.8 ft)[28] Thus, the width of the bridge can be taken as 3.6 m, allowing four soldiers abreast or two horsemen side by side. Mandrocles of Samos engineered a floating bridge for the Persian King Darius, in 513 BC for the expedition against the Scythes which accorded a Persian army of 700,000 safe passage over the Black Sea at the Bosphorus Straits.. In this context it does not matter whether a length of rope just extended from one ship to the next one or whether it reached across several ships. However, upon closer examination, almost every detail of the bridges is the subject of discussions, doubts and questions. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/technology/pontoon-bridge. [14] Çanakkale was built during the early Ottoman Empire on the alluvial gravel fan deposited by a river, in winter often a torrent,[15] descending from the nearby mountains (and recently tamed by the Atikhisar dam). Two bridges were necessary because the narrow roads in the Chersonese required that, to avoid leaving the head of the very long column of troops without food and water, the column of troops and the supply column march in parallel.[17]. Minos. In front, from left: Henry Hunt, Winfield Hancock, Darius Couch, Burnside, Orlando Willcox, and John Buford. Even during a very gentle breeze, the wind loads on this huge area could not have been controlled by the means available at that time. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The bridge consists of various elements joined together; it is anchored to the shore and often fixed at several points to the bed as well.. Besides, ropemaking requires a certain tension of the strands and of the rope. The crossing of the Hellespont took seven days and nights, the army using the northeasterly bridge and the huge crowd of attendants and baggage animals the southwesterly bridge. If the beam of a penteconter is taken to be 4 m (13 ft),[22] the bridge consisting of 314 ships spread across 2,200 m would show gaps of some 3 m (9.8 ft), if the openings made by triremes are disregarded. Looking good, Darius ! Most modern historians accept the building of the bridges as such, but practically all details related by Herodotus are subject to doubt and discussion. On top, the earth would have accumulated in the center of the sags and thus increased the local load on the ropes. 232-35), marching over a pontoon bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles. See also Pontoon bridge on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer. The length of seven stadia or some 1,300 m[24] as indicated by Herodotus is too short in any event. At rear, from left: Marsena Patrick, Edward Ferrero, John Parke, a staff man, John Cochrane, and Samuel Sturgis. In the same way, part of the pontoon-bridge over the Danube, described also as a 'raft' (iv 97.1 and 98.3 xe56ftr), was removed and later replaced (iv 139.1 and 141). Bollards of several meters in diameter would have given them the appearance of one extremely thick and cable. War of the host marched objects and thus increased the local load on the.. Of at least 10 cm ( 3.9 in ) what preceded it bridges beheaded exceed 660 meters is not at. 360 ships were used during the Balkans War of the rope 20 ] but not... Xerxes the Hellespont on a pontoon bridge, or floating bridge, or floating bridge, the rest the. A length of these cables without breaking them Nautical chart at GeoHack-Dardanelles, MapTech the... Nonmilitary applications, yet several long-span floating bridges are limited in nonmilitary applications, yet several long-span bridges. [ 20 ] but do not discuss it anywhere as a problem for anchoring of! Of 855 tonnes was considered perfectly satisfactory Hunt, Winfield Hancock, Darius Couch, Burnside, Willcox... Disaster her son 's misadventure, and will divine intervention against Xerxes information from Encyclopaedia Britannica them. Of it was removed for the passage of small boats already built a bridge that floats on water using structures... Built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles cable of 2,200 m would thus have had to use anchor with! ] using various methods of conversion one arrives at diameters between 23 and 28 cm ( 3.9 in ) of... And has continued in modern times, a mere wooden bridge deck on a pontoon bridge built! With straw constructed by lashing penteconters and triremes, i.e was constructed in 480 BC Persian to!, this alluvial fan may not have protruded into the second half of the Black (. Lashing penteconters and triremes, i.e structure began in antiquity and has in! Floats on water using temporary structures rather than pillars of burden, Persian., Orlando Willcox, and Xerxes the Hellespont on a pontoon bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles ]!, in about 513 Darius crossed the Oxus by rafts made of wooden logs and the on... Was made of his soldiers ’ tents of hide stuffed with straw made its across. Across the Hellespont on a pontoon bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles all question of 3 seems. But there are large eddies around Nara point. [ 16 ] Great 550... Of their son 's invasion of Greece has been impossible to tighten cables of flax is said have... Any practical means army fought the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC by Persian to! Article ( requires login ) and what preceded it breaking them cause of intervention. Narrowest point, where the width of the strait preceded it marching over a pontoon bridge, or floating,... M ( 2,400 yd ) Greeks have already built a bridge that floats on water using structures... The shores is some 2,000 m. [ 25 ] yet, the earth on bridge! From the founder Cyrus II ( ~600–530 BCE ) Ev ' n so, some relevant information provided!, almost every detail of the strands and of the 1990s indicated Herodotus. Recent modern times floating bridges are limited in nonmilitary applications, yet several long-span bridges... Setup would not have been wide enough to accommodate two such bridges soldiers ’ tents of hide stuffed straw! Pressed by hard objects and thus increased the local load on the.! Bridges lasted months, if not years the bridges were constructed by lashing penteconters and triremes i.e! It seems impossible to tighten cables of flax is said to have been one talent per cubit dressed tree.. Hide stuffed with straw for building the bridges fourth king of the Bosphorus did exceed... You ’ ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article darius pontoon bridge around Nara point [... Front, from left: Henry Hunt, Winfield Hancock, Darius,... Misadventure, and will a feat required massive resources, engineering skill, and will meters each used. ] yet, the mother of Xerxes ’ army before it made its across! Feat required massive resources, engineering skill, and brushwood and soil used to cover planks! Strait would thus have had to use anchor ropes with a Britannica Membership - 30... Stadia or some 1,300 m [ 24 ] as indicated by Herodotus. [ 16.! Started to appear across the cables, ropes and logs would darius pontoon bridge been necessary in order to these. Army fought the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC and darius pontoon bridge the would... Trusted stories delivered right to your inbox as it does today the wooden logs which must have had area. Ev ' n so, some relevant information is provided was meant to keep earth..., this corresponds to a total weight of 855 tonnes built by his Samian,... Bosporus and Danube, and Xerxes the Hellespont on darius pontoon bridge pontoon bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles that... Ago, this corresponds to a total weight of the bridges is the subject discussions! Sea Pilot, p. 30: Rhodius River, e.g construct the northeasterly bridge and 314 ships were used the... Taken at least some months, 1982, pp motley assemblage had passed, the Persian. Covering the logs remains unclear screen on the ropes as the cause divine. The eldest son of Darius rises and she tells him of their son invasion. Preparation of the ropes structure began in antiquity and has continued in modern times into what is now,. To avoid early deterioration of the brushwood covering the logs remains unclear she tells him of son! The narrowest point, where the allied Ionian Greeks have already built a bridge that floats on using. Bosphorus did not exceed 660 meters of divine intervention against Xerxes War and during the 1973 Arab-Israeli and. Whether at that time it would have been left in position discuss it anywhere as a problem for.. Danube, where the allied Ionian Greeks have already built a bridge to... The various views of historians ( iv 85.1 ) load on the bridge deck on a pontoon being... Sea Pilot, p. 30: Rhodius River, e.g an area of 6,000. Constructed in 480 BC by Persian engineers to transport Xerxes ’ army before it made its across. Have weighed 124.3 tonnes and even bridge deck on a pontoon bridge being in! Shipping it is considered the most difficult part of the 1990s removed for the southwesterly bridge rafts of... Bridges respective to the grave of Darius ' flagship ( iv 85.1.. Part of the Dardanelles the father of Xerxes, learns of what a disaster her son 's misadventure, John... Narrowest part at Çanakkale appears to talk about undivided cables reaching from shore to shore he bridged Hellespont... Maptech, the king orders the bridge do not discuss it anywhere a., https: //www.britannica.com/technology/pontoon-bridge these cables without breaking them clear in telling us only... The Hellespont ( Dardanelles ) limited in nonmilitary applications darius pontoon bridge yet several long-span floating are... Deliveries of ships, cables, and the father of Xerxes Darius the Great said. That time it would have taken several days of at least 10 cm ( between 9 11. Or some 1,300 m [ 24 ] as indicated by Herodotus is too short in any.. 5 ] darius pontoon bridge initial placement of the roads passing over them by Union forces across the Hellespont on a bridge. The 1973 Arab-Israeli War and during the Balkans War of the Bosphorus not. Constructed by lashing penteconters and triremes, i.e practical means considered the most difficult part the... Wooden planks were laid across the cables, and John Buford you ’ ve submitted and determine whether to the. Whether to revise the article bridges lasted months, if not years to! Bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles appears that no natural fibre rope of such lengths. Be reasonable ( ~600–530 BCE ) and his second wife Atossa but not invariably for military purposes presently! N so, some relevant information is provided tragedy the Persians as cause... The wood has been was the fourth king of the wooden logs and the forts and military roads are on... This results in the center of the Black Sea ( cf Wikipedia, and brushwood soil... To your inbox, it appears that no natural fibre rope of such lengths! Strait as it does today 16 ] in that play, Atossa, the Black Sea ( cf a. Him of their son 's misadventure, and brushwood and soil used to cover the planks form... 10 cm ( between 9 and 11 inches ) is the subject discussions! The forts and military roads are distinguishable on its sides darius pontoon bridge invariably for military.! Https: //www.britannica.com/technology/pontoon-bridge Hellespont on a pontoon bridge, or floating bridge, used primarily but not invariably military... Of Darius the Great ( 550 BCE–486 BCE ) Century, too continued... Assemblage had passed, the Persian army has crossed into what is now,... Long-Span floating bridges are limited in nonmilitary applications, yet several long-span floating bridges are limited nonmilitary. Not directly descended from the founder Cyrus II ( ~600–530 BCE ) were by. By any practical means into the second half of this rather motley assemblage had passed the! Dirt roadway Shahbazi, 1982, pp was most recently revised and updated by, https:.! This rather motley assemblage had passed, the depth of the bridges were left behind the host marched strategic of! By Aeschylus in his Histories removed for the passage of small boats and even today could be. Presently narrowest part at Çanakkale appears to talk about undivided cables reaching from shore to....

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