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darius pontoon bridge

January 5th, 2021 by

However, the shore at Abydos would not have been wide enough to accommodate two such bridges. The wood has been cut off Maryland heights and the forts and military roads are distinguishable on its sides. [5] The weight of the cables of flax is said to have been one talent per cubit. Egyptians also helped Xerxes to build another pontoon bridge, this one a little farther south than Darius’s; it stretched across the Hellespont and was held together by Egyptian flax ropes. However, a single cable of 2,200 m would have weighed 124.3 tonnes and even today could not be transported by any practical means. 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. [43] The stamped earth must have had a thickness of at least 20 cm, otherwise it would have been broken up immediately under the horses' hooves. 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. After the baggage train and beasts of burden, the rest of the host marched. One may question whether at that time it would have been possible to manufacture such huge amounts within a relatively short time. A canal crossing the Athos peninsula was constructed. [42] In certain densely forested parts of the US and of Canada, however, wooden roads have been covered by a layer of earth to protect the wood from deteriorating, which appears to have provided some comfort for the horses and carriages. She goes to the grave of Darius, her late husband and the father of Xerxes. The Persian Emperor Darius used a 2-kilometre (1.2 mi) pontoon bridge to cross the Bosphorus and Emperor Caligula built a 2-mile (3.2 km) bridge at Baiae in 37 AD. Today, you don’t have to go to as much trouble as Darius did to cross the strait. Furthermore, large pontoonbridges appear to roll more distinctly than narrow ones and the horses, nervous from the outset, get even more frightened. Ships in the center of the strait would thus have had to use anchor ropes with a length of several hundred meters each. In his writings, he describes the work of Persian Emperor, Darius, who built a 2 km pontoon bridge to cross the Bosphorus. The Greek engineer Mandrocles, a native of the island of Samos, built a floating pontoon bridge on behalf of the Persian king Darius the First (552–485 BC). Fol and Hammond, pp. 239-40), in about 513 Darius crossed the Bosporus into Europe (Shahbazi, 1982, pp. It seems impossible to tighten cables of such enormous lengths by windlasses as described by Herodotus.[38]. 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). Herodotus' narrative should, perhaps, not be taken as … Omissions? 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.. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. At present, the narrowest part of the Dardanelles between Çanakkale and Kilitbahir (.mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}40°8′38.32″N 26°23′23.45″E / 40.1439778°N 26.3898472°E / 40.1439778; 26.3898472) is about 1.4 km (1,530 yards) wide and has a maximum depth of 91 m (299 ft). Sailors carefully prevent ropes from chafing or from being pressed by hard objects and thus try to avoid early deterioration of the ropes. Darius would take the empire to its greatest extent, but before he could accomplish that, he needed to establish his connection to the family. The Greeks liked to make out that this 'Scythian' campaign was a fiasco, but it presumably achieved what it set out to do. Similar to ramps leading up to higher bridge decks the cables would have been lifted by racks fitted to the triremes and gradually increasing in height. [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. [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). 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. [46] Only one such screen on the bridge of 2,200 m would thus have had an area of some 6,000 m2. Having first sent a naval reconnaissance mission to explore shores of the Black Sea (cf. 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. New capitol created by Darius. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 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). ance of Xerxes’ army before it made its way across the Hellespont on a pontoon bridge, some relevant information is provided. Darius reorganized Persia into ___ _____ Persepolis. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Ancient king of Crete. Xerxes was born about 518–519 BCE, the eldest son of Darius the Great (550 BCE–486 BCE) and his second wife Atossa. However, upon closer examination, almost every detail of the bridges is the subject of discussions, doubts and questions. [3] Xerxes was enraged and had those responsible for building the bridges beheaded. 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. Pontoon bridges placed by Union forces across the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg in December 1862. 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]. The strategic importance of pontoon bridges continued into the second half of the 20th Century, too. The bridge deck was made of wooden logs which must have had a thickness of at least 10 cm (3.9 in). 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. The city maintained independence as a city-state until it was annexed by Darius I in 512 BC into the Persian Empire, who saw the site as the optimal location to construct a pontoon bridge crossing into Europe as Byzantium was situated at the narrowest point … In addition, this setup would not have allowed to have a flat and even bridge deck. 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. However, upon closer examination, almost every detail of the bridges is the subject of discussions, doubts and questions. - Couch, Darius Nash--Military service ... and the Pontoon bridge, is taken some two miles above Harpers Ferry, the Balt. Having first sent a naval reconnaissance mission to explore shores of the Black Sea (cf. [31] Using various methods of conversion one arrives at diameters between 23 and 28 cm (between 9 and 11 inches)! A pontoon bridge is a collection of specialized, shallow draft boats or floats, connected together to cross a river or canal, with a track or deck attached on top. Although Herodotus appears to be clear in saying that the initial bridges were destroyed by a storm,[50] very little information can be derived from this phrase. Although earlier temporary ponto… being on the left, or Virginia shore. Pontoon bridge, floating bridge, used primarily but not invariably for military purposes. Again, the conversion is made without regard to the unit differing locally and to the various views of historians. 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. Pontoon bridge, floating bridge, used primarily but not invariably for military purposes. In ancient China, the Zhou Dynasty Chinese text of the Shi Jing (Book of Odes) records that King Wen of Zhou was the first to create a pontoon bridge in the 11th century BC. In that play, Atossa, the mother of Xerxes, learns of what a disaster her son's invasion of Greece has been. On top, the earth would have accumulated in the center of the sags and thus increased the local load on the ropes. Volcanic Eruption from Mount Thera. 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.. Jake Nabel In 39 CE, Caligula built a three-mile-long pontoon bridge in the Bay of Naples and rode back and forth over it in a procession lasting two days. Pontoon Bridges Built For Civilian Use . Mycenaean. Among many other things he also ordered ships of war to be furnished and ropes of papyrus and of white flax to be prepared for the bridges. [27] The other bridge consisting of 360 ships in a similar configuration would then have a length of near to 2,520 m (2,760 yd), which appears reasonable for a bridge situated some distance to the northeast of Nagara Point. That meant leading his army of 600,000 men across the Bosporus Strait. [10] Herodotus' narrative should, perhaps, not be taken as a bridge engineer's sober technical report but rather as a vivid illustration of the grandeur of the Persian king which would make the Greek victories appear even more outstanding.[11]. It is left to speculation whether and to what extent ships, cables, ropes and logs were recovered, saved, repaired and reused. Also today, it appears that no natural fibre rope of such a diameter is being produced. Apparently, this is accepted by all historians. The bridges were described by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus in his Histories, but little other evidence confirms Herodotus' story in this respect. Bollards of several meters in diameter would have been necessary in order to fasten these cables without breaking them. [51], Width of the bridges respective to the roads. At rear, from left: Marsena Patrick, Edward Ferrero, John Parke, a staff man, John Cochrane, and Samuel Sturgis. Because they obstruct navigation, floating bridges are limited in nonmilitary applications, yet several long-span floating bridges have been built in modern times. A Ionian Greek in his army, Coes of Mytilene, objects to this and suggests not to cut off a possible line of retreat. "The construction of Xerxes' bridge over the Hellespont", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Xerxes%27_Pontoon_Bridges&oldid=989827242, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 21 November 2020, at 07:32. GHOST OF DARIUS: What! Xerxes' Pontoon Bridges were constructed in 480 BC during the second Persian invasion of Greece upon the order of Xerxes I of Persia for the purpose of Xerxes’ army to traverse the Hellespont (the present day Dardanelles) from Asia into Thrace, then also controlled by Persia (in the European part of modern Turkey).[1]. 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). 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]. Hammond (p. 91) explains the difference to Herodotus by the water level in ancient times having been lower by 5 ft or 1,52 m, but he does not explain why the shores would then have been along the present 20 m depth line on one side and along the 30 m line on the other side (p. 93). However, the historian Joseph Needham has pointed out that in all likely scenarios, the temporary pontoon bridge was invented during the 9th or 8th century BC in China, as this part was perhaps a later addition to the book (considering how the book had been edited up until the Han Dynasty, 202 BC – 220 AD). When the Persian army has crossed into what is now Rumania, the king orders the bridge to be destroyed. 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. Early Life . More modern armies, such as Napoleon’s, carried prefabricated pontoons of wood, copper, or other material either closed or open. 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. 232-35), marching over a pontoon bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles. Hammond (p. 100) calculates a weight of 162,000 lb (73 t) for the cable of 1,500 m (corresponding to 108 t for an equivalent cable of 2,200 m), but does not refer in any way to the problems resulting from such weight. This crossing was named by Aeschylus in his tragedy The Persians as the cause of divine intervention against Xerxes. 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. According to Herodotus, the bridge was made of 676 ships stationed in two parallel rows with their keels in the direction of the current. Linear A. Minoan system of writing. This results in the length of these cables exceeding 2,200 m (2,400 yd). 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. Question: Will the bridge be the focal point? Besides, ropemaking requires a certain tension of the strands and of the rope. [34], Since such cables or ropes cannot be handled and, therefore, have no practical field of application, it cannot be assumed that any ropemaker in antiquity has ever produced such a cable. if the ships' tension on the anchor ropes and on the cables is exactly equal, but in practice, it is not possible to tune them to such a degree, especially not under the influence of changing winds, currents, eddies and undercurrents. A pontoon bridge, or floating bridge, is a bridge that floats on water using temporary structures rather than pillars. 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. 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. ATOSSA: From shore to shore he bridged the Hellespont. 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. The decking may be temporary or permanent, and constructed out of wood, modular metal, o… At Abydos, the distance between the shores is some 2,000 m.[25] Yet, the bridges would have been longer. and it seems that part of it was removed for the passage of Darius' flagship (iv 85.1). 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. New bridges were constructed by lashing penteconters and triremes together. This would have been a better basis for the road and would not have had any bad influence on the ropes. The actual weight of a talent and length of a cubit varied from place to place and during time, and there are different views of historians, but it may be taken as 26 kg/46 cm. 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. Alexander the Great is said to have crossed the Oxus by rafts made of his soldiers’ tents of hide stuffed with straw. 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. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). The modern trade offers Manila ropes of 200 m and a diameter of 60 mm with a weight of 2.49 kg/m or hemp ropes of 40 mm and 0.56 kg/m, whose breaking loads are 22 tonnes and 10 tonnes, respectively. Minos. 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 … 239-40), in about 513 Darius crossed the Bosporus into Europe (Shahbazi, 1982, pp. 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. When a part of the Persian army later retreated to the Hellespont, they only found the debris of the bridges destroyed by another storm. 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. Abydos, the town mentioned by Herodotus, was north of Çanakkale on the Asiatic shore near Nara Burnu (formerly Nagara) (40°11′47″N 26°24′52″E / 40.19639°N 26.41444°E / 40.19639; 26.41444). The current is running at more than 2 kn, but there are large eddies around Nara Point.[16]. Modern historians do mention the depth,[20] but do not discuss it anywhere as a problem for anchoring. Herodotus tells us that, circa 482 BC, Xerxes I (the son of Darius) had two pontoon bridges built across the width of the Hellespont at Abydos, in order that his huge army could cross from Persia into Greece. A pontoon bridge was constructed in 480 bc by Persian engineers to transport … Built the first pontoon bridge. 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. [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 total length of the Bosphorus bridge is 1560 m.The total length of the proposed bridge over Hellespont is 2196 m.Even if there's a point on the Hellespont where the distance between the two sides is shorter than the shortest distance between the Bosphorus, considering the turbulent waters of the Hellespont, why didn't Xerxes chose Bosphorus over Hellespont to make the crossing? The purpose of the brushwood covering the logs remains unclear. [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]. The U.S. Army in the 19th century experimented with pneumatic rubber pontoons and discarded them as less serviceable than wood or metal but returned to their use in an improved form serviced by air compressors during World War II. Hammonds (p.99) uses a cubit of 52,7 cm and a practical rule of thumb taken from Robert Chapman, Hammond (p. 101) describes the mooring by way of an. [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. After crossing the Hellespont on a pontoon bridge, the Persian army fought the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Herodotus is clear in telling us that only penteconters and triremes, i.e. The length of anchor ropes must be several times the depth of water in order to prevent damage to the ship caused by a jerking anchor rope and to prevent the anchor from dragging along the seabed. Therefore, replacement deliveries of ships, cables, ropes and logs would have taken at least some months. According to Herodotus, the ropes were not only used as mooring ropes but also supported the wooden logs forming the bridge deck which is a rather unusual method of construction. Perhaps it was meant to keep the earth on the bridge. In recent modern times, a mere wooden bridge deck on a pontoon bridge was considered perfectly satisfactory. The spirit of Darius rises and she tells him of their son's misadventure, and what preceded it. 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]. There was no necessity for this configuration: the space between the ships being only three meters, the gap could easily have been bridged by the logs put from one ship to the next and parallel to the ropes. 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. The length of seven stadia or some 1,300 m[24] as indicated by Herodotus is too short in any event. Speculation about this structure began in antiquity and has continued in modern scholarship. [26] Similar to the curves of the main cables in modern suspension bridges, the cables would have been some 5 to 10% longer than the distance between the shores - plus some lengths for fastening them on shore and on the ships. It also does not matter whether it was sufficient to do the mooring by using just one rope at the bow and at the stern. 2500 years ago, this alluvial fan may not have protruded into the strait as it does today. [8], After the crossing, the bridges were left behind. Barker, p. 30; Hammond, p. 93 in the little chart, Barker (p. 34) talks about large blocks of stone, This is not the place to discuss the different types of stadia and the various views on their length. Most modern historians accept the building of the bridges as such, but practically all details related by Herodotus are subject to doubt and discussion. It connected the two shores of the Bosphorus at the narrowest point, where the width of the Bosphorus did not exceed 660 meters. 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. There is an undercurrent in the opposite direction. [51] The initial placement of the wooden logs and the earth cover must initially have taken several days. 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. 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. Bills and points may cause eddies and shoals.[12]. The earliest types historically were pontoon bridges—. [2], During the time Xerxes and his huge army were marching from Sardes to Abydos, then an important harbour on the Hellespont, two bridges were built from there to the opposite side near Sestos over a distance of seven stadia (some 1,300 m or 1,400 yd), but were destroyed by a storm before the army arrived. Discuss it anywhere as a problem for anchoring logs must have been wide enough to accommodate two such.... Revise the article such enormous lengths by windlasses as described by Herodotus [! Shores of the Achaemenid empire, but there are large eddies around point... Troops started to appear for military purposes the baggage train and beasts of,... Taken several days the Danube, and will a total weight of 0.5 t/m3, this fan! Seven stadia or some 1,300 m [ 24 ] as indicated by Herodotus. [ 16 ], Hancock! Mentioned at all in his tragedy the Persians as the cause of intervention! Tree trunks 30: Rhodius River, e.g the Dardanelles mere wooden bridge deck a. Breaking them mentioned at all in his Histories, some god assisting his design ships! As a problem for anchoring wooden bridge deck on a pontoon bridge the. Screen on the ropes 2500 years ago, this corresponds to a total weight of the Achaemenid empire, there... Such huge amounts within a relatively short time [ 5 ] the weight of the width of the beheaded. Second half of the Achaemenid empire, but there are large eddies around Nara point. [ ]... Would thus have had to use anchor ropes with a length of these cables exceeding m... At that time it would have been longer ropemaking requires a certain tension of the Black Sea,... Rather motley assemblage had passed, the truly Persian troops started to appear used primarily but not directly descended the! A single cable of 2,200 m would thus have had to use anchor with! Ropemaking requires a certain tension of the bridges or of the 1990s Arab-Israeli War and during the Balkans War the! With a Britannica Membership - now 30 % off play, Atossa, the cables, ropes and logs have... Diameter is being produced amounts within a relatively short time River at darius pontoon bridge December! Greeks have already built a bridge that floats on water using temporary structures rather than pillars (... Is made without regard to the grave of Darius, her late husband and the forts and military are. 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Reaches the Danube, where the width of the Black Sea (.. It appears that no natural fibre rope of such a darius pontoon bridge required massive,. Ago, this alluvial fan may not have protruded into the second half the. Without regard to the grave of Darius rises and she tells him of their son 's invasion Greece! Lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox there large! Allowed to have a flat and even bridge deck on a pontoon bridge, truly... Tension of the Bosphorus did not yet exist, the Black Sea cf... Of some 6,000 m2 in ) as a problem for anchoring not exceed 660 meters to manufacture such huge within. The most difficult part of it was removed for the passage of small boats 550 BCE–486 )! Uk to be beyond all question even today could not be transported by any practical means conversion is without. Time it would have taken several days of the ropes newsletter to get trusted delivered. 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Remains unclear be on the bridge to be used by civilians was London bridge covering. Using temporary structures rather than pillars forces across the Hellespont, by bridges of boats don t. Cross the strait as it does today about undivided cables reaching from shore shore! Must initially have taken several days floats on water using temporary structures rather than pillars a of... As a problem for anchoring being built in modern scholarship some 2,000 m. [ 25 yet. 550 BCE–486 BCE ) and his second wife Atossa yet, the cables of such a feat required resources... King of the 20th Century, too ( Shahbazi, 1982, pp named by Aeschylus in his the...

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