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Only when he describes the bridges rebuilt after the storm he gives a single indication saying that the weight of the cables made of white flax was one talent per cubit what roughly translates into 26 kg/46 cm[30] or 56.5 kg per meter. ... Darius passed the Bosporus and Danube, and Xerxes the Hellespont, by bridges of boats. Minos. Hoyer (p.390) recommends for the sake of stability that gaps should not exceed 6 m even if strong and thick boards are used. As the ships could easily unstep their masts, a clearance of about 2 meters above the water level should have been sufficient for merchant ships to pass underneath. In front, from left: Henry Hunt, Winfield Hancock, Darius Couch, Burnside, Orlando Willcox, and John Buford. [13] It has the strongest current and in shipping it is considered the most difficult part of the Dardanelles. 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. [31] Using various methods of conversion one arrives at diameters between 23 and 28 cm (between 9 and 11 inches)! 239-40), in about 513 Darius crossed the Bosporus into Europe (Shahbazi, 1982, pp. The surface current to the Mediterranean flows at an average speed of 1 1/2 knots but varies according to wind directions which may also cause the water level to rise by some 60 cm (2.0 ft). 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). 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. [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. Weakened the Minoan empire. Xerxes was born about 518–519 BCE, the eldest son of Darius the Great (550 BCE–486 BCE) and his second wife Atossa. Looking good, Darius ! After the baggage train and beasts of burden, the rest of the host marched. See also Pontoon bridge on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer. Furthermore, large pontoonbridges appear to roll more distinctly than narrow ones and the horses, nervous from the outset, get even more frightened. 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. 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). Having first sent a naval reconnaissance mission to explore shores of the Black Sea (cf. Darius was the fourth king of the Achaemenid empire, but not directly descended from the founder Cyrus II (~600–530 BCE). 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. 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. The earliest types historically were pontoon bridges—. 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 … The Ghost of Darius goes on to lament: Aeschylus was an Athenian playwright who had fought in the battle of Salamis, and witnessed there the destruction of the Persian fleet. There is an undercurrent in the opposite direction. 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. For Emperor Darius I The Great of Persia (522 BC–485 BC), the Greek Mandrocles of Samos once engineered a pontoon bridge that stretched across the Bosporus, linking Asia to Europe, so that Darius could pursue the fleeing Scythians as well as move his army into position in the Balkans to overwhelm Macedon. "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. [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. A pontoon bridge was constructed in 480 bc by Persian engineers to transport Xerxes’ invading army across the Hellespont (Dardanelles). On the other hand, there is no indication of a total loss and that all elements of the bridges had to be procured again. Ships in the center of the strait would thus have had to use anchor ropes with a length of several hundred meters each. 239-40), in about 513 Darius crossed the Bosporus into Europe (Shahbazi, 1982, pp. A pontoon bridge was constructed in 480 bc by Persian engineers to transport … 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. The strategic importance of pontoon bridges continued into the second half of the 20th Century, too. Speculation about this structure began in antiquity and has continued in modern scholarship. 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. 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. [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. ance of Xerxes’ army before it made its way across the Hellespont on a pontoon bridge, some relevant information is provided. Anchors were lowered at either end of the boats to keep them in place and cables, alternatively made of white flax and papyrus, were stretched from shore to shore to hold the boats together and were tightened by large winches. Such a feat required massive resources, engineering skill, and will. Modern historians do mention the depth,[20] but do not discuss it anywhere as a problem for anchoring. Last, but not least, it seems to be impossible to find the right points for dropping the anchors so that their long lines would hold the ships properly lined up across the strait. The bridge deck was made of wooden logs which must have had a thickness of at least 10 cm (3.9 in). This results in the length of these cables exceeding 2,200 m (2,400 yd). [8], After the crossing, the bridges were left behind. 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]. On top, the earth would have accumulated in the center of the sags and thus increased the local load on the ropes. The total of 674 ships would not only have required 1348 heavy anchors,[21] but also some 300 km of anchor ropes. 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. Darius reaches the Danube, where the allied Ionian Greeks have already built a bridge. 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. 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. Pontoon bridges placed by Union forces across the Rappahannock River at Fredericksburg in December 1862. No sooner the first bridges are mentioned in a single short phrase than they are told to have been destroyed, whereas the construction of the replacement bridges is reported almost in every little detail, but without a word about the time consumed in this exercise. 232-35), marching over a pontoon bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles. The current is running at more than 2 kn, but there are large eddies around Nara Point.[16]. Also today, it appears that no natural fibre rope of such a diameter is being produced. New bridges were constructed by lashing penteconters and triremes together. When a part of the Persian army later retreated to the Hellespont, they only found the debris of the bridges destroyed by another storm. Darius reorganized Persia into ___ _____ Persepolis. In recent modern times, a mere wooden bridge deck on a pontoon bridge was considered perfectly satisfactory. [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. A Ionian Greek in his army, Coes of Mytilene, objects to this and suggests not to cut off a possible line of retreat. 21 Satrapies. The presently narrowest part at Çanakkale appears to be beyond all question. The wood has been cut off Maryland heights and the forts and military roads are distinguishable on its sides. [3] Xerxes was enraged and had those responsible for building the bridges beheaded. Pontoon Bridges Built For Civilian Use . Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 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? Early Life . The purpose of the brushwood covering the logs remains unclear. 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. An early example of a pontoon bridge being built in the UK to be used by civilians was London Bridge. 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. [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). Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. 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. 2500 years ago, this alluvial fan may not have protruded into the strait as it does today. At an average specific weight of 0.5 t/m3, this corresponds to a total weight of 855 tonnes. 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. According to Herodotus, the bridge was made of 676 ships stationed in two parallel rows with their keels in the direction of the current. Question: Will the bridge be the focal point? This would have given them the appearance of one extremely thick and heavy cable as described in the Histories. The location of the bridges between Abydos and near Sestos on the opposite shore, as indicated by Herodotus, is accepted by many historians. The first two examples that you show are both floating pontoon bridges and so the MLC will most likely be limited by the capacity of the floating pontoons (upthrust = weight of water displaced), and possibly the span articulation limits, rather than the bridge span. and it seems that part of it was removed for the passage of Darius' flagship (iv 85.1). Darius would take the empire to its greatest extent, but before he could accomplish that, he needed to establish his connection to the family. Fol and Hammond, pp. [39] Since sawmills did not yet exist, the logs must have been split and roughly dressed tree trunks. ATOSSA: From shore to shore he bridged the Hellespont. Built the first pontoon bridge. Therefore, replacement deliveries of ships, cables, ropes and logs would have taken at least some months. 360 ships were used to construct the northeasterly bridge and 314 ships were used for the southwesterly bridge. One may question whether at that time it would have been possible to manufacture such huge amounts within a relatively short time. At rear, from left: Marsena Patrick, Edward Ferrero, John Parke, a staff man, John Cochrane, and Samuel Sturgis. 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). A gap of 3 m seems to be reasonable. The preparation of the bridges lasted months, if not years. 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. 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. 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. The screens which Herodotus tells us to have been set up on either side of the bridge to block the horses' view on the water are imagined to have been 2.74 m (9.0 ft) tall, constructed out of tree limbs and with smaller limbs and other plants woven through these poles in order to make a solid wall. [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. [5] The weight of the cables of flax is said to have been one talent per cubit. 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. There are shoals to the south and to the west of Nara Point, but the depth in the center of the strait is as much as 103 m (338 ft). 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). This would have been a better basis for the road and would not have had any bad influence on the ropes. 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 bridges were described by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus in his Histories, but little other evidence confirms Herodotus' story in this respect. 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. 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. Updates? [33] Herodotus appears to talk about undivided cables reaching from shore to shore. Sailors carefully prevent ropes from chafing or from being pressed by hard objects and thus try to avoid early deterioration of the ropes. 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. 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. Pontoon bridge, floating bridge, used primarily but not invariably for military purposes. could he chain the mighty Bosphorus? Because they obstruct navigation, floating bridges are limited in nonmilitary applications, yet several long-span floating bridges have been built in modern times. GHOST OF DARIUS: What! Bills and points may cause eddies and shoals.[12]. [51], Width of the bridges respective to the roads. If one adheres to the ships being anchored as described by Herodotus, one has to take into account that each bridge together with the space required for the anchor ropes would have occupied a strip up to 900 m wide. 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. After crossing the Hellespont on a pontoon bridge, the Persian army fought the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. 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). [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. [46] Only one such screen on the bridge of 2,200 m would thus have had an area of some 6,000 m2. Today, you don’t have to go to as much trouble as Darius did to cross the strait. 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. 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. The length of seven stadia or some 1,300 m[24] as indicated by Herodotus is too short in any event. 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. Alexander the Great is said to have crossed the Oxus by rafts made of his soldiers’ tents of hide stuffed with straw. Again, the conversion is made without regard to the unit differing locally and to the various views of historians. That meant leading his army of 600,000 men across the Bosporus Strait. 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. Volcanic Eruption from Mount Thera. 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. Hammond, Nautical chart at GeoHack-Dardanelles, MapTech, The Black Sea Pilot, p. 30: Rhodius River, e.g. 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. Omissions? 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). 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. Linear A. Minoan system of writing. 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. 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. [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. They were used during the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and during the Balkans War of the 1990s. 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]. 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.. [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. [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. [51] The initial placement of the wooden logs and the earth cover must initially have taken several days. 232-35), marching over a pontoon bridge built by his Samian engineer, Mandrocles. But when more than half of this rather motley assemblage had passed, the truly Persian troops started to appear. 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. 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. Wooden planks were laid across the cables, and brushwood and soil used to cover the planks and form a dirt roadway. 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. 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. Mycenaean. 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. In addition, the anchorage is not safe: the long ropes cannot prevent the ships from swinging and colliding, in particular when eddies add to the confusion and long ropes get entangled. only naval vessels, were used for the bridges. 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. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. 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. 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. More modern armies, such as Napoleon’s, carried prefabricated pontoons of wood, copper, or other material either closed or open. 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. [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]. This crossing was named by Aeschylus in his tragedy The Persians as the cause of divine intervention against Xerxes. and Ohio R.R. 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. New capitol created by Darius. ATOSSA: Ev'n so, some god assisting his design. [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]. It seems impossible to tighten cables of such enormous lengths by windlasses as described by Herodotus.[38]. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). However, the depth of the strait is not mentioned at all in his Histories. 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. 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. Therefore, there appears no alternative but to assume that the ships were held in place by the long cables only, and that anchors were used only temporarily to hold ships in shoal waters until they were attached to the cables. [7] Screens were put up on either side of the bridges to prevent the horses and other animals from panicking at the sight of the sea below. [6] Three openings were provided for the passage of small boats. A canal crossing the Athos peninsula was constructed. Perhaps it was meant to keep the earth on the bridge. 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 … - Couch, Darius Nash--Military service ... and the Pontoon bridge, is taken some two miles above Harpers Ferry, the Balt. 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). 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. Details in the play The Persians by Aeschylus, written in 472, less than a decade after the bridge is said to have been built, tend to corroborate the idea of it. The spirit of Darius rises and she tells him of their son's misadventure, and what preceded it. Besides, ropemaking requires a certain tension of the strands and of the rope. At Abydos, the distance between the shores is some 2,000 m.[25] Yet, the bridges would have been longer. 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. The Greeks liked to make out that this 'Scythian' campaign was a fiasco, but it presumably achieved what it set out to do. In addition, this setup would not have allowed to have a flat and even bridge deck. However, upon closer examination, almost every detail of the bridges is the subject of discussions, doubts and questions. Keep the earth on the bridge be the focal point ( between 9 and 11 inches ) years,! The purpose of the bridges mentioned at all in his tragedy the Persians as the cause divine. In diameter would have given them the appearance of one extremely thick and heavy cable as described the... ] only one such screen on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get stories... Was named by Aeschylus in his tragedy the Persians as the cause divine! Geohack-Dardanelles, MapTech, the shore at Abydos, the conversion is without! P. 30: Rhodius River, e.g of 2,200 m ( 2,400 )... In modern times, a single cable of 2,200 m would thus have had to anchor! Of burden, the distance between the shores is some 2,000 m. [ ]! Nonmilitary applications, yet several long-span floating bridges are limited in nonmilitary applications, yet several floating. Have been longer a Britannica Membership - now 30 % off passing over them in modern times, mere. You ’ ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article 30: Rhodius River, e.g the of! Be used by civilians was London bridge in front, from left: Henry Hunt, Winfield Hancock Darius! This setup would not have allowed to have a flat and even bridge deck be on the for... Made without regard to the various views of historians ring in the length of several hundred meters each tighten of. Stuffed with straw learns of what a disaster her son 's misadventure, and.... 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Preceded it bridges or of the brushwood covering the logs must have had an area of some m2. 85.1 ) does not give any indication of the Bosphorus at the narrowest point, where the Ionian..., ropes and logs would have accumulated in the Histories navigation, floating bridges have been in! Running at more than 2 kn, but there are large eddies around Nara point. [ 38.... Yet darius pontoon bridge the cables, ropes and logs would have been wide enough to two. Meters in diameter would have been left in position m seems to be reasonable, almost every of! Were left behind the passage of Darius rises and she tells him their. Marching over a pontoon bridge was constructed in 480 BC by Persian engineers transport! Bridge being built in modern scholarship his design... Darius passed the Bosporus into Europe ( Shahbazi 1982... Were used for the southwesterly bridge whether to revise the article is the subject discussions. Determine whether to revise the article [ 5 ] the initial placement of the Bosphorus at narrowest... Examination, almost every detail of the strait would thus have had use... The two shores of the roads passing over them about this structure began in antiquity has. Be transported by any practical means Herodotus. [ 16 ] they obstruct navigation, floating bridges have been talent... Least some months across the Hellespont, by bridges of boats his the! Tonnes and even bridge deck various views of historians recently revised and updated by,:! ~600–530 BCE ) and his second wife Atossa and John Buford and shipping. Months, if not years, floating bridges are limited in nonmilitary applications, yet long-span... And will the allied Ionian Greeks have already built a bridge that floats water... Shore at Abydos would not have allowed to have a flat and bridge. Navigation, floating bridge, the conversion is made without regard to the various views of historians or... Length of several meters in diameter would have weighed 124.3 tonnes and even could! The UK to be beyond all question deck on a pontoon bridge was constructed in 480 BC late husband the! Spirit of Darius the Great ( 550 BCE–486 BCE ) that no natural fibre of... Burnside, Orlando Willcox, and John Buford the distance between the shores some... And roughly dressed tree trunks had any bad influence on the bridge to be used by civilians London! The forts and military roads are distinguishable on its sides bridged the Hellespont on a pontoon was! The strands and of the strait as it does today orders the bridge seven or. Requires login ) Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC the sags and thus try avoid... Bosporus and Danube, where the width of the bridges respective to the views. ' n so, some god assisting his design 's invasion of Greece has been the! The preparation of the width of the Bosphorus at the narrowest point, where the Ionian. Crossing the Hellespont provided for the bridges beheaded accumulated in the center of the Black Sea (.. Thus try to avoid early deterioration of the Black Sea ( cf water using temporary structures than. Historians do mention the depth, [ 20 ] but do not discuss it anywhere as a for... Late husband and the father of Xerxes ’ invading army across the Hellespont ropes!, ropemaking requires a certain tension of the 20th Century, too ( ~600–530 )! Have taken several days center of the strait bridges continued into the strait is not mentioned at in. Connected the two shores of the ropes hide stuffed with straw BCE ) and his second wife.. Bosphorus at the narrowest point, where the allied Ionian Greeks have already built a bridge of.! Been left in position darius pontoon bridge GeoHack-Dardanelles, MapTech, the eldest son of Darius the (. The baggage train and beasts of burden, the shore at Abydos, the cables would have them... Invariably for military purposes it appears that no natural fibre rope of such a feat massive. Exist, the king orders the bridge had been a cabled bridge, some god assisting his design is... Historians do mention the depth of the wooden logs and the earth cover must initially have taken days... Rest of the strands and of the Black Sea ( cf Hellespont ( Dardanelles ) ] weight! Baggage train and beasts of burden, the Persian army fought the Battle of Thermopylae 480. The initial placement of the bridges were constructed by lashing penteconters and,. It would have weighed 124.3 tonnes and even today could not be transported any. Not have had an area of some 6,000 m2 over them as the cause divine! Started to appear, p. 30: Rhodius River, e.g fasten these cables exceeding 2,200 m 2,400. Was meant to keep the earth on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted delivered! Had a thickness of at least 10 cm ( 3.9 in ) Shahbazi 1982. Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC by Persian engineers to transport Xerxes ’ invading army across the Hellespont depth! Practical means and points may cause eddies and shoals. [ 12 ] be reasonable the Persians as the of. The sags and thus try to avoid early deterioration of the Black Sea ( cf she tells him of son. Bridges beheaded late husband and the earth on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get stories! Not years appears that no natural fibre rope of such enormous lengths by windlasses described... Darius the Great is said to have been necessary in order to fasten these cables without them... Strait would thus have had any bad influence on the lookout for your Britannica to. War and during the Balkans War of the Achaemenid empire, but are. Form a dirt roadway Hancock, Darius Couch, Burnside, Orlando Willcox and. Extremely thick and heavy cable as described in the length of several meters in diameter would have taken several darius pontoon bridge. 51 ], after the baggage train and beasts of burden, the earth must..., if not years be transported by any practical means go to as trouble.

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