Skip to comments.Salvaging Caligula [Nemi Ships, Caligula, and Mussolini]
Posted on 11/25/2005 4:40:21 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Nineteen centuries of foundered orgy looked up at the hydroairplane which last week waltzed high over Lake Nemi in the Alban hills back of Rome. And Giuseppe Cultrera, Etruscan scholar in the plane,* looked down from the vantage of his flying height through Nemi's waters and could see what none but groping divers theretofore had seenthe sunken Golden Barge whereon epileptic Emperor Caligula, great-grandson of Augustus, and his minions held their carouses.
(Excerpt) Read more at time-proxy.yaga.com ...
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Lionel Casson was my professor for intro classics course during undergrad days at NYU. Best prof I EVER had.
I'm a little jealous now.
When he explained the Greek chorus, he would sing and dance their parts as they would as they would perform the plays of Euripides, Sophocles, etc. He was truly amazing...
Caligula's Nemi ShipsThe Lake Nemi ships were two outsize pleasure barges built on the orders of the Roman emperor Caligula. They were not intended for use on the sea, but were built to use on the lake. Even so, they are built to the highest degree possible for Roman shipwrights. The barges were 70 m (200 ft) long and 18 m (60 ft) wide. They were built using the efficient mortise and tenon fastenings, with copper nails and lead sheathing along the hull. The barges were filled with marble and statues... The main interest in the Lake Nemi ships is that they prove that the Romans were capable of building huge ships, as the grain carriers were reputed to be. Before the excavation of these barges, scholars had often ridiculed the idea that the Romans had that degree of sophistication needed to build a truly large ship.
by Per ÅkessonCaligula's Floating PalacesIt took the obsession of Mussolini with all things Roman to finally prise the two huge wrecks from the depths of Lake Nemi near Rome. Using an ancient Roman waterway, he drained the lake and rescued the ships, an accomplishment captured on film that we access to illustrate this astounding story. Sophisticated ancient technology was discovered in the boats that transformed the understanding of Roman engineering overnight--the Nemi ships were a breathtaking find. Yet by 1944, the adventure had turned sour and the retreating German Army torched the boats. We reveal the mysteries of the Nemi Ships and the ancient technology that made them possible.
(quoting from The History Channel)
The reason this stuff is so fascinating is that you wonder if they didn't have ships well capable of crossing the atlantic.
I have frequently wondered that myself. I think they were far more advanced than the current generations give them credit for.
As a result, archaeologists know regrettably little about the construction and lading of ancient stone carriers, which must represent some of the most sophisticated technological achievements of the ancient world. It was precisely such ships that brought 16 enormous monolithic granite columns, each nearly 40 feet tall, from Alexandria to Rome for the façade of Hadrian's Pantheon. A century earlier, the emperor Caligula arranged for the transport to Rome of a massive 320-ton obelisk . The historian Pliny, upon viewing the ship that delivered the obelisk, described it as "the most amazing vessel that had ever been seen on the sea (NH 36.70)."
Romans In Rio?
Science Frontiers ONLINE
No. 28: Jul-Aug 1983
In 1976, diver Jose Roberto Texeira salvaged two intact amphorae from the bottom of Guanabara Bay, 15 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro. Six years later, archeologist Robert Marx found thousands of pottery fragments in the same locality, including 200 necks from amphorae.
Amphorae are tall storage vessels that were used widely throughout ancient Europe. These particular amphorae are of Roman manufacture, circa the second century B.C. Much controversy erupted around the finds because Spain and Portugal both claim to have discovered Brazil around 1500 A.D. Roman artifacts were distinctly unwelcome. More objectively, the thought of an ancient Roman crossing of the Atlantic is not so farfetched. Roman wrecks have been discovered in the Azores; and the shortest way across the Atlantic is from Africa to Brazil -- only 18 days using modern sailing vessels.
(Sheckley, Robert; "Romans in Rio," Omni, 5:43, June 1983.)
Romans in Brazil During the Second or Third Century?
Mysterious Earth | June 20, 2003 | "Michael"
Posted on 10/17/2004 7:47:13 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
A 320-ton obelisk would require a ship of at least 400 tons displacement or 363 cubic meters displaced water. If you figure the ship was 60 meters long and drew 1.5 meters of depth you get a beam of 4 meters, so these rough dimensions aren't too bad. But I'm probably off a fair bit in only assigning the ship an empty weight of 80 tons, could be double or triple that because of balast, freeboard, decking, lead plate, etc.
Nevertheless, A Nemi ship would have been in that size range, so they were well capable of atlantic crossing.
I wholeheartedly agree. Romans used Indian elephants (from India, obviously ;') in their games, and they got them there aboard ship. A single Roman galley was bigger than the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria combined.
Caligula and the lead pipe. I saw that it read CCAESARISAVGGERMANICI(US) Where did you get the information on the same dies that were cut into the pipes? I am very interested in inscriptions of Caligula (Non numismatic) Great post.
Claudius' Naumachia on Fucine Lake (Those About To Die, chap III)
Those About To Die (via Kurt Saxon) | 1950s (I believe) | Daniel P. Mannix
Posted on 11/24/2005 10:45:06 AM EST by SunkenCiv
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