Saturday, 16 June 2012

Ancient Roman Settlements in the Participant Countries



Tabula Traiana is a monument erected by the opponent of King Decebal, The Emperor Trajan, to mark the triumphant march of the Roman imperial troops to Dacia, and to commemorate the victories of the Roman Empire over the Kingdom in the year 105.
The monument was created about 2,000 years ago, at the exit from the Small Gorges, in the Serbian Banat, not far from the statue of Decebal – a modern statue curved in the cliff. There used to be ten Tabule curved in the stone, but only one survived to the present times. There can still be seen four drawings and prints, the rest being destroyed.
The Tabula has a length of 4 m and a height 1.75 m. It is fixed in stone and on it there are represented two dolphins floating, and an eagle in the sky. The figurines and the ornaments are carved in relief, and the writing is chiseled in stone. The Tabula had suffered because of the bad weather and hard times. The rock on which it is fixed was erected above the water when the Iron Gates Dam constructions began in the 1960s.
The inscription Tabula Traiana lasted from antiquity until the 1960s,  when the Organization of complex water-power station called The Iron Gates covered the area with water. However, there was a good decision, and it was erected higher, above the water.
On this Tabula we can read that the Emperor dag the mountains: \"Montibus excisis\", making it go, \"viam fecit\".
The Tabula Traiana is the only which survived of the ten tabule creted at the beginning, dug in rock. It is still alive now as it was moved approximately 30 feet above the original place.
In 1856 when the water did not have the same level as today, it is said that you could see 4 tabule from the 10. Also in that period,  the Dacian wars to bypass the Iron Gates and to streamline the navigation from Pannonia Inferior to the Danube, Trajan decided on cutting a navigable canal parallel to the shore of a concert close to him and the fact would be recorded also in an inscription: \"Fluminae tutam Danubii derivato navigationem fecit\". That channel was over 3 miles long, and it was used until the modern era, becoming useless with the creation of provisions for the Iron Gates I.


Trajan’s Bridge in Drobeta Turnu Severin

 Trajan's bridge was built between the years 103 to 105 at the order of the Emperor Trajan, by the famous architect Apollodor from Damascus. It was the longest bridge in the Roman Empire (1135 m), which made easier the passage of the Romans to conquer Dacia.
Ancient sources called the bridge architect Apollodor from Damascus for his skills in construction, both civil and military. He chose as point Pontes-Drobeta, because here the Danube offered the best conditions for such a construction. They looked for a place without cataracts, where the bed wass right, neither too broad nor too deep. In front of the water course, the actual city Severin makes  the waters calm down, and the broken Partite iron could support the weight of the monument. The Monography of the bridge written by Apollodor from Damascus and about which the well-known historian Procopius spoke in the 6th century was lost. Most of the news about the bridge we have come from another historic, who knew very well Apollodor’s monography, Cassius Dio (II-III centuries AD). By the X century, the Byzantine Emperor Cons-Porphirogenet talked about the bridge as being from the border of Hungary, at a distance of three days from Belgrade. In the Middle Ages, at the beginning of the 16th century, Paulus Iovius, tells us that the bridge is located next to Severin.
The ruins of the bridge have been studied for the first time in 1689 by Marsigli, the Austrian military engineer, who wanted to build a bridge right on place where Trajan’s bridge used to be, but he failed. He tried some architectural reconstructions, and he described them thoroughly. In 1856, when the Danube waters from continuing drought had shrunk so much that all remnants of legs come up.  This allowed an Austrian to make researches on the spot. The technique was studied at the beginning of the year 1906 by the engineer Edgar Duper-rex, who published a study and a reconstitution of the bridge.
The length of the bridge, according to the ancient information was 1,134.90 m, a length which is considered to be accurate. The ends of the bridge were brick portals, loaded with trophies and, in order to be spared easier to fire and the damage of the barbarians, they were made only from the concrete.
The studies done in 1856, tell us that the feet of the bridge were 33 m long and 19 m wide, and they were equipped with sharp teeth fangs in front and behind, to cleave the water.
Today we can see only the foot bridge in the Park Museum Iron Gates Region.
Cotorogea Ana-Maria
Lorin Salagean Technical College

January 2012

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