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Old June 11th, 2008, 01:35 PM   #1
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Naval battles in the Colliseum


[IMG]http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f29/*********/naumachia2.jpg[/IMG]

Witnesses of the time describe the amphitheater being flooded so fights between galleys crewed by gladiators could take place. How did they accomplish this?

Last edited by Nick; June 11th, 2008 at 02:05 PM.
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Old June 11th, 2008, 01:41 PM   #2
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Re: Naval battles in the Colliseum


I saw a documentary on the Roman Colliseum and they talked about how they had an elaborate pipe system that got it's water from nearby lakes and streams.
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Old June 12th, 2008, 12:41 AM   #3

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Re: Naval battles in the Colliseum


My problem is, how did they make the floor waterproof, and how did the floor support the massive weight of water?
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Old June 12th, 2008, 07:48 AM   #4

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Re: Naval battles in the Colliseum


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Originally Posted by Belisarius View Post
My problem is, how did they make the floor waterproof, and how did the floor support the massive weight of water?
I agree, especially because we know (and can see today) that the sub-flooring of the Coliseum was a warren of rooms and passageways.

The Coliseum was the scene for many staged theatrical events (in addition to the more famous gladitorial games and sacrifices). Entire scripted plays were performed to reinact ancient battles and other events of antiquity. It is entirely possible that the "accounts" we read today of sea battles being reinacted in the Coliseum were just plays in which models of triremes (or other such naval craft) were wheeled about (on the dry Coliseum floor) to simulate maritime maneuvers.

Then, as now, suspension of disbelief is a key component to enjoying a piece of dramatic theater...
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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:27 AM   #5

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Re: Naval battles in the Colliseum


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My problem is, how did they make the floor waterproof, and how did the floor support the massive weight of water?
If by floor you would mean the area above the underneath parts of the Coliseum, then according to my Art History professor, they would take the floor out and flood the underneath area ... doesn't seem all that logical to me as they would keep a lot down there.
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Old June 13th, 2008, 07:15 AM   #6
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Re: Naval battles in the Colliseum


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Originally Posted by Nick View Post
[IMG]http://i44.photobucket.com/albums/f29/*********/naumachia2.jpg[/IMG]

Witnesses of the time describe the amphitheater being flooded so fights between galleys crewed by gladiators could take place. How did they accomplish this?
I would love have seen this in real life! I was so close, born just 2000 years too late!
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Old June 14th, 2008, 03:51 AM   #7

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Re: Naval battles in the Colliseum


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My problem is, how did they make the floor waterproof, and how did the floor support the massive weight of water?
my question to! but you know romans the you cant really trust them !!^
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Old June 15th, 2008, 01:45 AM   #8

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Re: Naval battles in the Colliseum


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake Eyes View Post
If by floor you would mean the area above the underneath parts of the Coliseum, then according to my Art History professor, they would take the floor out and flood the underneath area ... doesn't seem all that logical to me as they would keep a lot down there.
I don't see that taking the props out would be that much trouble. Just assign some slaves to cart the stuff out for the day. It seems it would be more troublesome (and expensive) to construct the ships, as they would require skilled labour and material. Not to mention alot of work for something that would see so little use (though I suppose they might have simply disassembled some ships, reassembled them in the Colliseum, disassembled them after, and reassembled them back in drydock).

The thing I find most surprising is that they would have had to plan for this function when building the Colliseum, in order that the water could be retained in the bowl, the floor be removable, the pipes built, etc. I think it would not be possible to renovate the Colliseum for this purpose, it would have to be designed for it initially.

I might guess that they didn't really have the ships floating around on the water ... maybe it was just a few inches of water, and the ships didn't move about, they simply fought a boarding action between stationary vessels.

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Old June 15th, 2008, 04:17 AM   #9

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Re: Naval battles in the Colliseum


We Asians didn't waste so much money on that kind of performance. A few centuries ago, naval displays like that often took place on rivers while the emperors and his generals sat on high towers to watch.
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Old June 15th, 2008, 04:40 AM   #10

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Re: Naval battles in the Colliseum


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Originally Posted by haidang309 View Post
We Asians didn't waste so much money on that kind of performance.
True, but it`s not like Asian emperors were frugal, humble folk who avoided conspicuous displays of wealth either ...
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