Lost Tomb of Alexander

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Harry Hubbard
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Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by Harry Hubbard »

I am hoping for peer review from veteran participants of this fine forum. Have I gotten anything wrong? Thank you, HH
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgxMQBI-xF8
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amyntoros
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by amyntoros »

Harry, as the Pothos main forum is based on the historical Alexander I moved your post to the 'off-topic' forum. I only had time to do a fast scan of your video, but even so I suspect you will receive much incredulity from our members. However, as long as you are not linking to any paid services (i.e. your videos are now free) I see no reason for you to not be able to post here in the off-topic area, so welcome to Pothos.

Pothosians, please be polite. :)

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Paralus
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by Paralus »

The white lab coat's impressive.
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Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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agesilaos
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by agesilaos »

Don't they normally have straps, though?

KING Achilles? In Homer? While his father King Peleus survived to have Achilles' son , Neoptolemos retire to Thetideion to allow him to continue to rule long after prince Achilles died. Oops! Similarly no ancient ship had a rudder they used twin oars at the rear, nor are ocean going vessels comparable to riverine craft, nor any bireme able to make it across the Atlantic.. delusion.
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by Paralus »

The lab coat is most authoritative though. Clinches most arguments...
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Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους;
Wicked men, you sin against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander.

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Harry Hubbard
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by Harry Hubbard »

Well, here's another video. Hey, it's rough work but someone has to do it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jso8C2HMYgA
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by Harry Hubbard »

I'm in the off topic forum, but I would suppose anyone wishing to see artifacts from Alexander's Tomb might be on topic. The only argument against us is: IMPOSSIBLE. However, no one has proven any of the decipherments wrong. I would truly appreciate your peer review as I would suppose running a forum like this, you'd have more knowledge about Alexander than most. Thank you, Harry H
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
.... nor any bireme able to make it across the Atlantic.. delusion.
Something of an exaggeration, I fear. Hobie catamarans, smallish sailing dinghies, two man oared rowing boats etc have all made it across the Atlantic. Not to mention oared viking boats smaller than a bireme......

And the white lab coat IS pretty authoratative.... :lol: :lol:
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by amyntoros »

Xenophon wrote: Not to mention oared viking boats smaller than a bireme......
It's been a long time since I read up on the Vikings, but didn't they sail the very far north Atlantic? I.e., a cold and dangerous journey, but a much shorter distance shore to shore. Now, a discussion as to whether a bireme could make it from the Mediterranean to North America could be quite interesting, not necessarily to disprove Harry's argument but perhaps to educate on the subject of sea transport in the late classical and early Hellenistic period. Again, I'm trying to remember something I read (my books are in storage because of an impending move) but wouldn't the biggest problem of a trans-Atlantic trip be the food supply?

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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by agesilaos »

The biggest problem would be water supply, the Atlantic is full of fish :D The trouble with the bireme and trireme is that they are not structurally sound enough to withstand an Atlantic storm, even a Mediterranean one could do for a fleet, look at the Roman Republic won half its battles in the mist and lost half its fleets in storms :lol: One would also have to ask why anyone would attempt to cross an ocean in a battleship that had gone out of fashion over a century earlier rather than in the much sounder merchant vessels which could carry sufficient fresh water and possibly cross an ocean. Viking clinker construction made their ships much stronger than the tenon and mortice joints of a classical ship, a catamaran and a modern dinghy have substantial advantages in buoyancy and water soundness. It is not the size that matters but how the boat is built.
Last edited by agesilaos on Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by Xenophon »

agesilaos wrote:The biggest problem would be water supply, the Atlantic is full of fish :D The trouble with the bireme and trireme is that they are nor structurally sound to withstand an Atlantic storm, even a Mediterranean one could do for a fleet, look at the Roman Republic won half its battles in the mist and lost half its fleets in storms :lol: One would also have to ask why anyone would attempt to cross an ocean in a battleship that had gone out of fashion over a century earlier rather than in the much sounder merchant vessels which could carry sufficient fresh water and possibly cross an ocean. Viking clinker construction made their ships much stronger than the tenon and mortice joints of a classical ship, a catamaran and a modern dinghy have substantial advantages in buoyancy and water soundness. It is not the size that matters but the boat is built.
Oh dear! More terminological inexactitude I fear ! Any storm, depending on size and strength, can founder any ship, structural soundness notwithstanding and it is not true that ancient Mediterranean galleys were any more structurally unsound than other types. Secondly, whilst it is true that firstly the trireme/triereis had superceded the bireme as 'battleship' of choice, and also in Alexander's era the first quadriremes/tetrareis and quinqueremes/penteres had put in an appearance ( Alexander had some at the siege of Tyre), the bireme was by no means outmoded and for example seems to have been the most common type of vessel in the fleet of Nearchos. It is also completely untrue that clinker built construction is stronger than mortise and tenon/carvel built. Just the opposite is true, which is why much larger vessels can be built carvel fashion than clinker built, and this method came to dominate ship construction until iron and steel hulls came along [clinker build does have some advantages however, for a given hull strength, it can be lighter and more flexible for example]

However, I am pleased to say that Agesilaos is entirely correct that fresh drinking water would be the limiting factor for the bireme's relatively large crew. The bireme was certainly technically capable of such a voyage, but like the vikings for similar reasons, would have to make the trip by stages via Iceland and Greenland to obtain water.....
Still, Agesilaos is also right that a merchant vessel would be a much better idea for such a trip.
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by agesilaos »

How suitable...cod thinking :lol: Naturally eventually a storm will arrive strong enough to sink any ship, but a Mediterranean galley will be sunk by a storm of much less magnitude than either a Viking ship or a Mediterranean merchant ship. The galley has a high centre of gravity, which makes it unstable; its construction leaves it vulnerable to torque forces (they were long and thin and held in tension by what was , in effect an elastic band) ; If you can persuade the Greeks to part with Olympias, I'll get a longship and we can put it to the test. You may have difficulty finding a crew, though; at least one with which you'd want to cross the Atlantic. :lol:

Nearchos used smaller ships than the capital ships of the day because he was sailing from an area without the shipyards to build anything bigger, some had come cross country in kit form others had been cut in two on the Indus. It was a riverine fleet pressed into maritime service. It still hugged the coast rather than crossing open sea, however.

Which brings us neatly to those front steering oars and the rear rudder. Tacitus describes craft for the Rhine not for crossing an Ocean, no representation of any ancient galley shows any steering oars at the prow, nor would they work on a 'naus' warship, one cannot simply get the rowers to reverse their position on the benches as the benches are not actually benches but single seats, nor would rowing any distance with a rounded stern as a prow prove efficient or worthwhile, doubt they would sail very well either but Xenophon will know more about that.

So why would any Greek, and set out on a wild Ocean (they had been voyaging to Britain since the 6th century BC in the right sort of ship so they did understand what the waves of a tidal Ocean looked like), in fragile ships with totally wrong steering oars, before complaining that the Harvard dons do not understand Tacitus Mr Hubbard ought to consider that Tacitus is writing 400 years after the death of Alexander about boats on a river... as a chain of logic that's pretty weak. And of course they are setting of across an Ocean which they feared (the Greeks did not learn to swim) in a direction where they did not suspect there was any land until India. Suicidal tendencies or what? :shock:
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by Xenophon »

Agesilaos wrote:
......but a Mediterranean galley will be sunk by a storm of much less magnitude than either a Viking ship or a Mediterranean merchant ship.
That is a very debateable assertion. To begin with, whilst merchant ships (including viking 'knorrs' ) can sink, largely due to the weight of the cargo [The floor of the Mediterranean is littered with the remains of ancient merchant ships from a period of several thousand years], technically galleys rarely sink. Rather, they become waterlogged/flooded, but remain on the surface, which is one of the reasons galley wrecks are extremely rarely found......
...The galley has a high centre of gravity, which makes it unstable; its construction leaves it vulnerable to torque forces (they were long and thin and held in tension by what was , in effect an elastic band)

The stability of a vessel is not governed just by 'centre of gravity', rather the relationship between three points; centre of gravity, centre of buoyancy, and metacentre. Without wishing to get into technical details, it is the relationship between all three, called the metacentric height which governs stability. In any event, galleys have a low, rather than high centre of gravity.

Agesilaos refers to the tensioning device employed in galleys, but it was not "in effect an elastic band". Just the opposite, in fact, not designed to stretch, but to provide rigidity. Nor does this tensioning device, which the Greeks called 'hypozoma/girdle' have any effect whatsoever on "torque", or twisting, forces (how could it?).

It was originally an Egyptian invention and its purpose was to minimise 'hogging' and 'sagging'. When a long vessel floats on waves at sea, it can be resting on a wave at the bow and another at the stern, with a trough in between. Naturally a long hull will tend to flex in the middle, called 'sagging'. Similarly if a long vessel is supported by a wave in the middle, the bow and stern will tend to droop, called 'hogging'. By tensioning a strong rope from bow to stern, until it is as rigid as an iron bar, the hull is strengthened to resist these fore-and-aft forces. This ingenious device allows galleys to be longer and lighter, yet stronger, than they otherwise would be. The effect is similar to that of a bowstring on a bow, which prevents the bow stave from flexing forward at all.

My point about 'biremes', and even smaller galleys such as 'pentekonters',is that they were still plentiful and useful in Alexander's day. And that technologically these oared ships were just as capable of crossing the Atlantic as other types, despite their limitations......though I agree with Agesilaos that they certainly wouldn't be one's first choice......

Nor should my being pedantic in correcting mistaken sweeping statements about the capabilities of ancient ships in general, and 'biremes' in particular be seen as somehow supporting Mr Hubbard's views, which can only be politely described as eccentric in the extreme, and as Agesilaos points out, incorrect and based on flawed logic, such as the 'ad ignorandiam' fallacy.

I was merely following up on Amyntoros' comments about the capabilities of ancient ships.....
..but perhaps to educate on the subject of sea transport in the late classical and early Hellenistic period.
As to "suicidal tendencies", there were many who thought Columbus and other later explorers were so inclined....... :lol:

Nor should it be forgotten that ancient Mediterranean seafarers ventured out into the wild oceans despite their fears,e.g Pytheas around Alexander's era venturing north to the British Isles and beyond to discover and describe the 'midnight sun' and arctic, or the Carthaginian Hanno the Navigator who may have circumnavigated Africa in the 5th C BC.......
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Re: Lost Tomb of Alexander

Post by agesilaos »

It will shock you that I am not even going to accuse you of being 'pedantic' :shock: Hogging, doh! My mistake, long time since I read 'The Greek Trireme' . You being a bit loose yourself, though, classical galleys were not built in the same way as later carvel-built ships; the former were assembled keel - hull - ribs whereas the later were keel - ribs - hull, which yielded a stronger ship. Quite why I'll leave to you to explain :oops:

Another thing is that the ships depicted have open sides, you can see the features of the rowers, fine on the Assyrian ships the carvings were codded up from but something of a liability in the face of an Atlantic wave :lol:
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