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About agamemnus

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  1. agamemnus

    Roman Architectural Spolia

    Mmm, green marble. The figures at the end are all apparently missing, though... maybe it is because I only have Acrobat 7; not sure.
  2. agamemnus

    Roman trade ships -- how did they control the rudder?

    I added the sails to my ship if anyone would like to take a look. I posted the pictures at another site -- Sketchucation, on this thread.
  3. agamemnus

    How Prosperous were the Romans?

    Well, what about pirates and wars? Surely there were many more destroyed ships in the century before the start of Augustus's reign due to pirates and wars... the rather interesting chart you have there, Guaporense, doesn't seem to bear this out, though.
  4. agamemnus

    Another irresponsible "return" of artifacts

    Agreed. You know what else bothers me? China claims ownership to every Panda ever born and receives rent from them...
  5. agamemnus

    Roman trade ships -- how did they control the rudder?

    I just figured out a very simple and elegant solution. I can simply add four or five "gear-like" wedges to the top of the oar/rudder. Pair that with a ring formed in the shape of a circle with some matching outside wedges and you have a way to rotate the oar/rudder at both a variable weight and rudder angle. Model pics will come later-ish! Edit: Here are the pics at the bottom. Not really sure what's to hold the bottom part of the whole contraption (the gear) to prevent it from snapping under the weight. Perhaps some manually adjusted rigging lines attached to the mast, somehow. Connecting the right and left controls would help disperse some of the weight. If it was a large wooden rod, it might snap, so I think it'd be iron. I really don't know whether any such iron rods were found in any shipwrecks, though. Still, I'm not sure what the largest recovered ship was... as far as I can tell the ships in the shipwrecks weren't really too big. (excluding the Nemi ships)
  6. ASIDE. If the modern inconsideration of some lower middle-class neighbors in the US is any indication (blowing smelly cheap detergent out of your house, blowing gas in a neighbor's window with a loud and gas-powered leaf-trimmer while they are asleep, etc.) of how these same people acted in Roman times, I would not be surprised that villa owners chose to block off their outward-windows -- from both un-intentional and malice-driven sights and smells. In the Roman times, I guess it would be horse manure & human waste (sometimes unavoidable, depending on where your villa is.. location, location, location!), and various cat-calls and prank jeering. It's really no surprise at all that most Roman villae (especially city ones) were built inward. Walled in villae and shuttered windows keep the "barbarians" at bay.
  7. agamemnus

    Roman trade ships -- how did they control the rudder?

    Indeed interesting. I am starting to wonder how big the real average size of these things were. Tiny: http://www2.rgzm.de/Navis/Ships/Ship050/Image/050F0026.jpg Well, at least they had fish wells!: Edit: holy frack! http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/archeosm/archeosom/imatges/archeosm/mule.jpg
  8. agamemnus

    Roman trade ships -- how did they control the rudder?

    Yes, that's a problem. After reading Mott's 1991 paper more thoroughly, I also realized that the rudder needs to move along its support (which I haven't added yet) depending on the weight of the ship: a low weight means that the ship is high above the water and there is no pressure on the rudder. A large weight (when the ship is full of stuff) means the ship is riding low on the water and there is a lot of pressure on the rudder to move up. I thought of a solution to this -- make the top part of the rudder into two planks, and place the jutting out plank in the center to allow it to slide up and down. Another problem that I saw after I thought about this is that the rotation of the rudder would cause the iron pipe to move slightly up or down, and that would break the current casing. I didn't realize that universal joints were a possibility. Apparently, from the Wikipedia article on them, they were known since Greek times! This may solve the problem of the rod/paddle/oar/rudder not staying at one height. I'm not sure how you'd design a central rudder sweep, though... care to make a crude drawing? (maybe I could just join the two parts I have into one part? For such a long piece, it might have to be either made of crude steel or a thick piece of wood to hold together, though. Probably crude steel.
  9. agamemnus

    Roman trade ships -- how did they control the rudder?

    Two new screenshots after I did some more work.
  10. agamemnus

    Roman trade ships -- how did they control the rudder?

    http://img833.imageshack.us/i/70918991.png/ http://img600.imageshack.us/i/12307216.png/ Only thing I could think of for the mechanism so far. (no ropes/tackling from the sails to the rudders/oars added yet)
  11. agamemnus

    Roman rise and fall 'recorded in trees'

    The instability caused by the Antonine Plague probably contributed much more than any of the climate change in that period ever could. The sheer amount of soldiers that Roman armies could field (before this) was an enormous advantage against the Germanic tribes and against the Scythians. I don't really see how the Antonine plague could have been caused by climate change. (malnutrition wasn't a problem.. it was apparently caught by soldiers returning from the eastern border) Many cities in that era were devastated by earthquakes (especially in North Africa), as well... earthquakes aren't caused by climate changes as far as we know. Crop failure is a factor, I guess, for the Germanic tribes to resettle. But, they would never be able to do this without a weak Imperial army. The Roman Empire obliterated and/or re-settled whole tribes sometimes...
  12. agamemnus

    Roman trade ships -- how did they control the rudder?

    If there is no rope system.... for large ships they would need two helmsmen (one for each side), then, I guess? I say this because the width of the ship would be too great for one helmsman to handle... the oar handles would have a very big length and circumference, and you would otherwise need a rope system or very big arms.
  13. agamemnus

    London to Rome

    How could we tell if a town was a small town?
  14. I am trying to make a realistic Roman trade ship model. Does anyone know how Roman trade ships -- especially large ones (ie, around 50 meters in length) -- controlled the rudder? I have been trying to figure this out for a while now. I know that they used massive oars on the side of each ship, and that a helmsman situated on the roof of a small tent structure controlled the oars. From all the pictures and descriptions I have seen, though, the helmsman is seen controlling a wooden plank attached to an oar, and the oar is held in place by a series of ropes (tackling). The problem is that the helmsman could not possibly maneuver the oar more than a handful of degrees, because he'd otherwise need to have huge arms in order to move the planks. The planks would need move circular fashion, at an angle to the ship, since the oars are also at an angle. My conclusion is that some sort of rope system was used that controlled the attached planks, but I have no idea how it would work.
  15. agamemnus

    Digital Atlas of roman and Medieval Civilizations

    Thanks. This is extremely, extremely useful.