Secrets of the Ancients

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Secrets of the Ancients: Caesar's Bridge
Caesar's Bridge
Season 1  |  Episode 2  |  The History Channel  |  May 24, 2020

In 55 BC, Julius Caesar arrived at the mighty Rhine. He was determined to get his legions across, but considered it beneath the dignity of the Roman army to cross the river by boat. Consequently, he ordered his men to build a wooden bridge over a river which was at least 400m wide, up to 8m deep and flowing at 2m a second. In his account of The Gallic Wars, he claims that from the felling of the first tree to the completed bridge, this massive structure was built in only 10 days. This program attempts to discover if Caesar was boasting. Engineer Chris Wise takes on the challenge and attempts to build a timber bridge across the North Tyne, in Hadrian's Wall country, another outpost of the Roman Empire, using the same techniques as the Romans had at their disposal.

In 55 BC, Julius Caesar arrived at the mighty Rhine. He was determined to get his legions across, but considered it beneath the dignity of the Roman army to cross the river by boat. Consequently, he ordered his men to build a wooden bridge over a river which was at least 400m wide, up to 8m deep and flowing at 2m a second. In his account of The Gallic Wars, he claims that from the felling of the first tree to the completed bridge, this massive structure was built in only 10 days. This program attempts to discover if Caesar was boasting. Engineer Chris Wise takes on the challenge and attempts to build a timber bridge across the North Tyne, in Hadrian's Wall country, another outpost of the Roman Empire, using the same techniques as the Romans had at their disposal.

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