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Alexander and the Conquest of Atlantis?

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Ancient Mediterranean and Europe
Forum Discription: Greece, Macedon, Rome and other cultures such as Celtic and Germanic tribes
Printed Date: 28-May-2020 at 13:25
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 9.56a -

Topic: Alexander and the Conquest of Atlantis?
Posted By: Tyranos
Subject: Alexander and the Conquest of Atlantis?
Date Posted: 05-Oct-2007 at 20:53
Seeking to conquer the only Empire which eluded him, he built Submersibles to take the battle to the legendary fabled Empire under the sea, or so some stories go...

This sixteenth-century painting from India shows Alexander the Great (356�323 B.C.E.) being lowered in a glass diving bell. Historians believe that Alexander used diving bells in warfare.

"Though submarines seem to be modern inventions, their origin goes back to the fourth century B.C.E. when Greek historians said Alexander the Great's soldiers used "diving bells" for attacking underwater. -


Historical accounts point out that man, bound to dry land by his lungs and the inexorable forces of gravity, has always sought to explore the ocean depths. The earliest record - from the Nile Valley in Egypt - gives us the first illustration. It is a wall painting that shows duck hunters, bird spears in hand, creeping up to their prey beneath the surface as they breathe through hollow papyrus reeds. The Athenians are said to have used divers to clear the harbor entrance during the siege of Syracuse.
And Alexander the Great, in his operations against Tyre, ordered divers to destroy any submarine defenses the city might undertake to build. While in none of these records does it actually say that Alexander had any kind of submersible vehicle, legend has it that he descended in a device that kept its occupants dry and admitted light. -


Posted By: dexippus
Date Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 12:17
Any claims that Alexander used submarine warfare are largely red herrings.  His interest in exotic flora and fauna may have produced later legends of his descent in glass jars. The earliest verified use of submarine warfare remains the failed attempt by the Turtle to sink a British warship in New York harbor in 1776.

Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 06-Oct-2007 at 12:28
Alexander didn't use a submarine but an diving bell.
Diving bells are open at the botton, and they are like a coffe cup upside down that are just push down the ocean a bubble of air with it. They are a lot older than the first submarines, and are not considered submarines either.
Aristotle spoke about the diving bell in its writings, so there is no reason why Alexander couldn't have one. Perhaps it was a common to see diving bells at those times used to rescue treasures from sunk ships, and Alexander just used it to take a ride.
Come one, we are talking about a time when the smarted people of Greece were creating things!
Something about the history of the diving bell. The whole article is in here: -

The History of the Diving Bell

by Arthur J. Bachrach, Ph.D.

Reproduced from - Historical Diving Times Issue 21 (Spring 1998)


The beginnings of the diving bell are undoubtedly in the use of primitive but functional devices, containers such as buckets or cauldrons. These devices trapped air when inverted and were placed over the diver's head before he entered the water.

Aristotle was an early observer of such practices. In the 4th century BC he wrote, "...they enable the divers to respire equally well by letting down a cauldron, for this does not fill with water, but retains the air, for it is forced straight down into the water." Many centuries later, in 1771, an unknown author, in an article on the diving bell in the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, offered an explanation of trapped air as it worked in a diving bell, with complications beyond those encountered in the use of a simple inverted container. "The air in a diving bell is compressed by the weight of the atmosphere before the bell is let down into the water. But when it has sunk 35 feet below the surface, the air contained in it is compressed by the weight of the atmosphere as before, and by the weight of 35 feet of water besides, which is equivalent to another atmosphere. Therefore the compressing force at this depth is doubled, and consequently the air in the bell will then be twice as dense as the compressed air that we breathe. As much air, likewise, as just fills the bell, when it is a the surface of the water, will, at the depth of 35 feet, fill only half of it, for as the compressing force is doubled, the same quantity of air will be reduced to half its usual dimensions. For this reason, the water would rise into the bell through the base or bottom of it, which is always open, and would fill the other half of it if there was not a contrivance for bringing down additional air enough to force out this water, and to keep the whole capacity of the bell full of air." (Vol. 3, 1771) He goes on to describe a device for bringing down fresh air and also to comment upon the problem of the air being heated.

Other observers have remarked that the heating of the air, by breathing and by pressure, posed a problem for bell divers. Aristotle, in his work Problemata, tells the tale of Alexander the Great. At the siege of Tyre, in 332 BC, he was lowered in a diving bell, also noted in the Roman 12th century Alexandriad which, in iambic lines of six feet or twelve syllables of verse (hence the term Alexandrine) relates the tale that Alexander had built "a very fine barrel made entirely of white glass" which was towed out to sea and lowered into the water. In the Alexandriad version, two companions accompanied Alexander and all were stunned by what they saw by the bright lights emanating from the diving machine. Alexander is quoted as observing, from what he had seen underwater, that "...the world is damned and lost. The large and powerful fish devour the small fry." Yet another story regarding Alexander's underwater adventures was published in 1886 in France. This book on Alexander reported that, at the age of 11, Alexander entered a glass case, reinforced by metal bands and had himself lowered into the sea by a chain over 600 feet long.


Posted By: YusakuJon3
Date Posted: 09-Oct-2007 at 01:27

I often wonder about that story of Alexander and the glass submarine.  It appears to have been used by later medieval romantic literature.

"There you go again!"

-- President Ronald W. Reagan (directed towards reporters at a White House press conference, mid-1980s)

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