Placeholder Image

字幕列表 影片播放

  • Ambition... Conquest

  • Lost... Murder...

  • and the power of unrivaled technology.

  • These are the cornerstones in the

  • foundation of the Roman Empire.

  • They were driven by a kind of collective

  • cultural ego. Roman's colossal

  • building projects:

  • Stadiums...

  • Palaces...

  • Roads...

  • Aquaducts...

  • span 3 continents and

  • unleash the power and promise of the

  • world's most advanced civilizations.

  • These structures became symbols of

  • that idea of Rome.

  • But while Romans

  • dominated the landscape with their

  • massive feats of construction,

  • they were ultimately powerless to

  • prevent their own self-destruction.

  • March 15th, 44 BC.

  • The most powerful man in the world

  • lay lifeless on the floor of the Roman

  • Senate.

  • As a General he nearly doubled

  • the size of the Roman Empire. As a

  • Politician he engineered a stunning

  • rise to power but now this

  • battled-scarred warrior had been

  • slayed in Rome and by Romans.

  • His name was Gaius Julius Caesar.

  • Caesar's rise to power was predicated

  • on him wanting to have the best

  • standing in the Roman State. He seemed

  • to want too much power for himself.

  • He didn't want to share power with others

  • and this is what led directly to his

  • assassination.

  • Decades earlier as an

  • ambitious young general, Caesar had

  • recognized that the road to glory in

  • Rome began on battlefields far from it.

  • His thirst for military conquest would

  • spawn construction of one of Rome's most

  • intimidating feats of engineering.

  • 55 BC

  • Julius Caesar is leading 8 Roman legions.

  • A total of 40,000 men north through Gaul.

  • A Roman Providence encompassing modern

  • France, Belgium and Switzerland.

  • He wants to go to Germania, to Germany,

  • and cross the Rhine

  • because no Roman Commander has yet done so.

  • He wants to be as great a conqueror as

  • Alexander the Great. Go beyond

  • what is known.

  • The Rhine River

  • lies on the edge of what is known.

  • For centuries

  • it has been a buffer protecting

  • Germanic tribes from Roman

  • expansion. No previous army could cross

  • it with the might needed for conquest.

  • But Caesar is unlike any previous warrior.

  • He could have gone by boat but what is

  • that for Julius Caesar to go by boat.

  • A row boat? you know Are you going to put 8

  • legions on a row boat & go across?

  • No, man! They need to march across.

  • They need to be on horseback.

  • From the engineering point of view, the

  • difficulties of constructing a bridge

  • over such a river are enormous in relationship

  • to the depth of the water and the

  • forceful current. If you bare in mind

  • that this had to be done in a short

  • period of time due to military needs.

  • The works is actually truly exceptional.

  • The bridge would need to be four football

  • fields long and sustain 40,000 soldiers.

  • Despite the Rhine's width, depth

  • and strong currents,

  • Julius Caeser is determined to succeed.

  • To cross a river that size with a bridge

  • is something which plays well with an

  • audience back at home but of course it's something that

  • plays extremely well with the audience

  • standing on the other side of (across) the river

  • who are going to be

  • awestruck when they see this happening.

  • With the speed and efficiency of a well

  • oiled machine, Caesar's soldiers

  • methodically transformed local timber into an

  • expanding bridge.

  • With every hour an

  • engineering miracle inches closer

  • to the Rhine's elusive northern bank.

  • It's almost as if a spaceship, nowadays,

  • the size, let's say, of half of Manhattan

  • capable of some magnetic device that

  • will lift buildings up in the air.

  • That would be a pretty frightening thing.

  • Something that we couldn't really grasp

  • at all.

  • The foundation of the bridge was

  • a series of wooden piles driven into

  • the bedrock of the river.

  • Each pile was a foot and a half thick.

  • Towards the middle of the bridge,

  • they had to be up to 30 feet tall

  • to reach from the surface to the bottom.

  • By driven the piles in diagonally,

  • Caesar's engineers had added

  • extra stability to the bridge.

  • When they drove the pilings in at an angle

  • and connected them, in many ways they are

  • doing what carpenters do when they are

  • building a sawhorse. With the legs angled

  • it utilizes forces to keep from being

  • pushed over making it a stable work space.

  • The sloping power offers a lot more

  • strength against the force of

  • the river and the flooding of the river

  • but it's much more difficult to drive

  • them into the riverbed

  • than it is to drive a vertical pile.

  • They would have had to work very carefully

  • with wooden frames to push them into

  • the riverbed. On the upstream side, the

  • piles leaned in the direction of the

  • current. 40 feet downstream the

  • corresponding piles leaned against the

  • current. Each set of piles were joined

  • by a long connecting beam two feet thick.

  • Lengths of timber were then laid against the

  • beams and the surface was finished

  • with tightly wrapped bundles of sticks.

  • The design of the bridge was innovative

  • but what made this engineering feat even

  • more astounding is the speed in which it

  • was built. Just 10 days after ordering

  • it's construction Caesar marched across

  • his bridge and toward his destiny. If we

  • tried to do that today, we would never

  • be able to build something like that in so

  • few days with that kind of technology.

  • We could match that feat today if we had

  • thousands of loyal, sweating soldiers

  • totally dedicated to Caesar and the

  • objective of crossing the Rhine River to

  • terrorize the Germans. Caesar had

  • estimated the size of the Germanic forces

  • at 430,000. More than 10 times the size

  • of his army. When the Germans saw the

  • Romans legions rolling over the Rhine,

  • they quickly fled to higher ground.

  • For the next 18 days, Caesar freely

  • explored the territory north of the Rhine

  • encountering no resistance. Then he

  • crossed back over his bridge & dismantled

  • it having made an unmistakeable point.

  • It is symbolic of this that Rome can go

  • anywhere. And to take it even further

  • Julius Caesar can go anywhere. Caesar's

  • bridge was an early indication of his

  • single-minded ambition

  • propelled him to unparallel power

  • but would also prove to be his downfall.

  • A decade later that ambition would

  • When he was declared Rome's first

  • dictator for life at the age of 55

  • in 44 BC whispers of assassination began

  • to whisper through the halls of the

  • Roman senate. He makes certain moves

  • that suggest that he might want to be

  • worshiped as a god that his ambition

  • goes so far beyond the limits of what the

  • Romans themselves and particular Roman

  • Senators that he was assassinated.

  • In life, Julius Caesar forever altere

  • Rome's political landscape. In death, he

  • would in body both the potential and the

  • peril of absolute power. When Caesar was

  • assassinated there was no guarantee

  • that anything would happen except that

  • Rome would fall apart completely.

  • This assassination caused an enormous

  • shock & naturally caused a great uprising

  • among the people as well.

  • Caesar's rein was a major turning point

  • in Rome's political history. His conquest

  • of Gaul greatly expanded the reach of the

  • Roman influence. His consolation of power

  • marked the death of the Roman republic

  • ruled by democratically elected Senators

  • and consuls. And the birth of an empire in

  • which tyrannical empires could rule with

  • absolute authority. Some would use their

  • power to build magnificent engineering

  • marvels. The vanity and excess of others

  • would push them empire on the brink of

  • destruction. Through it all Rome would

  • grow to the most powerful and advanced

  • civilization the world had ever seen.

  • Today Rome is a 21st century city where

  • the ancient and modern collide.

  • From Rome we can learn everything,

  • everything because Rome was the "set",

  • let's call it, of the history of the world

  • for at least 1,000 years. Rome is the

  • center of an immense empire which began

  • in Britannia and stretched to Armenia and

  • then to Africa and to Germany. It was an

  • extraordinary empire.

  • Roman legend says the city was founded

  • in 753 BC by Romulus and Remus, 2 brothers

  • that were abandoned as infants and raised

  • by a she-wolf. The 2 brothers set out to

  • build their own city on the banks of the

  • Tiber River but a disagreement as to who

  • would rule it ended in murder.

  • Remus was killed at the hands of Romulus

  • who whom the City of Rome is named.

  • It would not be the last time that

  • bloodshed produced a new Roman ruler.

  • Civil War is actually one of the defining

  • features of the growth of the Roman

  • The story, the tradition, of Romulus and

  • Remus is one that reverberates and echos

  • throughout Roman history.

  • Initially, Rome was one of countless small

  • kingdoms jockeying for power in central

  • Italy but unlike many of it's neighbors who

  • were suspicious of outsiders, Rome was a

  • safe haven for ambitious outcasts.

  • Romulus said that given we don't have a

  • population, I'll create an asylum,

  • I will create a sort-of a free-zone for

  • anybody: runaway slaves, pirates,

  • whomever, come and be part of this great

  • idea called "Rome" which is a very unique

  • attitude and said from the very begining

  • it seemed that the Romans were very open.

  • This openness encouraged a free exchange

  • of ideas that were engineering theories

  • imported from other cultures.

  • By borrowing the technology of others

  • like the Etruscans, Rome expanded into

  • a regional power.

  • The Romans had an extraordinary ability

  • to take from technological past

  • and adapt it to their own purposes

  • and refine it -- to improve upon it.

  • They were able to take from the Etruscans

  • the technology of road building and moving

  • water systems through tunnels of building

  • large extraordinary walls and produce

  • something that was based on Etruscan

  • technology.

  • The city's first major engineering

  • achievement was the Cloaca Maxima -- an