Monday, April 11, 2011

"If the ships couldn’t be raised to the surface then the surface could be lowered to the ships!"

Emperor Caligula's Pleasure Craft?
[note how small the men are in the photo]
I'd been to Lago di Nemi in Italy and I even knew the tragic story of how the salvaged ancient Roman ships found on the lake bottom were lost to fire during the invasion of Italy in the Second World War. What I didn't know was that Mussolini drained the lake to get at the ships. The whole incredible story is here.

Another fascinating website with lots of information and links to photos and maps is here. Given what we know of Emperor Caligula's depravities, it's hard to fathom what actually happened on board this ship:



  1. I realize that this sort of thing has probably been on History Channel, but since I don't watch that sort of thing I'm allowed to rediscover such oddities.

  2. If those deck planks could talk, I wonder what they'd say?

    I hadn't heard about these ships - and while the technology might be extended to ocean going vessels in terms of construction techniques, the structure needed for a pleasure barge on a fresh water lake is very different from that required of a large ship carrying grain from Egypt across the Med to Italy.