Diocletian and the Roman Fortress of Babylon

Peter Sheehan

in Babylon of Egypt

Published by American University in Cairo Press

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9789774162992
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9781936190072 | DOI:
Diocletian and the Roman Fortress of Babylon

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The construction of the fortress is in the context of three major developments in the reign of Diocletian. This construction of a fortress is a reaction to the series of political and military crises that, throughout the third century, threatened to destroy the Roman empire and turn it “from Military Monarchy into Military Anarchy.” The existing limits of Diocletian's fortress form a five-sided figure enclosing a roughly rectangular area of some three hectares and the outline would form a rectangular wall. The alignment of the fortress was derived from the existing riverside walls of the harbor, and it is in the direction of the Amnis Traianus. The canal formed a median line of the fortress, while the eastern and western sides formed two enclosed walls on both sides of the canal. This combination of methods and materials produced a structure of great strength, allowing it to survive and intact for seventeen centuries.

Keywords: Diocletian; fortress; Roman empire; Amnis Traianus; Babylon

Chapter.  13653 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Society and Culture

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