614 – Xerxes canal?

The Xerxes canal, etching 1693. This etching (kupferstich) offered for sale on Ebay is supposed to be the Xerxes canal. But what are the soldiers on the image doing? Does anybody know more? More on the canal here.

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6 Responses to 614 – Xerxes canal?

  1. Wim says:

    Just finished reading the book. Interesting was to read that monks that have “misbehaved” themselves were banned to the island of Amouliani, opposite of Ouranopolis! Wim

  2. Wim says:

    Herodotus describes in his book (chapters 7:22 / 23 / 37) the efforts of Xerxes to dig the channel near Athos, after losing his fleet in a storm near the cape of the Holy Mountain. His man had to work in shifts and they were encouraged to work hard and did not hesitate to hit them with sticks/reeds(as seen on the etching!?).

  3. herman Voogd says:

    They clearly hitting something but appears to me they do not hit each other but strangely enough they hit the water.

  4. Wim says:

    This the text of Herodotus:
    [7.22] And in the first place, because the former fleet had met with so great a disaster about Athos, preparations were made, by the space of about three years, in that quarter. A fleet of triremes lay at Elaeus in the Chersonese; and from this station detachments were sent by the various nations whereof the army was composed, which relieved one another at intervals, and worked at a trench beneath the lash of taskmasters; while the people dwelling about Athos bore likewise a part in the labour. Two Persians, Bubares, the son of Megabazus, and Artachaees, the son of Artaeus, superintended the undertaking.
    Athos is a great and famous mountain, inhabited by men, and stretching far out into the sea. Where the mountain ends towards the mainland it forms a peninsula; and in this place there is a neck of land about twelve furlongs across, the whole extent whereof, from the sea of the Acanthians to that over against Torone, is a level plain, broken only by a few low hills. Here, upon this isthmus where Athos ends, is Sand, a Greek city. Inside of Sand, and upon Athos itself, are a number of towns, which Xerxes was now employed in disjoining from the continent: these are Dium, Olophyxus, Acrothoum, Thyssus, and Cleonae. Among these cities Athos was divided.

  5. masterantre says:

    Xerxes’ fleet was all but sunk near athos.

    So he had his slaves knutting the sea!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Carlo says:

    Could you show us more about Panteleimonos monastery?

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