Severan Bridge

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Severan Bridge
Severan Bridge, Turkey 01.jpg
Severan Bridge with the columns of Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus and his second wife Julia Domna seen from the south.
Coordinates 37°55′56.64″N 38°36′29.52″E / 37.9324000°N 38.6082000°E / 37.9324000; 38.6082000Coordinates: 37°55′56.64″N 38°36′29.52″E / 37.9324000°N 38.6082000°E / 37.9324000; 38.6082000
Carries Road traffic and pedestrians
Crosses Chabinas Creek (Cendere Çayı)
Locale Between Kahta and Sincik in Adıyaman Province, Turkey
Official name Cendere Köprüsü
Characteristics
Design Simple, unadorned, single majestic arch
Total length 120 m (390 ft)
Width 7 m (23 ft)
Longest span 34.2 m (112 ft)
History
Construction end Early 3rd century (before 211)
Severan Bridge is located in Turkey
Severan Bridge
Severan Bridge
Location of Severan Bridge in Turkey

The Severan Bridge (also known as Chabinas Bridge or Cendere Bridge or Septimius Severus Bridge; Turkish: Cendere Köprüsü) is a late ancient Roman bridge located near the ancient city of Arsameia (today Eskikale), 55 km (34 mi) north east of Adıyaman in southeastern Turkey. It spans Cendere Çayı (Chabinas Creek), a tributary of Kâhta Creek on the provincial road 02-03 from Kâhta to Sincik in Adıyaman Province. This bridge has been described and pictured in 1883 by archeologists Osman Hamdi Bey et Osgan Efendi[1]

Description and history[edit]

The bridge is constructed as a simple, unadorned, single majestic arch on two rocks at the narrowest point of the creek. At 34.2 m (112 ft) clear span, the structure is quite possibly the second largest extant arch bridge by the Romans. It is 120 m (390 ft) long and 7 m (23 ft) wide.

Roadway flanked by ancient columns

The bridge was rebuilt by the Legio XVI Gallica, garrisoned in the ancient city of Samosata (today Samsat) to begin a war with Parthia. Commagenean cities built four Corinthian columns on the bridge, in honor of the Roman Emperor Lucius Septimius Severus (193–211), his second wife Julia Domna, and their sons Caracalla and Publius Septimius Geta as stated on the inscription in Latin on the bridge.[2] Two columns on the Kâhta side are dedicated to Septimius Severus himself and his wife, and two more on the Sincik side are dedicated to Caracalla and Geta, all in 9–10 m in height. Geta's column, however, was removed after his assassination by his brother Caracalla, who damned Geta's memory and ordered his name to be removed from all inscriptions.

The Severan Bridge is situated within one of the most important national parks in Turkey, which contains Nemrut Dağı with the famous remains of Commagene civilization on top, declared as World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO. In 1997, the bridge was restored. Vehicular traffic was restricted to 5 tons or less. The bridge is now closed to vehicles, and a new road bridge has been built 500 m (550 yd) east of the old bridge.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ (French) Edhem Eldem, Le voyage à Nemrud Dağı d'Osman Hamdi Bey et Osgan Efendi (1883). Récit de voyage et photographies publiés et annotés, Istanbul, Institut Français d'Études Anatoliennes-Georges Dumézil, 2010. 144 pages [1], pp. 10, 12, 59, 63, picture p. 109
  2. ^ Inscriptions CIL III, 06709 et CIL III, 06710

Further reading[edit]

  • O’Connor, Colin (1993), Roman Bridges, Cambridge University Press, pp. 127–129 (E36), ISBN 0-521-39326-4 
  • Galliazzo, Vittorio (1994), I ponti romani. Catalogo generale, Vol. 2, Treviso: Edizioni Canova, pp. 390–394 (No. 824), ISBN 88-85066-66-6 

External links[edit]

Media related to Severan Bridge at Wikimedia Commons