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Babylon of EgyptThe Archaeology of Old Cairo and the Origins of the City$
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Peter Sheehan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162992

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162992.001.0001

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Diocletian and the Roman Fortress of Babylon

Diocletian and the Roman Fortress of Babylon

(p.55) Chapter 3 Diocletian and the Roman Fortress of Babylon
Babylon of Egypt

Peter Sheehan

American University in Cairo Press

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

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