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Martial 10.85 – Paradoxical use for a sunken old boat in retirement

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§ 10.85  ON LADON:
Ladon, a boatman on the Tiber,

bought himself when grown old,

a bit of land on the banks of his beloved stream,

.But as the overflowing Tiber often invaded it with raging floods,

breaking into his ploughed fields,

converting them in winter into a lake,

he filled his worn-out boat,

which was drawn up on the beach, with stones,

making it a barrier against the floods.

By this means he repelled the inundation. who would have believed it?

An unseaworthy boat became the protector of the boatman!

Harbour and River Boats of Ancient Rome

Iam senior Ladon Tiberinae nauta carinae

 Proxima dilectis rura paravit aquis.

Quae cum saepe vagus premeret torrentibus undis

 Thybris et hiberno rumperet arva lacu, 

Emeritam puppem, ripa quae stabat in alta,

 Inplevit saxis obposuitque vadis.

 Sic nimias avertit aquas. Quis credere posset? 

Auxilium domino mersa carina tulit.

Moving on from ancient boats protecting retired boatmen, I was intriged by the article in the New Scientist telling how an unmanned ship has just made it’s way with very little remote steerage through the Panama Canal.

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2260008-us-navys-huge-uncrewed-robot-ship-has-journeyed-through-panama-canal/

By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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