FYI July 05, 2017

328 – The official opening of Constantine’s Bridge built over the Danube between Sucidava (Corabia, Romania) and Oescus (Gigen, Bulgaria) by the Roman architect Theophilus Patricius
Constantine’s Bridge (Romanian: Podul lui Constantin cel Mare; Bulgarian: Константинов мост, Konstantinov most) was a Roman bridge over the Danube. It was completed or rebuilt[3] in 328 AD and remained in use for no more than four decades.[4]

It was officially opened on 5 July, 328 in the presence of the emperor Constantine the Great.[1] With an overall length of 2437 m, 1137 m of which spanned the Danube’s riverbed,[5] Constantine’s Bridge is considered the longest ancient river bridge and one of the longest of all time.[6]

It was a construction with masonry piers and wooden arch bridge and with wooden superstructure. It was constructed between Sucidava (present-day Corabia, Olt County, Romania) and Oescus (modern Gigen, Pleven Province, Bulgaria),[7][8] by Constantine the Great.[9] The bridge was apparently used until the mid-4th century,[2] the main reason for this assumption being that Valens had to cross the Danube using a bridge of boats at Constantiana Daphne during his campaign against the Goths in 367.[10]

Technical data
The length of the bridge was 2434 m with a wooden deck with a width of 5.70 m at 10 meters above the water.[11] The bridge had two abutment piers at each end, serving as gates for the bridge.

While Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli attempted to locate the bridge in the 17th century and Alexandru Popovici and Cezar Bolliac worked in the 19th, the first real scientific discoveries were performed by Grigore Tocilescu and Pamfil Polonic in 1902. In 1934 Dumitru Tudor published the first complete work regarding the bridge, and the last systematic approach on the north bank of the Danube was performed in 1968 by Octavian Toropu.


1755 – Sarah Siddons, English actress (d. 1831)
Sarah Siddons (5 July 1755 – 8 June 1831) was a Welsh-born actress, the best-known tragedienne of the 18th century. She was the elder sister of John Philip Kemble, Charles Kemble, Stephen Kemble, Ann Hatton and Elizabeth Whitlock, and the aunt of Fanny Kemble. She was most famous for her portrayal of the Shakespearean character, Lady Macbeth, a character she made her own,[1] and for famously fainting at the sight of the Elgin Marbles in London.[2] The Sarah Siddons Society continues to present the Sarah Siddons Award in Chicago every year to a prominent actress.

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Cultural references

At the time of the release of the film All About Eve, the “Sarah Siddons Award” was a purely fictitious award. However, since 1952 there exists the Sarah Siddons Award for dramatic achievement in theatre: a genuine and prestigious award, named in honor of Siddons. The award is given annually in Chicago by the Sarah Siddons Society.

In the week beginning 12 April 2010 BBC Radio 4 dramatised in five parts a story about the long relationship between Sarah Siddons and the famous artist Thomas Lawrence. The drama was written by David Pownall.

The London Underground had an electric locomotive built by Metropolitan-Vickers named after her. Used on the Metropolitan line, No. 12 lasted along with other locomotives, until 1961. Painted a maroon colour, she is now the only one of the original twenty locomotives to remain preserved in working order.[12]

There is a pub in her home town of Brecon named after her, The Sarah Siddons Inn.

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