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December 11, 2007

Eupalinus

Eupalinus of Megara,a Greek architect, constructed for the tyrant Polycrates of Samos a remarkable 1,036 meters (about 4,000 feet) long tunnel to bring water to the city, passing through limestone at the base of a hill. This aqueduct still exists, and is one of the most remarkable constructions in Greece, due to its two-way construction.

The tunnel is described by Herodotus as follows: I have dwelt rather long on the history of the Samians because theirs are the three greatest works (ergasmata) of all the Greeks. One is a tunnel (orygma amphistomon) through the base of a nine hundred foot high mountain. The tunnel's length is seven stades, its height and length (width) both eight feet. Throughout its length another cutting (orygma) has been dug (ororyktai) three feet wide and three feet deep, through which the water flowing in pipes is led into the city from an abundant spring. The builder (architekton) of the tunnel was the Megarian Eupalinus, son of Maustrophus.

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