Float

Float

(oalsy in' the plur. דֹּברוֹת obesath' drifts, 1Ki 5:9; רִפסֹדוֹת raphsodoth', of uncertain derivation, 2Ch 2:15; Sept. in both passages σχεδίαι, as also in 1 Esdr. v, 55), a raft for conveying bulky substances by water. Two methods of conveying wood is- floats appear to have been practiced in ancient times. The first was by pushing single trunks of trees into the water, and suffering them to be carried along by the stream this was commonly adopted with regard to firewood. The other was ranging a umber of planks close to each other in regular order, binding them together, and steering them down the current: this was probably the most ancient practice. The earliest ships, or boats, were nothing more than rafts, or a collection of deals and planks bound together. 'They were called σχεδίαι by the Greeks, and rates by the Romans. The ancients Ventured out to sea with them on piratical expeditions, as weal as to carry on commerce, and after the invention of ships they were still retais-ed for the transportation of soldiers (Scheffer, De Milit. Nav. Vet.). Solomon, it ap- pears from the above passages, entered into a contract with Hiram, king of Tyre, by which the latter was to cause cedars for the use of the Temple to be cut down on the western side of Mount Lebanon, above Tripolis, and to be floated to Jaffa. At present no streams run from Lebanon to Jerusalem, and the Jordan, the. only river in Palestine that could bear floats, is at a. considerable distance from the cedar forest. Time wood, therefore, must - lave been brought along the coast by sea to Jaffa. The Assyrian monuments represent men crossing rivers on inflated skins SEE FERRY and in basket- boats, precisely as described by ancient authors (Herod. i, 194); and in the same region transportation and travelling is still' largely carried on by means of floats, some of them open rafts, and others with an awning or cabin. SEE NAVIGATION.

Definition of float

 
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