HARBOR, an inlet of the sea, so protected from the winds and waves, whether by natural conformatifin of the land, or by artificial means, as to form a secure roadstead for ships. It is with those harbors wholly, or in part artificial that this article will deal.
Harbors may be divided into harbors of refuge, and those for commercial purposes. The latter are mostly tidal—i.c., capable of being entered by vessels °lily at certain states of the tide. The former are roadsteads of good depth, protected by breakwaters, and accessible at all tides, where slaps may take refuge during storms. The two kinds are sometimes conxbined, there being the harbor proper, and a capacious protected road stead outside of it, as at Cherbourg and elsewhere. See BREAKWATER, CHER BOURG, DOVER, PLYMOUTH, PORTLAND, HOLYHEAD.
With the birth of commerce and naval warfare, in the earliest ages of civilization, arose the necessity for artificial harbors. The Phenicians, the fathers of navigation, soon set to work to protect their scanty strip of Levantine coast. At Tyre, two harbors were formed,. to the n. and to the s. of the peninsula on which the city was placed. At Sidon, similar but less extensive works long testify to the wealth and engineering genius of the Phenicians. The breakwaters were principally constructed of loose rubble.
Cartilage, in another part of the Mediterranean, also possessed a harbor, though its site is not very satisfactorily determined. It was in two divisions, formed by moles; time, however, has dealt so hardly with it, that few traces remain. Still keeping to the great inland sea, we conic to Greece; but here nature lmd. provided so many navigable inlets, that little remained to be done by man. Nevertheless, some minor works were executed at the Pirteus and elsewhere, chiefly, of course, for warlike purposes. The Romans, finding ships necessary to the dominion of the world, set about constructing harbors for them, in their usual solid and workmanlike manner. The coasts of Italy still show how well they understood both the principles and the practiee of this btanelt of marine engineering. A distinguishing feature of their harhor-making is the open or arched mole. Built with open arches, resting upon stone piers, it gives full play to the
tidal and littoral currents, thus preventing the deposit of sand or mud ; but in pro portion as this advantage is increased (by increasing the span of the arches), so also is the agitation, and consequent insecurity of the water within.
The decay of commerce and civilization, consequent upon the fail of the Roman empire, put a stop to harhor-making; nor could any want of the art be felt, until the revival of Commerce by the Italian republics of the middle ages. But the rich traffic of Venice and Genoa soon led to the construction of suitable ports at those places; and the moles of the latter city. and the works in the lagnnes of Venice, remain to this day. France was next in the field, embanking, protecting, and deepening the mouths of the rivers along her north-western shores, as at Havre, Dieppe, Dunkirk, etc. In 1627, dur ing the siege of Rochelle, 3letezeau constructed jetties of loose rubble-stone, to prevent access to the city.
Meanwhile, England, whose ocean-commerce is of comparatively recent date, and whose fisheries even scarcely employed a vessel three hundred years ago, lagged far behind her continental rivals. With few exceptions, her ports were absolutely tin pro • tested, or rather unereated; and this state of things, continue& until late in the last century. One of few exceptions was Hartlepool, where a harbor was formed about 1250; and Arbroath, in 1394. In the 17th c., at Whitby and Scarborough, also in Yorkshire, rough piers were thrown out, protecting the mouth of the port; while at Yarmouth, in Elizabeth's reign, a north jetty, and subsequently a south one. were formed. An ancient mole existed at Lyme Regis. But the chief efforts of the early English engineers were directed against the shoals and waves of Dover, when. however, Smeaton rose to vindicate the engineering talent of England, things took a different turn; and now few countries surpass treat Britain in the number of latitielally improved commercial harbors, or in the just appreciation of their importance.