Ancient Galleys

"Until about 800 B.C. a variety of ships were used in the Aegean sea. However, they had not yet developed the basic forms of the classical age. Most ships were more or less symmetrical in design (similar to Viking ships, though much more primitive and less seaworthy), and the standard fighting technique was to board the enemy vessel. Then, around 800 B.C., the ram was developed as a ship-to-ship weapon. Suddenly, speed and maneuverability became prime concerns. Includes info on the penteconter, the triaconter, the bireme, the trireme, the quadrireme, quinquereme, Liburnes. Note: The Latin Bireme, Trieme, Quadrireme, Quinquereme correspond to the Greek Biere, Triere, Tetrere and Pentere. The terms are usually used interchangable today. There is some confusion about the use of the term Biere in early Greek - apparently, the old terms Triakonteros and Pentekonteros were originally used to describe both one and two decked ships, and the term Biere was only used later, as a translation of the Latin term Bireme." [by Stephan Schulz]

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