The Ancient Library
 

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On this page: Ship (continued)

582

SHIP.

of water. In order to attain the highest possible speed with manual propulsion, and to be easily drawn overland (a process frequently resorted to), they were lightly built, with rather flat bottoms, and very shallow. They were on this account not

water, was a horizontal beak (Gr. embSl/is ; Lat. rostrum), usually with three spikes one over another, capped with iron; this formed the chief weapon of ancient naval warfare. We learn that it first came into use in 556 b.c. The captain of a larger

(2) * MARBLF BAS-RELIEF OF AN ATHENIAN TRIREME.

(Found on the Acropolis about 1852, probably fron) a monument of victory in a trireme race j Annnli d. Institnto, 1861, tav. d' adg. M 2.)

(8) PLAN OF A TRIREME. (Designed by Graser, dc Veterum re Navali.)

(4) ROWERS IN PROFILE

particularly seaworthy in stormy weather ; whereas merchant vessels, owing to their heavier build and greater depth, were much more sea­worthy. A stay made of two strong beams or a cable stretched between the two ends of the vessel (hjjpSzoma) was usually employed to strengthen the hull lengthways. The bows and stern which were built alike, were alone covered with half-decks, while the middle of the vessel was at first open, and even in later times completely decked vessels were not so general as with us. Merchant-vessels, however, had a regular full-deck. The deck sometimes carried wooden turrets, usually two, fore and aft. Most ships of war had an eye painted or carved on the bows. At the bows, on a level with the

ship of war was called a triUrarcMs (com­mander of a trireme); the chief officer was the helmsman (Gr. kf/bernetfs; Lat. guber-nator); the second officer (Gr. proreus, prorates; Lat. prOretd) was stationed on the bows. The total crew of an Athenian trireme, including the rowers, numbered about 200 men, of whom about twenty were sailors, and only ten to eighteen marines. This small number is explained by the fact that among the Greeks a sea-fight consisted chiefly in clever mano3uvring, with the ob­ject of disabling the enemy's vessels by breaking their oars or of forcing them to run agroiind.

When the Romans had established a fleet, dur'ng the first Punic War, they introduced the tactics of land-battles into their naval warfare, by carrying on their ships an increased number of land-soldiers (on their qidnqulremes 120), who were posted on the bows, and attempted to lay hold of the enemy's vessels with grap­pling-irons and boarding-bridges, and to

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