Ancient Greek Warship: 500-322 BC

Overview

Formidable and sophisticated, triremes were the deadliest battleship of the ancient world, and at the height of their success, the Athenians were the dominant exponents of their devastating power. Primarily longships designed to fight under oar power, the trireme was built for lightness and strength; ship-timber was mostly softwoods such as poplar, pine and fir, while the oars and mast were made out of fir. Their main weapon was a bronze-plated ram situated at the prow.

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Overview

Formidable and sophisticated, triremes were the deadliest battleship of the ancient world, and at the height of their success, the Athenians were the dominant exponents of their devastating power. Primarily longships designed to fight under oar power, the trireme was built for lightness and strength; ship-timber was mostly softwoods such as poplar, pine and fir, while the oars and mast were made out of fir. Their main weapon was a bronze-plated ram situated at the prow.

From the combined Greek naval victory at Salamis (480 BC), through the Peloponnesian War, and up until the terrible defeat by the Macedonians at Amorgos, the Athenian trireme was an object of dread to its enemies.

This book offers a complete analysis and insight into the most potent battleship of its time; the weapon by which Athens achieved, maintained, and ultimately lost its power and prosperity.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"It is a fascinating look into the cutting edge of naval technology of the ancient Greeks and a book that will keep your interest from the first to the last page. One I can highly recommend." -Scott Van Aken, modelingmadness.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846030741
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/27/2007
  • Series: New Vanguard Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 602,074
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Nic Fields started his career as a biochemist before joining the Royal Marines for seven years. Having left the Navy he went back to University and completed a BA and PhD in Ancient History at the University of Newcastle. He was Assistant Director at the British School of Archaeology, Athens, and is now a lecturer in Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. The author lives in Edinburgh, UK.
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Table of Contents


Introduction     3
Origins     4
Silver spring
Design     6
Oar system
Ship dimension
Construction     8
Hull
Materials
Decoration
Crew     12
Oarsmen
Deck crew
Marines
Archers
In Action     17
Armament
Naval tactics
Ruling the Waves     21
Limitations of sea power
Land bases - epiteichismoi
Periklean strategy
The Athenian Navy     33
When Athena ruled the waves
Expenditure
Downfall of the imperial navy
Revival in the 4th century
Olympias     39
Performance under oar
Timber
Bibliography     42
Ancient authors
Colour Plate Commentary     45
Index     48
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