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Ancient Greek Sailing

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“The structure of the hulls of ancient ships was not dissimilar in its main features to that of modern wooden vessels” (Holmes 42). Ships were used in battle and trading in many places. Most ships were made of wood and copper. They used the wind and hundreds of oars to move the ships. There were over a hundred oarsmen on each ship used in battle. They stayed close to the coast and used stars as navigation. Ancient Greece used their ships for cargo, and naval warfare these different ships were built in different ways depending what they are used for.

The Persian Monarch fleet was a proof of naval power of the Levantine states. The ship has oars on each side and were moved my man power and the wind. Each of the 1200 ships according to Homer, the first and greatest epic poet, the ships of Boeotians had 120 men each and the Philoctetes has 50 men each. The Trireme was a war galley with three banks of oars that didn’t become common until the Persian war. They were introduced after a Corinthian naval architect built only 4 ships for the Samians in 700 B.C. the period immediately after the Persian war. The upper tier passing over the gunwale through the lower passing oar pots were 2 banks of oars. Two large oars were used to steer

the vessel at the stern. The Samian ships carried beaks formed in a shape that looked like a wild boar (Holmes 30-32). “The upper deck of Athenians galley was the fighting platform. It was originally a flying structure, but it didn’t occupy the full width of the vessel. Egyptian vessels had forecastles. There is no record when it was introduced to Greece”(Holmes 44).

“The Mediterranean merchant ships must have been a considerable size, capable of going through storms described by St. Paul's experience in the acts of the Apostles. He was in a grain cargo that carried 276 Human Beings (Holmes 39).” “Merchant ships oars were only used as an auxiliary means of propulsion reliance being placed on most sail’s.” There were many different sized ships were used in Ancient Greece. The larger carrying around 250 tons of cargo. There was also a whole lot bigger ships used. “Pliny mentions a vessel in which the Vacation Obelisk and its pedestal, weighing together nearly 500 tons , were brought from egypt to Italy about the year of 50 A.D.” But also some vessels carried an extra amount of cargo which was 800 tons of lentils that some of them used to stop there ship from shifting on board (Holmes 39-42). When the ships sailed they carried a crew from 200 to around 225. 174 members of the crew were the rowers and 20 seamen to be working the sails on the ship. The rest were mostly soldiers. From the rowers on the boat 62 of them occupied the top of the boat. About 58 of the rowers had the middle and 54 the lower tier. Many people think that each oar was worked on by several rowers. Early shipbuilders were used and taxed for more stronger vessels also to last a long time in the sea. (Holmes 42) The Triremes weren't any ships people could live in. They were mainly made to use overnight and pretty much show up on land. This ship wasn’t really able to move fast at any time of the day. They were usually used during may battle. They sometimes relied on

their sails and the oarsmen. They also needed a lot of energy from the oarsmen. “The amount of effort required to navigate a trireme in a battle would have been extremely exhausting” (Ancient Greece).

Islanda were used as landing stages, they could travel to them



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