1902 Encyclopedia > Ship

Ship




SHIP. The generic name (A. S. scip, Ger. Schiff, Gr. o-Kao>os, from the root slcap, cf. " scoop ") for the invention by which man has contrived to convey himself and his goods upon water points in its derivation to the fun-damental conception by which, when realized, a means of flotation was obtained superior to the raft, which we may consider the earliest and most elementary form of vessel. The trunk of a tree hollowed out, whether by fire or by such primitive tools as are fashioned and used with singular patience and dexterity by savage races, represents the first effort to obtain flotation depend-ing on something other than the mere buoyancy of the material. The poets, with characteristic insight, have fastened upon these points. Homer's hero Ulysses is instructed to make a raft with a raised platform upon it, and selects trees "withered of old, exceeding dry, that might float lightly for him " (Od., v. 240). Virgil, glorifying the dawn and early progress of the arts, tells us, "Rivers then first the hollowed alders felt" (Georg., i. 136, ii. 451). Alder is a heavy wood and not fit for rafts. But to make for the first time a dug-out canoe of alder, and so to secure its flotation, would be a triumph of primitive art, and thus the poet's expression represents a great step in the history of the invention of the ship.

Primitive efforts in this direction may be classified in the following order: (1) rafts—floating logs, or bundles of brushwood or reeds or rushes tied together; (2) dugouts—hollowed trees; (3) canoes" of bark, or of skin stretched on framework or inflated skins (balsas); (4) canoes or boats of pieces of wood stitched or fastened together with sinews or thongs or fibres of vegetable growth; (5) vessels of planks, stitched or bolted together with inserted ribs and decks or half decks; (6) vessels of which the framework is first set up, and the planking of the hull nailed on to them subsequently. All these in their primitive forms have survived, in various parts of the world, with different modifications marking progress in civilization. Climatic influences and racial peculiarities have imparted to them their specific characteristics, and, combined with the available choice of materials, have determined the particular type in use in each locality. Thus on the north-west coast of Australia is found the single log of buoyant wood, not hollowed out but pointed at the ends. Rafts of reeds are also found on the Australian coast. In New Guinea catamarans of three or more logs lashed together with rattan are the commonest vessel, and similar forms appear on the Madras coast and throughout the Asiatic islands. On the coast of Peru rafts made of a very buoyant wood are in use, some of them as much as 70 feet long and 20 feet broad; these are navigated with a sail, and, by an ingenious system of centre boards, let down either fore or aft between the lines of the timbers, can be made to tack. The sea-going raft is often fitted with a platform so as to protect the goods and persons carried from the wash of the sea. Upright timbers fixed upon the logs forming the raft support a kind of deck, which in turn is itself fenced in and covered over. Thus the idea of a deck, and that of side planking to raise the freight above the level of the water and to save it from getting wet, are among the earliest typical expedients which have found their develop-ment in the progress of the art of shipbuilding.

Whether the observation of shells floating on the water, or of split reeds, or, as some have fancied, the nautilus, first suggested the idea of hollowing out the trunk of a tree, the practice ascends to a very remote antiquity in the history of man. Dug-out canoes of a single tree have been found associated with objects of the Stone Age among the ancient Swiss lake dwellings ; nor are specimens of the same class wanting from the bogs of Ireland and the estuaries of England and Scotland, some obtained from the depth of 25 feet below the surface of the soil. The hollowed trunk itself may have suggested the use of the bark as a means of flotation. But, whatever may have been the origin of the bark canoe, its construction is a step onwards in the art of shipbuilding. For the lightness and pliability of the material necessitated the invention of some internal framework, so as to keep the sides apart, and to give the stiffness required both for purposes of propulsion and the carrying of its freight. Similarly, in countries where suitable timber was not to be found, the use of skins or other water-tight material, such as felt or canvas, covered with pitch, giving flota^ tion, demanded also a framework to keep them distended and to bear the weight they had to carry. In the framej work we have the rudimentary ship, with longitudinal bottom timbers, and ribs, and cross-pieces, imparting the requisite stiffness to the covering material. Bark canoes are found in Australia, but the American continent is their true home. In northern regions skin or woven material made water-tight supplies the place of bark

The next step in the construction of vessels was the building up of canoes or boats by fastening pieces of wood together in a suitable form. Some of these canoes, and probably the earliest in type, are tied or stitched together with thongs or cords. The Madras surf boats are perhaps the most familiar example of this type, which, however, is found in the Straits of Magellan and in Central Africa (on the Victoria Nyanza), in the Malay Archipelago and in many islands of the Pacific. Some of these canoes show a great advance in the art of construction, being built up of pieces fitted together with ridges on their inner sides, through which the fastenings are passed. These canoes have the advantage of elasticity, which gives them ease in a seaway, and a comparative immunity where ordinary boats would not hold together. In these cases the body of the canoe is constructed first and built to the shape intended, the ribs being inserted afterwards, and attached to the sides, and having for their main function the uniting of the deck and cross-pieces with the body of the canoe. Vessels thus stitched together, and with an inserted framework, have from a very early time been constructed in the Eastern seas far exceeding in size anything that would be called a canoe, and in some cases attaining to 200 tons burthen.

From the stitched form the next step onwards is to fasten the materials out of which the hull is built up by pegs or treenails; and of this system early types appear among the Polynesian islands and in the Nile boats described by Herodotus (ii. 96), the prototype of the modern "nuggur." The raft of Ulysses described by Homer presents the same detail of construction. It is remarkable that some of the early types of boats belong-ing to the North Sea present an intermediate method, in which the planks are fastened together with pins or trenails, but are attached to the ribs by cords passing through holes in the ribs and corresponding holes bored through ledges cut on the inner side of each plank.

We thus arrive, in tracing primitive efforts in the art of ship construction, at a stage from which the transition to the practice of setting up the framework of ribs fastened to a timber keel laid lengthwise, and subsequently attach-ing the planking of the hull, was comparatively simple. The keel of the modern vessel may be said to have its prototype in the single log which was the parent of the dug-out. The side planking of the vessel, which has an earlier parentage than the ribs, may be traced to the attempt to fence in the platforms upon the sea-going rafts, and to the planks fastened on to the sides of dug-out canoes so as to give them a raised gunwale. The ribs of the modern vessel are the development of the framework originally inserted after the completion of the hull of the canoe or built-up boat, but with the difference that they are now prior in the order of fabrication. In a word, the skeleton of the hull is now first built up, and the skin, <fec, adjusted to it; whereas in the earlier types of wooden vessels the outside hull was first constructed, and the ribs, &c, added afterwards. It is noticeable that the invention of the outrigger and weather platform, the use of which is at the present time distributed from the Andaman Islands eastward throughout the whole of the South Pacific, has never made its way into the Western seas. It is strange that Egyptian enterprise, which seems at a very early period to have penetrated eastward down the Eed Sea and round the coasts of Arabia towards India, should not have brought it to the Nile, and that the Phoenicians, who, if the legend of their migration from the shores of the Persian Gulf to the coast of Canaan be accepted, would in all probability, in their maritime expeditions, have had opportunities of seeing it, did not introduce it to the Mediterranean. That they did not do so, if they saw it at all, would tend to prove that even in that remote antiquity both nations possessed the art of constructing vessels of a type superior to the out-rigger canoes, both in speed and in carrying power.

The earliest representations that we have as yet of Egyptian vessels carry us back, according to the best authorities, to a period little short of 3000 years before Christ. Some of these are of considerable size, as is shown by the number of rowers, and by the cargo consist-ing in many cases of cattle. The earliest of all presents us with the peculiar mast of two pieces, stepped apart but joined at the top. In some the masts are shown lowered and laid along a high spar-deck. The larger vessels show on one side as many as twenty-one or twenty-two and in one case twenty-six oars, besides four or five steering. They show considerable camber, the two ends rising in a curved line which in some instances ends in a point, and in others is curved back and over at the stern and terminates in an ornamentation, very frequently of the familiar lotus pattern. At the bow the stem is sometimes seen to rise perpendicularly, forming a kind of forecastle, sometimes to curve backward and then forward again like a neck, which is often finished into a figure-head representing some bird or beast or Egyptian god. On the war galleys there is frequently shown a projecting bow with a metal head attached, but well above the water. This, though no doubt used as a ram, is not identical with the beak a fleur d'eau, which we shall meet with in Phoenician and Greek galleys. It is more on a level with the proem-bolion of the latter.
The impression as regards the build created by the drawings of the larger galleys is that of a long and somewhat wall-sided vessel with the stem and stern highly raised. The tendencies of the vessel to " hog," or rise amidships, owing to the great weight fore and aft unsup-ported by the water, is corrected by a strong truss passing from stem to stern over crutches. The double mast of the earlier period seems in time to have given place to the single mast furnished with bars or rollers at the upper part, for the purpose apparently of raising or lower-ing the yard according to the amount of sail required. The sail in some of the galleys is shown with a bottom as well as a top yard. In the war galleys during action it is shown rolled up like a curtain with loops to the upper yard. The steering was effected by paddles, sometimes four or five in number, but generally one or two fastened either at the end of the stern or at the side, and above attached to an upright post in such a way as to allow the paddle to be worked by a tiller.

There are many remarkable details to be observed in the Egyptian vessels figured in Duemichen's Fleet of an Egyptian Queen, and in Lepsius's Denkmciler. The Egyptian ship, as represented from time to time in the period be-tween 3000 and 1000 B.C., presents to us a ship proper as distinct from a large canoe or boat. It is the earliest ship of which we have cognizance. But there is a notice-able fact in connexion with Egypt which we gather from the tomb paintings to which we owe our knowledge of the Egyptian ship. It is evident from these records that there were at that same early period, inhabiting the littoral of the Mediterranean, nations who were possessed of sea-going vessels which visited the coasts of Egypt for plunder as well as for commerce, and that sea-fights were even then not uncommon. Occasionally the com-bination of these peoples for the purpose of attack assumed serious proportions, and we find the Pharaohs recording naval victories over combined Dardanians, Teucrians, and Mysians, and, if we accept the explanations of Egypto-logists, over Pelasgians, Daunians, Oscans, and Sicilians. The Greeks, as they became familiar with the sea, followed in the same track. The legend of Helen in Egypt, as well as the numerous references in the Odyssey, point not only to the attraction that Egypt had for the mari-time peoples, but also to long-established habits of navi-gation and the possession of an art of shipbuilding equal to the construction of sea-going craft capable of carrying a large number of men and a considerable cargo besides.

But the development of the ship and of the art of navigation clearly belongs to the Phoenicians. It is tantalizing to find that the earliest and almost the only evidence that we have of this development is to be gathered from Assyrian representations. The Assyrians were an inland people, and the navigation with which they were familiar was that of the two great rivers, Tigris and Euphrates. After the conquest of Phoenicia they had knowledge of Phoenician naval enterprise, and accordingly we find the war galley of the Phoenicians represented on the walls of the palaces unearthed by Layard and his followers in Assyrian discovery. But the date does not carry us to an earlier period than 900-800 B.C. The vessel represented is a bireme war galley which is "aphract," that is to say, has the upper tier of rowers unprotected and exposed to view. The apertures for the lower oars are of the same character as those which appear in Egyptian ships of a much earlier date, but without oars. The artist has shown the characteristic details, though somewhat conventionally. The fish-like snout of the beak, the line of the parodus or outside gangway, the wickerwork cancelli, the shields ranged in order along the side of the bulwark, and the heads of a typical crew on deck (the _wpwptv'i looking out in front in the forecastle, an hnBarrp, two chiefs by the mast, and, aft, the KW^S and KvBepvrjTris). The supporting timbers of the deck are just indicated. The mast and yard and fore and back stays, with the double steering paddle, complete the picture.





But, although there can be little doubt that the Phoenicians, after the Egyptians, led the way in the development of the shipwright's art, yet the informa-tion that we can gather concerning them is so meagre that we must go to other sources for the description of the ancient ship. The Phoenicians at an early date con-structed merchant vessels capable of carrying large car-goes, and of traversing the length and breadth of the Mediterranean, perhaps even of trading to the far Cassi-terides and of circumnavigating Africa. They in all probability (if not the Egyptians) invented the bireme and trireme, solving the problem by which increased oar-power and consequently speed could be obtained without any great increase in the length of the vessel.

It is, however, to the Greeks that we must turn for any detailed account of these inventions. The Homeric vessels were aphract and not even decked throughout their entire length. They carried crews averaging from fifty to a hundred and twenty men, who, we are expressly told by Thucydides, all took part in the labour of rowing, except perhaps the chiefs. The galleys do not appear to have been armed as yet with the beak, though later poets attri-bute this feature to the Homeric vessel. But they had great poles used in fighting, and the term employed to describe these (vavpia^a) implies a knowledge of naval warfare. The general characteristics are indicated by the epithets in use throughout the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Homeric ship is sharp {6ofj) and swift (wraa); it is hollow (KOIA^, y\a<pvprj, pteyaKrjrns), black, vermilion-cheeked (p.i\TOTrapyo<;), dark-prowed (KvavoTrpwpos), curved (xopoWs, afupieXuro-a), well-timbered (<h5cro-eAp.os), with many thwarts (iroXv&yos, ii<a.To£vyos). The stems and sterns are high, upraised, and resemble the horns of oxen (opOoxpaipai). They present a type parallel in the history of the shipping of the Mediterranean with that of the vikings' vessels of the North Sea.

The trireme was the war ship of Athens during her prime, and, though succeeded and in a measure superseded by the larger rates,—quadrireme, quinquereme, and so on, up to vessels of sixteen banks of oars (inhabilis prope magnitndinis),-—yet, as containing in itself the principle of which the larger rates merely exhibited an expansion, a difference in degree and not in kind, has, ever since the revival of letters, concentrated upon itself the attention of
On the vases, the earliest of which may date between 700 and 600 B.O., we find the bireme with the bows finished off into a beak shaped as the head of some sea monster, and an elevated forecastle with a bulwark evidently as a means of defence. The craft portrayed in some instances are evidently pirate vessels, and exhibit a striking contrast to the trader, the broad ship of burden (<£opi-is evpda), which they are overhauling. The trireme, which was developed from the bireme and became the Greek ship of war (the long ship, vavs p.o.Kpd, navis longa, par excel-lence), dates, so far as Greek use is concerned, from about 700 B.C. according to Thucydides, having been first built at Corinth by Aminocles. The earliest sea-fight that the same author knew of he places at a somewhat later date, —664 B.C., more than ten centuries later than some of those portrayed in the Egyptian tomb paintings.

the learned who were interested in such matters. The literature connected with the question of ancient ships, if collected, would fill a small library, and the greater part of it turns upon the construction of the trireme and the disposition of the rowers therein.

During the present century much light has been thrown upon the disputed points by the discovery (1834) at the Piraeus of some records of the Athenian dockyard superintendents, which have been published and admirably elucidated by Boeckh. Further researches carried out by his pupil Dr Graser, who united a practical knowledge of ships and shipbuilding with all the scholarship and industry and acumen necessary for such a task, have cleared up most of the difficulties which beset the problem, and enable us to describe with tolerable certainty the details of construction and the disposition of the rowers in the ancient ship of war.

One point it is necessary to insist on at the outset, because upon it depends the right understanding of the problem to be solved. The ancients did not employ more than one man to an oar. The method employed in mediaeval galleys is entirely alien to the ancient system. M. Jal, Admiral Fincati, Admiral Jurien de la Graviere, and a host of other authorities have all been led to erroneous views by neglect of the ancient texts which overwhelmingly establish this as an axiom of the ancient marine—" one oar one man."

The distinction between "aphract" and "cataphract" vessels must not be overlooked in a description of the ancient vessels. The words, meaning " unfenced" and "fenced," refer to the bulwarks which covered the upper tier of rowers from attack. In the aphract vessels these side plankings were absent and the upper tier of rowers was exposed to view from the side. Both classes of vessels had upper and lower decks, but the aphract class carried their decks on a lower level than the cataphract. The system of side planking with a view to the protection of the rowers dates from a very early period, as may be seen in some of the Egyptian repre-sentations, but among the Greeks it does not seem to have been adopted till long after the Homeric period. The Thasians are credited with the introduction of the improvement.

In describing the trireme it will be convenient to deal first with the disposition of the rowers and subsequently with the con-struction of the vessel itself. The object of arranging the oars in banks was to economize horizontal space and to obtain an increase in the number of oars without having to lengthen the vessel. We know from Vitruvius that the " interscalmium," or space horizontally measured from oar to oar, was 2 cubits. This is exactly borne out by the proportions of an Attic aphract trireme, as shown on a fragment of a bas-relief found in the Acropolis. The rowers in all classes of banked vessels sat in the same vertical plane, the seats ascending in a line obliquely towards the stern of the vessel. Thus in a trireme the thranite, or oarsman of the highest bank, was nearest the stern of the set of three to which he belonged. Next behind him and somewhat below him sat his zygite, or oarsman of the second bank; and next below and behind the zygite sat the thalamite, or oarsman of the lowest bank. The vertical distance between these seats was 2 feet, the horizontal distance about 1 foot. The horizontal distance, it is well to repeat, between each seat in the same bank was 3 feet (the seat itself about 9 inches broad). Each man had a resting place for his feet, somewhat wide apart, fixed to the bench of the man on the row next below and in front of him. In rowing, the upper hand, as is shown in most of the representations which remain, was held with the palm turned inwards towards the body. This is accounted for by the angle at which the oar was worked. The lowest rank used the shortest oars, and the difference of the length of the oars on board was caused by the curvature of the ship's side. Thus, looked at from within, the rowers amidship seemed to be using the longest oars, but outside the vessel, as we are expressly told, all the oar-blades of the same bank took the water in the same longitudinal line. The lowest or thalamite oar-ports were 3 feet, the zygite 4J feet, the thranite 5| feet above the water. Each oar-port was protected by an ascoma or leather bag, which fitted over the oar, closing the aperture against the wash of the sea with-out impeding the action of the oar. The oar was tied by a thong, against which it was probably rowed, which itself was attached to a thowl (o-KaXuos). The port-hole was probably oval in shape (the Egyptian and Assyrian pictures show an oblong). We know that it was large enough for a man's head to be thrust through it.
The benches on which the rowers sat ran from the vessel's site to timbers which, inclined at an angle of about 64° towards the ship's stern, reached from the lower to the upper deck. These timbers were, according to Graser, called the diaphragmata. In the trireme each diaphragma supported three, in the quin-I quereme five, in the octireme eight, and in the famous tessera
conteres forty seats of rowers, who all belonged to the same "complexus," though each to a different bank. In effect, when once the principle of construction had been established in the trireme, the increase to larger rates was effected, so far as the motive power was concerned, by lengthening the diaphragmata upwards, while the increase in the length of the vessel gave a greater number of rowers to each bank. The upper tiers of oars-men exceeded in number those below, as the contraction of the sides of the vessel left less available space towards the bows.

Of the length of the oars in the trireme we have an indication in the fact that the length of supernumerary oars (xepivtoi) rowed from the gangway above the thranites, and therefore probably slightly exceeding the thranitic oars in length, is given in the Attic tables as 14 feet 3 inches. The thranites were probably about 14 feet. The zygite, in proportion to the measurement, must have been 10J, the thalamite 7| feet long. Comparing modern oars with these, we find that the longest oars used in the British navy are 18 feet. The university race is rowed with oars 12 feet 9 inches. The pro-portion of the loom inboard was about one third, but the oars of the rowers amidship must have been somewhat longer inboard. The size of the loom inboard preserved the necessary equilibrium. The long oars of the larger rates were weighted inboard with lead. Thus the topmost oars of the tesseraconteres, of which the length was 53 feet, were exactly balanced at the rowlock.

Let us now consider the construction of the vessel itself. In the cataphract class the lower deck was 1 foot above the water-line. Below this deck was the hold, which contained a certain amount of ballast, and through an aperture in this deck the buckets for baling were worked, entailing a labour which was constant and severe on board an ancient ship at sea. The keel (rpowis) appears to have had considerable camber. Under it was a strong false keel (xeXvcrp:a), very necessary for vessels that were constantly drawn up on the shore. Above the keel was the kelson (Spvoxoy), under which the ribs were fastened. These were so arranged as to give the necessary intervals for the oar-ports above. Above the kelson lay the upper false keel, into which the mast was stepped. The stem (o-reTpa) rose from the keel at an angle of about 70° to the water. "Within was an apron (cpaXKa), which was a strong piece of timber curved and fitting to the end of the keel and beginning of the stern-post and firmly bolted into both, thus giving solidity to the bows, which had to bear the beak and sustain the shock of ramming. The stem was carried upwards and curved generally backwards towards the forecastle and rising above it, and then curving forwards again terminated in an ornament which was called the acrostolion. The stern-post was carried up at a similar angle to the bow, and, rising high over the poop, was curved round into an ornament which was called "aplustre" (&<j>\ao-Tov). But, inasmuch as the steering was effected by means of two rudders (irriSaXia), one on either side, there was no need to carry out the stern into a rudder post as with modern ships, and the stern was left therefore much more free, an advantage in respect of the manoeuvring of the ancient Greek man-of-war, the weapon being the beak or rostrum, and the power of turning quickly being of the highest importance.

Behind the '' aplustre," and curving backwards, was the " cheniscus" (XVICKOS), or goose-head, symbolizing the floating powers of the vessel. After the ribs had been set np and covered in on both sides with planking, the sides of the vessel were further strengthened by waling-pieces carried from stern to stem and meeting in front of the stern-post. These were further strengthened with additional balks of timber, the lower waling-pieces meeting about the water-level and prolonged into a sharp three-toothed spur, of which the middle tooth was the longest. This was covered with hard metal (generally bronze) and formed the beak. The whole structure of the beak projected about 10 feet beyond the stern-post. Above it, but projecting much less beyond the stern-post, was the " proembolion " (Trpoep.fioXioi>), or second beak, in which the prolongation of the upper set of waling-pieces met. This was generally fashioned into the figure of a ram's head, also covered with metal; and sometimes again between this and the beak the second line of waling-pieces met in another metal boss called the irpoe/ifloXis. These bosses, when a vessel was rammed, completed the work of destruction begun by the sharp beak at the water-level, giving a racking blow which caused it to heel over and so eased it off the beak, and releasing the latter before the weight of the sinking vessel could come upon it. At the point where the pro-longation of the second and third waling-pieces began to converge inwards towards the stem on either side of the vessel stout catheads (e7raTi'5es) projected, which were of use, not only as supports for the anchors, but also as a means of inflicting damage on the upper part of an enemy's vessel, while protecting the side gangways of its own and the banks of oars that worked under them. The catheads were strengthened by strong balks of timber, which were firmly bolted to them under either extremity and both within and without, and ran to the ship's side. Above the curvature of the upper waling-pieces into the Trpoeufiixiov were the cheeks of the vessel, generally painted red, and in the upper part of these the eyes (ocpSaX/iol), answering to our hawse holes, through which ran the cables for the anchors. On either side the trireme, at about the level of the thranitic benehes, projected a gangway (irapoSos) supported by brackets (plaxa) springing from tho upper waling-piece, and resting against the ribs of the vessel. This projection was of about 18 to 24 inches, which gave a space, increased to about 3 feet by the inward curve of the prolongation of the ribs to form supports for the deck, for a passage on either side of the vessel. This gangway was planked in along its outer side so as to afford protection to the seamen and marines, who could pass along its whole length without impeding the rowers. Here, in action, the sailors were posted as light-armed troops, and when needed could use the long supernumerary oars [iveplvcw) mentioned above. The ribs, prolonged upwards upon an inward curve, supported on their upper ends the cross beams (o-rpuTripes) which tied the two sides of the vessel together and carried the deck. In the cataphract class these took the place of the thwarts {(vya) which in the earlier vessels, at a lower level, yoked together the sides of the vessel, and formed also benches for the rowers to sit on, from which the latter had their name (('vyiTcu), having been the uppermost tier of oarsmen in the bireme; while those who sat behind and below them in the hold of the vessel were called BaXafitrai or 6axdp.aKes (from ddXauos). In the trireme the additional upper tier was named from the elevated bench (Opapos) on which they were placed (Spav~nai). On the deck were stationed the marines (einf3dTat), fighting men in heavy armour, few in number in the Attic trireme in its palmy days, but many in the Roman quinquereme, when the ramming tactics were antiquated, and wherever, as in the great battles in the harbour at Syracuse, land tactics took the place of the maritime skill which gave victory to the ram in the open sea. The space occupied by the rowers was termed eyicairoy. Beyond this, fore and aft, were the irape£eipeViai, or parts outside the rowers. These occupied 11 feet of the bows and 14 feet in the stern. In the fore part was the forecastle, with its raised deck, on which was stationed the -irpupevs wdth his men. In the stern the decks (iKpia) rose in two or three gradations, upon which was a kind of deck-house for the captain and a seat for the steerer (Kv$epvr)T-ns), who steered by means of ropes attached to the tillers fixed in the upper part of the paddles, which, in later times at least, ran over wheels {rpoxtxiai), giving him the power of changing his vessel's course with great rapidity. Behind the deck-house rose the flagstaff, on which was hoisted the pennant, and from which probably signals were given in the case of an admiral's ship. On either side of the deck ran a balustrade (cancelli), which was covered for protection during action wdth felt (cilicium, _Kapappvfj.aTa Tpix'fa) or canvas (TT. Xzvxd). Above was stretched a strong awning of hide (/raTa$A.i7p.a), as a protection against grappling irons and missiles of all kinds. In Roman vessels towers were carried up fore and aft from wdiich darts could be showered on the enemy's deck ; the heavy corvus or boarding bridge swung sus-pended by a chain near the bows ; and the ponderous 5eX<pts hung at the ends of the yards ready to fall on a vessel that came near enough alongside. But these were later inventions and for larger ships. The Attic trireme was built light for speed and for ramming purposes. Her dimensions, so far as we can gather them from the scattered notices of antiquity, were probably approximately as follows :—length of rowing space (tyKonrov) 93 feet; bows 11 feet ; stern 14 feet; total 118 feet; add 10 feet for the beak. The breadth at the water-line is calculated at 14 feet, and above at the broadest part 18 feet, exclusive of the gangways ; the space between the diaphragmata mentioned above was 7 feet. The deck was 11 feet above the water-line and the draught about 8 to 9 feet. All the Attic triremes appear to have been built upon the same model, and their gear was interchangeable. The Athenians had a peculiar system of girding the ships with long cables (uxofci/iaTa), each trireme having two or more, which, passing through eyeholes in front of the stern-post, ran all round the vessel lengthwise immedi-ately under the waling-pieces. They were fastened at the stern and tightened up with levers. These cables, by shrinking as soon as they were wet, tightened the whole- fabric of the vessel, and in action, in all probability, relieved the hull from part of the shock of ramming, the strain of which would be sustained by the waling-pieces convergent in the beaks. These rope-girdles are not to be confused with the process of undergirdihg or trapping, such as is narrated of the vessel in which St Paul was being carried to Italy. The trireme appears to have had three masts. The mainmast carried square sails, probably two in number. The foremast and the mizen carried lateen sails. In action the Greeks did not use sails, and everything that could be lowered was stowed below. The mainmasts and larger sails were often left ashore if a conflict was expected.





The crew of the Attic trireme consisted of from 200 to 225 men in all. Of these 174 were rowers,—54 on the lower bank (thalamites), 58 on the middle bank (zygites), and 62 on the upper bank (thranites),—the upper oars being more numerous because of the contraction of the space available for the lower tiers near the bow and stern. Besides the rowers were about 10 marines (e'7n)3aTai) and 20 seamen. The officers were the trierarchand next to him the helmsman (KvPepviirns), who was the navigating officer of the trireme. Each tier of rowers had its captain (o-Toixapx^s)-There were also the captain of the forecastle (irpeopevs), the " keleustes " who gave the time to the rowers, and the ship's piper (TpcnpavXi)s). The rowers descended into the seven-foot space between the diaphragmata and took their places in regular order, beginning with the thalamites. The economy of space was such that, as Cicero remarks, there was not room for one man more.

The improvement made in the build of their vessels by the Corinthian and Syracusan shipwrights, by which the bows were so much strengthened that they were able to meet the Athenian attack stem on (_n-poo-BoXyj), caused a change of tactics, and gave an impetus to the building of larger vessels—quadriremes and quinqueremes—in which increased oar-power was available for the propulsion of the heavier weights.
In principle these vessels were only expansions of the trireme, so far as the disposition of the rowers was concerned, but the speed could not have increased in pro-portion to the weight, and hence arose the variety of contrivances which superseded the ramming tactics of the days of Phormio. In the century that succeeded the close of the Peloponnesian War the fashion of building big vessels became prevalent. We hear of various numbers of banks of oars up to sixteen (eKKcuSeK^pjis) —the big vessel of Demetrius Poliorcetes. The famous tesseraconteres or forty-banked vessel of Ptolemy Philo-pator was in reality nothing more than a costly and ingenious toy, and never of any practical use. The fact, however, of its construction shows the extent to which the shipwright's art had been developed among the ancients.

The Romans, who developed their naval power during the First Punic War, were deficient in naval construction till they learnt the art from their enemies the Cartha-ginians. They copied a quinquereme which had drifted on to the coast, and, with crews taught to row on frames set up on dry land, manned a fleet which we are told was built in sixty days from the time the trees were cut down. After the Punic War, in which the use of boarding tactics gave the Romans command of the sea, the larger rates —quinqueremes, hexiremes, octiremes—continued in use until at Actium the fate of the big vessels was sealed by the victory of the light Liburnian galleys. The larger classes, though still employed as guardships for some time, fell into disuse, and the art of building them and the knowledge of their interior arrangements were lost.
Table of Measurements, &e., after Graser.

== TABLE ==

Mediaeval Ships.—It is not at present possible to trace in its successive stages the transition from the ancient ship of war to the mediaeval galley. The sailing vessels of the time of the early Roman empire, such as that in which St Paul suffered shipwreck or the great merchantman described by Lucian, were the direct precursors, not only of the mediaeval merchant vessels, but also of the large sailing vessels which, after the invention of gunpowder, and the consequent necessity of carrying marine artillery, superseded the long low galleys propelled by oars. The battle of Actium gave the death-blow to the ancient type of vessel with its many banks of oars. The light Liburnian galleys which, though fully decked, were aphract, and, according to Lucan's testimony (bk. iii.).

Ordine contents gemino crevisse Liburnse, had only two banks of oars, were biremes. This appar-ently became the type of Roman war galleys ; and, though the old name trireme survived, its meaning became simply " man of war," and did not any longer imply three banks of oars. Light vessels were in vogue, and galleys with single banks of oars are common in the representations on coins and in such frescos as survive, but trireme and quinquereme, &c, have vanished.

A cloud of obscurity rests on these, the dark ages of naval history. We know nothing of the character and composition of the fleet in which Ricimer defeated the Vandals in the 5th century of our era. Nor have we any details of the fleets of the Byzantine empire until the end of the 9th century, when a light is thrown upon the subject by the Tactica of the emperor Leo. This emperor, in giving his directions as to the constitution of his fleet, prescribes that dromones (8pop.wves)—that is, triremes—_ are to be got ready in the dockyards with a view to a naval engagement. The vessels are not to be too light or too heavy. They are to be armed with siphons for the projection of Greek fire. They are to have two banks of oars, with twenty-five rowers a-piece, on each side. Some of the vessels are to be large enough to carry two hundred men; others are to be smaller, like those called galleys or one-banked vessels, swift and light (eAarTous Spop-iKinraTov^ olovu yaXaias rj p.ov?7p«s Atyo/xeVous ra^ivons KO.1 eXatppovs). Here we have the name galleys distinctively attached to vessels with one bank of oars. This passage should have saved much of the labour that has been thrown away in attempting to prove that the distribution of rowers in the mediaeval galleys was upon the same principle as that observed in the ancient biremes or triremes.

The light thrown by the philosophic Byzantine on the naval construction and equipment of his time is but a passing flash. After the 9th century there is darkness again until the 11th and 12th centuries, when the features of the mediaeval galley first begin to be visible. And here perhaps it is not out of place to say that it is necessary to distinguish between those imaginary representations of the antique in which painters, such as Tintoret, give fanciful arrangement to the oars of their galleys, so as to meet their ideas of bireme or trireme, from those that are historically faithful and figure, perhaps in an ungainly and inartistic manner, the galleys of Venice and Genoa as they appeared in the Middle Ages. It would exceed the space at our disposal here to enter into details which can be gathered from Jal's Archeologie Navale and the Glossaire Nautique of the same author, or the later works of Admiral Jurien de la Graviere and Admiral Fincati. It must suffice to indicate here a few of the main characteristics in which the mediaeval galley differs from the ancient, and exhibits the last development of man-power as applied to motion in vessels larger than the boats of the present day.

These characteristics may be sketched briefly. Upon the mediaeval galley, which was essentially a one-banked galley (p.ovoi<poTov), the use of the longer oar or sweep took the place of the small paddling oars of the ancient vessel. The increased length of the oar requiring for its efficiency greater power than one man could employ led to the use of more than one man to an oar. The necessity therefore arose of placing the weight (or point at which the oar, used as a lever, worked against the thowl, and so pressed against the water, which is the fulcrum) at a greater distance from the force or man who moved the lever. This was gained by the invention of the apostis-

Upon the hull of the mediaeval galley was laid a frame-work which stood out on either side from it, giving on either side a strong external timber, running parallel to the axis of the vessel, in which the thowls were fixed against which the oars were rowed. It will be readily understood how this arrangement gave a greater length inboard for the oar as compared with that of the ancient vessels, where the thowl stood in the aperture of the vessel's side or port-hole. On the inner side, rising inwards towards the centre line of the decks and inclining upwards, were the banks or benches for the rowers, arranged a la scaloccio, who could each grasp the handle of the oar, moving forward as they depressed it for the feather, and backward for the stroke as they raised their hands for the immersion of the blade. The stroke no doubt was slower than that of the ancient galleys, but much more powerful. For the rest we must refer to the works above mentioned, where the reader will find minute descriptions of the build and the equipment of mediaeval vessels, such as those which fought at Lepanto or carried the proud ensign of the Genoese republic.

Literature.—1. For Ancient Ships :—Duemichen, Fleet of an Egyptian Queen ; Chabas, Études sur l'Antiquité Historique ; P.awlinson, Ancient Monarchies; Scheffer, De Militia Navali Veterum; Boeckh, Urkunden über das Seewesen des Attischen Staates ; B. Graser, De Re Navali Veterum; Id., Das Model eines Athen-ischen Fünf reihenschiffes tPentere) aus der Zeit Alexanders des Grossen im König-lichen. Museum zu Berlin ; Id., Die Gemmen des Königliciien Museums zu Berlin mit Darstellungen antiker Schiffe ; Id., Die ältesten Schiffsdarstellungen auf antiken Münzen; A. Cartauld, La Trière Athénienne; Breusing, Die Nautik der Alten; Smith, Voyage and Shipwreck of St Paul. 2. For Mediœval Shipping :—-A. Jal, Archéologie Navale and Glossaire Nautique ; Jurien de la Graviere, Der-niers Jours de la Marine à Rames, Paris, 1885 ; Fincati, Le Ti-iremi. (E. WA.)


Footnotes

The raft of Ulysses described in Homer (Od., v.) must have been of this class.
See Capt. Cook's account of the Friendly Islands, La Perouse on Easter Island, and Williams on the Fiji Islands

Compare the planks upon the Egyptian war galleys, added so as to protect the rowers from the missiles of the enemy.

See Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. ii. p. 176.

Taking the interscalmium at 4 feet; but this does not agree with Vitruvius, who gires 2 cubits.




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