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T1, R1, Prng 3: Phoenician Mono/Bireme Galley vs Greek Bireme Galley

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  • T1, R1, Prng 3: Phoenician Mono/Bireme Galley vs Greek Bireme Galley

    In your opinion, which of these two warship types was most significant, influential and/or effective?
    Feel free to apply those criteria as you please, along with any others you think appropriate.
    Note: Suggestions for some additional criteria are at the foot of this post.


    According to the criteria as you see and apply them, please vote for your preferred candidate in the attached poll.
    If your chosen criteria are significantly different from those suggested, telling us what they are and why you used them would be helpful.





    5. Phoenician Mono/Bireme Galley 700-600BC


    The Phoenicians were a great and very successful maritime people and they used a considerable variety of warship designs.
    The next two pictures below show somewhat different interpretations of early Phoenician galleys, based on Assyrian artwork dating from around 700BC.
    Of interest are the differing opinions regarding layout and specific accommodation of the oarsmen.
    This first illustration, in a simple side view, shows the oars arranged in two banks; the upper oarsmen, presumably, sitting half a level above and inboard of the lower oarsmen.
    (No heads/shoulders of any oarsmen to be seen, which doesn't help.)
    If that interpretation is correct, then this would have been an early bireme.





    In this alternative interpretation, the oarsmen are all sitting at exactly the same level; two files on each side.
    The outermost oarsmen are seated in "outrigger" style open-topped hull extensions, very exposed and close to the waterline.
    The artist has shown the superstructure running just about the full length of the ship but relatively very narrow in width.
    If correct, presumably, this might have helped with stability by keeping these upper-works lighter as well as closer to the centre of gravity of the vessel?
    This interpretation (with oarsmen at the same level and with all oars articulated at the same level also) would make the galley a monoreme.
    However, the seemingly very "unconventional" hull/superstructure layout, compared to other galleys we are looking at in these polls, raises an eybrow for me at least.





    Below, is a preserved piece of Assyrian artwork from about 700BC, showing this type of Phoenician vessel.
    The Assyrians (and later, the Persians) were not among the leading maritime peoples of the Mediterranean/Middle Eastern region.
    Therefore, when needed they made considerable use of mercenaries from other nations/peoples, especially if they did not have full alliances with them as such.







    6. Greek Bireme Galley 550-500BC


    The bireme was a galley with the oars set at two separate levels, or "banks" on each side.
    It allowed more oarsmen to be accommodated into a given length of hull; thus more power but it did add to the height to the ship.
    Shown here is a model of a Greek bireme from roughly the time in this heading.





    Another model of a Greek bireme, complete with crew and a contingent of marines, is shown below.
    By this stage, purpose-designed rams were fully established and in widespread use among the navies of the Mediterranean region.





    The illustration below shows a scene from the battle of Alalia, which occurred some time between 540-535BC, near Corsica.
    An Etruscan/Carthaginian allied galley (left) is being rammed by a Phokaian Greek "dikrotos penteconter".
    The latter was adapted from the standard penteconter, with a somewhat taller hull and the oarsmen arranged in two banks instead of one.
    In other words, it was in effect an early, "compact bireme". This had advantages and disadvantages.
    The shorter hull length allowed for better maneuverability in close combat, while retaining the rowing power of 50 oarsmen.
    This could be critical in bringing the ram to bear on an enemy vessel before it was able to successfully evade.
    However, the reduced internal space limited the amount of supplies (including food & water) and/or troops that could be carried.
    The outcome of the battle was a "Cadmean victory" for the Phokaian Greeks.
    Although they drove off the Etruscan/Carthaginian fleet which outnumbered their force, they were in such a depleted state that they would be unable to resist another assault.
    They therefore decided to evacuate Corsica.







    Well then, my friends ... what say you?
    Which of these will get your vote?


    Suggested additional criteria you might wish to consider, along with any others you deem appropriate.
    (Note: Some of these could be considered already covered by Significant, Influential and Effective)

    Which warship type ...
    • was the best?
    • was the greatest?
    • was the most widely used?
    • had the greatest longevity in service?
    • was the most versatile?
    • represented the best value for the cost/effort invested ("bang for the buck" in today's language)?
    • was the easiest to operate?

    Any other criteria you have applied (please tell us what they were).
    38
    5. Phoenician Mono/Bireme Galley 700 - 600BC
    50.00%
    19
    6. Greek Bireme Galley 550-500BC
    50.00%
    19

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by panther3485; 19 Aug 17, 04:34.
    "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

  • #2
    Greek!

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

    Comment


    • #3
      I went Phoenician this time; mainly because I think their ships were more influential before the Greeks had amounted to very much in maritime warfare.
      At least, that's what my reading so far seems to suggest.
      "England expects that every man will do his duty!" (English crew members had better get ready for a tough fight against the combined French and Spanish fleets because that's what England expects! However, Scotland, Wales and Ireland appear to expect nothing so the Scottish, Welsh and Irish crew members can relax below decks if they like!)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by panther3485 View Post
        I went Phoenician this time; mainly because I think their ships were more influential before the Greeks had amounted to very much in maritime warfare.
        At least, that's what my reading so far seems to suggest.
        Agree.

        Comment

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