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T1, R1, Prng 4: Greek Penteconter Galley vs Roman Bireme Galley

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  • T1, R1, Prng 4: Greek Penteconter Galley vs Roman 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.





    7. Greek Penteconter c 500BC


    Penteconters (so named for being a class of galley with about 50 oars; sometimes give or take 2-3 each side) had started to become the principal Greek warship type perhaps a century or so before this date.
    They continued in service as a very useful secondary type after more sophisticated vessels (biremes and then triremes) had taken over the premier slot.
    Most of the other Mediterranean maritime powers also made continuing use of galleys in this general class; usually of broadly similar design concept.





    Here, a nicely finished wooden model of a Greek "penteconter" design variation, this time using 44 oars.
    In this particular representation, there seems to be a bit of spare room in the foremost part of the outrigger.
    Perhaps it indicates that that there would be room for an additional two oars per side (total 48) if the space wasn't being used for something else?





    Below is a photo of Argo, a modern reconstruction of a Greek penteconter, being taken out for a short voyage.







    12. Roman Bireme (small) c 50BC


    By this time (the last century BC), Roman warships and those of other powers in the region had already become somewhat more sophisticated.
    Apart from the refinements to overall design, this bireme shows on-board features and equipment that were by now common on Roman galleys.
    These included purpose-built boarding ramps and "fighting tower" structures.





    Now for a couple of close-ups:
    In the first view, we can clearly see the oarsmen for the upper bank of oars.
    The tops of the heads of those operating the lower bank would be about level with the gunwales, just out of view from this angle.





    This second photo (either of a very similar model or the same one with different paint details at another time) is from a higher angle.
    It give a better view of what's on the upper deck.







    Well then, my friends ... what say you?
    Which of these two warships will you vote for?


    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).
    39
    7. Greek Penteconter Galley c 500BC
    38.46%
    15
    12. Roman Bireme Galley (small) c 50BC
    61.54%
    24

    The poll is expired.

    Last edited by panther3485; 19 Aug 17, 04:35.
    "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
    I went Roman, but I don't like all that topweight!

    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 Greek in this match; mainly for recognition of the basic type as a progenitor of later small-to-medium galleys, including the Roman ones.
      "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
        According to Casson when not in action the Roman rowers effectively moved up a level and some rowed from the top deck. It was drier that way but going into action the top deck was kept clear for the marines
        Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
        Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
          I went Roman, but I don't like all that topweight!

          Pruitt
          The real killer was the corvus which acted like a lever and made the ship dangerously unstable in rough weather. The Romans lost many ships without ever coming into action for this reason. Nevertheless the Roman economy was able to churn out replacements and the population was able to with stand losses in men of considerably greater than WW1 type proportions. When they did get to the Carthaginians intact the corvus then made all the difference.
          Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe (H G Wells)
          Mit der Dummheit kaempfen Goetter selbst vergebens (Friedrich von Schiller)

          Comment


          • #6
            Got to go with the Roman because of the corvus. One of the great secret weapons.

            Comment

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