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History => Ancient and Medieval History => Ships and Navies => Topic started by: Patrick Waterson on March 30, 2019, 11:30:34 AM

Title: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on March 30, 2019, 11:30:34 AM
The Nicopolis victory momument, raised to commemorate Actium and decorated with 35 rams from captured ships, has been investigated by archaeologists with a view to working out ram dimensions from the size of the display niches.

Story here (https://uk.yahoo.com/news/secrets-horrific-battle-cleopatra-gave-151400569.html).

The archaeologists have been impressed by the dimensions of the niches.  It looks as if Antony and Cleopatra did, as tradition and our sources suggest, field ships of considerable size.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Jim Webster on March 30, 2019, 08:58:42 PM
The Nicopolis victory momument, raised to commemorate Actium and decorated with 35 rams from captured ships, has been investigated by archaeologists with a view to working out ram dimensions from the size of the display niches.

Story here (https://uk.yahoo.com/news/secrets-horrific-battle-cleopatra-gave-151400569.html).

The archaeologists have been impressed by the dimensions of the niches.  It looks as if Antony and Cleopatra did, as tradition and our sources suggest, field ships of considerable size.

Interesting. Certainly a proportion of the ships were impressively big, almost by definition at least 10%.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 05, 2019, 01:49:49 PM
Deceres.
Almost invulnerable to ramming but very slow.
3 mt high on water.
Rec in " Warfare in classical world"
Not the biggest ship ever.
 Demetrio Poliorcete perhaps had some 16-er , surely Philp V one.
Reconstruction at page 257 in "Greek and Roman warfare" W.L.Rodgers ,
J.Morrison in the "Age of galley" described it as unmanageable.
I'm more interested in  hexeres, a better ship.
But two or three levels of oars ? I think two.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 05, 2019, 07:49:28 PM
That is the standard 'book' summary, but like most such attempts there are one or two points which do not fit the original sources.

Dekeres were not necessarily slow; Plutarch refers to 15s and 16s as:

"However, in the ships of Demetrius their beauty did not mar their fighting qualities, nor did the magnificence of their equipment rob them of their usefulness, but they had a speed and effectiveness which was more remarkable than their great size. " - Life of Demetrius 43

Octeres (8s) could be rapid and effective, despite their size:

"When he heard what had happened, Antigonus the son of Demetrius tried to cross over to Macedonia with an army and a fleet, in order to forestall Ptolemy; and Ptolemy went to confront him with Lysimachus' fleet.  In this fleet were some ships which had been sent from Heracleia, six-bankers and five-bankers and transports and one eight-banker called the lion-bearer [Leontophorus], of extraordinary size and beauty. It had 100 rowers on each line, so there were 800 men on each side, making a total of 1,600 rowers. There were also 1,200 soldiers on the decks, and 2 steersmen.  When battle was joined, the victory went to Ptolemy who routed the fleet of Antigonus, with the ships from Heracleia fighting most bravely of all; and of the ships from Heracleia, the prize went to the eight-banker Leontophorus." - Memnon of Heracleia 8.4-6

Given that 15s and 16s impressed with their speed and effectivness, and the Leontophorus (an 8 ) was considered the most effective ship in Cyzicus' fleet, it seems very unlikely that dekeres (10s) would be slow, and quite certain that they would be readily manageable.  At Chios in 201 BC, Philip V's dekeres managed to catch and ram a trireme, which tells us something about its manoeuvrability and handling.  (The fact that it then became stuck and could not avoid being sunk by several opposing ships was unfortunate; it looks as if Philip had the real-life equivalent of bad dice.)
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 05, 2019, 09:13:52 PM
Yes,
also Tiger I was "wonderful" tank, 88 mm gun could destroy 8 enemy tanks before a single  Tiger was disabled.
Unfotunately with the some cost to built a Tiger, americans builted 9 M4 and Russians 10 T-34.
Next time 10-11 against one, and after 11-12 against one and so on, the end is history.
In the Punic wars we have only 3-4-5-6, and Carthaginian Navy was the best in ancient world,
Romans won at Egadi Islands because  copied a captured Punic ship improving it.
A Chios  Phillip V had no luck  with his great ships ? or the ships are wrong?
5-6 were the best, they could catch also a fast 3-4 with slightly  rough sea.
Royal Navy used primary 74 guns  not 98-100 or 36. Why?
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Jim Webster on May 06, 2019, 06:43:17 AM

Royal Navy used primary 74 guns  not 98-100 or 36. Why?

Interestingly one answer to this question may be relevant to this discussion. RN ships managed to get aboard the maximum number of crew and guns for the minimum amount of timber. Indeed during and after the Napoleonic wars work was done on producing ships using smaller pieces of timber which were easier to come by
Effectively RN ships were more cost effective if you needed lots of them
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 06, 2019, 09:12:47 AM
In addition to the building economics Jim mentions, there were manning economics: the Royal Navy was perpetually short of men (and, usually, money).  For this reason the majority type was always a compromise between cost, manpower and effectiveness: up to AD 1750 or so, most line-of-battle ships were 64s and most frigates were 28s or 32s.  By AD 1800, with the Royal Navy's opponents habitually fielding increasing numbers of 80-120-gun warships, the standard line-of-battle ship was a large 74 and the standard frigate a 38, both with several carronades over and above their nominal gun rating.  The Royal Navy also possessed 80s, 98s and 100s during the period AD 1750-1800 and converted some 64s into 44 razee frigates to provide a number of ships with extra gunpower for special situations.

The USA adopted the 'build the largest and the best' approach, starting the War of 1812 with a high proportion of 44s - which had originally been designed as 74-gun ships of the line but were instead built as 44-gun frigates (they actually carried 52), so they were larger and stronger (and, with 24-pounders, better armed) than any other 44s and indeed any frigates in the world.  They chewed their way through British 38s, so the Royal Navy reacted by making their standard new frigate a 40 and also building some larger frigates - 56s - specifically to take down the US 44s.  (In the event, a US 44 - the President - was taken by a Royal Navy 40 - the Endymion - and thereafter the other US 44s stayed at home rather than risk meeting a 56 or a blockading squadron.)

After the Napoleonic Wars, the standard Royal Navy line-of-battle ship became the 120.

The Hellenistic Navies saw a similar tendency to build larger and harder-hitting warships, but with the constant wars draining treasuries the navies appear to have been 'rationalised' after the final set of Diadochoi wars culminating in Ipsus (301 BC).  Most fleets described after that date used ships in the 3-6 range (triremes to hexeres) as the main proportion of the fleet, with a number of 7-10s and occasionally something larger.

There would be reasons for this, including cost, but the primary constraint would be crew training.  It is much easier to train a crew of 160-200 oarsmen than it is to train a crew of 1,600 oarsmen.  And it is much easier to mobilise smaller crews at short notice.  The obvious solution is to retain a few large polyremes (10s and above) for use as flagships and to provide useful fighting power while filling out the fleet with whatever else is handy (and for which you can muster crews).

On the whole, it seems that the larger ships were very desirable but that manpower and perhaps also financial limits led to not many being used.

Quote
A Chios  Phillip V had no luck  with his great ships ? or the ships are wrong?

The ships were fine.  The problem was that his dekeres hit an opposing trihemiola and got stuck - because the dekeres had a high ram, it did not sink its target, and because it had hit too fast, it penetrated too deeply and could not disengage.  With a trireme stuck to its bow, it could not manoeuvre effectively and was soon rammed by two enemy ships in quick succession, which resulted in it being lost.  In effect, being stuck to the trireme had reduced its manoeuvrability to the level today's scholars allow for an unencumbered dekeres.  Poor luck - or poor judgement of ramming speed and angle - caused the loss of this dekeres.

It was the only dekeres in the whole battle; Philip V's fleet was composed of 53 warships (3s-10s) and 150 lemboi (lembi) and other small, light vessels, while the opposition (combined Pergamene and Rhodian fleets) had 65 warships of various sizes (plus an uncertain number from Byzantium), nine trihemiolae and three triremes (which were now considered 'light' ships rather than warships).  Macedonian tactics included having their lembi 'oar rake' opposing ships, which was very effective when the lembi could get into position to do so, which was not often.

Polybius also describes two further encounters in the battle: in one, a Pergamene polyreme rams a Macedonian 8, gets stuck and is being defeated when the Pergamene flagship frees it by smashing through the interlocked rams of the two vessels; in the other, another Pergemene polyreme tries to ram a Macedonian 7, misses and has its oars on one side sheared off by the Macedonian ship, then being swarmed and sunk by other Macedonian vessels.  It is noteworthy that as soon as a ship had its movement impeded, it was attacked by every enemy ship in the vicinity; otherwise it could avoid trouble and choose its targets, and size seemed to make little if any difference to speed and manoeuvrability.

An interesting feature is that the Macedonian ships appear to have been built with high rams, which were suitable for oar raking and did not sink the ships they rammed, allowing them to be captured.  This was not always a good thing, as Philip's dekeres flahgship proved when it got stuck in its trihemiola target; it might have done better with a low ram, which would have broken the trihemiola in two.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 10, 2019, 10:51:49 AM
Why a large galley  ( over 7er ) cannot have  the same vel and manovrabilty of a smaller vessel?

An example may be   japanese Unryo class aircraft carrier:
with the same hull ( 20.400 -20.600 T)
Unryo with 152,000  SHP developed  34.0 kts
Katsuragi with  with 104,000 SHP 32.0  kts
So to gain only 2 kts we have a machinery 1/3 more powerful.

But ancient galleys moved only  on oars  and the machinery were men.
Double the rowing crew dont' double power, because more a man is near the fulcrum point
of the oar less his stroke is powerful and otherwise double the crew  dont' double the hull but more, increasing
drag and draft.
A ten was over 300 T , a five just a little more that one third of this, a triere only 70 T.
A man's  full stroke in a triere have a force of 200W  and so a total force of 170x200=  34000 W or 46 HP and
the triere have a neligible drag and draft : it fly over water.

Oars of a ten were over 12 m long ,for a five is just sligtly over half of this.

So we have a huge  hull , long oars  and  turning radius was poor,  a ship  not suitable for a diekplus.

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USS Constitution was a best ship,gave many sorrows to the Royal Navy.
But she never  had a encounter with a 74, ever avoiding it.
The four of Annibal Rodio was similar in concept, a fast almost imprendible ship,
but  wars are not won only with guerrilla.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But returning to deceres and similar ships , the reasons of their origin are:
- A wrong concept about warfare that led to Yamato battleship, B-17 or to the PzKpfw Maus
- The political image created by these huge ships
- An overstimate effects on a ship by ballista hits : a single hit can disable only 2-3 men on the rowing crew of 5 or
   4-6 men on the entire single bank of  10  over  two oars.
( Ballista's shots were not radar's controlled missiles so  hits were rarely)
- It's suffiicient only a trained man for oar , the others follows him.
(You can put on oars also an unxeperienced man, a slave or a peasent)
- The ship was not much  more expensive to built that a 5-6, only more wood.
- 7-8-9-10... ...the ancient greek bulit first the hull and after structure, so they put in the ship the men according to the space of the hull.
 




Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 10, 2019, 09:07:24 PM
Why a large galley  ( over 7er ) cannot have  the same vel and manovrabilty of a smaller vessel?

An example may be   japanese Unryo class aircraft carrier:
with the same hull ( 20.400 -20.600 T)
Unryo with 152,000  SHP developed  34.0 kts
Katsuragi with  with 104,000 SHP 32.0  kts
So to gain only 2 kts we have a machinery 1/3 more powerful.

This can be misleading: every ship has a natural best speed, and attempting to drive the ship over that speed requires considerably more power; 50,000 shp would get an Unryu class to 28 knots (compare the Junyo: 4,500 tons heavier, 56,000 shp, 25.5 knots), but to get to 32 knots took another 50,000 shp  A further 50,000 shp was needed to reach 34 knots.  This is why WW2 ships were rarely designed for more than 35 knots in a loaded condition.  (They could go much faster when empty - a feature Italian shipyards took full advantage of because they were paid big bonuses if ships exceeded trial speeds, so they did the trials with no stores or ammunition and a minimum of crew and fuel - until it was realised that the ships they built could not make their design speeds in service.)  Ship design also makes a big difference to possible speed; fast ships are narrow, with a fine entry and run (finely tapered front end and back end for non-nautical types among us) and HMS Courageous, one of Britain's 22,000 ton 'light' WW1 cruisers, was said to have reached 47 knots unloaded at full power.  Fully loaded, her service speed was about 33 knots.

Before WW1, the Royal Navy tried to get additional speed out of coal-burning cruisers.  The Drake class required 1/3 more machinery by weight and 400 additional stokers to achieve one knot more than its 22-knot predecessors.

As far as I know, Hellenistic ships were not designed to 'push the envelope' in this fashion; they had, as you mention, a power-to-weight ratio limit, but the records of their performance suggest they made very good use of it.  The octeres (8 ) Leontophorus had as many oarsmen as a 16, and appears to have been double the length of a normal '8'.  This was probably found to be a more effective arrangement than building a 16, as only eight banks of oars were required, which meant the ship could be lower and slimmer.

This may in fact be the reason we find fewer polyremes as the Hellenistic era advances: by doubling the length of the ship, it was possible to include as many oarsmen with only half the number of oar banks.  Hence a 12 would be replaced by a long 6, a 13 or 14 by a long 7, a 15 or 16 by a long 8, and 17s-20s were presumably replaced by a long dekeres.

Quote
But ancient galleys moved only  on oars  and the machinery were men.
Double the rowing crew dont' double power, because more a man is near the fulcrum point
of the oar less his stroke is powerful and otherwise double the crew  dont' double the hull but more, increasing
drag and draft.

Classical ships had one man per oar, as did all ships where free men rowed.  More than one man per oar applied only with slaves (classical galleys did not use slaves; too inefficient).

Quote
The four of Annibal Rodio was similar in concept, a fast almost imprendible ship,
but  are not won only with guerrilla.

A minor point of detail: Hannibal the Rhodian's ship was actually a quinquereme (Polybius I.59.8 ) but was taken by a captured quadrireme.

Incidentally, it is nice to talk to someone who knows his WW2 ships.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 12, 2019, 02:45:59 PM
I have done the example of the Unryu only to demostrate that  with a determinate hull
the max speed  can be archieved only with the right power.
Incidentally Unryu's hull  were designed with a power of 152000 shp, Katsuragi had boliler and tubines of a destroyer so
less power and less speed.
As it's impossible  obtain more that 34 kt from the of the Unryo's  hull ( machinery space ) so
it's impossible obtain more that a determinated speed from  a determinated  hull propelled by oars ( men = machinery space)
Junyo's hull and machinery dates are inappropriate because the hull was a commercial one and machinery was DIY.

An other problem much more sensible, length to beam ratio.
Furious and her sisters had a battlecruiser hull with 9,7 : 1
during conversion to improve stability bulged were added and ratio was reduced to 8,7 : 1 ( D.Brown Aircraft Carrier, Mac Donald)
so speed decresed by 1.5  knots to 30.5 in 1925.(91.000 shp)
Italian cruisers... good idea:
Capitani Romani class was developed from Taskent ,builted for Soviet Navy:
 (JIN Shimakaze and some French super-DD  similar in concept)
they have a machinery of 110.000 SHP with a hull with 10:1 ratio  of only 5 334 t FL,
during trial (almost void)  speed was 41 kn, paradoxically under operational circumstances
R.N.Scipione Africano reach 43 kn, but sovrastructures were made with papier-mache.

Why these examples of WW1-2 ships?
Simple, physics is not an opinion: water, sea status,power,mass, draft, drag,structural strength are not opinions.

Our ancient galleys were limited in length /beam ratio to 8 : 1 , over this value  a wooden hull simply broke.
Pentecontere's length was the max possible for its beam, so to increse power the only solution were one-two
more banks of oars with a limited enlargement of lenght and beam.
Over these the only solution possible was put more men on the same oar,
so 4  may be 2-1-1 or 2-2 or 4 , 5   2-2-1  or 3-2  and so on.
You lost some power but have a better hull and a better endurance:
Later athenian navy discarded all trieres and substituted them with four, why?



Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 13, 2019, 02:31:34 PM
Our ancient galleys were limited in length /beam ratio to 8 : 1 , over this value  a wooden hull simply broke.

Interesting; do you have a source for this?  It seems like a useful rule of thumb.

Quote
Pentecontere's length was the max possible for its beam, so to increse power the only solution were one-two more banks of oars with a limited enlargement of lenght and beam.

Partly true; this assumes the same techniques of ship construction were employed - which was the case before the Hellenistic period.  The Athenians refined the basic design for lightness, using a hypozomata (strain-bearing rope) to give the ship longitudinal strength.

Then came the polyreme era; Alexander intended to build 500 septemremes for his Arabian campaign, and Demetrius Poliorcetes started building fifteens and sixteens and, as Plutarch mentioned,

"However, in the ships of Demetrius their beauty did not mar their fighting qualities, nor did the magnificence of their equipment rob them of their usefulness, but they had a speed and effectiveness which was more remarkable than their great size." - Life of Demetrius 43

So someone had managed to overcome the limitation of the basic pentekonter concept.

Quote
Over these the only solution possible was put more men on the same oar,

There was actually another solution: add more banks of oars.  The basic oar bank (on a pentekonter) was 25 men.  In an Athenian trireme, this could stretch to 31 men.  A bireme had one bank of oars above the other.  A trireme added a further bank inboard or outboard of the top bank (hence the name 'zeugites' - 'yoke-fellows').  For a quadrireme, it was a simple matter to add a further bank inboard or outboard of the lower oar bank.

The challenge came with quinqueremes and larger.  The Romans could build ships up to quadriremes, but had no idea how to build quinqueremes until they captured an example.  This suggests a major design step, probably the same design step which permitted septemremes and for that matter fifteens, sixteens, twenties etc.  At the same time the number of oarsmen per oar bank seems to have been raised to approximately 50; the ships were getting longer at the same time as the increased number of oar banks was broadening their beams.

The Leontophorus is interesting because it is stated to be an 8 and had 1,600 oarsmen.  This means each oar bank had 100 men, considerably more than any preceding ship.  This gives the Leontophorus the approximate length of a Second World War destroyer (over 300 feet), twice as long as its predecessors.  Such a hull form would be faster than its predecessors, and eight banks of oars would have been easier to control than sixteen, giving the ship better manoeuvrability.

Quote
Later athenian navy substitute all trieres for four, why?

I have no idea why; perhaps the important point to note is that no other powers did.

Quote
As it's impossible  obtain more that 34 kt from the of the Unryo's  hull ( machinery space ) so
it's impossible obtain more that a determined speed from  a determined hull propelled by oars ( men = machinery space)

Yes, but are we looking at the right part of the performance curve?  If a ship like the Shimakaze were rowed, one would not get more than about 12 knots out of her no matter how many oarsmen one put on board.  Giving her 79,000 shp meant that she could reach her performance limit of about 40 knots.  Put the Shimakaze's machinery in the Leontophorus and the latter would easily exceed 30 knots (and perhaps break up under the stresses).

My point is that while a particular hull form has an effective speed limit, oar power takes it nowhere near that limit.  There are of course design measures which will increase the efficiency of the hull form for the power one has, and a longer ship is usually a faster ship given the same power (and approximate weight).  The speed and power limits of the steam turbine era are misleading if directly transferred to the polyreme era, because polyremes were not operating anywhere near the top of their power-speed relationship for their hull form.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 15, 2019, 01:24:11 PM


There was actually another solution: add more banks of oars.  The basic oar bank (on a pentekonter) was 25 men.  In an Athenian trireme, this could stretch to 31 men.  A bireme had one bank of oars above the other.  A trireme added a further bank inboard or outboard of the top bank (hence the name 'zeugites' - 'yoke-fellows').  For a quadrireme, it was a simple matter to add a further bank inboard or outboard of the lower oar bank.


I hope you are kidding.
Never mind the work of several competent naval experts of ancient ship structure and management,
their explanations about are exhaustive and based on scientific reasons.
Never mind archeological edvidences about ancient naval installations.
But , also so, we cannot ignore that there is no any  ancient iconografic proof of
ships manned with more that three orders of oars.
I am sorry, I don't want to sound rude, but if we not agree on this notion,
it is perfectly useless to descant further.




Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 15, 2019, 02:09:12 PM
In a spirit of re-using content, rather than starting afresh, there was an extensive earlier exchange on the subject in a topic about Slingshot 298, starting around #29 http://soa.org.uk/sm/index.php?topic=1661.msg18861#msg18861

Patrick lays out his personal interpretation of polyreme construction from #62 to the end.  As a caveat, this was about four years ago and Patrick may have modified his interpretation since.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 15, 2019, 06:31:20 PM
Never mind the work of several competent naval experts of ancient ship structure and management,

Actually experts seem to be split over the matter, with the fashion in vogue changing from generation to generation, and it is worth pointing out that until a ship is built, everyone is essentially guessing.

Quote
Never mind archeological edvidences about ancient naval installations.

We have plenty of evidence for Carthaginian ship sheds, but as far as I know we lack even a single Hellenistic ship shed.  Carthaginians rarely used anything larger than a quadrireme, so their ship sheds are of no real help for Hellenistic polyremes.

Quote
But , also so, we cannot ignore that there is no any  ancient iconografic proof of
ships manned with more that three orders of oars.

The problem here is that evidence is very incomplete: Hellenistic monarchs tended to put elephants, deities etc. on their coins rather than ships (and the engravers might have demurred over depicting a polyreme).  'Iconographic proof' is only as good as the artists, and Roman engravers seem to have struggled even with triremes.  Paintings might have been more representative, but have not survuved.

Literary sources, on the other hand, are quite clear about multi-banked ships, although this clarity does not usually make the transition to the modern mind.  On the basis that our literary sources are more likely to be complete than our archaeological efforts so far, a good look at the primary sources is essential before drawing any conclusions.  We might note in passing that no classical literary source of which I am aware mentions more than one man to an oar in anything except ships rowed by slaves - and these are usually vessels such as lake pleasure craft.

In a spirit of re-using content, rather than starting afresh, there was an extensive earlier exchange on the subject in a topic about Slingshot 298, starting around #29 http://soa.org.uk/sm/index.php?topic=1661.msg18861#msg18861

Patrick lays out his personal interpretation of polyreme construction from #62 to the end.  As a caveat, this was about four years ago and Patrick may have modified his interpretation since.

Thanks, Anthony.  Mariano, if you can stand looking through that mass of posts, it does outline many of the essential considerations.  If you would prefer not to bother discussing the subject further, I shall understand.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 16, 2019, 08:43:29 PM
Dupuy de Lome had some personal speculation about ancient warships and fail,
Olympia work, with some imperfections but work.
The base for working is this real ship, not surmises.
Science is not an opinion,
"Hic Rodus ,hic salta"

All the answers we need are in this relief,

Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Justin Swanton on May 17, 2019, 06:29:32 AM
Dupuy de Lome had some personal speculation about ancient warships and fail,
Olympia work, with some imperfections but work.
The base for working is this real ship, not surmises.
Science is not an opinion,
"Hic Rodus ,hic salta"

All the answers we need are in this relief,

Explain the answers. Is that a bireme?
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 17, 2019, 09:45:22 AM

Explain the answers. Is that a bireme?

It is probably safer not to use bireme in this context, but a two-tiered vessel.  Most people see this as a larger warship (note the tower) and it appears to be decked.  Note the outrigger the marines are standing on, with its decorative patterns.  Some interpet this as another tier of oars, with the oars withdrawn leaving only blades visible.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 17, 2019, 11:02:30 AM
It is probably safer not to use bireme in this context, but a two-tiered vessel.  Most people see this as a larger warship (note the tower) and it appears to be decked.

Astutely observed. It is also worth noting that one tier seemingly contains two banks of oars. The other gives the impression of being (as Anthony describes):

Quote
Some interpet this as another tier of oars, with the oars withdrawn leaving only blades visible.

Which would leave the question of whether it is meant to represent a trireme or even a quadrireme.  I suspect it may be a quadrireme because the two lower tiers are not separated, which suggests two upper tiers (a trireme had the zeugites on the level of the thranites, the upper oarsmen, not the thalamites, the lower oarsmen, so adding oar banks appears to have been from the top down - a quinquereme would have had three banks in the upper tier and two in the lower, for example).

One may incidentally observe how the artist would have extreme difficulty depicting even three sets of extended oars.  This in itself could explain the lack of exact representations of polyremes.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 17, 2019, 09:49:37 PM

Explain the answers. Is that a bireme?

It is probably safer not to use bireme in this context, but a two-tiered vessel.  Most people see this as a larger warship (note the tower) and it appears to be decked.  Note the outrigger the marines are standing on, with its decorative patterns.  Some interpet this as another tier of oars, with the oars withdrawn leaving only blades visible.

It's so.
But it is much more  possible that are only holes for ventilation.
Oars were very long.:  where were retracted?
But please observe a little particular in this relief:
crocodiles dont' live in Tiber, this was not a Roman warship but an hellenistic one,
perhaps captured.
This marble frieze is in a temple at Preneste devoted to the " Dea Fortuna",
ancients Romans were proud of their booty,not of their own technology.
What can you expect from a nation of thiefs?
This is a much larger warship than a four: perhaps a six, perhaps much more.
Athenian navy sustituted trieres  with fours because a four without outridgers has
a comparable beam and could be recovered in the shipsheds at Zea,Pireo.
With half the oars of a triere, was much less expensive(oars be expensive) , more stable on the sea,
better endurance, less training for men, a reasonoble complement of marines( 70-80 against ten).

It's not scientific declare that " the artist would have extreme difficulty depicting even three sets of extended oars"
the images below show that, if a four rank of oars could exists,
 the artist had not any difficulty to represent them. ( there are painting in Pompei with 3 row of oars not more)
If dont' exists any rappresentation of a warship with more that 3 ranks of oars,
well, perhaps this ship never exists.

The second image is very interesting because oars were not in echelon but just
one over the other, so a large warship ( a six)

About hypozomata  I remember that it's  was not intended to contrast lateral forces ,
but longitudinal ones.
It's scope was to avoid the breaking of the keel, trieres were not high:
much less that  12-13 times  their length : a dangerous relationship.



Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 18, 2019, 10:56:47 AM
Here is a slightly clearer version of Mariano's second picture.

(http://www.ancientportsantiques.com/wp-content/uploads/Documents/ETUDESarchivees/Navires/Photos/Tomb%20Cartilius%20Poplicola,%20Ostia%20Antica.jpg)

Note the three tiers of oars.  Whether the direct stacking one above another is correct or a stylization is a point of dispute.  Incidentally, for an idea of scale, note the row of scuta on their sides  along the gunwale.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 18, 2019, 11:05:30 AM
Athenian navy sustituted trieres  with fours because a four without outridgers has
a comparable beam and could be recovered in the shipsheds at Zea,Pireo.

In Reply 9 on this thread, you wrote:

Quote
Later athenian navy substitute all trieres for four, why?

Did this mean the Athenians replaced triremes with quadriremes or quadriremes with triremes?

Quote
With half the oars of a triere, was much less expensive(oars be expensive) , more stable on the sea,
better endurance, less training for men, a reasonable complement of marines( 70-80 against ten).

But do we know a quadrireme would have 'half the oars' of a trireme?  And if so, how?

Quote
But it is much more  possible that are only holes for ventilation.
Oars were very long.:  where were retracted?

Ships are traditionally ventilated by the use of hatches and ducts (in the days before electrical systems).  Weakening a structural strake (longitudinal plank) by piercing it with that many holes so close together would make the ship likely to come apart in anything other than clear weather.  I think we can therefore dispose of the ventilation hypothesis, unless anyone knows of any galleys at any time in history which were ventilated in such fashion.

Oars were retracted into the hull (as was the usual drill to avoid being oar-raked when passing an enemy ship) under the deckhead in a cataphract (decked) ship; into the open air in an aphract (undecked) vessel.

Quote
It's not scientific declare that " the artist would have extreme difficulty depicting even three sets of extended oars"
the images below show that, if a four rank of oars could exists,
 the artist had not any difficulty to represent them. ( there are painting in Pompei with 3 row of oars not more)
If dont' exists any representation of a warship with more that 3 ranks of oars,
well, perhaps this ship never exists.

Your point that an artist could add more layers of oars in a simplified depiction (as in your first picture) is a good one, and I accept it.

It may however be worth remembering that following Actium Octavian disposed of practically every polyreme in existence and the future Roman navy had nothing larger than a trireme.  Depictions under the Empire would therefore represent only triremes and smaller vessels except in one specific instance: a depiction of Actium.  Do you know of any depictions of Actium?  (The English-speaking world appears not to; the Italian-speaking world might know something.)

Quote
The second image is very interesting because oars were not in echelon but just
one over the other, so a large warship ( a six)

I would say the second image is a Roman trireme. Is there any detail which would suggest it might be a polyreme?

Quote
About hypozomata  I remember that it's  was not intended to contrast lateral forces ,
but longitudinal ones.
It's scope was to avoid the breaking of the keel, trieres were not high:
much more that  12-13 times  their length : a dangerous relationship.

Yes, this is exactly what they were used for: it is like longitudinal internal bracing, but self-tensioning. It was also very effective: when John Coates designed the Olympias, he could not obtain hemp rope so used steel rope instead.  This caused two problems; the metal rope was unable to adjust its torsion in tune with the hull, and it required extra material for a covering (a protective tunnel in case it broke - if a hemp rope breaks, it does little harm, but if a steel cable breaks, the results are usually deadly).  The Athenian designers seem to have been very precise and accurate at what they did, including paying very careful attention to the interactions of their materials.  In some ways, modern engineering is quite crude by comparison.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 18, 2019, 11:40:01 AM
Quote
Do you know of any depictions of Actium?

(https://c8.alamy.com/comp/M1DWJ3/naval-battle-of-actium-detail-1st-century-duques-de-cardona-collection-M1DWJ3.jpg)

All the ships appear to be shown as single tiered.  Though the artist doesn't suggest he has a detailed knowledge of the technicalities of ship construction.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 18, 2019, 07:37:15 PM
Thanks for that, Anthony: an excellent find.  As you mention, the comprehension or depiction of ship design seems a little weak, and the general pre-printing-era illustrative habit of treating relative scale as an optional extra (I am sure ships had more crew members than just four giants) seems to be in vogue.

Our sources for Actium are quite specific that Antony's* fleet contained polyremes.  This picture uses the kind of evasion I half-suspected artists might utilise to save themselves work: everyone gets one bank of oars but the oars are like planks and could represent any (reasonable) number of shafts.  Painting might have made a difference here, as the solid oar 'ridges' could be turned into multiple oar shafts by use of paint (I suspect we ourselves have a few modellers who may have done this).
*(no relation) ;)

Beyond that particular conjecture, every ship is, as you observe, single-tiered, unlike Mariano's previous examples.  Unless the artist has chosen to attempt exclusively lembi, we are left wondering how far artistic representations can be relied on - although some details seem well represented, e.g. the two rams which seem to have been characteristic of this period (the traditonal low ram and the Macedonian high ram being used to gether to get the best of both systems) and the positioning of the steering oars (when the artist has remembered ot include them).  Also noticeable are the guardrails or similar along the gunwales, and the ship in the lower left has an interesting line of what appear to be boxes with holes in a tier above the oars - perhaps another oar tier which the artist avoided fitting out with oars to make his life simpler?
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 19, 2019, 09:01:36 AM
I suspect that trying to read accurate detail from this is a bit pointless.  The ships look they have come from a typical pattern book, which truncates the length and stylizes the oars.   The sculpture has added some fiddly bits to differentiate the ships, like different rails, figure heads and stern ornaments. 

Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 19, 2019, 08:58:28 PM
Thinking about it, I am inclined to agree.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Duncan Head on May 20, 2019, 09:06:36 AM
I suspect that trying to read accurate detail from this is a bit pointless.

There is an article online - La Batalla de Actium: es Posible un Estudio Técnico a Través de la Iconografía? (https://www.academia.edu/21725999/LA_BATALLA_DE_ACTIUM_ES_POSIBLE_UN_ESTUDIO_T%C3%89CNICO_A_TRAV%C3%89S_DE_LA_ICONOGRAF%C3%8DA) - which seems to discuss this very question. If anyone has good enough Spanish, that is. Some discussion of the relief also here (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=pLJGDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA171&lpg=PA171&dq=Actium+relief++Cordoba&source=bl&ots=Kyd5c8NsP3&sig=ACfU3U1BWxHbFzreyNV-ZS-qffKVX_PzWw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwifgMOt0qniAhULPVAKHT0ACaY4ChDoATAEegQICBAB#v=onepage&q=Actium%20relief%20%20Cordoba&f=false) (in English).
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 20, 2019, 09:40:14 AM
Thanks, Duncan; my Spanish is unfortunately nonexistent (other than 'Tu hablas Ingles?'), so I shall perforce have to miss out on that article.  A pity, as 'estudio tecnico' looks as if there might be some serious consideration of the actual technology.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 20, 2019, 01:15:36 PM
 My mistake,  my first sentence was wrong;  simply I forgot to replace  the end of it.
I hope I will not beheaded for this !

-Athenian later navy  3 -------->  to 4 ,

The beam of Olympias  is 5.50 m.,  a photo of its interior ( I see it but I cannot posted it here  for known reasons)
shows that there is no place  for a fourth man and a fourth oar in each of its section.
Put a further tier of oars over the existing one need a larger hull,  a beam wider only  a half a yard over dont' permit the recovery of the ship in
a 6 m wide historical shipsheds,also ignoring the fact that a oar in that position have an angle
on water that oar is useless. 
(Putting a further single man on one of the existing oar  have the same results about beam,
but is senseless: at that point  make a five that is better.)
But without outrideges there is the place for 4 men manning  two oars a two level:
so 90 oars against 172,  a more efficent ship with only a slightly reduced performance in speed.
I repeat that if someone dont' agree about the fact that ancient ships with more than three tiers of oars
are  preposterous and dont' furnish  any  valid proof of the contrary is as to debate about the sex of angels.

I read  the spanish notes about Actium (no problem for me with spanish),not very interesting:
 stated only that:
- in a temple at Nikopolis were a collection of 36 "rostra" from  Antony's ships (no one remain),
- reliefs from "Ara Pacis" are basically  not commented and related to contemporay coins as " celebratory"
- some notes about historial references Floro,Cassio Dione, Plutarch , that everyone knows.
- Nothing about tecnology.
After all, hot air.

We know that:
-at  battles between Agrippa and Pompeus, the first fleet was composed with 5-6 and the second one primary with 4 .
 and that ships of Agrippa were higher than ships of the enemy and were immune from ramming.
-at Actium battle Augustus had smaller ships than Antony and that the greatest ships were ten.
-Only ships with half-bank equal or more that four men had towers.
-The ships from reliefs "batalla-naval-de-actio-colec-duques-de-cardona" have a single tier of oars.
-No ancient source stated incontrovertibly how many men manned an oar for ships excluding trieres.

It's tecnically possible that an ancients classical ship could had  5-7 men to a single oar?
The answer is YES , because renaissance standard galley ,manned with "scaloccio " system ,had five and galeasses had 6-7.
Incidentally "zenzile" galleys had not more that three oars for bank.
For which reason ancient greek, carthaginian or roman  must be different from french or venetian shipbuilders?
Why dont' think to compare  a deceres to a galeasse ? ( pheraps manned at two-three levels)
The purpose to do them was the same.
I dont' discard the reliefs from "Ara pacis" as necessarily celebratory, subsist.

Think about it.

But now I return to the originary tread.
There are only two examples of ancient rams:
One from Athlit and several from Egadi site.
And a ram from "ara Pacis" relif.

http://www.marine-antique.net/L-eperon-d-Athlit?lang=it

The only possible way to have some idea about decere's ram is compare the exisisting edvidences
with the supports in the wall of nikopolis sanctuary.
One my personal note: ancients galley dont' sunk I prefer to use CTL.
I have a my idea about 12 to 2 ratio, simply the roman ships lost their ram ramming.


Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 20, 2019, 01:24:54 PM
Egadi
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Duncan Head on May 20, 2019, 01:33:05 PM
There are only two examples of ancient rams:
One from Athlit and several from Egadi site.
And a ram from "ara Pacis" relif.

And the Belgammel ram (https://www.academia.edu/12560698/The_Belgammel_Ram_a_Hellenistic-Roman_Bronze_Proembolion_Found_off_the_Coast_of_Libya_test_analysis_of_function_date_and_metallurgy_with_a_digital_reference_archive) (alias "Fitzwilliam ram"), though that's a lot smaller and not all that much use for discussing the ram of a dekeres.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 20, 2019, 02:39:45 PM
We have discussed Egadi before but the reports here  (https://rpmnautical.org/location/sicily/) are useful.  The site has a number of pieces on construction too here  (https://rpmnautical.org/research/).

To add to the physical remains, we also have a proembolon (http://www.amezena.net/racconti/il-proembolon/), the small beak that fits above the ram.  I don't know if they have found any of these at Egadi.

For Mariano, the trick to inserting pictures into the text is you copy the image location from the internet, rather than the image itself.  Drop the image location url between the [img] markers generated by the Mona Lisa button and job done.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 20, 2019, 07:35:29 PM
My mistake,  my first sentence was wrong;  simply I forgot to replace  the end of it.
I hope I will not beheaded for this !

-Athenian later navy  3 -------->  to 4 ,

I began to wonder if that is what you meant; thanks for confirming.  And do not worry: unlike the Romans we do not use the axe and rods here!

Quote
The beam of Olympias  is 5.50 m.,  a photo of its interior ( I see it but I cannot posted it here  for known reasons)
shows that there is no place  for a fourth man and a fourth oar in each of its section.
Put a further tier of oars over the existing one need a larger hull,  a beam wider only  a half a yard over dont' permit the recovery of the ship in
a 6 m wide historical shipsheds,also ignoring the fact that a oar in that position have an angle
on water that oar is useless.

I think Coates, despite having been the DNC (Director of Naval Construction) for the Royal Navy and thus being excellent at ship design, made a mistake when planning the Olympias.

He arranged three oar banks in three tiers.  A more effective arrangmeent - and one which I think the Atheninas themselves used - would be to have three oar banks in two tiers, the top tier having two banks of oars, the men of the inner bank being seated on the same level as those of the outer bank.

Quote
But without outrideges there is the place for 4 men manning  two oars a two level:
so 90 oars against 172,  a more efficent ship with only a slightly reduced performance in speed.

I read somewhere (cannot find the reference, sorry) that a quadrireme was mentioned as having fewer oarsmen (160) than a trireme (170).  I rationalise this as having four oar banks in two tiers, repeating the thranite+zeugite arrangement (of two oar banks in a single tier) with the lower tier of oars, putting another bank of 'zeugites' in on the same level as the thalamites.  The result would be a shorter and handier ship with 160 oars, probably a bit lighter, and able to outmanoeuvre a trireme even though the shorter length (20 oarsmen per bank instead of 28-31 oarsmen, so the ship would be 30 feet or about 9 metres shorter) would make it difficult to match the trireme's speed.

The Rhodians particularly favoured the trireme, and their skill with these highly manoeuvrable ships was legendary.

I supect that quadrireme sizes varied, perhaps between 160 and 320 oarsmen, the longer versions being faster but less handy.

Quote
I repeat that if someone dont' agree about the fact that ancient ships with more than three tiers of oars are  preposterous and dont' furnish  any  valid proof of the contrary is as to debate about the sex of angels.

Plutarch, Life of Demetrius, 43.4-5:

"Up to this time no man had seen a ship of fifteen or sixteen banks of oars. At a later time, it is true, Ptolemy Philopator built one of forty banks of oars, which had a length of two hundred and eighty cubits, and a height, to the top of her stern, of forty-eight; she was manned by four hundred sailors, who did no rowing, and by four thousand rowers, and besides these she had room, on her gang-ways and decks, for nearly three thousand men-at-arms. [5] But this ship was merely for show; and since she differed little from a stationary edifice on land, being meant for exhibition and not for use, she was moved only with difficulty and danger. However, in the ships of Demetrius their beauty did not mar their fighting qualities, nor did the magnificence of their equipment rob them of their usefulness, but they had a speed and effectiveness which was more remarkable than their great size."

Plutarch tells us that the ships built by Demetrius had 15 or 16 banks of oars (pentekaidekere and kekkaidekere).  He also notes their speed and handling qualities.  That is sufficient evidence for me.

Quote
I read  the spanish notes about Actium (no problem for me with spanish),not very interesting:
 stated only that:
- in a temple at Nikopolis were a collection of 36 "rostra" from  Antony's ships (no one remain),
- reliefs from "Ara Pacis" are basically  not commented and related to contemporay coins as " celebratory"
- some notes about historial references Floro,Cassio Dione, Plutarch , that everyone knows.
- Nothing about tecnology.
After all, hot air.

Thank you, Mariano; very useful to have you with us.

Quote
We know that:
-at  battles between Agrippa and Pompeus, the first fleet was composed with 5-6 and the second one primary with 4 .
 and that ships of Agrippa were higher than ships of the enemy and were immune from ramming.

Higher ships imply more oar banks, in the case of a 6 it would presumably have had three tiers each of two oar banks (side by side).  Immunity from ramming implies much more solid construction.

Quote
-The ships from reliefs "batalla-naval-de-actio-colec-duques-de-cardona" have a single tier of oars.

We are not sure how far that reflects reality, given the disproportionate nature of the ship depictions.

Quote
-No ancient source stated incontrovertibly how many men manned an oar for ships excluding trieres.

Absolutely correct; if any had, we would not be having this discussion: we would instead have the solution.

Quote
It's tecnically possible that an ancients classical ship could had  5-7 men to a single oar?
The answer is YES , because renaissance standard galley ,manned with "scaloccio " system ,had five and galeasses had 6-7.

'Technically possible' is not the same as good practice. Galeasses were useful but slow and unhandy and very, very inefficient, not least because they also carried cannon and a full set of sails. As a result, they could do nothing well.

The point I would make is that galeasses and scaloccio system ships were rowed by slaves. If you have slaves rowing, the more men to an oar the better, because if one collapses the effectiveness of the remainder is not much reduced and because it is much harder for 5-7 men to agree to go on strike than for one man to stop rowing and throw the whole ship into confusion.  Free men row one to an oar, even in the Renaissance period (the alla sensile system), and this seems to be constant throughout history.

Quote
For which reason ancient greek, carthaginian or roman  must be different from french or venetian shipbuilders?

As mentioned, classical period ships used the alla sensile system because they were rowed by free men.  Shipbuilding techniques anyway differed because the French and Venetiuoans were using a framework and strakes system in which the wood was bent into shape while the classical shipbuilders preferred a monocoque dowel-fastened hull with tool-shaped strakes.  This made French and Venetian (and everyone else in the Renaissance period's) ships stronger but less handy than their classical counterparts.

Quote
Why dont' think to compare  a deceres to a galeasse ? ( perhaps manned at two-three levels)
The purpose to do them was the same.

As alreayd mentioned, the galeass was designed in a very different way as a sail-and-oar combat vessel.  Dekeres could not hope to be effective let alone fulfil a line-breaking role if they were as slow and unhandy as galeasses unless their opponents were similarly slow and unhandy.  Otherwise their targets would just get out of the way and then periplus them.  Logic therefore requires the dekeres to be as fast and as manoeuvrable as their opponents, which seems to be supported by the fact that Philip V's dekeres at Chios managed to catch and ram a trihemiola.

Quote
The only possible way to have some idea about decere's ram is compare the exisisting evidence
with the supports in the wall of nikopolis sanctuary.
One my personal note: ancients galley dont' sunk I prefer to use CTL.
I have a my idea about 12 to 2 ratio, simply the roman ships lost their ram ramming.

That is a good idea worth further consideration.  It is a much simpler explanation than the one whereby the Carthaginians are supposed to have used captured Roman ships.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 21, 2019, 10:23:26 AM
Quote
As mentioned, classical period ships used the alla sensile system because they were rowed by free men.

I think you are confusing alla sensile - it doesn't mean "one man, one oar", though that is the effect.  Its a system of having rowers with multiple oars on the same, angled, bench.  So, a classical trireme with three men on separate benches at different levels isn't alla sensile

Can I also suggest we are careful with terms like "banks" of oars?  Noting that there were ships with 16 banks of oars as if this is a refutation of the statement that no late classical ships were rowed on more than three tiers is particularly confusing, as this implies that a bank and a tier are the same thing.  Most naval historians in modern times don't relate banks and tiers, treating them as independent elements of ship design.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 21, 2019, 10:44:00 AM
I think you are confusing alla sensile - it doesn't mean "one man, one oar", though that is the effect.  Its a system of having rowers with multiple oars on the same, angled, bench.  So, a classical trireme with three men on separate benches at different levels isn't alla sensile .

Yes, to an extent I am, but perhaps unintentionally also expressing that polyremes may have used an alla sensile type of system, one man to one oar, but more than one oarsman to one (angled) bench.

Quote
Can I also suggest we are careful with terms like "banks" of oars?  Noting that there were ships with 16 banks of oars as if this is a refutation of the statement that no late classical ships were rowed on more than three tiers is particularly confusing, as this implies that a bank and a tier are the same thing.  Most naval historians in modern times don't relate banks and tiers, treating them as independent elements of ship design.

I read a 'tier' as being a ship deck.  A trireme, quadrireme, quinquereme or polyreme may have had multiple oar banks (longitudinal lines of rowers) in one tier (oar deck), seating them alle sensile.  You are right about such usage needing careful clarification. :)
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 21, 2019, 11:46:35 AM
There are only two examples of ancient rams:
One from Athlit and several from Egadi site.
And a ram from "ara Pacis" relif.

And the Belgammel ram (https://www.academia.edu/12560698/The_Belgammel_Ram_a_Hellenistic-Roman_Bronze_Proembolion_Found_off_the_Coast_of_Libya_test_analysis_of_function_date_and_metallurgy_with_a_digital_reference_archive) (alias "Fitzwilliam ram"), though that's a lot smaller and not all that much use for discussing the ram of a dekeres.

 Why discard it? I don't reject anything.
I did not know this ram.
At first sight it seems builted with a different technique compared with others.
Rams from Egadi were certainly  builted with lost wax process and had a single case.
One was recycled.
It's seems only a litte more primitive, but dimensions are not much different from rams of Egadi.

to other messages I'll answer later.



Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 25, 2019, 01:57:40 PM
I hope that this my  post could close finally this story.
Some time.... but I prefer give ever a suitable reference at my sentences.

The words used to describe ancient classical galley are ancient greek words.
Not only modern traductions must be ignored but also latin ones, because are simple
transliteration from greek original or free interpretations of it ignoring the genuine meanings of the original ones.

An example:  "Τριήρης"  in german is "Dreiruderer",
 it's a shame that the greek word is  a female noun and in german a male one.
it's worse dont' understand that the original greek word was an adjective,
the real original was  " Τριήρης  ναῦς".
I choose german because use compound words as ancient greek.

Let's start with the begginings.

πεντηκονταετία  or   πεντηκοντερος  ( ναῦς)

πεντήκοντα-  and    headword   of   "ἐρέσσω"

so,  " rowing with fifty "  ...... men or oars?

after:

διήρης   ναῦς
τριήρης  ναῦς
πεντήρης   ναῦς
ἐκκαίδεκαήρης  ναῦς

so    ####-ήρης                                                   

 -ήρης  headword   of   "ἐρέσσω"  or  of   "αρ"

so  "rowing with #####" or "adapted to #####"  .......  ##### may be 2,3,5,16

but go on

μυοπάρων       ( μῦς, μυός «ποντικός» + πάρων «δίστηλο ιστιοφόρο πλοίο)  so may be : " mousebrig"

ημιὅλιο  ναῦς   
ημι-ὅλος    =   " half and one ship"

δίκροτος  ναῦς     δί- κρότος         "ship rattling in two"

τριημιὅλιο  ναῦς   
τριημι-ὅλος    =   " three half and one ship"

after so only

τριήρης  ναῦς   ( note: may be also manned 2x1 , 1 x1  ,Xenophon-Hellenica)

Languages  are strange  ,an example is "quatre-vingt"  in french, but surely
the men that used these words know well what were they talking about.
The only sure thing is that ημιὅλιο was handled with a rank and half of oarsmen.

So, there is no word in ancient greek for a ship with more than three levels of oars.
There is no any historical edvidence of ships handled over three levels of oars and ever most different
from "sensile" way of rowing.

some others notes:

Venetian navy try to use a fourth men in sensile system and found that was senseless,
so put a fourth man on ships and went to the "scaloccio"system.
I reminder  that there is in Venetian a different word for sensile and is "terzarolo".

Immune to ramming means only that the hull was reinforcered at waterline, not necessarily with metal.
Relief proved it. Half a yard of oak wood defeted a 42 lbs shoot.

It's not a good idea discard the work of an other man only declaring that is " a mistake",
On Olympia I make only an observation: his  max speed is 9 kn ,perhaps ancient ships were better,
 but we have to to consider that was builted with commercial wood   for reasons of cost and productivity.
In Pisa harbour archelogists found a little warship  of I centurty A.D  builted with much different woods (- s is intentional).

I finally remark only that it's not necessary to built a ancient ship to prove own personal theories,
It's enough to make a good drawing in cartesian axes  and trasfer the model in a suitable 3D software program who
permit movement of an object on a suitable axe.
Naturally the software will modify your coordinates in floating point numbers, but variations are neligible at this scale.
If it's work ,after you must rate  the materials to use for it.
 I am working on a my model of a six handled at  two level. this is my idea about relief from Praeneste.

I enclose a photo of my old Atlantic model for SHIII game: propellers, undercarriage and hatches run,
it's not easy but possible.




Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 25, 2019, 03:45:40 PM
I have to confess I have difficulty with ancient languages and I struggle to read Greek (i'm none to hot on modern ones either, for that matter).  If we can transliterate Greek into latin letters I find it easier.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 25, 2019, 05:56:54 PM
Some help
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 25, 2019, 08:23:58 PM
Let us pick up these points.


1) Greek wording.

'Pentekonter', as Mariano points out, derives from 'pentekonteros', a compound of 'pentekonta' (fifty) and 'er'-, a stem which could be from eretes (rower) or eretmos (oar); probably not from eiriesia/eirisin (rowing).

The 'hemiola' (a type which appeared in the Hellenistic era and was much favoured by pirates, apparently for speed and versatility) is classed by Arrian as a triakonter, i.e. a 30-oar pattern vessel (it might have more than 30 oars, however; it is essentially a step down from a pentekonter).  This much is known about them.  Modern interpretation speculates that their assumed 30 oars, i.e. 15 a side, consisted of a full bank of 10 and a half-bank of 5.

The 'trihemiola' (another Hellenistic period introduction, much favoured by the Rhodians) was apparently used for chasing down hemiolas and as a line-of-battle vessel.  Modern speculation thinks it had two full oar banks and one half-bank.

I think modern speculation is basically correct.

That said, the reason for having a half-bank of oars, and whether it should be upstairs or downstairs, is not immediately apparent.  My theory is that the configuration would have been a standard decked ship with the additional assumed half-bank of oarsmen added on the top deck, with the sailing crew and marines, so that a hemiola would be a triakonter with the usual 15 men per side rowing below decks plus up to (say) ten per side (exactly 7.5 per side will not work for obvious reasons) actually on the top deck.  If so, one can see how it would be popular with pirates, who could turn the deck oarsmen into boarders the moment ships touched.  By the same logic, the trihemiola (essentially a bireme with added top deck rowers) could convert its deck oarsmen into instant boarding crew and beat the pirates at their own game.


2) Conclusions

I do not understand how Mariano can possibly conclude from this:

Quote
So, there is no word in ancient greek for a ship with more than three levels of oars.

I would mention tetreres, penteres, hexeres, hepteres, octeres, dekeres, etc.  Or have I misunderstood something?

Quote
I finally remark only that it's not necessary to built a ancient ship to prove own personal theories,
It's enough to make a good drawing in cartesian axes  and trasfer the model in a suitable 3D software program who permit movement of an object on a suitable axis.

Well ... yes and no.  I have considerable respect for those with computer modelling skills, but would point out that only when a ship is built (and completed and commissioned) does one find out whether it actually works.  While this was much more significant in the days of HMS Captain (Cowper Coles' design was suspected of instability but not until it was built was it possible to find out that it would indeed turn over and sink in rough weather; the Japanese had the same problem with the torpedo boat Tomodzuru), it also applies to the era of computer design: every class of submarines designed with first-generation CAD programmes (German Type 209, British Upholder, Australian Collins) all leaked at depth and nobody knew why.

Modelling can tell us whether a particular arrangement for oars and rowers looks practicable (and, as Mariano says, whether the oar arcs would interfere with one another), but it cannot tell us whether a ship thus configured would be effective in practice.

I should note that Coates himself considered he had made a number of mistakes with the Olympias, although he did not specifically list the one I mentioned.

Quote
I am working on a my model of a six handled at two level. this is my idea about relief from Praeneste.

I would be very interested to see this.  You do appear to be quite talented.

[Edit: corrected an embarrassing typo to 'possible'.]
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 26, 2019, 09:36:58 AM
Quote
I would mention tetreres, penteres, hexeres, hepteres, octeres, dekeres, etc.  Or have I misunderstood something?

Possibly.  It depends on what the suffix "-eres" means.  Many believe it derives from either the words for oar or rower.  It would therefore say nothing about the number of levels.  What is your alternative etymology from a word meaning level?  We might also note that when the Romans came to translate "eres" they chose "remis", from either oar (remus) or rower (remex).  Though I admit my Latin is very limited so there maybe a latin word starting "rem-" that means level, tier, deck etc.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 26, 2019, 06:41:57 PM
This brings us back to terminology and the need for both precision and accuracy therewith.

In the following, 'bank' means a longitudinal line of rowers each with an oar. 'Tier' means a level or deck of the ship, which may contain one or more oar banks.

The Greek and Latin usage does appear to emphasise either the number of oars (triakonter = 30 oars; pentekonter = 50 oars, both in a single bank) or the number of banks of oars (trieres/trireme = 3 banks; tetreres/quadrireme = 4 banks; penteres/quinquereme = 5 banks, etc.).  The hemiola and trihemiola are special cases in which (as I conclude) a supplementary deck bank is added to make the ships faster and better able to add fighitn crew immediately in a boarding action, but even with these the emphasis is on th enumber of banks of oars.

Conspicuous by its absence is any vocabulary referring to multi-manned oars.  We do not, for example, have anything described as a 'bireme with three men per oar' or anything of that nature.

Nor it seems, do we have any term specifically indicating 'tier'.  Our sources evidently deemed it sufficient to classify a ship by the number of oar banks without mention of tiers, similar to 17th-19th century AD accounts in which warships are usually classified by number of guns (there is however a supplementary terminology for this period - two in fact - of classification by 'rate' and by gun decks, although these appear comparatively rarely except when a naval officer is writing, not least because the 'rate' system changes over the period).

The lack of histories by naval officers from the classical period (in which commanders would usually lead armies and fleets interchangeably) means that if there was specific terminology for 'tiers' it has been lost, or has escaped detection through obscurity.

Quote
It depends on what the suffix "-eres" means.  Many believe it derives from either the words for oar or rower.  It would therefore say nothing about the number of levels.  What is your alternative etymology from a word meaning level?

We end up with -eres as an oar bank indicator more or less by elimination.  For example, a penteres has more than five oars and more than five rowers, so the pent- (five) cannot refer to either of these. This leaves the traditional interpretation of 'oar bank' as the only viable option.  (If anyone has another option, it would be good if they could mention and explain it.)

Similarly, in Latin, a trireme would have more than just three oars and be rowed by more than just three men.  So I think the etymology points only one way, but would be happy to see any proof that this is not the case.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 26, 2019, 07:06:23 PM
Quote
We end up with -eres as an oar bank indicator more or less by elimination.  For example, a penteres has more than five oars and more than five rowers, so the pent- (five) cannot refer to either of these. This leaves the traditional interpretation of 'oar bank' as the only viable option.  (If anyone has another option, it would be good if they could mention and explain it.)

Similarly, in Latin, a trireme would have more than just three oars and be rowed by more than just three men.  So I think the etymology points only one way, but would be happy to see any proof that this is not the case.

I think I see where the issue is.  Bank is often used to mean tier.  You are using it as a group of rowers - those in half a section across the ship.  I don't think anyone would argue with this.  A penteres would have five rowers in this half-section, an octeres eight.  What it doesn't help us with is the number of oars or men to an oar.  We lack images of ships rowed at more than three levels, as Mariano has pointed out several times.  We also lack images of clustering of single level oars in threes, like a medieval or early renaissance galley had (as already pointed out, renaissance experiment showed this was the most that could be successfully clustered).  The obvious interpretation is each half section (bank) had an oar per level and the number "rating" - 4, 5, 16 etc. is the number of rowers pulling one, two or three oars depending on the ship's construction.

Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 26, 2019, 07:28:46 PM
I think I see where the issue is.  Bank is often used to mean tier.  You are using it as a group of rowers - those in half a section across the ship.  I don't think anyone would argue with this.  A penteres would have five rowers in this half-section, an octeres eight.

Nearly, but not quite.  To me, an oar bank is not the cross-section but the longitudinal section, the line of 30-50 holes in the ship's side, the wooden things which stick through them (one each) and the men who pull them (one each).  A bireme has two of these on each side, so the number of banks also equals the number of decks and hence tiers.

Where it gets trickier is with triremes and higher, because these (as I see it) start to add extra oar banks on the same deck, adding exterior frames for the extra oar banks so there is now more than one oar bank on each deck/tier.

Quote
What it doesn't help us with is the number of oars or men to an oar.

It might not help directly (or it might now that usage has hopefully been clarified a bit) but the persistent naval tradition of one free man to one oar (the maximum efficiency configuration) can.  I seem to remember we have discussed this before. :)

Quote
We lack images of ships rowed at more than three levels, as Mariano has pointed out several times.

We also lack a complete pictographical record of naval types of the period. A ship rowed at three levels could, if these 'levels' are decks (tiers), have fifteen oar banks, five per tier.  Or it might have nine, or twelve, oar banks.  Any guesses as to how many 'levels' (tiers) the Leontophorus, an octoreme with 1,600 rowers, might have had?

Quote
We also lack images of clustering of single level oars in threes, like a medieval or early renaissance galley had (as already pointed out, renaissance experiment showed this was the most that could be successfully clustered).

Although if the oar tier extended outward from the deck proper, this limitation would no longer apply.

Quote
The obvious interpretation is each half section (bank) had an oar per level and the number "rating" - 4, 5, 16 etc. is the number of rowers pulling one, two or three oars depending on the ship's construction.

Forgive me, but I do not see at all how this can possibly follow.  As previously noted, it does not seem to fit the terminology or the etymology of classical warship type designation.  Were it the case, one would expect a different form of notation, e.g. a two-deck, five-per-oar vessel.  Given that the Romans could not work out how to build a quinquereme until they managed to obtain one, I would tend to doubt the concept that the classification comprehended and included the number of oar banks and a (different) distribution of rowers.  The configuration difference with a quinquereme and larger ships was more fundamental (and if it is any comfort, modern scholars have not worked it out either).
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 27, 2019, 08:58:43 AM
Quote
Forgive me, but I do not see at all how this can possibly follow.  As previously noted, it does not seem to fit the terminology or the etymology of classical warship type designation.

And this is central to the debate.  Most writers on the subject do see how this follows and can easily see how the etymology works.  As they are often classicists, who, unlike me, understand the languages involved, it gives me some confidence.   Naval architects have concluded this approach would work, so again it gives me confidence.  It doesn't prove anything - if we had proof there would be no debate - but it does give a consistent and workable solution.  It strikes me your solution really needs testing by someone with some engineering expertise, so that it can be compared with orthodox solutions, before we could take it further.

Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 27, 2019, 07:11:53 PM
Most writers on the subject do see how this follows and can easily see how the etymology works.  As they are often classicists, who, unlike me, understand the languages involved, it gives me some confidence.

My thinking is that they are obeying imperatives other than the language, because if we look at the notes to the Perseus version of Livy which has notes, they were written by a scholar who understood the language and was happy about the etymology being entirely consistent with one 'reme' being one bank of oars.  In fact he took his main supporting arguments from other contexts, e.g. a quinquereme being visually more impressive than a trireme (which in itself might bring into question my interpretation).  So fashions of interpretation change apparently independently of linguistic understanding, and the challenge is to find what drives the change.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 28, 2019, 08:47:56 AM
Quote
So fashions of interpretation change apparently independently of linguistic understanding, and the challenge is to find what drives the change.

A fair point.  The key point here though is that the original language is unclear, so interpretation using other sources is necessary - for example the archaeological and monumental record, the greater understanding of the physics and engineering, advances in reconstruction (like CAD).  Given ancient ships is just one of my interests, the modern analysis is sufficient for me.  Others, such as yourself, may prefer other interpretations.

Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: RichT on May 28, 2019, 09:59:23 AM
Nothing ever changes, does it? This post

http://soa.org.uk/sm/index.php?topic=1661.msg18978#msg18978

from March 2015 (itself quoting from August 2012) uses the same Perseus note on Livy (28.30.11), presumably, as referenced here. The point was responded to well by Duncan and others there, and my own responses:

http://soa.org.uk/sm/index.php?topic=1661.msg18989#msg18989

and specifically on 'ordines remorum':

http://soa.org.uk/sm/index.php?topic=1661.msg19096#msg19096

don't need repeating.

Inconsistent modern use of terminology should alert us to be wary of inconsistent or unclear ancient use of terminology. In particular, talking of 'banks' of oars is most unhelpful, since to many the implication of a 'bank' of oars is that it is a set of oars (running from bow to stern) all at the same level (which is where problems arise with a 16-bank ship etc).

I would suggest that to most:
- 'deck' means a wooden horizontal structure within a ship defining a distinct horizontal level and dividing the ship into one or more vertical spaces. All ancient ships (AFAAnyoneK) had at most one deck, above the heads of the rowers.
- 'bank' means a set of oars running from bow to stern all at one level (that is, the rowers are at one level)
- 'tier' means the same as 'bank'
- 'level' means the same as 'bank' and 'tier'

I don't think anyone has ever proposed that a 16-reme or 16-res ship would have 16 decks or 16 banks (or tiers or levels). What it would have had (which everyone AFAIK has always agreed on) is 16 files of rowers on each side, that is 16 lines of rowers sitting one behind the other in the same relative position in the ship; or, to put the same thing another way, that each section on each side, that is each set of rowers at a cross section of the ship, contained 16 rowers. That of course fits perfectly happily with the etymology of -reme and -res from 'rower' (even if we don't think, as is quite likely, that ship terminology originally, with bireme and trireme, referred to oars, but was then used, for quadriremes and above, to refer to rowers - language often works this way, as we discussed last time around and at various points since).

It then remains undecided and the subject of some ongoing debate whether the number of rowers equaled the number of oars (on the one man, one oar principle), and in how many tiers or banks the rowers would be arranged (which is in no way defined by the -reme or -res terminology). The argument for a maximum of three tiers or banks has been made many times (in this thread or before) - it's the most we see in artistic depictions, and there are practical considerations suggesting more banks or tiers would create difficulties (oar length, oar angle, oar sweep, ship stability, etc).

Having more than three tiers can't be ruled out, but there's no evidence for it. Nor, AFAIK, can one man one oar on some small number (such as three) of tiers be ruled out, though the obvious practical difficulty is that it would require up to 40 oars in each section all in the same small patch of water, which people who know about rowing and ship design feel is impractical. Hence the universal (nearly universal) conclusion that the maximum number of banks or tiers was a small number (such as three), that the number of men per oar could vary accordingly, and that the ship rating (its -reme or -res number) refers to the number of files of oarsmen or of oarsmen in a section, not (necessarily) to the number of oars in a section, still less to the number of banks or tiers of oars.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 28, 2019, 07:00:18 PM
I would be inclined to suggest a practical maximum of four tiers, each of which might contain up to five 'banks' of oars (and oarsmen).  This makes a sixteen or twenty more or less viable, while a 30 (of which I believe only one example is ever mentioned) might go to five tiers, or even six, but apparently the experiment was not repeated.  Ptolemy's 40 might have had more, but this was not a practical warship.  On the whole, I would agree on three tiers as usual (not least because this is what all our surviving representations show) with the possibility that a few ships may have had more.

Taking Richard's point about numerous oars in the same patch of water, my thinking is that each tier would have the oars from its 'oar banks' converge at about the same distance from the ship, and successive tiers would be staggered to avoid mutual interference (which would not, I think, require very much additional width).  The key to effective operation would be to ensure everyone lifted their oars simultaneously, otherwise the potential for mutual interference is considerable.  This is turn puts a premium on crew training and the need for polyremes to have large, very well-trained crews might be another factor in the paucity of the larger examples.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 28, 2019, 09:14:26 PM
Some notes:
I am sorry but I will not comment any single sentence, it is not presumption but only common sense.
If I didn't explain myself well of course is my guilty. I write in language that is not mine.

I try again.

I dont' wrote in greek because I'm better than others, I had the same difficulties than you,
 it's not easy but without  effortlessly nothing is done.
It's was essential

An example for explain my ideas:
"торпеда" ... I found this word seaching for K21 attack on Tirpiz, what weapons this russian sub used?
(incidentally Soviet Navy of 2WW used a slighty better version of Regia Marina's torpedo, understand something from a database in russian it's not easy)
.... торпеда is only the literal tradution of the english word "torpedo", but in this Slavic language this word means nothing.
In Italian  "Torpedo"   means   a "open and sportive car".
The equivalent of english  MTB is in italian MAS (Motoscafo anti-sommergibile) and in german Schnellboot :
the words are very different nevertheless these ships are the same thing.
Go on....
"adjective" and "substantive" are different word and  are used in different language  in different ways.
(forget japanese's names of their warship, they are strange and  I know the reason of it)
It's more easy in Italian....  "Nave corrazzata"  in italian with time become only  "corrazzata" 
(substantivized adjectives in english dont' exist, sorry)  in english simple "battleship".
So, winnie the pooh  racked  brains to found a possible solution at this.
I think "icebreaker" , to remain on navy,  may be usefull.
... some others notes and we get there...
I remark in another tread that the medieaval  "berrovieri"   in italian today  means nothing and that many medieaval  words
today in italian have a different significate from the original one.
I know that modern english is much different from "old" english.
Greek it's not different, language evolve and change so I prefer to use what I know from contemporary writers and reliefs to  the facts.
Second century AD is not the same that second century BC.  400 years are many.
Someone , also in the past, used words wihout knowledge.
It never occurred to me to write in ancient greek, I'm not able and I'm not crazy.


As It's not possible understand anything from hieroglyphs or any ancient  semitic writing
without knowing that the vowels were omitted
so it's not possible used a different language  to construe endings,suffixes and so on.
Must use the original word not the phonetic transliteration of it.



πεντήρης   ναῦς      is     πέντε-ήρης    five -doing  ( my previus post was a unjustified simplification)

 -ήρης  (headword, entry word, main entry, main entry word )   of   "ἐρέσσω"  or  of   "αρ"

so  "rowing with five" or "adapted to five "  ....... I think that the last is better

oar     is     ἐρετμός [ὁ]    or   κώπη [ἡ]
rowingman    is  ἐρέτης [-ου, ὁ]

when ancient greek would write oars they write oars.

Be clear that these are not my speculations but only what the linguistic experts  say.
The majority of the scientific comunity stated so, I have not the linguistic  knowledge to contest it.

Ancient galley had at most one deck, of course it's so.( Rich was faster than me)
An open space ( the dream of all architects) ,  you can put in it all you like but you must prove that it  work and there is  the space for it and that the structure you create dont' break in a thousand pieces.
Some caution, from bones founded in tha ancient harbour of Pisa is clear than ancient sailors were rather large.

I suggest a  different terminology for galley:



- Section  -  a  half  beam part  of the ship  that is repeated in length several time,
 ( some little problem with prow and stern, expecially for hemiolai ,but marginal)
  In a section there are oarlock, it's not significant if they are on the same horizontal or  vertical level or in echelon.
  In my humble opinion over three oarlocks in a section is possible only in a Walt Disney movie.
- men for each of the oarlocks  in  a single section  ( maybe also facing each other, so oarlocks not banks )

Coming soon a half section of a six......on these screens








Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 29, 2019, 08:50:57 AM
Thank you Mariano for your explanation why you use Greek letters.  Personally, I don't think transcribing into the Latin alphabet affects the meaning, providing you follow the usual conventions.  Even then, I can cope with some people saying dory and others saying doru.  I can actually work out Greek with a bit of effort but I wouldn't like this native alphabet approach to be applied to Arabic or Japanese ???  :)
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 29, 2019, 03:06:28 PM
....Luckily I have not to debate  about  Mohammed's inheritance between Sciite and Sunnite.

On 8 and 16 I report some notes stated by W.L.Rodgers (V.A. USNavy)  in his book.
He think that rowers in a 8 were disposed in two level  in each section. (section = halfbeam of the ship)
The upper  oar is handled by six man facing each other ( 3+ 3)
and the lower oar handled by 2 rowers on a single bank.
The 16 is managed also at two level: ten men for the upper oar , six for the lower oar ( facing each other in in both cases)
He stated that the longitudial distance  necessary for a two banks oarlock ( from a oar to the subsequent one) is only 1/8 greater that for a single bank.
He stated that both ships could navigated at 7.3 kn speed with some calculations about several factors.
( if someone is interested I can report it)
I am not certain of these statements.
For the ten he give 6 and 4 men for each oar at two level in each section facing each other .
40 was a catamaran. No more than ten men for oar  was possible he stated)





Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 29, 2019, 07:48:27 PM
It might help if I were to transcribe the Greek (in bold).

πεντήρης ναῦς [penteres naus] is  πέντε-ήρης [pente-eres]  five -doing ( my previous post was a unjustified simplification)

 -ήρης [eres] (headword, entry word, main entry, main entry word )   of   "ἐρέσσω" [eresso] or  of   "αρ" [ar]

so  "rowing with five" or "adapted to five "  ....... I think that the last is better

oar  is  ἐρετμός [ὁ] [eretmos, eretmo] or κώπη [ἡ] [kope]
rowingman  is  ἐρέτης [-ου, ὁ] [eretes, eretou, ereto]

when ancient greek would write oars they write oars.

Be clear that these are not my speculations but only what the linguistic experts  say.
The majority of the scientific comunity stated so, I have not the linguistic  knowledge to contest it.

Going into comment mode here: the -eres suffix could represent 'oar' (-ere-) or 'oarsman' (-ere-) or, more likely, stood in for both.  In single-bank ships (triakonter, pentekonter) the number of oars is of course equal to the number of oarsmen, and we also know a trieres (trireme) to have the same number of oars and oarsmen, so I do not think it would have been any different for a tetreres (quadrireme), dekares (ten) etc.

A couple more thoughts.

Quote
Ancient galley had at most one deck, of course it's so.( Rich was faster than me)

Which does not prevent it from having several tiers of rowing benches between deck and waterline.

Quote
Some caution, from bones founded in tha ancient harbour of Pisa is clear than ancient sailors were rather large.

Worth knowing.

When Coates was considering what he could have done better with Olympias, one of his thoughts was that he should have built her larger, to take account of the increased stature of today's rowers compared with ancient Greeks: the design, based on original measurements, was too cramped for his 20th century crew.  I suspect the Pisan bones are from a tall seafaring people, like Frisians or Pelasgians.

Quote
....Luckily I have not to debate  about  Mohammed's inheritance between Sciite and Sunnite.

Yes that one is still going on ...
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 30, 2019, 09:10:02 AM
Quote
I suspect the Pisan bones are from a tall seafaring people, like Frisians or Pelasgians.

Or Pisans?
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Duncan Head on May 30, 2019, 09:50:35 AM
The best-known of the Pisa skeletons, the (probably Augustan-era) mariner found together with the ship's dog, was 170 cm/5ft 7 - not all that tall, really. And close enough to the average heights of the Pompeii and Herculaneum skeletons that we don't need to invoke Frisians or other elongated exotics.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 30, 2019, 11:25:45 AM
Ancient bones founded in Pisa's harbour date back to Augustus time.( M.H.Sedge "The lost ships of Pisa")
With the little warship , I think a Coast Guard vessel,several merchant ships were founded.
One full of hams outgoing, one just arrived loaded with campanian wine and many others.
Surely all these boats were destroyed by a sudden storm, I know well the place and it can happen also today .
The sailors are 1.70 tall and very robust and strong.
Large not tall.
Ships were builted  with  several kind of wood, every piece in a different wood.

But, I am sorry but have to return to greek words.
My wife always tells me that I am "made in  Switzerland "


Beware to transcribe  ή  η  ἐ  ε  as simple contemporary "E" ,  because the accent  change the inflection.
Example : "a" in italian is very different from english  "a"

so - ήρης  is not  " eres"   but better  "ires"  and   was  different from   -ηρής.

A further nodus is that  words that look similar with the same suffix  in reality are not.

παναπηρής     is      παν-α-πηρής
συμπλήρης     is     συμ-πλήρης

So they have nothing to do with  -ήρης

instead

χαλκήρης is  very similar because is  χαλκ-ήρης   ------ =  "made in bronze"  or "adapted to bronze"

so is the same proto-Indoeuropean   radix  "αρ" 
 of ours ships:
  so "adapted to five " is better than " rowing in five"







Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: RichT on May 30, 2019, 01:48:44 PM
Good point, Mariano - ναῦς χαλκήρεις, naus chalkēreis, of Plut. Demetr. 42.5 - "bronze-furnished ships" is similar to (sc. ναῦς) τριήρeiς, naus triēreis - "three-furnished ships". So no mention, strictly speaking, of oars or rowers.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 30, 2019, 07:39:06 PM
I have no problem with the finer points of transcribing Greek in English, but it may be worth remembering that few of our members can understand Greek and even fewer can read Greek letters.  Hence I am simplifying trasncription without (I hope) misrepresenting the words in question so that others can follow the basis of the discussion.

Good point, Mariano - ναῦς χαλκήρεις, naus chalkēreis, of Plut. Demetr. 42.5 - "bronze-furnished ships" is similar to (sc. ναῦς) τριήρeiς, naus triēreis - "three-furnished ships". So no mention, strictly speaking, of oars or rowers.

If we are all happy about this, I would respectfully draw attention to:

Quote
In single-bank ships (triakonter, pentekonter) the number of oars is of course equal to the number of oarsmen, and we also know a trieres (trireme) to have the same number of oars and oarsmen, so I do not think it would have been any different for a tetreres (quadrireme), dekares (ten) etc.

This works on the basis of known man-oar relationships, independently of etymology.  When we move from the known (triēres/trireme), which had as many oars as rowers, to the unknown tetrēres etc. the lack of change in style to my mind points to continuity in the oar-man ratio, otherwise one would expect a different style of designation or nomenclature.

Just an aside on one of Mariano's observations:

Quote
торпеда is only the literal tradution of the english word "torpedo", but in this Slavic language this word means nothing.

Yes, Russian has quite a few 'loan words' for military equipment, e.g. 'raketny kreyser' for missile-(rocket)-armed cruiser.  The automotive torpedo was developed by an English factory (Whitehead) situated in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the weapon is one of the few which has the same name throughout Europe.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on May 31, 2019, 08:44:09 AM
Quote
This works on the basis of known man-oar relationships, independently of etymology.  When we move from the known (triēres/trireme), which had as many oars as rowers, to the unknown tetrēres etc. the lack of change in style to my mind points to continuity in the oar-man ratio, otherwise one would expect a different style of designation or nomenclature.

It's a reasonable point of view.  But we only have the one data point - that the classical trireme had three levels, three oars, three rowers.  Ships below this counted the total  number of rowers, so don't help, and above this we don't know.  Ideas for four and above must also be informed by other forms of evidence, such as the artistic , archaeological and the engineering design.  Taking this evidence, many-tiered vessels seem unlikely.  One oar per man and multiple men per oar seem the two front runners.  Most modern design explorations focus on the latter - if patrick has design studies to back his ideas he might like to reveal them for comparison.  Otherwise, we are probably back where we started.

For the fun of it, I thought I'd share this
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Penteres.png)

It's from 1888 and appears to be a section of a ship of the time but with oars sticking out.  Obviously the artist had missed the bits about shipsheds and stepable masts  :)
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: RichT on May 31, 2019, 09:37:33 AM
I like that image - good illustration of what happens if you don't let practical considerations get in the way of a good theory :)

In the Renaissance/early modern period IIRC galleys were commonly rowed with three rowers per bench alla sensile - these ships were called triremes, and it was assumed that ancient triremes were similar, also alla sensile (though nobody was sure how the higher numbers would work). A 'bank' at that time typically meant a 'bench', so that a galley might have 25 banks of three oars. Torpedoes, as I'm sure everyone knows, were originally (as well as fish) what we now call mines (as in 'full ahead and damn the torpedoes'); mines, as well as the undergound excavations they have always been, were also such excavations filled with explosives. From this (presumably) they became the buried explosive devices for blowing off children's legs in third world countries. It's a minefield, language. Words do tricky things.

If a trireme was a "three-furnished ship" (which it was), then the question is what it had three of. Men per section is one option. Men and oars per section is another. Tholepins per section is yet another (perhaps better). And the best option of all is that it was files of rowers. This fits all the etymology and the practical considerations, fits the halves and three-and-a-halves, and fits the larger denominations. The only thing against it is that the Romans chose to translate 'trieres' as 'triremis', but I don't think that's too surprising, given that triremes did have three oars in a section, and that to the Romans the similarity of 'trieres' to the meaning 'three-oars' must have been as apparent (and confusing) as it is to us. But we'll never be sure - we'd have to ask the Romans.

If there is a properly worked out alternative to the consensus, which supports multiple levels each of multiple oars (I'm guessing up to three benches, one per level, with up to six (?) rowers on each bench rowing alla sensile, which would get us up to 16-ers), then a diagram would certainly help to visualise it. Perhaps Justin could be prevailed on? Note though that I don't think alla sensile galleys ever had more than three (or four?) rowers per bench, so that would also need explaining.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on May 31, 2019, 09:55:09 AM
This link is very usefull. Translate almost all  in any language.

https://glosbe.com/

I dont' use it for my final  search but a similar one in italian because is possible search  *****ήρης   and in the previos one it's not so easy.
I did not know what   "αρ" had to do with  " ήρης", I got there.
Naturally for etymology you need also a very good  vocabulary an some basic knowledge of the language  otherwise  it's easy to get wrong.
My knowledge of ancient greek is self-taught, I never did classical studies.
Words  ending in  - ήρης are a lots.

but this is substantial.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ἐνήρης     means  " equipped with oars "   , so it's impossible that   " - ήρης"   means "oars"
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The sentence is wrong , I apologize for it.
The correct one is the next post.




I know the    img posted by  A.C,  I fear that was the basic model of De Lome' ship , I read somewhere
that was a five builted for Napoleon III for searching about Navy used by Cesar against the Celts (Veneti).
The ship seems to be used as a practise target for a torpedo.

Ah, "torpedo" in italian is "siluro".
 The word torpedo  was created by J.Fulton in 1800 for the USNavy and was a simple  mine.
Derive from a latin scientific word for a electric  fish,







Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on May 31, 2019, 07:27:33 PM
For the fun of it, I thought I'd share this
(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Penteres.png)

It's from 1888 and appears to be a section of a ship of the time but with oars sticking out.  Obviously the artist had missed the bits about shipsheds and stepable masts  :)

One can see at a glance the gross inefficiency and waste of space and the inappropriate hull form - and this was from an era in which the wooden warship had recently been the norm.  It does incidentally highlight one problem about stacking all the oar banks vertically - the oars need to be of different lengths.  For ships up to and including triremes, it would seem they were all the same length, and such considerations as interchangeability and convenience would suggest that polyremes would attempt to retain this feature as much as possible.

ἐνήρης     means  " equipped with oars "   , so it's impossible that   " - ήρης"   means "oars"

I would have thought the opposite: if 'eneres' means 'equipped with oars', then '-eres' should mean 'oars' when used with reference to a ship.  Or was that what you intended to say?

Quote
I know the    img posted by  A.C,  I fear that was the basic model of De Lome' ship , I read somewhere
that was a five builted for Napoleon III for searching about Navy used by Cesar against the Celts (Veneti).

Yes, that is it: I thought it looked familiar but could not quite remember what it was.  Well done identifying it, Mariano.

Quote
Ah, "torpedo" in italian is "siluro".
 The word torpedo  was created by J.Fulton in 1800 for the USNavy and was a simple  mine.
Derive from a latin scientific word for a electric  fish,

You are of course absolutely correct, as in Motoscafo Armato Siluranti.  My favourite MAS boat captain is Luigi Rizzio, who sank two Austro-Hungarian battleships: the old Wien and the more modern Szent Istvan.  This record has never been equalled.

Before the automotive torpedo, 'torpedo' was indeed used for naval mines. Hence Farragut at New Orleans in 1862: "Full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes!" or some variant to that effect ("Damn the torpedoes! Go ahead!" was the version finally selected by the US Navy for its WW1 recruiting posters).
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on June 01, 2019, 09:42:59 AM


ἐνήρης     means  " equipped with oars "   , so it's impossible that   " - ήρης"   means "oars"

I would have thought the opposite: if 'eneres' means 'equipped with oars', then '-eres' should mean 'oars' when used with reference to a ship.  Or was that what you intended to say?

Sorry, I  copied from my notes the wrong sentence.
The right one is:


εύήρης     means  "  well equipped  "     and after
εύήρετμο  means  "  well rowing "  or "effective oars"   (from  εύ and ἐρετμόν)


 so it's impossible that   " - ήρης"   means "oars"


(Write the right letter in greek is not easy and often the words from on-line  dictionary  are wrong, damned accents). (see photo)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

MAS is " Motoscafo antisommergibile" (see photo)
Rizzo was brave and a lucky captain  but the SMS Szent István was badly designed and builted worse .
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

But I  like  to return  to the rostrum of the ten.
The rostrum from Haifa is greater than Aegadi ones.
I read that it weighs half a ton.
So comparing its dimension to the support on the wall in the sanctuary I think that the rostrum
of a ten was 1 time and half greater and could weighs almost 2 tons.
But, how effective this weapon was?
I remember a story:
The whaler Essex was sunk by "Moby Dick".
The ship was 27 m. long and 238 tons and the hull was stronger than the hull of an ancient galley
because builted with a different technique.
The sperm whale hit the ship two times and finally sank it.
The whale move at 2-3 kn speed and was long almost as the Essex so I presume a whale of 150 tons.
So an impact at 90 degrees at 2-3 kn also  without a suitable rostrum is fatal.
I presume that at 30 degrees of impact the attacking ship have to move at 7-8 k to make significative damage.
Think about it

Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: RichT on June 01, 2019, 06:45:46 PM
I know the    img posted by  A.C,  I fear that was the basic model of De Lome' ship , I read somewhere
that was a five builted for Napoleon III for searching about Navy used by Cesar against the Celts (Veneti).
The ship seems to be used as a practise target for a torpedo.

As a small point of information, I don't think that's correct - the image is not of that ship. Napoleon III's ship (designed by de Lôme and Jal) was a trireme not a quinquereme. According to Boris Rankov there was a suggestion it be used as a torpedo target, but in the event it was just broken up (the design having been unsuccessful). See his excellent article here: http://www.hoplites.org/HAmember/The%20Trireme%20by%20Boris%20Rankov.pdf

(Edited to add) There are various images of this ship online - image search "napoleon III trireme" - including a photo from 1860 of her under construction.

(And further added) Anthony's image is I presume of Graser's quinquereme model - see Rankov p. 8
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on June 01, 2019, 07:19:10 PM
Sorry, I  copied from my notes the wrong sentence.
The right one is:


εύήρης  [eueres]  means  "  well equipped  "     and after
εύήρετμο [eueretmo] means  "  well rowing "  or "effective oars"   (from  εύ and ἐρετμόν)


 so it's impossible that   " - ήρης"   means "oars"

That makes more sense, thank you.  So the -eres in trieres etc. is most probably derived from eresso (to row), as you originally stated.  That seems reasonable.

Quote
(Write the right letter in greek is not easy and often the words from on-line  dictionary  are wrong, damned accents). (see photo)

I know what you mean.  The best of research efforts can be let down by an online source.

Quote
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MAS is " Motoscafo antisommergibile" (see photo)
Rizzo was brave and a lucky captain  but the SMS Szent István was badly designed and builted worse .
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Actually MAS originally meant Motobarca Armata SVAN (the builder), then Motobarca Anti-Sommergibile and Motobarca Armata Silurante (some were built for the first, others for the second, purpose) and finally Motoscafo Anti-Sommergibile, which means I managed to get it wrong anyway.  (I have just looked it up in Aldo Fraccaroli's Italian Warships of World War 1, which is a better source than Wikipedia.)

You are right that the SMS Szent Istvan was perhaps the worst-built ship in the KuK Navy (Hungarian national pride having demanded that it be built in a 'Hungarian', or at least non-Austrian, shipyard) and the Tegetthofs were not particularly well designed, but Rizzio managed to make a successful atack and hit with a torpedo when his companion MAS boat failed to do so.  Since this was the second time he had done this sort of thing (the Wien being the first, albeit in port) I like to think he was particularly good at it.

Quote
But I  like  to return  to the rostrum of the ten.
The rostrum from Haifa is greater than Aegadi ones.
I read that it weighs half a ton.
So comparing its dimension to the support on the wall in the sanctuary I think that the rostrum
of a ten was 1 time and half greater and could weighs almost 2 tons.
But, how effective this weapon was?
I remember a story:
The whaler Essex was sunk by "Moby Dick".
The ship was 27 m. long and 238 tons and the hull was stronger than the hull of an ancient galley
because builted with a different technique.
The sperm whale hit the ship two times and finally sank it.
The whale move at 2-3 kn speed and was long almost as the Essex so I presume a whale of 150 tons.
So an impact at 90 degrees at 2-3 kn also  without a suitable rostrum is fatal.
I presume that at 30 degrees of impact the attacking ship have to move at 7-8 k to make significative damage.
Think about it

That makes a very interesting comparison.  I would suggest the whale which sank the Essex moved faster than 2-3 knots; sperm whales usually cruise at around 4 knots and can sprint at up to 20 knots.  A whale attacking a target would be moving at 'ram speed' rather than economical cruising speed, so I suggest perhaps 16 knots and possibly as high as 18 to 20 knots although the relative speed would depend upon what Essex was doing at the time and whether the ram was at 90 degrees exactly or angled slightly off centre.

The whale which sank the Essex was estimated at 85 feet (26 metres) long.  A sperm whale of 67 feet (20 metres) length weighs 56 tons (57 metric tons), so would 80-90 tons be a closer weight estimate for the one which sank the Essex?
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: RichT on June 01, 2019, 07:54:00 PM
That makes more sense, thank you.  So the -eres in trieres etc. is most probably derived from eresso (to row), as you originally stated.  That seems reasonable.

No, the -eres means 'equipped with' or some such, as Mariano says, said and, I expect, continues to say.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on June 01, 2019, 08:46:52 PM
That makes more sense, thank you.  So the -eres in trieres etc. is most probably derived from eresso (to row), as you originally stated.  That seems reasonable.

No, the -eres means 'equipped with' or some such, as Mariano says, said and, I expect, continues to say.
I write it black on white.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on June 02, 2019, 07:28:58 AM
No, the -eres means 'equipped with' or some such, as Mariano says, said and, I expect, continues to say.
I write it black on white.

It has finally percolated through my perceptive system that this is what Mariano actually meant. Thank you both.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on June 02, 2019, 09:24:33 AM
Lome and Jal's trireme, for completeness.

(http://poliremi.altervista.org/immagini/Jaln3200.JPG)

Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on June 08, 2019, 10:11:34 AM
I find this:

http://poliremi.altervista.org/punica/flotte.html

sorry it's in italian

I do not agree with much of the statements in this article but
I report it for correctness.
Someone perhaps will appreciate it.




Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Erpingham on June 08, 2019, 07:19:45 PM
Thisis where I took the jal trireme picture from. My Italian isn't good enough for the text but there are some interesting pictures.  The insola tiberina ship reconstructed as a quinquereme is interesting though more than a little speculative.  Oars on four levels (though as far as I can tell there are no oar ports shown on the original).

Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on June 08, 2019, 07:48:35 PM
It is an interesting summary of various interpretations (my Italian, like Anthony's is inadequate for proper reading of the article, but one can deduce some of the intent from the illustrations).
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on June 09, 2019, 10:54:29 AM
I find a solution for you.
I first have transformed the web pages in pdf, after in txt format.
I enclose the file of the first chapter, there are other three charapters: one on the construction technique
of the ship, the second on artillery  and the last one on naval battles.
Simply open the txt file with word pad ,selected not more than 5000 types and use the on- line service of Google
  for translate.
Sorry, no images in txt ,  In pdf not problem but pages are horizontal.
It won't be perfect but better than a kick in the ass.

Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on June 09, 2019, 06:30:38 PM
Thank you, Mariano.  That is very helpful.
Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: manomano on June 09, 2019, 08:03:13 PM
The others.....
I find a mode to have  in pdf a A4  vertical standard page but without images and in italian.
It's very simple.........
Obviously its'  possible make much better but copyright preclude me any further change.



Title: Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
Post by: Patrick Waterson on June 10, 2019, 08:51:09 AM
Thank you: I should be able to take it from there.