Author Topic: Ram Sizes at Actium  (Read 3993 times)

Erpingham

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #45 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.

  • Anthony Clipsom

RichT

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #46 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.
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Patrick Waterson

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #47 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.
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manomano

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #48 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








« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 09:17:36 PM by manomano »
  • Mariano Rizzi

Erpingham

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #49 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 ???  :)
  • Anthony Clipsom

manomano

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #50 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)





  • Mariano Rizzi

Patrick Waterson

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #51 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 ...
  • Patrick Waterson
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Erpingham

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #52 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?
  • Anthony Clipsom

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #53 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.
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manomano

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #54 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"







« Last Edit: May 30, 2019, 03:10:55 PM by manomano »
  • Mariano Rizzi

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #55 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.
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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #56 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.
  • Patrick Waterson
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Erpingham

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #57 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


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  :)
  • Anthony Clipsom

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #58 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.
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manomano

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Re: Ram Sizes at Actium
« Reply #59 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,







« Last Edit: June 01, 2019, 09:52:50 AM by manomano »
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