The trireme in antiquity
The trireme appeared around 550 B.C. in the Eastern Mediterranean evolving from the earlier ship type of pentekontoros. It was a light, long and narrow ship, with a low keel. It had three rows of oars with 170 oarsmen, which made it the fastest and most flexible warship of antiquity. With these characteristics the fleet of Greek triremes managed to crush the much larger fleet of the Persians in the naval battle of Salamis in the 48th BC.
The OLYMPIAS trireme
Between 1985 and 1987 an international research team in collaboration with the Hellenic Navy built Olympias, a life-size replica of an Athenian trireme. The construction and navigation of Olympias answered many questions such as the maximum speed of the trireme, the coordination among oarsmen and more. Today Olympias is harboured in the Hellenic Maritime Heritage Park, Palaio Faliro and is open to the public.
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Shepherd, W. (2010). Salamis 480BC. The naval campaign that saved Greece. Osprey Publishers
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Wallinga T. H., «The Trireme and History», Mnemosyne, Fourth Series, Vol. 43, Fasc. 1/2 (1990), 132-149