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Ancient Greek Warships – audio & video in engleza

Ancient Greek Warships (1) - audio & video in engleza

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Textul in engleza

The Greeks built some of the finest warships in the Ancient World: vessels that were fast, agile, and deadly. During the archaic period the Greeks built ships called pentecontors. Twenty-five oarsmen on each side powered them through the water.

The Phoenicians perfected this design; they built larger ships with long flat decks and two rows of oarsmen on each side.

In the 6th century BC the Greeks developed a much grander warship: the trireme. Up to one hundred seventy oarsmen powered this vessel. Seated on three levels they rowed in perfect unison. Even a single man out of time could tangle the oars and cost the lives of the entire crew.

Greek ships sat sails for cruising at sea, but they were always dropped before going into battle. These ancient warships were much more agile when maneuvered by the power of the oars.

A trireme carried soldiers along the upper deck; the captain commended from the stern, but the trireme’s secret weapon was its prow. Built into every vessel just below the waterline was a wooden ram covered with bronze. By crashing head on into the enemy warship, a trireme could damage or even sink its opponent. Soldiers on deck fired arrows at the enemy. If necessary, they could board the ship and engage the enemy sailors in hand to hand combat. Triremes became so light and maneuverable that they could collide right alongside in the enemy ship and snap off its oars. Then soldiers could board the disabled ship, take its crew prisoner and strip its treasures.

Of course triremes weren’t perfect. They were unstable in storms and they had no sleeping quarter or galley. Each night sailors headed for shore, but for many years triremes sailed theMediterranean Seaas the most successful warships of the ancient world.

 

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