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Tessarakonteres, “Super-carrier” of Antiquity

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40eres

A tessarakonteres (40reme) according to L. Casson’s theory, that is two eikoseres (20remes) stably bound by a common deck.  

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By Periklis Deligiannis

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The Early Successors of Alexander gave a boost in the use and the development of the polyeres-type warships (multimeremes), using them widely in their wars (321 BC – early 3rd century BC). The Successors have built fleets comprised of numerous large warships, reaching the building of colossal vessels such as the ‘eikoseres’ (20reme, with twenty oarsmen on each vertical group of oars) and the enormous ‘tessarakonteres’ (40reme, with forty oarsmen on each vertical group of oars). These warships resembled to floating fortresses, very similar in size to the modern large battleships and aircraft carriers. The tessarakonteres had a crew of 6.000 men (officers, oarsmen, sailors, marines and others), as many as a modern aircraft carrier.

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Τεσσαρακοντήρης, το «αεροπλανοφόρο» της Αρχαιότητας

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40eres

Απεικόνιση μιας τεσσαρακοντήρους κατά την άποψη του L. Casson.

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Π. Δεληγιάννης

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Οι Διάδοχοι και οι Επίγονοι τους, ναυπήγησαν στόλους αποτελούμενους από πολυάριθμες πολυήρεις, φτάνοντας μέχρι την κατασκευή κολοσσιαίων σκαφών όπως η εικοσήρης και η τεσσαρακοντήρης. Όπως θα δούμε, επρόκειτο για πραγματικά πλωτά φρούρια που θύμιζαν αναλογικά τα σύγχρονα θωρηκτά και αεροπλανοφόρα πλοία. Ειδικά η τεσσαρακοντήρης έφερε συνολικό πλήρωμα το οποίο έφθανε τους 6.000 άνδρες, περίπου όσους διαθέτει ένα σύγχρονο αεροπλανοφόρο.

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Two significant representations of ancient Greek vase-paintings and frescoes on military topics

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The sea-battle scene from the Aristonothos Vase on the left (of the reader) and on the right the “Battle in the River” fresco, along with the modern representations by Angel G. Pinto (image credit: Angel G. Pinto)

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By Periklis Deligiannis

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In this article, I would like to note two significant representations of ancient Greek paintings by one of my favourite artists on military topics, namely Angel G. Pinto. The image of the two representations came from his website (angelgpinto.blogspot.gr).

I was interested (rather lured) in the ad hoc themes that he chose for these two artistic representations, that is to say the “Battle in the River” – a Mycenaean fresco of the 13th century BC from the palace of Pylos – and the sea-battle scene from the “Aristonothos vase” of the Archaic Era (about 700-650 BC).

I will start from the chronologically earlier fresco, the “Battle in the River”. This artwork was found in the palace of Pylos, the administrative center of a Mycenaean state in the south-west Peloponnesus. It was one of the most potent states of the Mycenaean ‘Commonwealth’ and probably the best organized. Pylos was a power counterbalance to the state of Mycenae, although it seems to have been usually its ally.

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Replica of Vasa bronze cannon shot

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Republication from  thehistoryblog.com

https://i1.wp.com/www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/The_Vasa_ship_-02-.jpg

In late 2012, the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, home of the beautiful but unstable flagship of the Swedish fleet that sank a mile from the shore on its maiden voyage in 1628, put together a team to recreate one of the ship’s 24-pounder bronze cannons. Although Vasa went down in ignominy before it had a chance to make a name for itself, the light cannon that became known as the Vasa gun would be adopted all branches of the Swedish military as the standard artillery piece during the Thirty Years’ War. Sweden was the world’s largest exporter of cannon in the 17th century, and other European countries developed their own versions of the Vasa gun, so learning more about this particular weapon illuminates a far broader stage than just the ship or Swedish naval warfare.

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The Weapon That Changed History

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Republication from the Archaeology Magazine

 

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Roman legionaries board on a Carthaginian warship during the First Punic War. Artwork by Peter Connolly.

by Andrew Curry

Evidence of Rome’s decisive victory over Carthage is discovered in the waters off Sicily

In his work The Histories, the second-century B.C. Greek historian Polybius chronicles the rise of the Romans as they battled for control of the Mediterranean. The central struggle pits the Romans against their archenemies the Carthaginians, a trading superpower based in North Africa. For 23 years, beginning in 264 B.C., the two rivals fought what became known as the First Punic War.

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Bronze warship ram reveals secrets

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Republication from National Oceanographic Center

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Analysis of a bronze battering ram from a 2,000 year-old warship sheds light on how such an object would have been made in ancient times.

Known as the Belgammel Ram, the 20kg artefact was discovered by a group of British divers off the coast of Libya near Tobruk in 1964. The ram is from a small Greek or Roman warship – a “tesseraria”. These ships were equipped with massive bronze rams on the bow at the waterline and were used for ramming the side timbers of enemy ships. At 65cm long, the Belgammel Ram is smaller in size and would have been sited on the upper level on the bow. This second ram is known as a proembolion, which strengthened the bow and also served to break the oars of an enemy ship.

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