Search Results for: Roman

The Case of the Roman Transom Bow

By Vittorio Bovolin

The discovery of a Roman boat with a transom end during the construction of a Metro line in Naples has reopened the discussion about whether this end is the bow or the stern of the boat. This issue was debated through the twentieth century and still continues today. Discussion so far has mainly been focused on the analysis of iconography representing this type of boat. This article reassesses the subject by applying two separate approaches. The f… Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Archaeology | Shipbuilding & Design

The Metal Sheathing of Roman Warships

By Lucien Basch

An earlier article by L. Casson (MM 64, 139-142) concluded that while Roman fishing boats were sheathed, warships were not. The reason given was that fishing boats spent longer periods in the water than warships. In this article the author presents iconographic evidence from portraits of ships on mosaic tiles at the baths at Thermetra in Tunisia to argue that the hulls of Roman warships were indeed sheathed and that this correlates with the lengt… Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

More Evidence for Lead Sheathing on Roman Craft

By Lionel Casson

…This short paper is followed by a longer reply and also a postscript discussing the validity of the original author’s assumptions. The references are to the literary and iconographic evidence which purports to prove that a number of Roman vessels, both naval and merchant, used lead sheathing on their hulls. The ‘evidence’ put forward in the original paper is questioned and also refuted by those replying…. Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Archaeology | Shipbuilding & Design

Note: Roman Naval Ranks

By Dana S. Adler

…The few sources of information on organisation within the Roman Navy are explored. The role of the naval force is deduced to be that of an auxiliary within the military machine…. Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Other (location)
Subjects include: Navies

Roman Shipwrecks and Modern Aegean Ships

By Peter Throckmorton

This article gives details of Roman shipwrecks from just before and after the birth of Christ. It goes into construction materials and methods and compares them with boats constructed in modern times, concluding that changes have been evolutionary, as distinct from revolutionary. The various types of modern boats, their construction and their business, are discussed. As a monthly featured article this has been made freely available for July by th… Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean | Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (Eighteenth C) | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Archaeology | Shipbuilding & Design

Caesar’s crossing of the Adriatic Countered by a Winter Blockade During the Roman Civil War

By Ian Longhurst

During the Roman Civil War that broke out in 49 bc between Julius Caesar and Pompey naval operations played a critical role. In order to confront Pompey’s army quickly in the Balkans, a major amphibious crossing of the Adriatic was undertaken by Caesar’s army. The text of Caesar’s Civil War and other sources, including Lucan’s epic poem Pharsalia, pose problems for understanding the campaign. This paper identifies and corrects a number of key poi… Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Archaeology | Battles & Tactics | Navies

An Ancient Roman Yacht

By Conte Piero Gargallo di Castel Lentini

…Sicily suggests that it could have been used by a prominent individual in Roman times as a yacht. The wreck had been discovered a dozen or more years earlier than this recent investigation and had been either disturbed by fishermen or plundered by illegal hunters. However, remains of mosaics, various decorative items and pulleys with bronze –rather than the conventional hard wood– wheels are all evidence that the vessel was specially equipped and… Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Archaeology

The Roman Galley of the Tiberine Island

By G.B. Rubin de Cervin

…e city. The stone monument shows details of the construction and decoration of a fighting galley. Paintings exist of the monument from the 17th century, but it is supposed to date from the first century BC…. Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Art & Music | Ship Models & Figureheads

Roman Triremes and the Outriggerless Phoenician Trireme

By Lucian Basch

…ireme in ancient times. However, iconographical evidence confirms that the Romans built and employed two types of trireme with different systems of oar arrangements and these had nothing in common with the Athenian triere of the 5th and 4th centuries BC. The Phoenicians developed more or less in parallel a further variant of the trireme which differed from Greek and Roman designs. Both used outriggers to support the oars, but outriggers were notic… Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Archaeology | Shipbuilding & Design

The Roman Galleys in the Lake of Nemi

By Lieutenant Commander G C Speziale, Royal Italian Navy

The remains of two large, ornamental Roman galleys sunk in lake Nemi close to Rome have been known about for centuries and earlier attempts to salvage them have caused much damage to the wrecks. Following a survey in 1895 it was decided that only by lowering the height of the water in the lake by 25m would the remains become accessible. This process did begin in 1928 and, at the time of writing, the wrecks had become visible but the lowering was… Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Archaeology | Historic Vessels, Museums & Restoration | Shipbuilding & Design