Shipping in the Empire of Trebizond

By Anthony Bryer, published February 1966


The Trebizond empire lasted from 1204 until 1461.   Typical vessels used in the small imperial navy can be ascertained from the boat graffiti at Hagia Sophia church, the court chronicler’s descriptions and medieval material. The largest was the two-masted navis bucius or katerga, from 400 to 600 tons with a high poop. Then came the single-masted barka, a caravel or cog type, again with high poop. A few galleys were also used. Three smaller types are mentioned: griparion, a fishing or trading vessel with a distinctive rounded sternpost for beaching, the rowing boat paraskalmion and small xylarion.

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Filed under: Late Middle Ages | High Middle Ages | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Harbours & Dockyards | Merchant Marines | Navies | Shipbuilding & Design | Whaling & Fishing

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