Reply To: Menapian Sea-folk in Ireland

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    May I corrects a small mistake in my earlier post? The Low Ham Roman Mosaic preserved in the Taunton Museum, Somerset shows only two ‘Biorr-longa’ in that only two of them have sharp, pointed rams – the 1st. and the 2nd. These were the war-galleys. I am assuming that the 3rd. was a transport.
    The mosaic depicts the story of Aeneas and the individual panel shows Aeneas landing at Carthage to meet Dido. So a question arises : Is the artist showing Mediterranean ships, or ships from the nearby Irish Sea? Were all Imperial ships similar wherever they operated, or did they have special [designs or rigs] for navigating the Northern Seas?
    The reason I ask is that all the sails on these mosaic vessels appear to be rigged fore-and-aft. The first and last also appear to be rigged in the form of a cross – which reminds me of St. Colm Cille when he raised his sail ‘in the form of a cross’ on his curach. That would have been several centuries after Low Ham.
    Cian Ó Sé