USU 1320: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2013
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
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Trireme means in Greek "three-oared [ship]," because it had three banks of oars as opposed to the usual two. A trireme held something on the order of two-hundred rowers, an unusually high number which made the ship significantly faster than most sea-going vessels. At the same time, those rowers were arranged in a special way so that the hull did not have to be elongated which would have made the ship heavier and more fragile and difficult to turn. In other words, better design allowed for greater man-power, making triremes quicker but without being more dangerous or compromising their hydrodynamics.

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