THE GREEK WARSHIP.
THE controversy as to the arrangement of the oars in ancient warshipshas been, in one aspect and with the due exceptions, a controversy betweenthe scholars and the sailors, in which, while the sailors cannot well be wrongon their own ground, the same impossibility hardly applies to their opponents.When the practical seaman points out that superposed banks of oars, in theaccepted
sense, are a frank impossibility, it is hardly a conclusive reply totell him that his acquaintance with the authorities leaves something to bedesired. It follows, that for anyone who, like the present writer, is convincedthat the sailors are right, the real interest of the question is this: does theevidence compel me, or even invite me, to believe in a practical impossibility ?
the accepted theory' in this paper 1mean the groap of solutions (they are legion)which, though differing in details of arrange-ment, agree in this, that a trireme had threebanks of oars at a
interval one overthe other, a quinquereme five, a dekeres ten,and so forth, each oar rowed by one man andthe lowest bank fairly near the water. (I donot include Bauer, or so much of Assmann asrelates to breit-polyereis.) All these solutionsrest on a common basis and fall togetherif that be destroyed. The most importantcurrent expression of this theory, beside Mr.Torr's, is Assmann's hoch-polyeres theory (art.
in Baumeister and several papers,notably
1889, p. 91,
Zur Kenntniss derAntikm Schiffe
), followed by Droysen,
in Hermann'sLehrbuch ; Luebeck,
Das Seewescn derGriechen und Homer
, 2 vols. 1890; andSchmidt,
Ueber griechischc Dreireiher
, 1899 ;to judge by Luebeck's article
, it willbe adopted in the new Pauly-Wissowa. Bauer'stheory (
Griechische Kriegsa Iter urner
Handb. d. Mass. AU.-Wiss
., 1893, and severalpapers), that a trireme had a
interval between the banks and that shipslarger than triremes never had more than threebanks but employed more than one man to anoar, is quite a separate matter. Importantis Admiral Fincati's
, 1881 ; atrireme had three oars to one bench, like aVenetian galley a zenzile. I unfortunatelyonly know this book in Serre's translation, atthe end of Vol. 1 of his
Marines de la guerre,
1885 and 1891, from which I cite it. 1 cannotclassify Admiral Serre; though accepted, Ibelieve, in France, his views seem to bear littlerelation to the evidence. Weber's book
DieLosung des Tricrenratsels
, published 1896, butwritten much earlier, with many blundersand mistranslations, contains ideas. A triremehad three men to an oar, a quinquereme five,etc. Accepted by Speck,
1900. Weber has no monopoly in mistrans-lations. The best exposition of the acceptedtheory prior to Assmaun is probably that ofCartault,
La Trtere Athinienne
, 1881. Iunderstand he afterwards agreed with Bauer.While this paper was in the press two importantarticles appeared : one by Mr. Torr in Dar.-Sagl.
which seems to state his versionof the accepted theory more definitely than wasdone in
; the other by Mr. A. B.Cook in Whibley's
Companion to Greek Studies,
who favours the Venetian theory, but not verydecidedly. References to Torr in this paper areto
unless otherwise stated.
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