Friday, 16 April 2021


 My latest models have been sent down the slipways.

1/1000 scale 

They are triereis of the Salamis period. The type which would have been constructed under Themistocles' scheme to use the Laurion silver strike for a war-galley fleet instead of frittering it away on a cash share-out.

These triereis are not closed-in. The deck joins the forecastle and the poop but does not cover the oarsmen.

Such ships had canvas sun-shades which could be rigged to protect the working oarsmen and hide screens which could be erected to protect them from missiles in battle.

Fully decked triereis had more space for deck fighters and the oarsmen could be fully protected by erecting hide side-screens down the length of the ship.

Side-screens below a light deck(left) or along the gunwale(right)

After Salamis - maybe because of experience in close fighting with the Persian fleet that was heavily manned with 30 or 40 deck fighters per ship as opposed to the dozen or so on Athenian ships - the Athenian fleet was retro-fitted with full decks. These ships were employed by Kimon to hammer the Persian fleet in Ionia and smash them at the sea-land battle at the mouth of the River Eurymedon c. 469BC.

'Excuse me, is this the Battle of The Eurymedon?'
 'Actually we are in a generic Edwardian print but if it helps your focus let's call it that name you said'

As usual in a simple democracy the populace tired of Kimon and he was banished to exile. Though he did return later and fought again at sea. Amazingly, an ostrakon with his name (Kimon son of Miltiades - yes THE Miltiades) has been found at Athens, a real link with historical events. (can we have a decked trireres next please? Ed.)

A fully-decked trieres was slower than an undecked one but the advantages must have been clear. As far as we know all subsequent triereis had a continuous deck. 

See the red-head in rowing position 'port thranite number 7' ?)

However, a solid deck for fighting on is not the same as a light deck which protects against the sun and weather. It was the tetreres which introduced this as a major structural feature. But we actually have no evidence for the exact nature of a fully decked trieres in the Classical or Hellenistic periods.

Hordes of tiny heads, each one individually sculpted with the portrait of an ancient Athenian

But a decked ship is NOT the same as a cataphract ship. Cataphracts have a permanently-mounted system of wooden screening to protect the interior and the oarsmen. Kimon's triereis were not cataphracts, neither were the Persian-Phoenician vessels. This came later...
'We're riding along on the crest of a polyester velveteen-nervøs velour wave and the sun ..etc.' 

Blogger declines

 The blogger email notification widget is being discontinued.

You will no longer get an email about new posts if you signed-up for them.

There are ways around this but I cannot be bothered to rejig a service which should get easier with time not more complex and more difficult to use.

Maybe someone thinks blogs are passe and will be gradually phased out. Who knows?

Friday, 9 April 2021

Another look at the Yenikapi ships

 Another vid which gives a look at the Yenikapi ships.

This time from INA -Institute for Nautical Archaeology.

There is some coverage of the war-galley/ dromon wreck.YK4.

Click picture for link.

Monday, 5 April 2021

The Yenikapi Ships

Many wrecks have been found in Constaninople harbour deposits.
Information dribbles out...frustratingly slowly and primarily in Turkish of course.

This excellent Odyssey programme gives an overview.

Click foto for YouTube link

A bit later than my main period of interest but 36 ships canot be sneezed at.

Wish they had focussed more on the warships of course.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021


 I have finally ventured into YouTubeian waters.

Click to vist - else use LINKS LIST  at left

Dare you follow ? -like Livy said, it is easy to lose one's footing and get submerged!

LINK in LINKS LIST to left  <----

Only four vids so far, but they are the first four I ever made so they are there warts and all.

The channel is WAR-GALLEYS OF CLASSICAL ANTIQUITY rather than Rams Ravens and Wrecks because the blog name produces very wierd things on searches due to American football, ornithologists and sheep botherers....

ALSO NOTE : I put the internal blog search function   ON RIGHT  --->

Easier to find stuff last...I hope.

Monday, 15 March 2021

Triakonteres get an outing

 I finally painted some of my 1/1000 triakonteres so they could star in a project.

Some better photos to follow.

Cruising up the Crissaean Gulf as support/supply vessels along with Corinthian stratiotoi carrying hoplites on deck...

Monday, 8 March 2021

Mariner's Park and Museum : Galleys and Rams

 I say nothing... watch and learn

'The Development of European Ironclads'

Wednesday, 3 March 2021

MARINER'S MUSEUM AND PARK : NEWPORT NEWS, VIRGINIA : learning about Africa's maritime history

Mariner's Museum and Park in Va. USA periodically emits youtube vids. I have followed their series on the US Civil War - Ironclads etc. Great stuff.

Then B&%¤# History Month occurred. 

I have no wish to be overly critical to newbie YOUtubers. Or people unused to public speaking. Or people new to a subject. However. The 'interpretation' and education department of the museum has produced videos of a quality which is quite stunning. They stun me. Watching them left me stunned.

Is it just me? Am I too old and too fussy? Is my perspective warped by being immersed in the subject?

Are these vids aimed at school children? If they are....are they suitable?

I will say no more try to watch through these vids and make an evaluation..are these museum-quality productions? Do they prove Africa has an important maritime heritage? 

Remember this is a 'maritime' museum. 


The Nile

The Swahili Coast

I hope you got something out of the exercise.

Saturday, 13 February 2021


 Find in a Serbian quarry by the Danube.

Read story here and see video at  HERE

Thursday, 28 January 2021


 Radio silence will broken soon. I have had problems with various things on top of China Virus chaos.

 Also used some time for video project. 

The world of war-galleys is too fascinating to stay away from for too long. KBO!