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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Tacticslion's Avatar

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    Post Ancient Hellenic Ships and a (fantasy) Naval Revolution in 500s BC

    So, I've asked several other places, and figure I might as well ask here. I'm putting this thread here because, though I'm hoping to use some of the ideas in games, it's not really for any given system, and applies more broadly to history in general.

    So, my fellow history nerds, I'm looking for nautical quasi-experts to yammer at me so that I get an idea for boats able to be crafted with Hellenic skills c. 600 to 500 BC - obviously triremes, of course, but I'm specifically asking, "What is a boat (including triremes) that could have conceivably been used at the time, possibly even in war, even though it wasn't?" For example, why didn't they build ships akin to longships? It seems obvious that longships wouldn't do well in direct combat with triremes (as the latter could simply crush the former from sheer weight), but were they in use in the Mediterranean at all c. 550? If not, why not? Similarly, what were the far eastern peoples (most specifically those of India and China - though I beleeeiiiiiiiive India was still being slowly consolidated and the Zhou dynasty was pretty firmly eastern China)?

    Basically, I'm asking about possible methods of nautical revolution, if it's even possible, under those conditions and if, when, and how such a thing might happen.

    I'm pretty excited to see any feedback folks have, because navel history is nooooooot my forte, and it really is a fascinating subject. Any links that can be provided are, of course, welcome.

    Also, it's a given that people of the ancient world were very intelligent (and certainly knew more about the subject than I do!); but different peoples had differing ships and different designs and uses and similar all at the same time period, so I'm curious why some developed in one place and not others. The triremes, for example, were uniquely Mediterranean, while the ancient Chinese and Indians had their own thing going on, to say nothing of the ancient South Sea and Pacific peoples. While a longship wouldn't fare well against a trireme, would it fare well against a the Mediterranean lembos or even the hemiolia and how do those differ (if they do)? I'm not even sure how the lembos or hemiolia were used (if they were) in combat when the triremes were on the field, simply because the triremes were so incredibly massive with literal armies aboard each it's hard to even think about comparisons.

    Anyway, thanks! :D
    The Lord of all loves you: yes, you, specifically. Trust in Him: I look forward to seeing you there!

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    Brother Oni's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ancient Hellenic Ships and a (fantasy) Naval Revolution in 500s BC

    You'll probably have more luck asking this question in our dedicated military history thread: Got a Real World Weapon, Armour, or Tactics Question.

    That said, 600-500 BC is on the tail end of the Spring and Autumn period and Zhou wasn't a major naval power then. There's records of numerous naval engagements between Wu and Qi.

    Unfortunately, the Spring and Autumn period is well outside of my knowledge base (Three Kingdoms and Warring States is what I'm most familiar with) and I can't find what type of ships they would have used then.

    With regard to the different ships, bear in mind that the Mediterranean is fairly calm weather wise and trying to take trireme out into the rougher oceans of the North Atlantic would probably cause it to capsize in short order.
    That said, there's indications that expeditions out into the Atlantic took place, where the rumours of the tin-bearing islands to the far west percolated back to the Ancient world. Such ships would have probably needed to hug the coast for dear life due to their less seaworthy nature.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2021-05-10 at 11:28 AM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Tacticslion's Avatar

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    Default Re: Ancient Hellenic Ships and a (fantasy) Naval Revolution in 500s BC

    Thank you! And, yeah, I am very strictly armchair when it comes to this history, but I am attempting to explore it to get some sort of idea and grasp on how the world at large worked and who was doing what and where. Itís interesting that the triremes were so unseaworthy; that makes sense, but somehow I just not really thought of it. And thank you for that thread! And insight! Iíll try asking there.
    The Lord of all loves you: yes, you, specifically. Trust in Him: I look forward to seeing you there!

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    Default Re: Ancient Hellenic Ships and a (fantasy) Naval Revolution in 500s BC

    Trireme didn't have much space for supplies in relation to their size of crew, and even if they did, they needed to be beached fairly often to prevent them from getting waterlogged is my understanding. They were not open water vessels.
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