Daily Archives: December 15, 2020

Bireme

‘Bi’ means ‘2.’ In Latin ‘remus’ means ‘oar.’ Zippity-doo-dah!

The warships used in the Battle of Actium were biremes. The bireme is a long galley with two banks of oars and a reinforced prow in front for ramming. I’m no Captain Hornblower, but it’s hard to see how those boats didn’t tip over. The oars come out really close to the water so it looks like they have no more draught than a canoe. The oars may have acted as outriggers to keep them from tipping but there’s a lot of stuff like masts, sails, castles and swiveling gangways that look top-heavy to me. Great fun to draw, though!

You can build a wood or plastic model of the Roman bireme warship from a kit, but they’re not cheap:
https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=roman+bireme&norover=1&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-34000-13078-0&mkcid=2&keyword=roman+bireme&crlp=_&MT_ID=&geo_id=&rlsatarget=kwd-77584346217817%3Aloc-190&adpos=&device=c&mktype=&loc=59981&poi=&abcId=&cmpgn=301085100&sitelnk=&adgroupid=1241348688180735&network=o&matchtype=e&msclkid=881ed2e272f3184816558d36c2b90a0f&ul_noapp=true
https://premiershipmodels.us/product/greek-warship-bireme-model-ship-kit-1404/
https://www.mantuamodel.co.uk/products/ship-kits/mantua/456/roman-bireme-30bc-detail
Wait! Here’s one that’s budget-friendly: https://www.ebay.com/itm/254721738287

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