The Photo of the Week for 19 January is a shot of the Hellenic Navy's historic trireme Olympias. This photograph was submitted by the Hellenic Navy staff with other photos for the March International Navies issue of Proceedings.
Olympias is an exact copy, a reconstruction, of the ancient Athenian trireme of the 5th century B.C. She is a commissioned ship in the Hellenic Navy, which is a symbol for the Hellenic long naval tradition. She is the only commissioned vessel of its kind in any of the world's navies.
Construction of the trireme began in Greece in May 1985 and was finished in July 1987. The drawings for her manufacture were provided by the “Trireme Trust” of Britain, while the essential funds were granted by the Hellenic Navy.
A trireme was an ancient vessel and a type of galley that was used by the Greeks and derives her name from her three rows of oars, manned with one man per oar. The trireme was a fast-attack, light-displacement vessel with a crew of 170-200, including five officers. The trireme played a vital role in the development of Athenian maritime power and in the victorious battles at sea during the Persian Wars. The trireme was the deciding factor for the Greek triumph in the glorious sea battle of Salamis in 480 B.C. against vast Persian forces and considered by many the greatest naval battle in ancient history.
Her length varies from 33 to 43 meters, the width from 3.5 to 4.4 meters, the height from 2.1 to 2.5 meters above the waterline and the ship draught from 0.9 to 1.1 meters. Her maximum speed reached 8 knots with oars and 10 knots with the use of sails. In the bow she had a bronze ram that was used to rupture the hull of the enemy ship.
Olympias is now part of Greece's Park of Maritime Tradition in Palaio Faliro, near Athens. Photo courtesy of the Hellenic Navy.
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