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The H.N. Olympias

Exciting news for the summer! According to the www.trireme.org (official website of non-profit company  “Trireme in New York City, Inc.”), plans are in place to bring the world’s only trireme to New York harbor in 2012.  The website’s homepage states:

 

Plans are being made to bring the Hellenic Navy vessel Olympias for its first voyage in the U.S. Scheduled for late spring through early summer of 2012, Olympias’ visit will coincide with the Tall Ships “OpSail” and July 4th events in New York Harbor. A world-class exhibition on Athenian maritime history is among the many exciting activities being organized to promote the ship’s historic visit and enhance public awareness of the significance of triremes in the development of democratic ideals.

The Olympias is a reconstruction of a 5th century Athenian trireme, the great warship of the age.  Trireme determined the outcome of the Persian wars and then cemented Athenian supremacy in the Mediterranean.  By the 4th century, triremes were being supplanted by larger faster quadriremes and quinqueremes which were the war galleys used by the Romans and Carthaginians.

 

Since the world has been noticeably trireme-free of late, the 170-oar Olympias currently qualifies as the fastest human-powered sailing vessel in the world.  Classical Greek galleys were originally crewed by free citizens, but, because of the danger, tedium and hardship involved in such work, citizens were soon replaced by criminals and slaves. If you are looking for the unique opportunity to row a classical warship around New York harbor, click here.  Apparently there are still plenty of openings on the Olympias’ rowing benches.

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