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Learn About Various Types Of Ancient Greek Ships 

Did you know that there are more than 10,000 different kinds of ships? And, these ships have been used by many different countries through out history.

In this article, we will be focusing on the types of ancient Greek ships. The ancient Greeks had many different types of ships and they were very advanced when it came to ship building. They had many different kinds of designs for their ships. 

These kinds of ships were made with wood, bronze, iron, silver and gold. The wooden ships had the advantage of being cheap and easy to build. But, wooden ships were very weak against the forces of the sea.

Neolithic Period Ships

Neolithic Period Ships

These are the earliest known ships to have been constructed out of wood. They were used by the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. The earliest example of a wooden ship was discovered in the 1930’s at the site of an ancient Sumerian city called Ur. It is believed this boat was built around 3,600 BC.

There are many different types of ships from the neolithic period. Some of them had one mast, some of them had two masts and some of them had three masts. The ships that had three masts were the most common. The arrangement of the masts varied. 

Sometimes the main mast was at the front of the ship and the other two were on either side of it. Other times all three masts were on the same side of the ship. No matter how they were arranged, all three masts were needed to provide enough rigging to rig the sails.

Ships of the neolithic period had triangular sails made out of animal hide. They were sewn together with sinew and tied to a wooden frame.

Minoan ship

The Minoan ship is named after the ancient civilization of Crete. This type of ship was designed for exploration and trade. It has a hull form that is long and narrow. The bow of the vessel is very steep while the stern is very blunt and rounded. The overall effect is one of grace and beauty.

The Minoan ship was designed for speed. It has a flat bottom which allows it to plane easily through the water. The sharp, raked bow accelerates forward movement through the water. The Minoan ship is equipped with three masts which are stepped one above the other.

Homeric ship

The Homeric ships were ancient Greek trireme warships that had three banks of oars. They were the first warship known to use this arrangement. The trireme was the basic design for all subsequent warship types.

The trireme had a very low freeboard, which means the lowest point of the hull was only a few inches above the waterline. This made it extremely seaworthy and enabled the ships to operate in shallow waters. They were also a fast sailer and could reach a top speed of about 14 knots.

Post-Homeric, Classical Period ships

The post-homeric ship is named after the Greek historian, Herodotus. He was the first to describe the ships the Phoenicians used in their exploration of the Mediterranean Sea. He called them “Halicarnassus” because they had an image of a lion carved into the prow of the ship. The Romans later changed the name to “Homeric” ships.

The type of ship described here has a high freeboard and a long hull with a sharp keel. It has two masts, but only one of those masts is used for sailing. The other mast is used for running a large ground game. This type of ship was developed for speed rather than cargo carrying capacity. They were designed to outrun the enemy rather than carry a lot of supplies.

Hellenistic Period ships

Hellenistic Period ships

The Hellenistic period was one of great artistic and architectural achievement. This is especially true of the ships of this era. They were designed to be fast, maneuverable and extremely seaworthy. The hulls were constructed with an emphasis on strength and durability.

A characteristic feature of Hellenistic ships is their sheer size. They were built to carry a huge amount of cargo and passengers over long distances. The most famous of all Hellenistic ships is the trireme. Triremes were the workhorses of the ancient world. They plied the Mediterranean and the Black Sea carrying soldiers, mail, and sometimes even royalty.

Athenian sacred ships

The athenian sacred ships were models of ancient greek triremes which were used for ceremonial purposes only. The ships were made of wood and covered with a tar-like substance that was painted. 

They were built in a variety of sizes and shapes and had a single mast and a square or round rudder. They were used for religious festivals and processions and served as floating altars upon which the orators would harangue the people from.

They are the best known of a type of ship called an athlios, which means “spear” in Greek. There are other types of ships called athlios which are oared ships, but the ships used in the construction of the athenian sacred ships were not. 

These ships were used for ceremonial purposes only and were never used for war. They were built by the city of athens as a gift to the goddess Athena. They were considered to be so precious that it was forbidden to build another like it for at least 1,000 years.

Ivlia (ship)

Ivlia (ship)

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They have a strong and growing e-commerce presence and ship to all 50 states and over 100 countries worldwide. They are a member of the Direct Marketing Association and the Specialty Food Association.


A bireme is a type of ship invented in ancient Greece that has two sets of overlapping sails that work together like scales on a fish. It was used for exploration and colonization because it was faster than single-sailed ships and could withstand much more wind and wave action.

Biremes were used by the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Spanish, the Dutch and many others. The first recorded use of a bireme in the New World was by the early Portuguese explorers.

Paralus (ship)

Paralus ships are wooden ships with masts that have been constructed in a variety of ways over many years. They are built to withstand the rigors of the open ocean and have a long history of safe and reliable service. The masts of these ships are constructed in such a way that they naturally rise above the sides of the hulls of the ships. This is important because it allows the sails to catch the wind, providing the power to propel the ship forward.

The Paralus ships are characterized by their triangular or “catamaran” shaped hulls. These hulls are constructed in a unique way that makes them extremely seaworthy. They have an extremely flat bottom that tapers up to a very sharp point at the bow. The hulls are so flat, in fact, that when you look down from above, the hulls form a kind of V-shape.

The sharpened point of the hull acts like a sailboat’s prow and allows the ship to cut through the water with great speed and ease.


A penteconter is a multi-purpose ship that was developed in the 16th century by the Portuguese. It was a combination of a galleon and a brig. It had five masts and was used for both cargo and troop transport. Later, it was used as a fishing boat.

Today, a penteconter is a type of houseboat. The main difference is that a houseboat has a lot more interior space. A penteconter is a true workhorse. It can be used for everything from floating a small business to living in luxury. A penteconter can sleep up to 12 people and has plenty of room for all their stuff. It also comes with all the amenities of home, including a full kitchen. Houseboats can cost as much as three or four million dollars, but penteconters are more affordable.

Ship of Theseus

The ship of Theseus is a mythical vessel that was supposedly constructed with the same materials each of its previous voyages. The ship was said to have been built by the shipwrights of Athens and it was used by them in the war against the Trojans. After the war, it was kept at the bottom of the sea off the coast of Greece.

In time, the ship was raised from the bottom of the ocean and repaired. It was then put back in service and continued to make voyages until it finally sank for good. All in all, the ship was said to have made about 25 voyages before it finally went down.



A trireme was a type of ancient Greek ship used for warfare. It had three levels of oarsmen. The bottom row of oarsmen were the slaves who pulled the boat. The middle row pulled the boat and the top row fought off the enemy ships. This type of ship was the forerunner of the modern-day steamboat and the word “trireme” is also the root of the words “triangle” and “trident”.

Modern triremes are still used today and can be seen in many ports all over the world. Triremes are used for military purposes, pleasure boating and as research vessels. A trireme is an ideal houseboat because of its unique design and stability. The three levels of oarsmen helped the trireme to be extremely stable and seaworthy.


These ships were discovered in ancient times and are still used today. They are perfect for trading because they are light weight and easy to handle. They have a flat bottom which makes them stable when beaching. They also have a wide beam which gives them a wide turning radius. These features make them great for coastal navigation.

They were also used for fishing and other water based activities. Periplus means “around the world” in Greek. The name was given because these types of ships were used for trading around the Mediterranean Sea and other waters around the world.


Diekplus ships are designed for people who love to go places that are remote, rugged, and adventurous. The Diekplus ships are ideal for people who enjoy exploring the wilderness, either alone or with a small group of friends. These people are attracted to the Diekplus because of its unique features. 

First, it is designed to be operated by just one person. That means that you don’t have to depend on anyone else to get you where you need to go. You can set your own schedule and travel when and where you choose.

The other special thing about the Diekplus ships is that they are designed to be driven by solar power. This eliminates the need for any type of fuel source whatsoever. This makes the Diekplus very eco-friendly. Plus, since the Diekplus is so light weight, it can easily be lifted onto the roof of the car or truck by one person. Once on the roof of the vehicle, the Diekplus will stay there until it is time to re-charge again.



These are the smallest of all ships and are often mistaken for miniature boats. In fact, they are sometimes called “nautical paperweights.” They are made by the city of Salamina in Syria and are used as paperweights and decorative items. The ships are constructed with a lightweight material called sintra and are painted a bright orange.

Each ship is unique because of the different patterns that are used for the ship’s design. Some of the designs resemble sailing ships, while others look like motorboats. Whatever the design, each of these tiny ships is painted a bright orange.


Did the ancient Greeks name their ships?

Yes. The Greeks gave names to their ships just as they named their people. In fact, they had a special word for this which is “epitafesis” which means “naming”. As you shall see when we discuss the Iliad and the Odyssey, these poems are filled with information about the Greek ships. In addition, there are many other references in classical literature that tell us about the names of the ships.

What types of materials were used to build the ancient Greek ships?

The ancient Greeks built their ships out of oak planks that were then assembled together with metal nails. This was a very simple process that was used by virtually every Greek shipbuilder. However, the ancient Greeks did use a few unique techniques to make their ships more seaworthy.

The first and most obvious technique they used was to lap the seams of the planks where they met. This created a watertight seal between each plank. It also made the planking much stronger since it acted like a binding agent for the entire assembly.

Another technique they used was to caul the bottoms of the ships which meant they filled the spaces between the planking with something called calking. Calking is simply a material that you squeeze out of a tube and then pack it into the cracks and crevices between the planks. When it hardens it creates a waterproof seal.

Why were the Ancient Greek ships important?

The Greek ships were important because they were advanced and improved upon the old ships. Most of the ships were built by building on top of the old ships.

The Ancient Greeks were always looking for ways to improve their boats. They wanted a stronger, faster, more seaworthy boat. And so they did! Many of the improvements that the Ancient Greeks came up with are still used today.


Ships have been used for thousands of years by many different cultures. These ships are used for different purposes such as war, commerce and exploration.

These kinds of ships are very interesting because they were used by ancient people who had very little knowledge about naval engineering.

We hope that after reading this article, you will learn more about these kinds of ships. Also, we hope that you will understand why these kinds of ships are so amazing.

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