PENTECONTER Greek galley

The vessel depicted on this stamp I could not find a drawing of her on the internet, but she was given as a 600 BC used Greek cargo galley. On the stamp is depict a one row vessel with a ram bow. At that time the Greeks used a penteconter Greek galley for war, piracy and transport.

The penteconter, alt. spelling pentekonter and pentaconter, also transliterated as pentecontor or pentekontor (Greek: πεντηκόντορος, pentekontoros "fifty-oared"),plural penteconters was an ancient Greek galley in use since the archaic period. In an alternative meaning, the term was also used for a military commander of fifty men in ancient Greece.
The penteconters emerged in an era when there was no distinction between merchant and war ships. They were versatile, long-range ships used for sea trade, piracy and warfare, capable of transporting freight or troops. A penteconter was rowed by fifty oarsmen, arranged in a row of twenty-five on each side of the ship. A midship mast with sail could also propel the ship under favourable wind. Penteconters were long and sharp-keeled ships, hence described as long vessels (νῆες μακραί, nḗes markaí ). They typically lacked a full deck, and thus were also called unfenced vessels (ἄφρακτοι νῆες, áphraktoi nḗes).

Homer describes war ships during the Trojan War of various numbers of oars varying from twenty-oared, such as the ship that brought Chryseis back to her father, to fifty-oared, as Odysseus’ ship that had fifty men and as many as 120 men of the Boeotian ships.

According to some contemporary calculations, penteconters are believed to have been between 28 and 33 m (92 and 108 ft) long, approximately 4 m wide, and capable of reaching a top speed of 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph). However, modern reconstructions of penteconters, as well as other ancient ship designs such as triremes, manned by modern untrained amateurs, attained that top speed fairly easily on initial sea trials, which implies that the top speed of that type of ship in the ancient era had to be substantially higher. Ancient Greeks also used the triaconter or triacontor (τριακόντορος triakontoros), a shorter version of the penteconter with thirty oars. There is a general agreement that the trireme, the primary warship of classical antiquity, evolved from the penteconter via the bireme. The penteconter remained in use until the Hellenistic period, when it became complemented and eventually replaced by other designs, such as the lembos, the hemiolia and the liburnians.

Libya 1983 100dh sg 1304, scott
Vietnam 1986 3d sg 991, scott1689


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Postby shipstamps » Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:04 pm

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The rescue of Papanin's North Pole Meteorological Party in 1938 is commemorated on these stamps. On May 21, 1937, four Soviet scientists, I. Papanin, P. Shirshov, Y. Fyodorov and E. Krenkel, were landed at the North Pole by aircraft. At the end of a fortnight a base had been established and the four men were left alone to make recordings of the drift of the polar ice. Slowly at first, but with increasing speed the ice on which they were established moved towards Greenland. By January 1938 the floe arrived off North East Green-land and, colliding with grounded ice, split apart: Only a small insecure area of ice was left to them. By February 19 they reached lat 70 deg. 54 min. N., long. 19 deg.48 mm. W.; between Scoresby Sound and Tan Mayen, where they were located by two of the three Ice-breakers sent to pick them up, the Taimyr and the Murman. When rescued, their ice-floe was reduced to only 30 yards by 50 yards, and this was cracked in four places. During their 274 days on the floe they had drifted more than 1,500 miles from the North Pole. Each icebreaker took two of the rescued men, all four later transferring to the third rescue ship, the Ermack, for a triumphal return home. SG787/8
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