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 8:18 am

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Built as a steel 3 masted ship rigged cargo vessel under yard No 7k by J.Reid & Company, Glasgow for the Sierra Shipping Company (Thompson, Anderson & Co.), Liverpool.
03 November 1883 launched under the name SIERRA PEDROSA.
Tonnage 1.686 grt, 1.542 net, dim. 249.0 x 38.10 x 23.6ft.
After completing used in the service between Liverpool and Rangoon. She was a pretty looking white painted hulled sailing ship.
30 July 1889 she grounded in Table Bay, South Africa, she was refloated she is still mentioned in Mystic Seaport database till 1900, under the name SIERRA PEDROSA, first under Capt. D. Lyon till 1894 and then under command of Capt. W.J.Starke till 1900.
Visiting for the last time San Francisco January 1896.
14 August 1902 stranded at Blaauwberg Strand or North of Salt River mount, Table Bay, (at that time she is given as barque rigged) sold and thereafter refitted in a coal hulk, and renamed BRUTUS.
Loaded with coal she was towed by four (or two) whale catchers to South Georgia around 1912.
For many years she lay near the whaling station in Prince Olaf Harbour as a coaling hulk.
When the whaling station closed in 1931 she was abandoned, and slowly she deteriorated, and during a gale she was blown onshore.
2008 She lays partly submerged near Pig Point, Brutus Island in Prince Olav Harbour, Brutus Island is named after the vessel.
Source: The last of the Windjammers by Basil Lubbock. Some web-sites. Auke Palmhof
S Georgia and Sandwich Is SG197
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