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 » Wed Sep 03, 2008 5:14 pm

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The Vauban was the second of a series built for Lamport & Holt Line, being preceded by the Vandyck and followed by the Vestris. The intention was to use them on a fast service between Liverpool, Brazil and the River Plate, carrying three classes of passengers plus a considerable amount of cargo. Workman Clark & Co. Ltd., Belfast, were responsible for all three ships and their machinery. Outwardly there were some small differences in the superstructure, but their hull dimensions were alike, The overall length was 511 ft breadth 60.8 ft and depth of hold 28.7 ft. Twin screws were driven by two sets of quad¬ruple-expansion engines which, to keep vibration to the minimum, were balanced on the Yarrow, Schlick & Tweedy system. The boilers, five in number, were double-ended and coal-fired. For cargo there were five holds, with some compartments insulated for the carriage of chilled meat, fruit, etc.
The Vauban was of 10,680 tons gross and 7,200 tons d.w. She had accommodation for about 280 first-class passengers and 130 second-, also 200 emigrants, the last named being embarked during calls at Vigo, Leixoes and Lisbon. The new service from Liverpool to Buenos Aires was opened by the Vandyck in 1911. The Vauban was launched on 20 January, 1912, ran trials in April and took up station soon afterwards. The venture was destined to be short lived and regularity of service—closely allied with popularity—was made impossible by the action of the R.M.S.P. That company was then commencing a new and accelera¬ted service between Southampton and the Plate and for this they chartered the Vauban, repainted her in their colours and used her as the Alcala. However, by the end of 1913 she had resumed her original name and was back on her designed trade. After this Lamport & Holt were virtually forced out by the R.M.S.P., who intended that the service should be handled by their new D-class ships. The Vauban and her two sisters were therefore soon transferred from Liverpool to reinforce an existing Lamport & Holt service between New York and Buenos Aires. There, by their size and luxury, they eclipsed all others. However, the war claimed early toll, for on 18 October, 1914, the Vandyck was captured and sunk by the German raider Karlsruhe. Soon after the war the Vauban, Vestris and the older Vasari resumed sailings between New York and the Plate but made a triangular voyage. From the Plate they returned to Britain and then made a Cunard charter passage to New York before going South again. By the end of 1923 the service had been re-established on a proper fortnightly basis, but by then new and subsidised competition had become intense. The final blow came in November 1929 when the Vestris, then on a South-bound voyage, foundered in heavy weather with the loss of over l00 lives. This disaster, coupled with adverse publicity and de¬clining profits, led to the abandonment of this once proud passenger service. The V-ships returned to Britain and in January 1932, after a long period of idleness, the Vauban was sold for scrap. SG3476
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