The above pictures can also found as a wallpapers, into the Hellenic Navy official site HERE
History brief of HN trireme "Olympias"
Construction works for the HN trireme of "Olympias
" began in Greece in May 1985 and was finished in July 1987. Built of the reconstructed Athenian trireme, named "Olympias
" in a shipbuilder in Piraeus and financed by Frank Welsh (a Suffolk banker, writer and trireme enthusiast), advised by historians J. S. Morrison and John F. Coates and informed by evidence from underwater archaeology. The drawings for her manufacture were provided by the 'Trireme trust
' of Britain. Initially, the trireme was used as part of an experimental archeological project, in order for scientists to determine the sailing characteristics (speed, etc. ) and her strength. Finally, battle tactics and living conditions inside the vessel were as well examined.
Crewed by 170 volunteer oarsmen and oarswomen, the HN trireme of "Olympias
" achieved 9 knots (17 km/h) in 1988. These results, achieved with inexperienced crew, suggest that the ancient writers were not exaggerating about straight-line performance. In addition, the HN trireme of "Olympias
" was able to execute a 180 degree turn in one minute and in an arc no wider than two and one half (2.5) ship lengths.
Information concerning the vessel's construction and tests that were followed, can be found in Commander's S. Platis H.N. relative article, published in volume 458 of the Naval Review publication. Additional information can be found in "The trireme trials 1988, report on the Anglo - Hellenic sea trials of Olympias by J.F. Coates, S.K. Platis, J.T. Shaw
", published by Oxbow Books.
Due to trireme's often use, when she was transported in Britain in 1993, in order to be presented in events about the 2500 years since the beginning of Democracy and the way the trireme was designed and constructed, several damages were caused to her craft. Large scale repairing, from the summer of 1995 untill the autumn of 1996, rectified the previous damages. In 1997, the Naval Supreme Court designed that the trireme should be used as an exhibit and not for sailing. Trireme was transported in Naval tradition park in Trokantero, where it remained as exhibit. In 1999 it was detected that the degree of the damages had grew.
In 2002, Elefsis Shipyards offered to undertake the repair of the trireme, free of charge. The Hellenic Navy accepted the offer and the trireme was transported in Elefsis Shipyards. The works of repairing included the total replacement of timber in the hull of the ship and the enhancement of her stiffness. Modern ways of ship's construction were used to connect and make the timber waterproof, in order to ensure the longevity of the ship. Additionally, the timber in 01 deck was replaced and the masts as also the steering wheel were repaired. The HN trireme of "Olympias
" was launched in May 14 2004 and remained in Elefsis Shipyards for 10 days for waterproof test. The Hellenic Navy equiped the trireme and performed stability tests. Finally, the vessel was delivered to Municipality of Paireus, which manned the ship and prepared her properly for the Olympic Flame's transportation. In 2004 the HN trireme of "Olympias
" was used ceremonially to transport the Olympic Flame from the port of Keratsini to the main port of Piraeus as the Olympic Torch Relay entered its final stages in the runup to the 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.
The builders of the reconstruction project considered that it effectively proved conclusively what had previously been in doubt, that Athenian triremes were arranged with the crew positioned in a staggered arrangement on three levels with one person per oar. This would have made optimum use of the available internal dimensions. However since modern humans are on average approximately 2 inches (6 cm) taller than Ancient Greeks (and the same relative dimensions can be presumed for oarsmen and other athletes), the construction of a craft which followed the precise dimensions of the ancient vessel led to cramped rowing conditions and consequent restrictions on the modern crew's ability to propel the vessel with full efficiency, which perhaps explains why the ancient speed records stand unbroken.
to learn more about ancient Greek triremes and HERE
to learn about Battle of Salamis on September 480 BC.