Greece had the strongest navy in ancient times. Be it strength, number, technology or skill, ancient Greek Navy was far ahead of the rest. In terms of technology, they were way ahead of their time.

Probably the most important reason behind the Greeks having such a large navy was that they fought a lot of wars. These wars were more on water than on land. They fought fiercely on water like soldiers do on land.

Ancient Greek Ships Rosemary Sutcliff

Important Part of Greece Navy

The most important part of ancient Greece navy was their exquisitely and technically sound military ships. The penteconters, biremes, quadriremes, and triremes were their biggest strengths.These ships came roaring towards the enemy at sea. With the support of hundreds of rowers, the ships strong built ensured that when they rammed into the enemy ship, it was reduced to rubble.

The Ships used by Ancient Greece Navy

The forerunner of all ships used in ancient Greek navy was the penteconters. This warship had a single row of 25 rowers on each side. Rendered highly unstable in turbulent waters and not having enough speed, penteconters gave way to the bireme.Bireme was the two-tiered ship.

It had two rows of rowers. For quite a long time, from 7th to 4th century BC, these warships dominated the Mediterranean waters. Great speed and agility made them very useful in naval wars.

Great Harbour at Syracuse

Biremes later gave way to quadriremes and quinqueremes. Triremes originated from these warships and became dominant in all future wars. Triremes were played a significant role in many ancient wars such as the Persian war, Peloponnesian war and also the creation of an Athenian maritime empire.

Design and dimensions of ships used by ancient Greek navy:

All ships used in ancient Greece navy had one feature in common and that is rows of oars. While the penteconters had one row of rowers on each side, bireme had two and trireme had three rows of oars.The trireme needed some 170 men to row it to its maximum speed of 13km/h. it was 37 meters long, made of good quality oak wood and had square shaped sails.

Ancient Greek soldier

All these ships had a beak in front. This beak was made of bronze and metal which made it extremely heavy and gave it considerable strength. These beaks were rammed into the enemy ships to destroy them.The ancient Greece Navy had tactics which they often used against the enemy.

They would approach the enemy ship in great speed and surround it from all sides. They then rammed their triremes into the enemy ship. Soldiers then climbed into the enemy ship and fought like soldiers do on land.

The main strength of ancient Greece navy was derived from the warships they had. They fought great wars and won them too. Construction of present-day warships draws a lot of inspiration from the ancient Greece navy.