Postcard - Greek Kataphraktoi

TheCollectioner

Le Teich, France

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Type of heavy freighter of the Hellenistic period. The Romans with their Corbita will be much greater.

These “Kataphraktoï” cargo ships of 300 tons or more (knowing that a “standard” Greek amphora was 19.4 liters) could reach a deadweight port of 5000 to 10 000 amphorae. The latter were equally suitable for the transport of large quantities (wheat from Minor Asia, Egypt and Sicily, barley from the North), but also wine, olive oil and honey, Exported throughout the Mediterranean basin. These vessels, which were relatively fast, often had ladders used to cut off access to the wharf. An additional sail at the bow used them for harbor maneuvers, as the oars were gradually abandoned with the progress in the use of sailing. However, the first Greek cargo vessels used rowing largely, and their relatively low width / length ratio made them suitable for military as well as civil use.

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