S. Ford Weiskittel, president of the U.S. Trireme Trust, which supported a Greek initiative to test a replica of a fifth century BCE warship, will present a slide lecture on the adventure at Fairfield University on Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in the Multimedia Room of the DiMenna-Nyselius Library. The lecture is free.
A remarkable technological achievement, the Greek trireme was designed to ram other ships. Powered by both sail and oar, with a crew numbering 120, the warships are credited with saving Greek civilization from Persian conquest because of their role in the Athenian victory over the Persian fleet at the battle of Salamis.
About 30 years ago, several British scholars undertook to establish definitively just what a trireme looked like and how it was rowed. Their task was made difficult because nobody had ever found a trireme.
While archaeologists had found numerous wrecks of ancient merchant vessels on the bottom of the Mediterranean, it is thought that the trireme ships, built of light wood, probably broke up in the surf, decomposed or were towed away by victorious enemies.