Galley (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
An ancient long, slender vessel most often propelled by oars, but often fitted with sails. The most common galley used by the Greeks, Romans, and other peoples of antiquity was the trireme, which had three banks of oars. The smaller (and more maneuverable) bireme had two banks of oars. Galleys were usually rowed by slaves, prisoners of war, or convicts, who were securely chained to benches. When engaged in warfare, Roman galleys carried hooks for securing enemy vessels and bridges for boarding. Galleys were used for transportation in the Mediterranean until the seventeenth century.
(The entire section is 94 words.)
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