Home WORLD Greek Navy Reconstructed An Ancient Greek Trireme – Trireme OLYMPIAS

Greek Navy Reconstructed An Ancient Greek Trireme – Trireme OLYMPIAS


Construction works for the trireme of ‘OLYMPIAS’ began in Greece in May 1985 and was finished in July 1987. Initially, the trireme was used as part of an experimental archeological project.

image: wikimedia

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.

image: wikimedia

The trireme was launched in May 14 2004 and remained in Elefsis Shipyards for 10 days for waterproof test. The Hellenic Navy equipped the trireme and performed stability tests.


Built from Virgina oak and Oregon pine, Olympias was adorned with a bronze bow ram weighing 200 kg. The bracing ropes, or hypozomata, had to be replaced by a steel rope since there were no natural fibre ropes with the same elastic modulus as hemp./protothema

Rather than exerting constant tension like a natural fibre rope, the steel cables tension varied as the hull bent on the waves. The results that the trireme achieved with an amateur crew proves that ancient historians like Thucydides were not overstating the capabilities of triremes.

VIAHellenic Navy
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