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Phoenician two-oarsman on a relief from Nineveh
Bireme, part of the picture

A Bireme ( latin Biremis , two rowers', of up to twice 'and remus , oars, belts '; Greek  διήρης dieres , German also "Diere") is an ancient rudder warship having two rows of belts one above the other.


As a relief from Nineveh shows, double-row rowing ships were already around 700 BC. In use by the Phoenicians . This type of ship subsequently prevailed in all Greek and Middle Eastern navies. Like other ancient warships, the known nitriding , biremes wore at the bow - just above the water line - a battering ram , the enemy for ramming ships were used. The Bireme was a ship of approx. 21 to 31 m in length (depending on the number of rowers employed) and a width of approx. 3 to 4 m and a draft of 0.8 m. The upper deck became a pure combat deck. It carried a large sail for transit.

The two-row ships were the standard warship of their time until the appearance of the trireme.

See also


  • Alfred Richard Neumann: Biremis. In: The Little Pauly (KlP). Volume 1, Stuttgart 1964, column 907.

Individual evidence

  1. External photo ( Memento from May 28, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) (Greek Diere)