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the great king has new ships

I have sculpted two new Phoenician triremes, to serve in the Great King's mighty navy and crush those hairy, smelly rebellious Greeks. Yes, you will say, I've sculpted those already. But to the honest: looking at them, I was not really happy! So, with more experience under the belt and with a view to soon start molding (and hopefully distributing! but I will tell later about this...) I went for a radical option. Instead of modifying existing Greek triremes as I have done previously, I sculpted two new units from scratch. And here they are.

Here they are compared with a Greek one.

They are more or less the same lenght of the Greeks, but are visibly higher. It is widely accepted, for example by authorities like Morrison or Casson, that they had no outrigger and that to accomodate the thranites these ships had basically a second level. And also had bulwarks, and shields added to them. In fact they were so high that, at Salamina, Themistocles was eagerly waiting for the wind to rise because the Phoenician ships "rose high in their sterns, and had bulwarks and would come down heavily", or so Plutarch says. A good image is provided in the famous Tyre evacuation relief from Niniveh, showing Phoenicians from Tyre and Sidon relocating to Cyprus while escaping from the Assyrians.

There is a third, unused order of oars below the shields

Yes, I know this is from 702 b.c., but it very much looks like a trireme.

In fact, you might note that some details in my sculpts (the prow: the raised stern) are much closer to a conventional trireme than to the Niniveh ships. What I aimed for was a "modernized", V cent. version of the Niniveh ships. Especially, I felt it was important for the sculpt to be noticeably different from the Greeks from the architectural point of view, and not only for the added shields.

But, I can hear you, what are these weird things hanging from the prows like ugly noses? Well, good professor Casson in his Ships and Seamanship in the Ancient World kindly informs us that Phoenicians carried either a figurehead or even a tutelary statue well visible at the prow. According to Herodotus, these were called pataikoi. And in fact you can clearly (ahemm...) see the statue of Anat the maiden warrior goddess adorning the first trireme's prow, and a priest sacrificing a kid to Baal in the second. I think with these two sculpts I got the effect I wanted: these ships are clearly trireme, but clearly pertaining to a different civilization from the Greeks.

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