Building Odysseus ship (A penteconter)

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Therefor the sources available are Homer’s works, Iliad ana Odyssey, the ancient vases of Homer’s life time, that is the time from the 8th to the 7th century bc and lastly the archaeological findings from the ship wrecks. Although is common knowledge that Homer’s epics refer to the Trojan war, that according to Heinrich Schliemann findings are dated in the 13th to the 12th century bc., Homer’s naval references correspond the naval reality of his life time.


Out of a study of the above topics, I came to the conclusion (and I am not the first to do so) that Odysseus ship was a πεντηκόντορος, a penteconter. It had, as also her Greek name designates, 50 oars. That is 25 in each side. It also had a single mast with a single square sail. It was a very long boat, hence this type of ship, even the smaller ones with 30 or 20 oars, were described as long vessels (νῆες μακραί, nḗes makraí ).

For the reconstruction project, of building Odysseus ship, I got two model ship kits from Dusek, that is the Greek bireme, in order to use/merge their elements and to by pass trivial work, which is supplied by the kits.


Christos
 
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As first I had to extend the short keel of the Dusek bireme. The bireme has a length of 395mm, that represents a ship of 28 meters length. Far to short for the long ship of Odysseus which was between 35 and 40 meters. The bireme has two rows of oars, one above the other on each side, with 13 oars each row, where the Penteconter had a single row on each side, but with far more oars, 25 on each side.20200715_091256.jpg20200715_084659.jpg
 
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@stuglo thank you for dropping by. Its not mythology, pentecontor existed. Homer was describing real objects, places, weapons and facts in order to present his heroes and heroic story. He was dressing his story with real elements in order to be persuasive. On the other hand as I wrote above we have the archaeological findings, either ship wrecks or the beautiful vases of that era. So... the model to build had existed... maybe the same, maybe with some differences, but surely pentecontor is a type of war ship that travelled the Aegean Sea from the Minoan age 14th, 13th century bc till the early 7th century bc.

Christos
 
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What do you mean by " special.parts".
Check out some of my threads... all my work is free (except for maybe shipping).





 
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@stuglo thank you for dropping by. Its not mythology, pentecontor existed. Homer was describing real objects, places, weapons and facts in order to present his heroes and heroic story. He was dressing his story with real elements in order to be persuasive. On the other hand as I wrote above we have the archaeological findings, either ship wrecks or the beautiful vases of that era. So... the model to build had existed... maybe the same, maybe with some differences, but surely pentecontor is a type of war ship that travelled the Aegean Sea from the Minoan age 14th, 13th century bc till the early 7th century bc.

Christos
I believe you. I deliberately put "mythology" in brackets. As a youngster in school, these stories, along with the bible were considered myths. As a lover of history (I reread Heroditus last year) I see archeology constantly finding evidence and proof to refute these cynics I admire your scholarship and look forward to seeing the build along with any associated information you can supply.
 
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@stuglo Dear friend thank you for your interested in my topic. I am writing a book about Homer's naval references, though as you may be already aware, my english isnt so good so the book is in greek.
In 1966 I travelled by boat from Brindisi, Italy, to Haifa,Israel, via Corinth canal (Ithink), passed the island of Ithaca, Piraeus, Famagusta. 5 pound sterling, deck class, for a 5 day journey. As a child, the books of the odyssey and greek heroes fascinated me and I read them over and over again. To see Ithaca was magical, and stays with me.
While awaiting your book, please could you add some parts of the stories to you building blog.
 
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is a picture and the dimension of an object sufficient in order to produce it, or must I draw and send you a detailed drawing to scale?
Hello Messis!! We could try it either way. If the object is architectural in shape a picture with dimensions might be good enough.. If it is an artistic object (such as a figure head) you may need to draw it for me!! I am always willing to try even if it does not work out for us!!
 
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Upper deck, or the bridge connecting forecastle and quarterdeck/poop deck, is done. Now is time to begin planking.



That said, appears to me that I have to explain that this is not the way a penteconter was build. On the contrary, at those ages, it was the other way around, It was build with the shell-first construction method. That is the planking was made prior to the framing of the ship. The frames were coming after planking. Of course here I could not follow this method so I proceed as the usual method frame first and then planking, that is the method that came later, after the 7th century bc.



For the planking there is discussion. Were the ships planksthose days joined together with mortise and tenons or if they were laced on each other. Although Homer describes Odysseus building a ship or some kind of a vessel, in order to leave Calypsos island, but although he explains clearly how Odysseus joins the planking, ‘’ he bored them all and fit them together and then with pegs and fasteners he hammer it together…” the various translations have produced a disagreement. In any case the laced method is the older method, that means that in Homers time most probably the new method -mortise-tenons- was used. Lionel Casson and many other scholars believe that most probably or even definitly, penteconter were build with the modern method of mortise and tenons. Also at the substantial period the laced method was mostly found in wrecks around Egypt.

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Upper deck, or the bridge connecting forecastle and quarterdeck/poop deck, is done. Now is time to begin planking.



That said, appears to me that I have to explain that this is not the way a penteconter was build. On the contrary, at those ages, it was the other way around, It was build with the shell-first construction method. That is the planking was made prior to the framing of the ship. The frames were coming after planking. Of course here I could not follow this method so I proceed as the usual method frame first and then planking, that is the method that came later, after the 7th century bc.



For the planking there is discussion. Were the ships planksthose days joined together with mortise and tenons or if they were laced on each other. Although Homer describes Odysseus building a ship or some kind of a vessel, in order to leave Calypsos island, but although he explains clearly how Odysseus joins the planking, ‘’ he bored them all and fit them together and then with pegs and fasteners he hammer it together…” the various translations have produced a disagreement. In any case the laced method is the older method, that means that in Homers time most probably the new method -mortise-tenons- was used. Lionel Casson and many other scholars believe that most probably or even definitly, penteconter were build with the modern method of mortise and tenons. Also at the substantial period the laced method was mostly found in wrecks around Egypt.

View attachment 165141View attachment 165142
very beautiful job :)
 
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όμορφη δουλειά O’Χρήστος. ανυπομονώ να βρω το τελικό πλοίο.
 
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