CARAVELLE (Caravel)

Caravela Latina / Latin Caravel: Caravel Boa Esperana of Portugal. Caravela Redonda / Square-rigged Caravel: Caravel Esprito Santo of Brazil Portuguese caravel, adorned with the Cross of the Order of Christ. This was the standard model used by the Portuguese in their voyages of exploration. It could accommodate about 20 sailors. In the summer of […]

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18th century "REALE"

The name “REALE” indicates that the galley belonged to the King of France; also from 1526 the admiralty vessel of the Captain of the French galleys was called “REALE”. The original craft is an exact reproduction of a typical end of 18th century “REALE”, sumptuously decorated by the famous sculptor Pierre Puget; the stern ornamentations, […]

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James I of Aragon: The Barcelona Maritime Code of 1258

By the middle of the thirteenth century there was a well-established system of usages or maritime law at Barcelona and Tortosa in Spain, and at Marseilles in France, besides similar systems in northern Europe, the laws of Oleron and the laws of Wisby. As may be seen, these laws regulated lading and discharge of cargo, […]

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Baghlah – Arab cargo vessel

A baghlah, bagala or baggala is a large deep-sea dhow, a traditional Arabic sailing vessel. Description A baghlah is a type of dhow with one or more lateen sails. It is primarily used along the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula, Sindh, India, and East Africa. A larger dhow may have a crew of approximately thirty […]

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Indian Sea Trade with the West

The West Gordon Childe says: “The most startling feature of pre-historic Indian trade is that manufactured goods made in India were exported to Mesopotamia. At Eshunna, near Baghdad, typically Indian shell inlays and even pottery probably of the Indus manufacture have been found along with seals. After c. 1700 B. C. C. E. the traders […]

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NAVAL WARFARE IN EUROPE, 1500-1600

A painting by Agostino Tassi or Buonamico (1565-1644) shows a ship under construction at the leading Tuscan port of Livomo. The painting illustrates the large quantities of wood required for shipbuilding, and the immensity of the task posed by the construction of large warships using largely unmechanized processes. The capital investment required was formidable, but […]

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Navigation and Ships in China

This picture of a medieval Chinese war junk distorts many of the key features to give a dramatic effect, but it does illustrate the multiple decks, the highly responsive rigging and steering systems, including a stern rudder controlled by a tiller and a lateral auxiliary steering oar. It was the increasing number of guns on […]

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Navy of Venice

The Venetian Arsenal was the biggest and more efficient shipyard of the Renaissance, and the reason why Venice was capable of standing up to the Turks for three hundred years and seven wars. San Lorenzo (?) galleasse in an illustration by eslovac artist Avor. It is based in a Venetian engraving. It is probably the […]

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North versus South in Naval technology

Large cog with the Latin sail aft and by light gun on the turning ring mount which ruled in the Baltic region and the North Sea almost 300 years. The galley, be it of Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, or Turkish design, was not an effective seagoing weapon system. Galley fleets were too unseaworthy and too […]

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