Ship (for the original term, see below). Under this head we propose to bring together all the important information extant relating to ancient and especially Biblical naval operations. These latter, although somewhat late historically, and not very scientific, have nevertheless a peculiar interest,
I. Extent of Navigation. — The Jews cannot be said to have been a seafaring people; yet their position on the map of the world is such as to lead us to feel that they could not have been ignorant of ships and the business which relates thereunto Phoenicia, the northwestern part of Palestine, was unquestionably among, if not at the head of, the earliest cultivators of maritime affairs. Then the Holy Land itself lay with one side coasting a sea which was anciently the great, highway of navigation, and the center of social and commercial enterprise. Within its own borders it had a navigable lake. The Nile, with which river the fathers of the nation had become acquainted in their bondage, was another great thoroughfare for ships. The Red Sea itself, which conducted towards the remote east, was at no great distance even from the capital of the land. Then at different points in its long line of sea coast there were harbors of no mean repute. Let the reader call to mind Tyre and Sidon in Phoenicia, and Acre (Acco) and Jaffa (Joppa) in Palestine. Yet the decidedly agricultural bearing of the Israelitish constitution checked such a development of power, activity, and wealth as these favorable opportunities might have called forth on behalf of seafaring pursuits. There can, however, be no doubt that the arts of ship building and of navigation came to Greece and Italy from the East, and immediately from the Levant; whence we may justifiably infer that these arts, so far as they were cultivated in Palestine, were there in a higher state of perfection at an early period, at least, than in the more western parts of the world (Ezekiel 27; Strabo, bk. 16 Comenz, De Nave Tyria). In the early periods of their history the Israelites themselves would partake to a small extent of this skill and of its advantages, since it was only by degrees that they gained possession of the entire land, and for a long time were obliged to give up the sovereignty of very much of their seaboard to the Philistines and other hostile tribes. The earliest history of Palestinian ships lies in impenetrable darkness, so far as individual facts are concerned. In Ge 49:13 there is, however a prophecy, the fulfilment of which would connect the Israelites with shipping at an early period: "Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea, and he shall be for a haven of ships, and his border shall be unto Zidon" (comp. De 33:19; Jos 19:10 sq.) — words which seem more fitly to describe the position of Asher in the actual division of the land. These local advantages, however, could have been only partially improved, since we find Hiram, king of Tyre, acting as carrier by sea for Solomon, engaging to convey in floats to Joppa the timber cut in Lebanon for the Temple, and leaving to the Hebrew prince the duty of transporting the wood from the coast to Jerusalem. When after having conquered Elath and Ezion-geber on the farther arm of the Red Sea, Solomon proceeded to convert them into naval stations for his own purposes, he was still, whatever he did himself, indebted to Hiram for "shipmen that had knowledge of the sea" (1Ki 9:26; 1Ki 10:22). The effort, however, to form and keep a navy in connection with the East was not lastingly successful; it soon began to decline, and Jehoshaphat failed when at a later day he tried to give new life and energy to the enterprise (1Ki 22:49-50). In the time of the Maccabees Joppa was a Jewish seaport (1 Macc. 14:5). Herod the Great availed himself of the opportunities naturally afforded to form a more capacious port at Caesarea (Josephus, War, 3, 9, 3),. Nevertheless, no purely Jewish trade by sea was hence even now called into being. Caesarea was the place whence Paul embarked in order to proceed as a prisoner to Rome (Ac 27:2). His voyage on that occasion, as described most graphically in the Acts of the Apostles (Ac 27; Ac 28), if it requires some knowledge of ancient maritime affairs in order to be rightly understood, affords also rich and valuable materials towards a history of the subject, and might, we feel convinced, be so treated as of itself to supply many irresistible evidences of the certainty of the events therein recorded, and, by warrantable inferences, of the credibility of the evangelical history in general. No one but an eye witness could have written the minute, exact, true, and graphic account which these two chapters give The vessels connected with Biblical history were, with the exception of those used on the Sea of Galilee (for which see below), for, the most part ships of burden, al, most indeed exclusively so, at least within the period of known historical facts, though in a remote antiquity the Phoenician states can hardly fail to have supported a navy for warlike, as it is known they did for predatory, purposes. This peculiarity, however, of the Biblical ships exonerates us from entering into the general subject of the construction of ancient ships and their several subdivisions. A good general summary, on that head may be found in Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, s.v. A few details chiefly respecting ships of burden may be of service to the scriptural student.
II. Sources of Information. — Ancient literature is singularly deficient in everything which relates to ships or navigation. No work written expressly on the subject has come down to us and we are dependent for our knowledge on the subject upon the incidental notices in poets and historians, or upon the figures on coins, marbles, or paintings, often the works of ignorant artists, which are calculated to mislead. Recent discoveries have, however, added much to our knowledge of the subject, especially in the marbles and pictures exhumed at Herculaneum and Pompeii. No one writer in the whole range of Greek and Roman literature has supplied us (it may be doubted whether all put together have supplied us) with so much information concerning the merchant ships of the ancients as Luke in the narrative of Paul's voyage to Rome (Ac 27:28). There was also dug up at the Piraeus, in 1834 a series of marble slabs, on which were inscribed the inventories of the ships of the Athenian fleet. They have been published by Prof. Bockh, of Berlin, under the title of Urkunden uber das Seewesen? des attischen Staates (Berlin, 1840, fol. and 8vo). The pictorial representations on the Egyptian and Assyrian monuments supply us some additional information. Julius Pollux, in his Onomasticon, has given a long list of nautical terms which, although not often accompanied b, explanations, puts us in possession of the terminology of ancient seamanship, and is satisfactory as agreeing in a remarkable manner with that of Luke Isidore of Seville, in his Origines, also gives many nautical terms with explanations. For other literature, see at the end of this article.
III. Original Teams. — As regards Paul's voyage, it is important to remember that he accomplished it in three ships first, the Adramyttian vessel SEE ADRAMYTTIUM which took him from Caesarea to Myra, and which was probably a coasting vessel of no great size (Ac 27:1-6); secondly, the large Alexandrian corn ship, in which he was wrecked "on the coast of Malta (Ac 27:6; Ac 28:1) SEE MELITA; and, thirdly, another large Alexandrian corn ship, in which he sailed from Malta by Syracuse and Rhegilum to Puteoli (ver. 11-13). "The word employed by Luke of each of these ships is, with one single exception, when he uses ναῦς (Ac 27:41), the generic term πλοῖον (Ac 27:2,6,10,15,22,30,37-39,44; Ac 28:11). The same general usage prevails throughout. Elsewhere in the Acts (Ac 20:13,38; Ac 21:2-3,6) we have πλοῖον. So in James (Jas 3:4) and in the Revelation (Re 8:9; Re 18:17,19), In the Gospels we have πλοῖον (passim) or πλοιάριον (Mr 4:36; Joh 21:8). In the Sept. we find πλοῖον used twenty- eight times and ναῦς nine times. Both words generally correspond to the Hebrew אַנַי, oni, or אַנַיָּה, oniyah. In Jon 1:5, πλοῖον is used to represent the Heb. ספַינָה, sephinah, which, from its etymology, appears to mean a vessel covered with a deck or with hatches, in opposition to an open boat. The senses in which σκάφος (2 Macc. 12:3, 6) and ςκάφη (Ac 27:16,32) are employed we shall notice as we proceed. The use of τριήρης, or trireme (A.V. "galley"), is limited to a single passage in the Apocrypha (2 Macc. 4:20). In four passages (Nu 24:24; Isa 33:21; Eze 30:9; Da 11:30) the Heb. term is צַי, tsi, so called from being set up or built. SEE BOAT.
IV. Styles of Ancient Ships. —
1. Their Size. — The narrative which we take as our chief guide affords a good standard for estimating this. The ship in which Paul was wrecked had 276 persons on board (Ac 27:37), besides a cargo (φορτίον) of wheat (Ac 27:10,38); and all these passengers seem to have been taken on to Puteoli in another ship (Ac 28:11) which had her own crew and her own cargo; nor is there a trace of any difficulty in the matter, though the emergency was unexpected. Now in English transport ships, prepared for carrying troops, it is a common estimate to allow a ton and a half per man; thus we see that it would be a mistake to suppose that these Alexandrian corn ships were very much smaller than modern trading vessels. What is here stated is quite in harmony with other instances. The ship in which Josephus was wrecked (Life, § 3), in the same part of the Levant, had 600 souls on board. The Alexandrian corn ship described by Lucian (Navig. s. vota) as driven into the Piraeus by stress of weather, and as exciting general attention from her great size, would appear (from a consideration of the measurements which are explicitly given) to have measured 1100 or 1200 tons. As to the ship of Ptolemy Philadelphus, described by Athenaeus (v. 204), this must have been much larger; but it would be no more fair to take that as a standard than to take the "Great Eastern" as a type of a modern steamer. On the whole, if we say that an ancient merchant ship might range from 500 to 1000 tons, we are clearly within the mark.
2. Merchant ships in the Old Test. — The earliest passages where seafaring is alluded to in the Old Test, are the following in order: Ge 49:13, in the prophecy of Jacob concerning Zebulun (Sept. κατοικγ῎σει παῤ ὅρμον πλοίων); Nu 24:24, in Balaam's prophecy (where, however, ships are not mentioned in the Sept.); De 28:68, in one of the warnings of Moses (ἀποστρέψει σε Κω῏/ριος εἰς Αἴγυπτον ἐν πλοίοις); Jg 5:17, in Deborah's Song (Δὰν εἰς τί παροικεῖ πλοίοις). Next after these it is natural to mention the illustrations and descriptions connected with this subject in Job (9:26, ἣ καί ἐστι ναυσὶν ἴχνος ὁδοῦ) and in the Psalms (Psalms 47 , 7,
3. Ships of War in the Apocrypha. — Military operations both by land and water (ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς ξηρᾶς, 1 Macc. 8:23, 32) are prominent — subjects in the books of Maccabees. Thus in the contract between Judas Maccabaeus and the Romans it is agreed (ver. 26, 28) that no supplies are to be afforded to the enemies of either, whether σῖτος, ὅπλα, ἀργύριον, or πλοῖα. In a later passage.(15:3) we have more explicitly, in the letter of king Antiochus, πλοῖα πολεμικά (see ver. 14), while in 2 Macc. 4:20 (as observed above) the word τριήρεις, "galleys," occurs in the account of the proceedings of the infamous Jason. Here we must not forget the monument erected by Simon Maccabaeus on his father's grave, on which, with other ornaments and military symbols, were πλοῖα ἐπιγεγλυμμένα, εἰς τὸ θεωρεῖσθαι ὑπὸ πάτων τῶν πλεόντων τὴν θάλασσαν (1 Macc. 13:29). Finally must be mentioned the noyade at Joppa, when the resident Jews, with their wives and children, 200 in number, were induced to go into boats and were drowned (2 Macc. 12:3, 4), with the vengeance" taken by Judas (τὸν μὲν λιμένα νύκτωρ ἐνέπρησε καὶ τὰ σκάφη κατέφλεξε, ver. 6). It seems sufficient simply to enumerate the other passages in the Apocrypha where some allusion to seafaring is made. They are the following: Wisd. 5, 10; 14:1; Ecclus. 33:2; 43, 24; 1 Esd. 4:23.
In row boats the rowers are seated on the crossbeams (ζυγά, in Latin transtra), hence called zygitoe. Before the invention of gunpowder, naval combats were necessarily at close quarters; but to enable the soldiers (ἐπιβάται) to fight without interfering with the rowers, a platform or gangway (πάροδος) was laid on the top of the bulwarks which surround the deck, projecting partly over the side and partly over the deck. Upon this they fought; and, where great speed was required, as in pursuit or flight, the fighting men rowed, in which case movable seats or stools (θρᾶνοι) were requisite for them to sit upon, and from these they were called thranites. It appears, therefore, that from the necessity of the case, fighting vessels must have had more than one rank of rowers, just as the natives of the South Seas both fight and row from the outriggers of their canoes. The adjoining cut represents the upper rank, or thranites, rowing from the gangway. It is right to explain that the artist has contrived to give the details of the bow and stern, by introducing only one fourth of the straight part of the ship where the rowers were seated. Otherwise, if done to a scale, a long low vessel would have appeared on a coin little more than a mere line.
As the size of the vessels was increased, and they were decked over the zygitae retained their name, but were necessarily placed upon raised seats. Upon trial it was found that an additional rank of rowers, seated on the deck between the oars of the primitive rank, could, by keeping time, row without difficulty. As these were seated nearer the side of the ship, and under the gang way or sheltered portion of the deck which was called the thalamus, or sleeping place, they were called thalamites. Hence the three ranks of rowers in a trireme were the thranites zygites, and thalamites; and hence the vertical distance between the rowers was only one half of the horizontal distance, or only eighteen inches, instead of six feet, as is usually supposed.
The monoxyle, or hollow tree, with both ends rounded, must be held to be the primitive form and model for the ship, and continued to be so with little alteration till the Middle Ages, when a change in the mode of steering rendered a change in the form of the stern necessary, but which it is foreign to our purpose to take into consideration.
4. Boats on the Sea of Galilee. — The reader of the New Test. is well aware how frequently he finds himself with the Savior on the romantic shores of the Sea of Gennesareth Board of vessel, πλοῖον (Mt 13:21; Lu 5:3) now sailing up and down the lake (Mt 8:23; Mt 9:1; Mt 14:13; Joh 6:17). Some of his earliest disciples were proprietors of barks which sailed on this inland sea (Mt 4:21; Joh 21:3; Lu 5:3). These ships were indeed small. Josephus designates the ships here employed by the term σκάφη. They were not, however, mere boats; they carried their anchor with them (War, 3, 10, 1; Life, § 33). There was, too, a kind of vessel larger than this, called σχεδία by Josephus, who narrates a sea fight which took place on the lake, conducted on the part of the Romans by Vespasian himself (War, 3, 10, 9). It thus appears that the lake was not contemptible nor its vessels mean; and those should hence learn to qualify their language who represent the Galilean fishermen as of the poorest class.
There is a melancholy interest in that passage of Dr. Robinson s Researches (3, 253) in which he says that on his approach to the Sea of Tiberias he saw a single, white sail. This was the sail of the one rickety boat which, as we learn from other travelers (see especially Thomson, Land and Book, 2, 81), alone remains on a scene represented to us in the gospels and in Josephus as full of life from the multitude of its fishing boats. In the narratives of the call of the disciples to be "fishers of men" (Mt 4:18-22; Mr 1:16-20; Lu 5:1-11), there is no special information concerning the characteristics of these boats. In the account of the storm and the miracle on the lake (Mt 8:23-27; Mr 3:35; Lu 8:22-25), it is for every reason instructive to compare the three narratives; and we should observe that Luke is more technical in his language than Matthew, and Mark than Luke. Thus, instead of, σεισμὸς, μέγας ἐγένετο ἐν τῇ θαλάσσῃ (Mt 8:24), we have κατέβη λαῖλαψ νέμου εἰς τὴν λίμνην, (Lu 8:23), and again τῷ κλύδωνι τοῦ ὕδατος (ver. 24); and instead of éστε τὸ πλοῖον καλύπτεσθαι, we have συνεπληροῦντο. In Mark (Mr 4:37) we have τὰ κύματα ἐπέβαλλεν εἰς τὸ πλοῖον, éστε αὐτὸ ἤδη γεμίζεσθαι. This evangelist also mentions the προσκεφάλαιον, or boatman's cushion, on which our blessed Savior was sleeping ἐν τῇ πρύμνῃ, and he uses the technical term ἐκόπασεν for the lulling of the storm. See more on this subject in Smith, Dissertation on the Gospels (Lond. 1853). We may turn now to John. In the account he, gives of what followed the miracle of walking, on the sea (6:16-25), πλοῖον and πλοιάριον seem to be used indifferently, and we have mention of other πλοιάρια. There would of course be boats of various sizes on the lake. The reading, however, is doubtful. Finally, in the solemn scene after the resurrection (John, 21:1-8), we have the terms αἰλιαλός and τὰ δεξιὰ μέρη τοῦ πλοίου, which should be noticed as technical. Here again πλοῖον and πλοιάριον appear to be synonymous. If we compare all these passages with Josephus, we easily come to the conclusion that, with the large population around the Lake of Tiberias, there must have been a vast number both of fishing boats and pleasure boats, and that boat building must have been an active trade on its shores (see Stanley, Sin. and Pal. p. 367).
The so called ships of the Lake of Tiberias were, in fact, fishing boats impelled by oars (see Mr 6:48; Joh 6:19). We learn also from Luke's account of Christ stilling the tempest, and his using the expression πλεόντων, "sailing" (Lu 8:23), that they must have had masts and sails;. and from Mark's account of the same event (Mr 4:38) they must have been furnished with προσκεφάλαιον, "pillow," which, according to Hesychius, was the same as the ὑπερεισμίον, or fleece, upon which the rowers sat. So far as we can learn from the scriptural account, they fished with nets, we must suppose with the drag net, and also with the ἀμφίβληστρου (Mt 4:18) or ἀμφοιβάλλοντας (Mr 1:16).
V. Construction and Equipment. —
1. Shape and Ornaments of the Hull. — It is probable, from the mode of steering (and, indeed, it is nearly evident from ancient works of art), that there was no very marked difference between the bow, (πρώρα, "foreship," Ac 27:30, "fore part" ver. 41) and the stern (πρύμνα, "hinder part." ver. 41; see Mr 4:38). The "hold" (κοίλη, "the sides of the ship," Jon 1:5) would present no special peculiarities. In merchant ships the sides of the deck were defended by an open rail, the stem post and stern post rising in a curve, most frequently terminated by an ornament representing the head of a waterfowl bent backwards. This was termed the apelustre or cheniscus (χήνισκος, from χήν, a goose); or by a head in profile, probably suggestive of the sign (παράσημον, Ac 28:11) or name of the ship. Outside of these ornaments were projections at each end, which increased the dimensions without adding to the capacity or tonnage of the vessels. This, must be kept in mind in estimating the relative size of ancient and modern ships. On the stern projections we sometimes see an awning represented, as in the ship on the tomb at Pompeii; and on the corresponding projections at the bow, we are informed by Lucian, in his description of an Alexandrian ship, that the anchors were stowed, and also the στροφεῖα and περιαγωγεῖς. The στροφεῖα may be interpreted capstans for heaving up the anchors, and the περιαγωγεῖς oars or paddles for helping the ship round when "slack in stays," rendered by Hedericus "instrumentum ad circumagendam navem." In the picture of Theseus deserting Ariadne, from Herculaneum, we see the cable coiled round a capstan near the stern. We see also the roof of one of the οἰκησεῖς, or cabins, mentioned by Lucian in his description of the ship of Alexandria. It will be observed that the mode of furling the sails like a window curtain, more fully indicated in another figure, is marked by the outline of the sole or lower edge of the sail. Of two other customary ornaments, however, one is probably implied, and the second is distinctly mentioned in the account of Paul's voyage. That personification of ships which seems to be instinctive led the ancients to paint an eye on each side of the bow. Such is the custom still in the Mediterranean, and indeed our own sailors speak of "the eyes" of a ship. This gives vividness to the word ἀντοφθαλμεῖν, which is used (Ac 27:15) where it is said that the vessel could not "bear up into" (literally "look at") the wind. This was the vessel in which Paul was wrecked. An ornament of that which took him on from Malta to Pozzuoli is more explicitly referred to. The "sign" of that ship (παράσημον, Ac 28:11) was "Castor and Pollux" (lucida sidera — brilliant constellations, auspicious to navigators, Horace, Od. 1, 3; Liv. 37, 92; Tacit. Ann. 6, 34; Ovid, Trist. 1, 10, 1); and the symbols of these heroes (probably in the form represented in the coin engraved under that article) were doubtless painted or sculptured on each side of the bow, as was the case with the goddess Isis on Lucian's ship (ἡ πρώρα τὴν ἐπώνυμον τῆς νεὼς θεόν ἔχουσα τὴνΙ᾿σιν ἑκατρέωθεν, Navig. c. 5). The Rev. George Brown found an inscription at Port Phenia which had been on an ancient building, superintended by an Alexandrian gubernator (κυβερνητής, Ac 27:11), of the ship whose sign was "Isopharia." In the list of the Attic fleet we find names like those of the moderns, such as "Agatha," "Amphitrite," "Aura," "Delia," "Lyra," "Europa," "Centaur," "Roma," etc.
2. Masts, Sails, Ropes or Rigging, Yards, Oars, etc. — These, in distinction from the hull or vessel itself, were collectively called σκεύη or σκευή, gear (τὰ δὲ σύμπαντα σεκευὴ καλεῖται, Jul. Poll.). We find this word twice used for parts of the. rigging in the narrative of the Acts (27:17, 19). The rig of an ancient ship was more simple and clumsy. than that employed in modern times. Its great feature was one large mast, with one large square sail fastened to a yard of great length. Such was the rig: also of the ships of the Northmen at a later period. Hence the strain upon the hull and the danger of starting the planks were greater than under the present system, which distributes the mechanical pressure more evenly over the whole. ship. Not that there were never more masts than one, or more sails than one on the same mast, in an ancient merchantman. But these were repetitions, so to speak; of the same general unit of rig. In the account of Paul's shipwreck very explicit mention is made of the ἀρτεμών (Ac 27:40), which is undoubtedly, the "foresail" (not "mainsail," as in the A.V.). Such a sail would be almost necessary in putting a large ship about. On that occasion it was used in the process of running the vessel aground. Nor is it out of place here to quote a Crimean letter in the Times (Dec. 5, 1855): "The Lord Raglan [merchant ship] is on shore, but taken there in a most sailor like manner. Directly her captain found he could not save her, he cut away his mainmast and mizzen, and, setting a topsail on her foremast, ran her ashore stem on." Such a mast may be seen raking over the bow, in representations of ships in Roman coins. In the Old Test. the mast (ἱστός) is mentioned (Isa 33:23); and from another prophet (Eze 27:5) we learn that the cedar wood from Lebanon was sometimes used for this part of ships. There is a third passage (Pr 23:34, ראֹשׁ חַבֵּל) where the top of a ship's mast is probably intended, though there is some slight doubt on the subject, and the Sept. takes the phrase differently. Both ropes (σχοινία, Ac 27:32) and sails (ἱστία) are mentioned in the above quoted passage of Isaiah, and from Ezekiel (Eze 27:7) we learn that the latter were often made of Egyptian linen (if such is the meaning of στρωμνή). There the word χαλάω (which we find also in Ac 27:17,30) is used for lowering the sail from the yard. It is interesting here to notice that the word ὑποστέλλομαι, the technical term for furling a sail, is twice used by Paul, and that in an address delivered in a seaport in the course of a voyage (Ac 20:20,27). It is one of the very few cases in which the apostle employs a nautical metaphor. The annexed cut, from a marble in the Borghese collection at Rome, gives a good idea of the relative size and position of the sails, although in other respects the details are incorrect. It will be observed from this as well as from the figure of the ship from the tomb at Pompeii, the sails are divided into compartments by ropes sewed across them; so that should the sail be torn in a storm, the injury would be confined to one of the squares. The name of the great and proper mast (ὁ μέγας καὶ γνήσιος ἱστός) was acation' (ἀκάτιον); the. mast at the stern epidromus, according to Julius Pollux, who adds that the smallest was called dolon, without, however, mentioning its position. Isidore of Seville gives the same names to the sails in a passage evidently taken from the foregoing, which is as follows:. "Acatium velum maximum et in medium navi constitutum, epidromus secundse amplitudinis sed ad puppim. Dolon minimum velum et ad proram artemo dirigendae potius navis causa commendatum quam celeritate." It has generally been supposed by this that the sail at the bow was called the dolon. Mr. Smith, however, in his essay has shown, by numerous extracts from ancient authors, that the dolones were small sails to be substituted for the. larger in stormy weather, and that the mast at the bow with its sail was the artemon., In addition to the; three lower sails, they had suppara, or topsails, to be set in light winds;.and it would appear from a coin of Nero, given by Montfaucon (p. .cxliii), that they had sails above the suppara equivalent to topgallant sails a ship being represented with two yards above the main yard. We have no proof that the ancients made use of what, in modern language, are termed fore and aft sails; but they certainly had triangular. sails, at least in the war galleys, with the apex at the foot of the mast; such a sail could be braced about without interfering with the rowers, which was probably the reason why this form was adopted. The lower corners of the sails, or rather the ropes which attach them to the sides of the ship, in English the "sheets," were called the feet of the sails. The projpes, fore foot .(πρόπους), a word which has puzzled commentators, is simply the sheet which is drawn forward, and would no doubt have been called in English the fore sheet, had that term not been applied to the sheet of the foresail. The σκεύη in ancient ships consisted of σκεύη ξύλινα (wooden gear), and σκεύη κρεμαστά pacras
(hanging gear); the first consisted of masts, yards, oars, rudders, etc. The σχοινία (funes) were the hawsers or strong ropes for the anchors, and also for fastening the ship ashore; while the τοπεῖα were a lighter kind of cordage, carefully made and attached to the masts, yards, and sails. The yards (κεραία) were composed of two spars doubled in the center. This explains an apparently absurd non sequitur of Pliny. He tells us that, although single spars were large enough, yet seamen were so rash as to add sail to sail — the word "non" being obviously omitted. The above cut, from the tomb of Nsevoleia Tyche at Pompeii, explains the mode of furling the sails by drawing them up to the yard like a window curtain, as already noticed in the ship of Theseus.
This seems the best place for noticing three other points of detail. Though we must not suppose that merchant ships were habitually propelled by rowing, yet sweeps. must sometimes have been employed. In Eze 27:29, oars (מָשׁוֹט) are distinctly mentioned; and it seems that oak wood from Bashan was used in making them (ἐκ τῆς Βασανίτιδος ἐποίησαν τὰς κώπας σου, ver. 6). Again, in Isa 33:21, אַנַי שִׁיַט literally means "a ship of oar," i.e. an oared vessel. Rowing, too, is probably implied in Jon 1:13, where the Sept. has simply παρεβιάζοντο. Another feature of the ancient as of the modern ship is the flag, or σημεῖον, at the top of the mast (Isaiah loc. cit. and 30:17). Here, perhaps, as in some other respects, the early Egyptian paintings supply our best illustration. Each ship was provided also with a plumb line for sounding (Ac 27:28; Isidor. Orig. 19:4).
3. Steering Apparatus. — Some commentators have fallen into strange perplexities from observing that in Ac 27:40 (τὰς ζενκτηρίας τῶν πηδαλίων, "the fastenings of the rudders") Luke uses πηδάλιον in the plural. One even suggests that the ship has one rudder fastened at the bow and another fastened at the stern. We may say of him, as a modern writer says in reference to a similar comment on a passage of Cicero, "It is hardly possible that he can be seen a ship." The sacred writer's use of πηδάλια is just like Pliny's use of gubernacula (H. N. 11:37, 88) or Lucretius's of guberna (iv, 440). Ancient ships were in truth not steered at all by rudders fastened or hinged to the stern, but by means of two paddle rudders, one on each quarter, acting in a rowlock or through a port hole, as the vessel might be small or large. This fact is made familiar to us in classical works of art, as on coins, and the sculptures of Trajan's Column. The same thing is true, not only of the Mediterranean, but of the early ships of the Northmen, as may be seen in the Bayeux tapestry. Traces of the "two rudders" are found in the time of Louis IX. The hinged rudder first appears on the coins of king Edward III. There is nothing out of harmony with this early system of steering in Jas 2; Jas 4, where πηδάλιον occurs in the singular; for "the governor" or steersman (ὁ εὐθύνων) would only use one paddle rudder at a time In a case like that described in Ac 27:40, where four anchors were let go at the stern, it would of course be necessary to lash or trice up both paddles, lest they should interfere with the ground tackle. When it became necessary to steer the ship again, and the anchor ropes were cut, the lashings of the paddles would of course be unfastened.
4. Anchors. — It is probable that the ground tackle of Greek and Roman sailors was quite as good as our own. The anchors appear to have differed little from those of the modems, except that in place of the palms or iron plates attached to the extremities of the arms, the arms themselves were beaten flat, as in the Dutch anchors. It is a common error to suppose that they were without stocks. Thus Capt. Beechey says, "The transverse piece or anchor stock is wanting in all of them." The annexed cut, from a coin of Antoninus Pius, shows that this is a mistake.
Two allusions to anchoring are found in the New Test., one in a very impressive metaphor concerning Christian hope (Heb 6:19). A saying of Socrates, quoted here by Kypke (οὔτε ναῦν ἐξ ἑνὸς ἀγκυρίου οὔτε βίον ἐκ μιᾶς ἐλπίδος ὁρμίσασθαι): may serve to carry our thoughts to the other passage, which is part of the literal narrative of Paul's voyage at its most critical point. The ship in which he was sailing had four anchors on board, and these were all employed in the night, when the danger of falling on breakers was imminent. The sailors. on this occasion anchored by the stern (ἐκ πρύμνης ῥιψαντες ἀγκύρας τέσσαρας, Ac 27:29). In this there is nothing remarkable, if there has been time for due preparation. English ships of war anchored by the stern at Copenhagen and Algiers. It is clear, too, that this was the right course for the sailors with whom Paul was concerned, for their plan was to run the ship aground at daybreak. The only motives for surprise are that they should have been able so to anchor without preparation in a gale of wind, and that the anchors should have held on such a night. The answer to the first question thus suggested is that, ancient ships, like their modern successors, the small craft among the Greek islands, were in the habit of anchoring by the stern, and therefore prepared for doing so. We have a proof of this in one of the paintings of Herculaneum, which illustrates another point already mentioned, viz. the necessity of tricing up the movable rudders in case of anchoring by the stern (see Ac 27:40). The other question, which we have supposed to arise, relates rather to the holding ground than to the mode of anchoring; and it is very interesting here to quote what an English sailing book says of Paul's Bay in Malta: "While the cables hold, there is no danger, as the anchors will never start" (Purdy, Sailing Directions, p. 180).
5. Undergirers. —The imperfection of the build, and still more (see above, 2) the peculiarity of the rig, in ancient ships resulted in a greater tendency than in our times to the starting of the planks, and consequently to leaking and foundering. We see this taking place alike in the voyages of Jonah, Paul, and Josephus; and the loss of the fleet of 2Eneas in Virgil (" laxis laterum compagibus omnes," AEn. i, 122) may be adduced in illustration. Hence it was customary to take on board peculiar contrivances, suitably called "helps" (βοηθείαις, Ac 27:17), as precautions against such dangers. These were simply cables or chains, which in case of necessity could be passed around the frame of the. ship, at right angles to its length, and made tight. The process is in the English navy called frapping, and many instances could be given where it has been found necessary in modern experience. Ptolemy's great ship, in Athenaeus (loc. cit.), carried twelve of these undergirders (ὑποζώματα). Various allusions to the practice are to be found in the ordinary classical writers. See, for instance, Thucyd. i, 29; Plato, Rep. 10:3, 616; Horace, Od. i, 14, 6. But it is most to our purpose to refer to the inscriptions containing a complete inventory of the Athenian navy, as published by Bbckh (Urkunden fiber das Seewesen des attischen Staates [Berl. 1840]). The editor, however, is quite mistaken in supposing, (p. 133-138) that these undergirders were passed around the body of the ship from stem to stern. .
6. Ship's Boat. — This is perhaps the best place for noticing separately the σκάφη, which appears prominently in the narrative of the voyage (Ac 27:16,32). Every large merchant ship must have had one or more boats. It is evident that the Alexandrian corn ship in which Paul was sailing from Fair Havens, and in which the sailors, apprehending no danger, hoped to reach Phoenice, had her boat towing behind. When the gale came, one of their first desires must have been, to take the boat on board, and this was done under the lee of Clauda, when the ship was undergirded, and brought round to the wind for the purpose of lying to; but it was done with difficulty, and it would seem:that the passengers gave assistance in the task (μόλις ἰσχύσαμεν περικρατεῖς γενέσθαι τῆς σκάφης, ver. 16). The sea by this time must have been furiously rough, and the boat must have been filled with water. It is with this very boat that one of the most lively passages of the whole narrative is connected. When the ship was at anchor in the night before she was run aground, the sailors lowered the boat from the davits with the selfish desire of escaping, on which Paul spoke to the soldiers, and they cut the ropes (τὰ σχοινία) and the boat fell off (ver. 30- 32).
VI. Command and Mfanagement. —
1. Officers, and Crew. In Ac 27:11 we have both κυβερνήτης and ναύκληρος. The latter is the owner (in part or in whole) of the ship or the cargo, receiving also (possibly) the fares of the passengers.:The former has the charge of the steering. The same word occurs also in Re 18:17; Pr 23:34; Eze 27:8, and is equivalent to πρωρεύς in ver. 29; Jon 1:6. In Jas 3; Jas 4, ὁ εὐθύνων, "the governor," is simply the steersman for the moment. The word for "shipmen" (Ac 27:27,30) and "sailors" (Re 18:17) is simply the usual term, ναῦται. In the latter passage ὅμιλος occurs for the crew, but the text is doubtful. In Eze 27:8-9,26-27,29,34, we have κωπηλάται for ":those who handle the oar," and in the same chapter (ver. 29). ἐπιβάται, which may mean either passengers or mariners. The only other passages which need be noticed here are 1Ki 9:27, and 2Ch 8:18, in the account of Solomon's ships. The former has τῶν παίδων αὐτοῦ ἄνδρες ναυτικοὶ ἐλαύνειν εἰδότες θάλασσαν; the latter, παίδες εἰδότες θάλασσαν.
2. Rate of Sailing. — Paul's voyages furnish excellent data for approximately estimating this, and they, are: quite in harmony with what we learn from other sources. We must notice here, however (what commentators sometimes curiously forget), that, winds are variable. Thus the voyage between Troas and Philippi, accomplished on one occasion (Ac 16:11-12) in two days, occupied on another occasion (xx, 6) five days. Such a variation might be illustrated by what took place almost any week between Dublin and Holyhead before the application of steam to seafaring. With a fair wind an ancient ship would sail fully seven knots an hour. Two very good instances are again supplied by Paul's experience in the voyages from Caesarea to Sidon (xxvii, 2, 3) and from Rhegium to Puteoli (xxviii, 13). The result given by comparing, in these cases, the measurements of time and distance corresponds with what we gather from Greek and Latin authors generally e.g. from Pliny's story of the fresh fig produced by Cato in the, Roman senate before the third Punic war: "This fruit was gathered fresh at Carthage three days ago; that is the distance of the enemy from your walls" (H. A. 15:20).
3. Sailing Before the Wind and Near the Wind. — The square rig which has been described is, like the rig of Chinese junks, peculiarly favorable to a quick run before the wind. We have in the New Test. (Ac 16:11; Ac 27:16) the technical term εὐθυδρομέω for voyages made under such advantageous conditions. The run of Paul's ship from Rhegium to Puteoli, one hundred and eighty miles, in two consecutive days, the wind being from the south and consequently fair, agrees perfectly with the instances adduced by captain Beechey in his remarks on ancient ships (Appendix to Travels in Africa, p. 38). It would, however, be a great mistake to suppose that ancient ships could not work to windward. Pliny distinctly says: "lisdem ventis in colitrarium navigatur prolatis pedibus" (H. N. 2, 48). Cicero, in one of his epistles, says that in consequence of contrary winds they navigated slowly and with difficulty: "Adversis ventis usi essemus tardeque et incommode navigassemus" ( Epist. ad Familiares, lib. 14:ep. 5), a passage which agrees in a very remarkable manner with one in Luke's account of Paul's voyage, βραδυπλοοῦντες καὶ μόλις γενόμενοι, etc. (Ac 27:7) sailing slowly and with difficulty were come, etc. Luke does not mention contrary winds; but we know from the context that the ship was sailing to the westward, in a: region and at a season when westwardly winds constantly prevail. The superior rig and build, however, of modern ships enable them to sail nearer to the wind than was the case in classical times. At one very critical point of Paul's voyage to Rome (ibid.) we are told that the ship could not hold on her course (which was west by south, from Cnidus by. the north side of Crete) against a violent wind (μὴ προσεῶντος ἡμᾶς άνέμου)) blowing from the northwest, and that consequently she ran down to the east end of Crete, SEE SALMONE, and worked up under the shelter of the south side of the island (ver. 7, 8). SEE FAIR HAVENS. Here the technical terms of our sailors have been employed, whose custom is to divide the whole circle of the compass card into thirty-two equal parts called points. A modern ship, if the weather is not very boisterous, will sail within six points of the wind. To an ancient vessel, of which the hull was more clumsy and the yards could not be braced so tight, it would be safe to assign seven points as the limit. This will enable us, so far as we know the direction of the wind (and we can really ascertain it.in each case very exactly), to lay down the tacks of the ships in which Paul sailed, beating against the wind, on the voyages from Philippi to Troas (ἄχρις ἡμερῶν πέντε, Ac 20:6), from Sidon to Myra (διὰ τὸ τοὺς ἀνέμους ειναι ἐναντίους, 27:3-5), from Myra to Cnidus (ἐν ἱκαναῖς ἡμέραις βραδυπλοοῦντες, ver. 6, 7), from Salmone to Fair Havens (μόλις παραλεγόμενοι, ver.:7, 8), and from Syracuse to Rhegium (περιελθόντες, 28:12, 13).
4. Lying-to. — This topic arises naturally out of what has preceded, and it is so important in reference to the main questions connected with the shipwreck at Malta that it is here made the subject of a separate section. A ship that could make progress on her proper course, in moderate weather, when sailing within seven points of the wind, would lie-to in a gale, with her length making about the same angle with the direction of the wind. This is done when the object is not to make progress at all hazards. but to ride out a gale in safety; and this is what was done in Paul's ship when she was undergirded and the boat taken on board (Ac 27:14-17) under the lee of Clauda. It is here that Luke uses the vivid term ἀντοφθαλμεῖν mentioned above. Had the gale been less violent, the ship could easily have held on her course. To anchor was out of the question; and to have drifted before the wind would have been to run into the fatal Syrtis on the African coast. SEE QUICKSANDS. Hence the vessel was laid to ("close hauled," as the sailors say) "on the Starboard tack," i.e. with her right side towards the storm. The wind was east northeast, SEE EUROCLYDON, the ship's bow would point north by west, the direction of drift (six points being added for "lee way") would be west by north, and the rate of drift about a mile and a half an hour. It is from these materials that we easily come to the conclusion that the shipwreck must have taken place on the coast of Malta. SEE ADRIA.
5. Storms and Shipwrecks. — The dangers of the ocean to sailors on board such ships as these were great, and, in the then ignorance of navigation, caused sailing to be restricted to the spring, summer, and autumn months; winter was avoided. To the Romans the sea was opened in March and closed in November (Caesar, Bell. Gall. 4, 36; 5, 23; Philo, Opp. 4, 548; Ac 27:9); and ships which, towards the end of the year, were still at sea earnestly sought a harbor in which to pass the Winter (ver. 12).
The first century of the Christian era was a time of immense traffic in the Mediterranean; and there must have been many vessels lost there every year by shipwreck, and, perhaps, as many by foundering. This last danger would be much increased by the form of rig described above. Besides this, we must remember that the ancients had no compass and very imperfect charts and instruments, if any at all; and though it would be a great mistake to suppose that they never ventured out of sight of land, yet, dependent as they were on the heavenly bodies, the danger was much greater than now in bad weather, when the sky was overcast and "neither sun nor stars in many days appeared" (Ac 27:20). Hence, also, the winter season was considered dangerous and, if possible, avoided (ἄντος ἤδη ἐπισφαλοῦς τοῦ πλοός, διὰ τὸ καὶ τὴν νηστείαν ἤδη παρεληλυθέναι ver. 9). Certain coasts, too, were much dreaded, especially the African-Syrtis (ver. 17), The danger indicated by breakers (ver. 29), and the fear of falling on rocks (τραχεῖς τόποι), are matters of course. Paul's experience seems to have been full of illustrations of all these perils. We learn from 2Co 11:25 that, before the voyage described in detail by Luke, he had been "three times wrecked;" and, further, that he had once been "a night and a day in the deep," probably floating on a spar, as was the case with Josephus. These circumstances give peculiar force to his using the metaphor of a shipwreck (ἐναυάγησαν, 1Ti 1:19) in speaking of those who had apostatized from the faith. In connection with this general subject we may notice the caution with which, on the voyage from Troas to Patara (Ac 20:13-16; Ac 21:1), the sailors anchored for the night, during the period of dark moon, in the intricate passages between the islands and the main, SEE MITYLENE; SEE SAMOS; SEE TROGYLLIUM; the evident acquaintance which, on the voyage to Rome, the sailors of the Adramyttian ship had with the currents on the coasts of Syria and Asia Minor (Ac 27:2-5) SEE ADRAMYTTIUM; and the provision for taking soundings in case of danger, as clearly indicated in the narrative of the. shipwreck at Malta; the measurements being apparently the same as those which are customary with us (βολίσαντες ευρον ὀργυιὰς εἴκοσι βραχὺ δὲ διαστήσαντες καὶ πάλιν βολίσαντες, ευρον ὀργυιὰς δεκαπέντε, ver. 28).
6. Nautical Terms. — The great repertory of such terms, as used by those who spoke the Greek language, is the Onomasticon of Julius Pollux; and it may be useful to conclude this article by mentioning a few out of many which are found there, and also in the New Test. or Sept. First, to quote some which have been mentioned above. We find the following, both in Pollux and the Scriptures: σχοινία, σκευή, κλυδών, χειμών, φορτίον, ἐνβολή, ούρτις, οὐδὲν ὑποστέλλεσθαι, οὐκ ην τὸν ἣλιον ἰδεῖν, κάφη, σκάφος, ναῦλον, συντριβῆναι, οφθαλμὸς ὅπου καὶ τοὔνομα τῆς νεὼς ἐπιγράφουσι (compared with Ac 27:15; Ac 28:11), τραχεῖς αἰγιαλοί (compared with 27:29, 40). The following are some which have not been mentioned in this article: ἀνάγεσθαι and κατάγεσθαι (e.g. Ac 28:11-12), σανίδες (Eze 27:5). τρόπις. (Wisd. 5:10), ἀναβαίνω (Jon 1:3; Mr 6:51), γαλήνη (Mt 8:26), ἀμφίβληστρον (4:18; Mr 1:16), ἀποφορτίσασθαι (Ac 21:4), ύποπνέω (27:13), τυφών (ἄνεμος τυφωνικός; ver. 14) ἀγκύρας κατατείνειν (ἀγκύρας τυφἐκτείνειν, ver. 30), ὑβιστὴς ἄνεμος (ὔβρεως;, ver. 10; ὕβοιν, ver. 21), προσοκέλλω (ἐποκέλλω, ver. 41), 'κολυμβᾶν (ver. 42), διαλυθείσης τῆς νεώς (ἡ πρύμνα ἐλύετο, vaer. 41). This is an imperfect list of the whole number; but it may serve to show how rich the New Test. and Sept. are in the nautical phraseology of the Greek Levant. To this must be added a notice of the peculiar variety and accuracy of, Luke's ordinary phrases for sailing under different circumstances, πλέω, ἀποπλέω, βραδυπλοέω, διαμλέω, ἐκπλέω, καταπλέω, ὑποπλέω, παραπλέω, εὐθυδρομέω, ὑποτρέχω, παραλέγομαι, φέρομαι, διαφέρομαί, διαπεράω,
VII. Authorities. — Smith's work on the Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul (Lond. 1848, 1856) is the standard work, on ancient ships, and it contains a complete list of previous books on the subject. Reference, however, may be made to the memoranda of admiral Penrose, incorporated in Conybeare and Howson, Life and Epistles of St. Paul (Lond. 1856, 2d ed.), ch. 27:notes. See also Schlozer, Vers. einer allgem. Gesch. d. Handels u. der Schifffahrt. in den adtesten Zeiten (Rostock, 1760); Le Roy, La Marine des Anciens Peuples (Paris, 1777); Berghaus, Gesch. d. Schifffahrtskunde (Leips. 1792); Benedict, Vers. einer Gesch. d. Schiff. u. d. Hand. bei d. Alten (ibid. 180.9); Howell, On the War Galleys of the
Ancients; Jal [A.], Archeologie Navale (Paris, 1840). A full account of the ancient Egyptian vessels is given by Wilkinson, abridgm. 1, 411 sq.; 2, 119 sq. SEE NAVIGATION; SEE SHIPWRECK.