Did Ships Exist in Ancient Greece?

Ships have been an integral part of human civilization for centuries. They have played a vital role in trade, exploration, warfare and cultural exchange.

But did ships exist in ancient Greece Let’s find out!

Ancient Greek Ships

Ancient Greeks were known for their seafaring skills and expertise in shipbuilding. The Greeks built various types of ships for different purposes such as trading, fishing, and warfare. The most common type of ship used by the Greeks was the trireme, a long and narrow vessel propelled by oars.


The trireme was a warship used by the ancient Greeks in battle. It was about 37 meters long and 5 meters wide with three decks of oars on each side. The trireme had a maximum speed of around 9 knots (about 10 miles per hour) and could carry up to 200 soldiers.

Fun Fact: The trireme was first used by the Corinthians in the late 7th century BC.


Another type of ship used by the ancient Greeks was the bireme, which had two banks of oars instead of three like the trireme. It was smaller than the trireme but faster due to its lighter weight and fewer oarsmen.

Shipbuilding Techniques

The Greeks were skilled shipbuilders who used various techniques to construct their vessels. One such technique was ‘shell-first’ construction where they would build the outer shell or hull first before adding internal structures. Another technique they employed was ‘mortise-and-tenon’ jointing where they would fit wooden pieces together without using any nails.

The Importance of Ships in Ancient Greece

Ships played a pivotal role in ancient Greek society as they allowed for trade and cultural exchange between different regions. The Greeks used their ships to establish colonies in other parts of the Mediterranean, to trade with other civilizations, and to expand their influence.

Fun Fact: The famous Trojan War was fought over control of the Dardanelles, a narrow strait that connects the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The Greeks needed to control this strategic waterway to maintain their trade routes.

In Conclusion

To sum up, ships did exist in ancient Greece, and they were an essential part of Greek society. From trading to warfare, Greek ships played a crucial role in shaping the ancient world.