"Olympias" Hand-made Silver Athenian Trireme (scale 1:122)

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Hand-made silver and gold plated trireme model, made by the Trabakopoulos House, one of the most famous gold and silver jewellery creators in Greece.


This is an extraordinary hand-made silver replica of the "Olympias" ancient Athenian trireme. Every detail of the original construction was replicated at a 1:122 scale with the advice and assistance of the Historical and Archaeological School of the National University of Athens, the Aerodynamics and Shipbuilding School of the National Polytechnic University of Athens, the Naval Museum of Greece and individual archaeologists and historians.

The trireme is 30cm (approximately 12in) long and is displayed on its stand of black marble. It is made of 925º silver and the bow, stern and bow ram are gold plated. The two sails are made of 1000º silver. It has three rows of oars, 27 in the lower row, 27 in the mid row and 31 in the upper row (85 on each side or 170 in total). All oars are screwed on the body and all other connections are made with silver soldering. Thin, twisted silver wire is used for the ropes.

This trireme has been created by the Trabakopoulos House, one of the most famous gold and silver jewellery creators in Greece. Please contact us if more details or more pictures are required.

Read about the original trireme in the "Other information" section.

Olympias is a reconstruction of an ancient Athenian trireme.

She was constructed from 1985 to 1987 by a shipbuilder in Piraeus. Finance came from the Hellenic Navy and donors such as Frank Welsh (a Suffolk banker, writer and trireme enthusiast). The building was advised by the historians J. S. Morrison and John F. Coates and the classics teacher Charles Willink, who with Welsh founded the Trireme Trust that initiated the project, and drew on evidence gained from underwater archaeology. The Trireme Trust is now chaired by Professor Boris Rankov (Royal Holloway University of London).

The bronze bow ram weighed 200 kg. The ship was built from Oregon pine and Virginia oak.

She was subject to sea trials in 1987, 1990, 1992 and 1994, but one of the most informative was an exercise in 1987 when crewed by 170 volunteer oarsmen and oarswomen. Olympias achieved a speed of 9 knots (17 km/h) and was able to execute 180 degree turns within one minute, in an arc no wider than two and a half (2.5) ship-lengths. These results, achieved with an inexperienced crew, suggest that the ancient writers were not exaggerating about the capabilities of such vessels.

Olympias was transported to Britain in 1993, to take part in events celebrating the 2,500 years since the beginning of democracy. In 2004 Olympias was used to transport the Olympic Flame ceremonially from the port of Keratsini to the main port of Piraeus, as the Olympic Torch Relay entered its final stages in the run-up to the 2004 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. She is now an exhibit in a dry dock in Faliron, Athens, Greece.

A tireme of the classical period would have had a crew of 200, including five officers. This would be made up of:

Trierarchos (in Greek: Τριήραρχος) - the commanding officer, responsible for supporting the ship
Kybernetes (in Greek: Κυβερνήτης) - executive officer, responsible for the cruising safety
Keleustes (in Greek: Κελευστής) - responsible for the training and morale of the crew
Pentecontarchos (in Greek: Πεντηκόνταρχος) - Administration Officer
Prorates (in Greek: Πρωράτης) - Bow Officer, responsible for keeping a sharp lookout
1 Auletes (in Greek: Αυλητής) - a musician supplying the oar timing with his flute
170 oarsmen in three banks
62 Thranites (in Greek: Θρανήτες), the upper bank
54 Zygites (in Greek: Ζυγήτες), the middle bank
54 Thalamites (in Greek: Θαλαμήτες), lower bank
10 sailors for handling the sails
14 Marines (10 spearsmen, 4 archers)

Read the full article in Wikipedia

Trireme 1

Trireme 2

Trireme 3

Trireme 4

Trireme 5

Trireme 6

Trireme 7

Trireme 8

Trireme 9

  • SKU: COL-MIN-GEN-1001

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