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Keywords:

  • triremes;
  • warships;
  • maintenance;
  • battles

The authors of‘Effects of shipworm on the performance of ancient Mediterranean warships’(Steinmayer & Turfa, 1996) theorise that extensive shipworm damage to warships of the ancient Mediterranean was unavoidable and would have affected naval operations and the outcome of naval battles. However, there is a significant amount of literary evidence for the care and handling of warships and for the battles in which they engaged that they have not taken into account. The purpose of this note is to bring the missing evidence into the discussion and to suggest that ancient seafarers were better able to protect their ships than Steinmayer and Turfa have allowed.