The Mediterranean Lateen Sail in Late Antiquity

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Abstract

The Mediterranean lateen sailing rig has been studied since the early-to-mid-20th century. Recently-published depictions of sailing vessels rigged with lateen and settee sails, dating to the late-antique period, allow some of the principle characteristics of that rig to be established. This allows comparison with lateen- or settee-rigged vessels from both earlier and later periods. The sailing rigs depicted on other vessels can be identified and the level of technical continuity between the late-antique and medieval Mediterranean addressed. Finally it is possible to assess the extent to which the lateen sail was established in the Mediterranean by late antiquity.

© 2009 The Author

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