This volume examines the development and evolution of the war galley known as the
Dromon, and its relative, the
Chelandion, from first appearance in the sixth century until its supercession in the twelfth century by the
Galea developed in the Latin West. Beginning as a small, fully-decked, monoreme galley, by the tenth century the
Dromon had become a bireme, the pre-eminent war galley of the Mediterranean. The salient features of these ships were their two-banked oarage system, the spurs at their bows which replaced the ram of classical antiquity, their lateen sails, and their primary weapon: Greek Fire.
The book contextualizes the technical characteristics of the ships within the operational history of Byzantine fleets, logistical problems of medieval naval warfare, and strategic objectives.
Surviving Byzantine sources, especially tactical manuals, are subjected to close literary and philological analysis.
John H. Pryor, Ph.D. (1974), Medieval Studies, University of Toronto, is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney in Medieval Studies and History. He has published extensively on medieval Mediterranean history, especially on the Crusades and on Maritime History.
Elizabeth M. Jeffreys, B. Litt (1969) Oxford, Bywater and Sotheby Professor of Byzantine and Modern Greek language and literature, Oxford. She has published extensively on Byzantine literature, including editions of 6th, 12th, and 14th century literary texts.
Table of contents
Preface and Appreciations List of Figures, Maps, and Tables Note on Orthography, Translation, Citation, and Dating Note on Metrology and Hours of Daylight Selective Gazeteer of historical place names Selective Glossary of Greek, Latin, and Arabic terminology Glossary of English nautical terminology Note on citation of Greek and Latin Glossaries Abbreviations Maps Introduction Chapter One: The operational context The first period, ca 400-560: the Germanic assault and imperial recovery The second period, ca 560-750: the Muslim assault and imperial recovery The third period, ca 750-875: equilibrium of chaos The fourth period, ca 875-1025: Byzantine ascendancy The fifth period, ca 1025-1204: the triumph of the Latin West Chapter Two: The origins of the Dromon First mentions Deck and oarage system The ram and the spur Square sails and lateen sails Chapter Three: From the sixth to ninth centuries Chapter Four: The Dromon in the age of the Macedonian emperors (a) The sources (b) Terminology and ship types (c) Hull (d) Prow (e) Poop (f) Deck and Castles (g) Masts, yards, and sails (h) Rigging (i) Crews (j) Oarage system and dimensions (k) Horse transports (l) Performance capabilities, water supplies, and logistics (m) Armaments (n) Tactics, strategy, and techniques Chapter Five: The demise of the Dromon Chapter Six: The triumph of the Galea Conclusion Postscript Appendix One: Syrianos Magistros, Naumacivai Surianou Magivstrou, edition and translation Appendix Two: Leo VI, Naumacika; Levonto" Basilevw", edition and translation Appendix Three: Anonymous, Naumacika; suntacqevnta para; Basileivou patrikivou kai; parakoimoumevnou, edition and translation Appendix Four: Fleets, armaments, and equipment for dromons, pamphyloi, and ousiaka chelandia according to the inventories for the expeditions to Crete of 911 and 949 in the De cerimoniis aule Byzantinae attributed to Constantine VII Porphyrogennetos Appendix Five: Nikephoros Ouranos, Peri; qalassomaciva", edition and translation Appendix Six: Greek Fire Appendix Seven: The galleys of the manuscript, Madrid, Biblioteca National, vitr. 26-2, of John Skylitzes’ Synopsis historion and its dating and art styles Appendix Eight: Muhammad ibn Mankalı, [a] Al-Adilla al-Rasmiyya fı ’l-Ta‘a bı al-H arbiyya [b] Al-Ahka m al-Mulu kiyya wa ’l-Dawa bit al-Na musiyya, translation Bibliography Indices Acknowledgments
All those interested in the history of the Byzantine Empire, maritime and naval history, the Crusades, and relationships between Islam, Byzantium, and the West in the Middle Ages.