Hazard, H. W. (ed.) / The art and architecture of the crusader states
I: Life Among the Europeans in Palestine and Syria in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, pp. 3-35
34 A HISTORY OF THE CRUSADES Turning to naval warfare, we cannot with certainty identify the types of ships used. There were dromons, galions, galleys (galees), and barks (barches), in that descending order of size,242 as well as catos, for carrying siege engines.243 The dromon was a heavy transport. The term botsa is applied occasionally to a Saracen galion; 244 Richard attacked a large fleet of these with forty of his own lighter-armed vessels and was victorious. A division of galleys might be termed a "caravan"; on one occasion the Genoese are reported as having a caravan of four galleys and on another one of nine. 245 Some of these vessels had narrow slits through which crossbowmen could shoot; 246 larger ships might be crenelated also—probably on the front and rear castles. 247 The largest galley could hold some five hundred men, including three hundred oarsmen;248 it was intended for swifter movement than the dromon. 249 King Richard's galley at Jaffa was painted red, its deck was covered over with red awning, and it flew a red pennon.250 Ibn-Jubair mentions a bark with four oars.251 Probably all these vessels had oarlocks made of cords or rope. These galleys, or the larger galions, were the ships best suited for naval combat. Like the heavy transports, they must have had a long deck and a single mast with a single sail placed amidships, suitable for tacking.252 Platforms stood fore and aft, where awnings could be stretched if there was no permanent roofing. There must have been a second deck, for a true galley had to provide space and seats for the oarsmen. The galley and the gallon never had more than two banks of oars on each side—one bank to a deck. Shields were set along the gunwale on the upper deck, and sand and vinegar were carried on board for putting out Greek fire.253 The oarsmen may have been slaves or prisoners even at so early a date as the crusades. The most formidable weapon in all sea fights was Greek fire. Attempts were made on every occasion to send flaming arrows and other burning torches into the enemy's ship, while the men on both 242. Itinerarium, p. 80. 243. H. S. Fink, notes to Fulcher of Chartres, trans. Ryan, p. 296, note 3, with references. 244. Abu-Shamah, V, 12 (Arabic, butsah). 245. Philip of Novara, p. 80. 246. "Eracles," p. 106. 247. L ' Histoire deGuillaurne le Mare chal . . . , ed. Paul Meyer (3 vols., Paris, 1891-1901), I, 348, vv. 9645-9668. 248. Joinville, p. 47. 249 "Eracles," p. 169. 250. Bahã'-ad-Din, p. 370. 251. Ibn-Jubair, p. 327. 252. Ibid. 253. Itinerarium, p. 81.
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