Oct 11, 2007

Rapid Rhetoric: GALLEASS

Raphael's depiction of Plato defining the difference between true and false rhetoric This is an irregular feature - both in frequency and oddness - dedicated to a word I came across that I have never previously used.

galleass (GAH-lee-ess) n. an armed 16th-century warship featuring both oars and sails.

Also spelled "galliass," the galleass combined features of oared galleys with those of sailed ships, such as the galleon and the carrack. Oars allowed a galleass to maneuver during unfavorable winds, while sails permitted the galleass to travel greater distances than a traditional galley.

Galleasses were typically three-mast ships often equipped with a forecastle as well as an aftcastle. These ships were most likely to be found in the Mediterranean, although at least five Neapolitan galleasses participated in the 1588 Spanish Armada. The galleass played an important role in the 1571 Battle of Lepanto, sinking at least two Turkish galleys, damaging others, and disrupting the Ottoman ship formations in the Gulf of Patras.

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