Roman Galley Liburna at the Port of CivitavecchiaDiscover the life-size reconstruction of a Liburna, ancient galley of the Roman fleet exhibited at the Roman Darsena in the Port of Civitavecchia
Within the Darsena Romana of the Port of Civitavecchia, precisely behind the walls of the Old Rock, you can admire the beautiful reconstruction of a part of a Liburna, ancient war ship of the Roman fleet.
The galley, accurately life-size reproduced grandezza naturale (scale 1:1), is a result of the hability and mastery of Commander Mario Palmieri, director of the experimental archeology department CANS LANS, who has been involved for years in the study and reproduction of Roman ships, according to the building techniques and technologies of the time.
Many of you might remember his works exhibited some years ago at the archeological exhibition Navalia, held within the Old Rock.
Today, the reproduction of the Liburna, new flagship of the Port of Civitavecchia strongly promoted by President of the Por System Authority Francesco Maria di Majo, sums up to the exhibition at the Rock and to the theater performances that gave life to the event Trajan Optimus Princeps, to celebrate the 1900th annyversary of the death of Emperor Trajan, founder of the port and the city.
Here's a 3D reconstruction of the ship with the section in evidence.
Roman Liburna and Roman Navy Strenght
The reproduction means to commemorate the navy strenght of Rome, that played a role of hegemony in the Mediterranean since the Punic Wars (264-146 B.C.).
The Roman Militar Ships, also known as naves longae, were classified according to the type of rowing and the functions.
The bireme, with two decks of oars; the trireme with three banks of oars and, finally, the liburna, a light bireme, with a rostrum and used by pirates from Dalmatia known as Liburni after which the Liburna is named.
This reconstruction is inspired by the LXXXII scene of the Trajan's Column, famous monument inaugurated in Rome in 113 A.D. to commemorate the conquest of Dacia by the Emperor.
The ship, probably 30 meters long and 8 meters wide, boasted 25 oarsmen per level per each of the two walls, reaching an overall of 100 oarsmen and being an unicum among the other ships represented in the column.
In the low relief of the LXXXII scene you can see, starting from below, over the rostrum, a rod with a quadrangular section longitudinally grooved and ending with three points to which it follows another with a quadrangular section longitudinally grooved and terminating with a mizzen of Aries.
Moreover, there is a mizzen sail and a pole with a quadrangular section, whose end is hidden by the sail; follows, finally, the mizzen shaft. The propugnacula of bow (small towers used to combat) are decorated by two metal plates: the first represents two boats, one of which is very similar to the Liburna, the second has small decorative roses.
Very likely these slabs had also a defensive function to protect the crew from enemy projectiles, including arrows, stones and more.
This reproduction, new proof of the greatness of the Roman Empire and the conquests achieved in the militar field by Emperor Trajan, is a new important contribution to the valorization of the historic setting ot the Port of Civitavecchia, exactly in the place where in the past the Liburna found shelter, that is, in the Darsena Romana, built by the Emperor to supply the ships of the Imperial Fleet.
A both secure and strategic base, which importance is testified by many sepulchral inscriptions, retrieved in 1864.
Liburna Romana (Historical Reconstruction CANS-LANS)
- HOW TO GET THERE
The reconstruction of the Roman Liburna is in a fenced area within the Darsena Romana, right behind the walls of the Old Rock.