Roman Triconter

Actuaria of the Imperial Period (20 AD). Note the complex wing.


Actuarius of the Second Punic War (220 BC). Note the decorative spur. Taken from a bas-relief of the Vatican (late empire).


Actuaria Romaine (200 BC). One of the first ships of the republic, a light galley of moner type (or Monoremi, a single row of oars), here of 24 rowers, used for the connection with larger units (estafette). From the Greek typology, there are the Cisocontores (20 rowers, 10 per side), and the Triacontores (30 rowers, 15 per board), and all the intermediate declensions. On the other hand, we do not know the terms used to designate this type of Galer in Latin. It probably did not have a specific term other than that in Greek, like the Pentacontères. The Actuariae were therefore light vessels (but never owned less than 18 rowers) and could easily be hauled on the shore. The term is repeatedly found in writings "navis actuaria", but also designating a light troop transport ship, such as those operating during the Second Roman Civil War.

In this case, it was a relatively light cargo vessel with more rowers than usual. Faster than the enormous Onerariae, and destined for coastal shipping or short routes, these vessels approached (or derived from) the Akatos (Acatus) and Aphraktos Greeks (undecked ships). Very small units (less than 10 rowers per rowing) were also sometimes embarked on the octaves or decades of flags, for the purpose of connecting to land or other ships, such as Antoine to Actium, where he left battle. This ship was called Scapha, and can be likened to the Yoles of the later sail ships.

There were, however, also very large monuments (40 meters and over) whose ten-meter-long oars were maneuvered by two standing rowers, who walked on the secondary deck (the upper deck was reserved for soldiers, Food and water supplies. It was not Actuarias but evolved liburns, which gradually replaced the Actuarias.
About 100 to 50 av. J.C., one begins to see under the influence of the Pirates (Hemoliae) ships of the wider monoremes, to two-1/2 rowers by rowing. From then on, the multiple swimming, which became in the Middle Ages from triple to sextuple, made the happiness of the great merchant empires, and relegated to the distant past Cisocontères, triacontères and Actuarias.