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The Form, Function, and Interrelationships of Naval Rams: A Study of Naval Rams from Antiquity

Matthew Garnett Pridemore
Thesis: May 1996
Chair: van Doorninck
Nautical Archaeology Program

The discovery of several naval rams from sites around the Mediterranean has given scholars a brief glimpse of one of the most widely used naval weapons of the ancient world. Examining these physical examples provides information that is unavailable from literary and iconographic sources. Personal observation of two examples has allowed for more detailed descriptions and comparisons that were previously available. It is commonly believed that five rams now exist, yet only two are without a doubt functional rams. The remaining three pieces are questionable in this regard on constructional grounds. Current information shows that naval rams, both primary and secondary, went through several developmental stages in terms of both style and function throughout a millennium of use.

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