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corbita


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The merchant ship of imperial Rome, a large, full-bodied vessel massively built and capable of carrying as much as 400 tons of cargo. They set a single large square sail on a mast amidships, sometimes with two raffee topsails above the yard, and a small square sail on an artemon mast over the bows. It was steered with two deep steering oars, one on each quarter, which in strong winds and high seas required as many as four men on each oar to control the vessel. During the 1st century ad Roman corbitas made regular voyages between ports in the Red Sea and the west coast of India as well as normal Mediterranean passages.

Subjects: Maritime History.


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