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Quinquereme is (apparently) an absorbing nautical dice game of strategy and chance,of Ancient Rome. The instructions are quite mind boggling, so I will spare you the details, but basically each player has 3 throws of the dice at each turn, and keep some dice back each time to try and complete a category. The categories are all named after roman ships and whoever has the highest score at the end of 12 turns, wins. Although the game in it’s original format has disappeared from current play, many variations exist throughout the world, probably as a result of the popularity of this game on merchant ships throughout the ages.
From the 4th century BC on, new types of oared warships appeared in the Mediterranean Sea, superseding the trireme and transforming naval warfare. Ships became increasingly larger and heavier, including some of the largest wooden ships ever constructed. These developments were spearheaded in the Hellenistic Near East, but also to a large extent shared by the naval powers of the Western Mediterranean, more specifically Carthage and the Roman Republic. Perhaps the most famous of the Hellenistic-era warships, because of its extensive use by the Carthaginians and Romans, the quinquereme was invented by the tyrant of Syracuse Dionysius I (r. 405–367 BC) in 399 BC as part of a major naval armament programme directed against the Carthaginians. During most of the 4th century, the “fives” were the heaviest type of warship, and often used as flagships of fleets composed of triremes and quadriremes Sidon had them by 351, and Athens fielded some in 324. According to Polybius, at the Battle of Ecnomus the Roman quinqueremes carried a total crew of 420, 300 of whom were rowers, and the rest marines. Leaving aside a deck crew of ca. 20 men, and accepting the 2–2–1 pattern of oarsmen, the quinquereme would have 90 oars in each side, and 30-strong files of oarsmen. The fully decked quinquereme could also carry a marine detachment of 70 to 120, giving a total complement of about 400. A “five” would be ca. 45 m long, displace around 100 tonnes, be some 5 m wide at water level, and have its deck standing ca. 3 m above the sea. Polybius is explicit in calling the quinquereme superior as a warship to the old trireme, which was retained in service in significant numbers by many smaller navies. Accounts by Livy and Diodorus Siculus also show that the “five”, being heavier, performed better than the triremes in bad weather.