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“The yard of a ship. The ships of the ancients had a single mast in the middle, and a square sail, to raise and support which a transverse pole, or yard, was extended across the mast, not far from the top. To the two extremities of the yard, ropes were attached, which passed over the top of the mast, and thus supported the yard: these ropes were called ceruchi. Sometimes the yard had two, and at other times four ceruchi, as in the annexed cut. When a storm arose, or when the port was obtained, or before an engagement, the antenna was lowered to the middle of the mast. From numerous representations of ships on antique coins, intaglios, lamps, and bas-reliefs, we here select two gems, both of which show the velata antenna, but with the sail reefed to the one, and in the other expanded and swollen with the wind.” — Smith, 1873


ship, antenna, mast


Ancient Ships


William Smith, A School Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1873) 26


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