Athenian Shipbuilders

by Mills McArthur

Hesperia, Volume 90, Issue 3
Page(s): 479-532
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2972/hesperia.90.3.0479
Year: 2021


This article examines the work of shipwrights (naupegoi) and their colleagues in Classical Athens. Recent suggestions that most Athenian triremes were constructed abroad are misguided. The city’s cohort of naupegoi grew dramatically amid the Themistoklean naval initiatives, and sources throughout the 5th and 4th centuries b.c. mention workers tied to the Attic shipbuilding industry. Particularly well attested is the role of naval architect, a unique facet of Athenian democratic culture. Naval architects were elected by the city; candidate architects delivered speeches before the Assembly; and, once elected, the architects were responsible for naming each ship they built.