5th Century BC
(St. Petersburg Collection 6219)
No small measure of the success and wealth, enjoyed by the Athenian state, was derived from the actions of its Navy. The Athenian fleet was called the wooden walls of Athens because of its formidable size and reputation. These wooden oar-driven vessels were called Triremes and their armament consisted of a bronze-plated ram at the bow of the ship for ramming the enemy. If the enemy survived the ramming crash and stayed afloat, marine hoplites would leap to the deck of the enemy ship for hand-to-hand combat.
The uniform worn by Athenian Marine Hopites is taken from a 4th Century BC fresco found at the Elmeli funerary monument in Asia Minor.