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Delphis

δελφίς). A mass of lead pointed with bronze or iron, perhaps in the shape of a dolphin, used for sinking an enemy's ship (Aristoph. Eq. 759; Thuc.vii. 41). In action, the delphis was hauled up from the deck to the point of a yard-arm, which was swung round by braces till over the hostile deck; the machine was then instantly let fall, after which it was again drawn up and deposited on board. The νῆες δελφινοφόροι were probably only of the transport class (ὁλκάδες), as swift (ταχεῖαι) triremes would have been impeded by the great weight.

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Aristophanes, Knights, 759
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.41
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