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κέλης, κελήτιον), from κέλλω, cello, “to urge on.” A swift boat. This peculiar build of boat is said to have been invented by the Rhodians ( Plin. H. N. vii. 208). It was much used by pirates, but was more especially employed as attendant on the fleet, either for bringing news or negotiating with the enemy. Further, each State appears to have had such boats for various official purposes, just as we hear of δημοσίαι ἄκατοι at Athens (cf. Plaut. Capt. iv. 2.93). Built for swiftness, they were necessarily narrow, and Appian calls one ὀξύ. They had no decks, and only one bench of oars (Polyb. v. 62, 3).

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    • Plautus, Captivi, 4.2
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