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ἐπιβάται). Marines appointed to defend the vessels in the Athenian navy, and entirely distinct from the rowers as well as from the land soldiers, such as hoplitae, peltasts, and cavalry (Xen. Hell. i. 2.7; v. 1.11). It appears that the ordinary number of epibatae on board a trireme was ten, though in Thucydides vi. 42 we find 700 epibatae for a fleet of 100 ships, sixty of which were equipped in the ordinary way and forty had troops on board. In consequence of the number of heavy-armed men ἐκ τοῦ καταλόγου on the expedition, the Athenians appear to have reduced the number of regular epibatae from ten to seven.

The epibatae were usually taken from the Thetes, or fourth class of Athenian citizens ( 42); but on one occasion, in a season of extraordinary danger, the citizens of the higher classes were compelled to serve as epibatae (Thuc.viii. 24).

The term is sometimes also applied by the Roman writers to the marines (Bell. Alex. 11; Bell. Afric. 63); though these are more usually called classiarii milites.

hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.42
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.24
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.2.7
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