King Ptomemy Philopator

King Ptolemy Philopator was a Greek seaman. He was famed as a builder of huge ships of over hundred feet in length. Ancient sources tell us his ships had “four steering oars, forty-five feet long, and the oars of the topmost rowers, which are the longest, measured fifty-seven feet.” While this sounds cumbersome, they were apparently very easy to use because they were very well balanced. Even so, it took over four thousand men to take the oars, with four hundred men held on deck in reserve, presumably in case of exhaustion!