Quinqeremes were ships rowed by oar
smen arranged in groups of five
. The details of the particular ship
s are unknown, and many variations of oar arrangement
have been suggested.
The origins of the quinqereme are unclear. It first appears in Athenian naval records in 425B.C., and by the end of the 4th century was common to most of the Greek states. It was larger and heavier than a trimene, allowing space for increased numbers of marines, missile weapons, and a Roman boarding bridge.
Carthage had a large fleet of quinqeremes, and when the Romans captured one during the Punic wars they replicated it, and built more to create a fleet, and it became the mainstay of the Roman navy
After the battle of Actium it began to be replaced by smaller ships.