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A monoreme has one bank of oars, a bireme two and a trireme three.

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Naval historian Jan Glete has described as a sort of predecessor of the later rating system of the Royal Navy and other sailing fleets in Northern Europe.The French navy and the British Royal Navy built a series of "galley frigates" from c.A galley is a type of ship that is propelled mainly by rowing.The galley is characterized by its long, slender hull, shallow draft and low freeboard (clearance between sea and railing).Before that, particularly in antiquity, there was a wide variety of terms used for different types of galleys.

In modern historical literature, "galley" is occasionally used as a general term for various types of oared vessels larger than boats, though the "true" galley is defined as the ships belonging to the Mediterranean tradition.

Quinquereme (quintus rēmus) was literally a "five-oar", but actually meant that there were several rowers to certain banks of oars which made up five lines of oar handlers.

For simplicity, they have by many modern scholars been referred to as "fives", "sixes", "eights", "elevens", etc.

The galley originated among the seafaring civilizations around the Mediterranean Sea in the late second millennium BC and remained in use in various forms until the early 19th century in warfare, trade and piracy.

Galleys were the warships used by the early Mediterranean naval powers, including the Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans.

The earliest Greek single-banked galleys are called triaconters (from triakontoroi, "thirty-oars") and penteconters (pentēkontoroi, "fifty-oars").