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Venetian Galley Near Dubrovnik
Rado Javor

A galley is a type of ship propelled by rowers that originated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and was used for warfare, trade and piracy from the first millennium BC. Galleys dominated naval warfare in the Mediterranean from the 8th century BC until development of advanced sailing warships in the 17th century. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire galleys formed the mainstay of the Byzantine navy and other navies of successors of the Roman Empire, as well as new Muslim navies.

Medieval Mediterranean states, notably the Italian maritime republics, including Venice, Pisa, Genoa and the Ottoman Empire relied on them as the primary warships of their fleets until the 17th century, when they were gradually replaced by sailing warships. Galleys continued to be applied in minor roles in the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea even after the introduction of steam propelled ships in the early 19th century.

Dubrovnik is a city on the Adriatic Sea, in the region of Dalmatia. The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik was historically based on maritime trade. As the capital of the Republic of Ragusa, a maritime republic, the city achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Dubrovnik became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy.

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