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Sail-and-oar vessel widely used in northern Europe for more than 1,500 years. It was a 45–75-ft (14–23-m) galley with up to 10 oars on a side, a square sail, and a 50–60-man capacity. Double-ended and built with overlapped planks, it was exceptionally sturdy in high seas. Examples have been found from as early as 300 BC. It carried the Vikings on their piratical raids of the 9th century and bore Leif Eriksson to America in 1000. Dutch, French, English, and German merchants and warriors also used it.
Variants of LONGSHIP
longship or Viking ship
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on longship, visit Britannica.com.