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A lembus (from Greek "λέμβος" - lembos[1]) was an ancient Illyrian galley, with a single bank of oars and no sails. It was small and light, with a low freeboard. It was a fast and maneuverable warship, capable of carrying 50 men in addition to the rowers.[2] It was the galley used by Illyrian pirates.[3] Illyrians used them at Medion under Agron, and at Elis, Messene, Phoenice, Issa, Epidamnus, Apollonia, Corcyra and Paxus under Teuta. Philip V of Macedon used lembi during the First Macedonian War.[4]


  1. ^ λέμβος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
  2. ^ Wilkes, p. 157; Polybius, 2.3.
  3. ^ Wilkes, p. 163.
  4. ^ Walbank, p. 69, Polybius, 5.109.