Also found in: Wikipedia.


1. The captain of a Greek trireme.
2. An Athenian who outfitted and maintained a trireme as a part of his civic duties.

[Latin triērarchus, from Greek triērarkhos : triērēs, trireme; see trei- in Indo-European roots + arkhos, ruler; see -arch.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Historical Terms) a citizen responsible for fitting out a state trireme, esp in Athens
2. (Historical Terms) the captain of a trireme
[C17: from Latin, from Greek triērarkhos, from triērēs equipped with three banks of oars + arkhein to command]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈtraɪ əˌrɑrk)

n. (in ancient Greece)
1. the commander of a trireme.
2. (in Athens) a citizen responsible for fitting out a trireme for the public service.
[1650–60; < Greek triḗrarchos=triḗr(ēs) trireme + archós commander]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
Mentioned in ?
References in classic literature ?
And at Rhodes the demagogues, by distributing of bribes, prevented the people from paying the trierarchs what was owing to them, who were obliged by the number of actions they were harassed with to conspire together and destroy the popular state.
Contingents of the Misene fleet dot eastern waters, including a probable base at Cyzicus, where an early imperial trierarch's wife was buried.
Explicitly attested only by a trierarch's tombstone of 88 AD, it may date to Claudius, if it succeeded a supposed royal Thracian fleet after the annexation of Thrace (46 AD).
[in which he seems himself to have played a role, at one time by being trierarch of two ships, at another by being general, and being victorious in many battles, and securing important alliances for them, and by arming the men of military age, and by manning sixty triremes, and by being their envoy on every occasion to Sparta at the time when Eetioneia had been fortified.]
It should further be noted that following the [Greek Text NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] there are two [Greek Text NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] clauses, with most of the details coming after [Greek Text NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] (`at another by being general')--was Pseudo-Plutarch or Caecilius uneasy about the identification in an earlier source of the trierarch and general?
I have been trierarch five times, fought in four sea battles, contributed to many war levies, and performed my other liturgies as amply as any citizen.
Longinius Priscus, was trierarch of the classis praetoria Misenensis, which appears to have had a statio at Stabiae from the second half of the first century onwards; Proculus' epitaph is to be assigned to the first half of the second century on the basis of the epithet praetoria, which was acquired by the classis Misenensis no earlier than AD 100.
Gabrielsen's detailed study of trierarchical costs claims that in a two-month trierarchy (which he sees as the norm) the state would provide 1T while the trierarch himself would have to provide a subsidy of a further talent.(88) On Gabrielsen's assumption of sixty trierarchies taking place each year, at least 60T of private cash would have been put into circulation along with 60T of public subvention.
In a speech by Demosthenes dating to the very time we are dealing with, a trierarch asserts that some of his fellow trierarchs, for a fee of no great amount, hire out their trierarchies(10) and the hirers, with the ships so acquired, 'plunder and pillage everybody', and that this abuse is so rampant that the Athenians alone were unable 'to go about without a flag of truce because of the seizing of (Athenian) people and property in reprisal provoked by these (sc.
Of shouting troops, of fuss with trierarchs, Of paying wages, gilding
However, after Brasidas' abortive attempt to land (to which Thucydides devotes more space than to Demosthenes' successful defence) other trierarchs hesitated to wreck their ships on the rocks, and repeated Spartan attacks over two days failed to gain a foothold.
Thus the original tribal affiliation which we see in the 'Argeadae Macedones' was replaced in most areas by a 'city' citizenship, for instance in the list of trierarchs in Arr.