C) THE ROMAN TRIREME
For the message to Epidauro a war-ship was sent, as normally used by Romans for every official mission: this type of ship had been sent in 394 b.C. to Delfo and the same will be sent later on to Asia Minor to take the simulacrum of the Mother of Gods during the second Punic war. Valerius Maximus  clearly indicates it as a "triremem".
The pict.C1 shows the reconstruction of a trireme: the ship was armed with a spur (rostrum) that stuck out of the hull prow under the water level, and was used to ram the enemy ships. The ship was equipped with a sail that was used during transfer navigation while the oars were used in fighting in order to have the maximum control of the ship; for this reason the tree was even pulled down during figthing. On the front part of the deck it was the "corvus", a hooked bridge for boarding the enemy ships, that however was used only on the beginning of the first Punic war. At the side stusk out the "apposticcio", a structure that supplied the optimal spot of support for the oars. From the stern two rudders stuck out, one for each side.
The typical structure of the apposticcio connection to the hull and the lack of the hole for one of the two rudders confirm that the marble remainders represent the prow of the ship.
The image in pict.C2 shows the front outline of the marble remainders of the prow: the projection of the apposticcio is clearly identified. It is interesting to compare it to the reconstruction of the stern side of one of the Caligola ships from the Nemi lake, carried out by the Axe Masters of the "Di Donato" shipyards of Torre del Greco (Naples), in which the structure of the apposticcio and the right rudder is in evidence (pict.C3).
The roman ships had an own protecting divinity (the "Tutela" of the ship) that often was represented on the planking of the hull: this justifies the presence of the Aesculapius images, being the ship-island the center of the cult of the God.
The pict.C4 shows the reconstruction of the prow of the monumental ship carried out by O.Höckmann (München 1985).