The term 'galley' derives from the medieval Greek galea, a smaller version of the dromon, the prime warship of the Byzantine navy. The origin of the Greek word is unclear but could possibly be related to galeos, 'dog-fish; small shark'. The word 'galley' has been attested in English from c. 1300 and has been used in most European languages from around 1500 both as a general term for oared warships, and from the Middle Ages and onwards more specifically for the Mediterranean-style vessel. It was only from the 16th century that a unified galley concept came in use. Before that, particularly in antiquity, there was a wide variety of terms used for different types of galleys. In modern historical literature, 'galley' is occasionally used as a general term for various types of oared vessels larger than boats, though the 'true' galley is defined as the ships belonging to the Mediterranean tradition.