from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A galley-slave.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
When this happened he became either a "gallerian," rowing out his heart on the benches of the Moslem galleys, or he festered in some noisome dungeon in Algiers, Oran, or Tlemcen.
The life of the "gallerian" was so hard that his sufferings in many cases were mercifully ended in death in a very short time, as none save those of iron constitution could stand the strain imposed by the desperate toil and wretched food.
The Italian captain, Pantero Pantera, of the _Santa Lucia_ galley, in his work on "L'Armata Navale" published in 1614, gives it as his opinion that although soldiers and sailors could be obtained for service in the galleys if good pay were given, still no money could tempt any free man to adventure himself as a rower for any length of time owing to the intolerable sufferings which the "gallerian" was called upon to endure.
The excellent Pantera a little later on even says that he cannot agree that the attempt to cure a sick gallerian "is all nonsense, as is maintained by some persons," as sick men are a source of danger on board.