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by J. R. Hale
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Ancient Civilizations
  • Author:
    J. R. Hale
  • ISBN:
    067002080X
  • ISBN13:
    978-0670020805
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    Penguin Group USA Inc. (December 31, 2009)
  • Pages:
    512 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Ancient Civilizations
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1723 kb
  • ePUB format
    1112 kb
  • DJVU format
    1318 kb
  • Rating:
    4.3
  • Votes:
    239
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Financed by the windfall of silver from the nearby mines at Laurium, the Athenians soon constructed a fleet of over 300 triremes .

Athenian naval supremacy held the Persians at bay and formed the basis for the Delian League, used by Athens to build a maritime empire. Although this is NOT a historical novel, you sometimes have the impression it is, given the way it is written.

and over the whole of the sea you are lords. Pericles to the Athenians. THE ATHENIAN NAVY FIRST FLOATED INTO MY CONSCIOUSNESS on a winter afternoon in 1969, when I encountered Donald Kagan walking down College Street in New Haven. I recounted the naval battles on the deck of the Clelia II as we voyaged through the home waters of the Athenian navy-cruising through the straits at Salamis, passing the Sybota Islands near Corfu (site of the battle that precipitated the Peloponnesian War), and forging at sunrise up the Hellespont, the strategic waterway that the Athenians had once expended so.

htforward and subtle. Xenophon THE ONLY GENERAL CAPABLE OF SAVING ATHENS WAS AT THAT moment living in poverty, disgrace, and dishonor, almost forgotten by his fellow citizens. Phormio had been a successful commander through almost three decades of service to the city, but like Pericles he had fallen victim to the people’s hunt for scapegoats during the plague.

Lords of the Sea book. The Athenian Navy was one of the finest fighting forces in the history of the world. It engineered a civilization, empowered the world's first democracy, and led a band of ordinary citizens on a voyage of discovery that altered the course of history. With Lords of the Sea, renowned archaeologist John R. Hale presents, for the first time, the definitive history of the epic battles, the fearsome ships, and the men – from extraordinary leaders to seductive rogues – that established Athens's supremacy.

With Lords of the Sea, renowned archaeologist John Hale presents, for the first time . Its defeat of the Persian fleet at Salamis in 480 BCE launched the Athenian Golden Age and preserved Greek freedom and culture for centuries.

With Lords of the Sea, renowned archaeologist John Hale presents, for the first time, the definitive history of the epic battles, the indomitable ships, and the men-from extraordinary leaders to seductive rogues-who established Athens's supremacy.

Mostly the data of the books and covers were damaged so many books . Hale follows the campaigns of the fleet through the Peloponnesian War and the supremacy of the Macedonians under Alexander the Great.

After the defeat of the Persian army at Marathon in 490 B. the Archon Themistocles urged his fellow citizens to build a large fleet to counter further Persian invasions.

Электронная книга "Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy", John R. Hale. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy" для чтения в офлайн-режиме. the Archon . Other readers will always be interested in your opinion of the books you've read.

The navy created by the people of Athens in ancient Greece was one of the finest fighting forces in the history of the .

The navy created by the people of Athens in ancient Greece was one of the finest fighting forces in the history of the world and the model for all other national navies to come. With Lords of the Sea, renowned archaeologist and historian John R. Hale presents, for the first time, the definitive history of the epic battles, the indomitable ships, and the men--from extraordinary leaders to seductive rogues--who established Athens's supremacy. The Athenian navy built a civilization, empowered the world's first democracy, and led a band of ordinary citizens on a voyage of discovery that altered the course of history. Its defeat of the Persian fleet at Salamis in 480 . launched the Athenian Golden Age and preserved Greek freedom and culture for centuries.

The navy created by the people of Athens in ancient Greece was one of the finest fighting forces in the history of the world and the model for all other national navies to come. The Athenian navy built a civilization, empowered the world's first democracy, and led a band of ordinary citizens on a voyage of discovery that altered the course of history. Its defeat of the Persian fleet at Salamis in 480 BCE launched the Athenian Golden Age and preserved Greek freedom and culture for centuries. With Lords of the Sea, renowned archaeologist John Hale presents, for the first time, the definitive history of the epic battles, the indomitable ships, and the men-from extraordinary leaders to seductive rogues-who established Athens's supremacy. With a scholar's insight and a storyteller's flair, Hale takes us on an illustrated tour of the heroes and their turbulent careers and far-flung expeditions and brings back to light a forgotten maritime empire and its majestic legacy.

ndup
John Hale was an undergraduate student of the famed classicist Donald Kagan at Yale in the early 1970s when he first fell in love with ancient Greek history. Hale was also a member of the college crew team and was thus intimately familiar with the mechanics and challenges of strenuous rowing, a unique and valuable perspective when it comes to studying the trireme navies of the fourth and fifth centuries BC. “Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy” combines Hale’s twin passions to create a remarkable piece of scholarship.

Hale divides the history of the Athenian navy, which he claims had an almost precisely 158-year run (from the victory of Salamis in August 490 BC to the capture of the Piraeus by the Macedonians in August 322 BC) into five roughly equal parts. The first part, “Freedom,” highlights one of the greatest episodes in grand strategy ever devised and executed by a civic body: the creation of the Athenian navy in the early fifth century along the lines laid out by the statesman Themistocles. Not only did the “wooden walls” of the Navy provide a powerful defense, they also provided the impetus for Athens’ other great experiment – democracy. “Oars were great levelers,” Hale says, as a large trireme fleet required tens of thousands of men to serve as rowers. Other forms of military force, such as cavalry or the hoplite infantry phalanx, had far fewer manpower needs. Moreover, they required each soldier to be a man of independent means, as they were expected to provide their own horse or full body armor, which were expensive. A rower only needed to come with his own cushion to sit on. In 594, Solon had classified the Athenian citizen body into four classes based on wealth. The second wealthiest – the hippies – were the cavalry, while the next level down – the zeugitae – were hoplites. The great unwashed masses of Athenian citizens – the thetes – had no role to play; that is until Themistocles built his fleet. Suddenly, every citizen, regardless of wealth, played an important role in the fate of the city. Aristotle himself commented: “The Athenian democracy was strengthened by the masses who served in the navy and who won the victory at Salamis because the leadership that Athens then gained rested on sea power.”

Part two, “Democracy,” covers the period between the Persian Wars and the mid-fifth century, the so-called Golden Age of Athenian democracy. “Xerxes’ attempt to crush the Athenians had the paradoxical effect of spurring them to new heights of achievement.” The city consciously aimed at maintaining a thalassocracy, a seaborne empire over the entire Aegean. This period also introduced what would become a common and deleterious feature of the democracy – political infighting and the ostracism of leading men of talent. Ephialtes emerged as the leader of radical democracy in the years after Cimon’s decisive victory over the Persians at Eurymedon (466). He had the powerful members of the Areopagus brought up on charges of official misconduct and eventually had the venerable council stripped of its accumulated privileges and prerogatives until it was limited to jurisdiction over only murder trials. When Ephialtes was murdered in 461, “the torch of radical democracy was passed forward to Pericles, son of Xanthippus.” Pericles continued the political reforms begun by Ephialtes, opening the archonship to the hoplites and ostracizing Cimon for attempting to roll back the reforms of the Areopagus.

Part three, “Empire,” chronicles the high water mark of the Athenian thalassocracy, from the Golden Age of the mid-fifth century to the crippling defeat of the Sicilian expedition in 413. “Pericles’ strategy [at the onset of the Peloponnesian War],” Hale writes, “was as triumphantly scientific, as coolly calculated, as a mathematical formula or a medical prescription.” But he failed to anticipate two eventualities, one in the short-run, the other in the long-term. First, the confined living space of the entire Athenian population behind the city walls left the citizen body dangerously exposed to the outbreak of disease. Second, the Spartans would eventually be able to match Athenian naval prowess if given enough time, even if the time required was decades.

Hale emphasizes the magnitude of Pericles’ sudden death in 429. “Had Zeus himself disappeared from Mount Olympus,” he writes, “he could not have left behind a greater void” than did Pericles. The fleet often brought out the best of the Athenian citizen body, whereas the democratic assembly, the Ecclesia, could bring out the worst. The former is perhaps best represented by Phormio, the formerly exiled admiral whose victories at Patras and Naupactus in 429 were the first significant victories for the Athenians in the war against Sparta. According to the author, Phormio was “the greatest naval hero of them all,” a citizen who exemplified the “optimism, energy, inventiveness, and daring” that made the Athenian navy invincible even against overwhelming odds. Athenian political leadership, on the other hand, fell into the hands of demagogues and opportunists, men like Cleon and Alcibiades, who would drive Athens into misery and defeat.

Part four, “Catastrophe,” is a bit misleading in its title, as the Athenian recovery from the Sicilian disaster was as rapid as it was improbable, and featured two of the most brilliant naval victories in Athenian history, Cyzicus (410) and Arginusae (406).

The greatest naval hero of this period, however, was a Spartan, the admiral Lysander, the victor at Aegospotomi in 405. Lysander was, in Hale’s estimation, “the most brilliant strategist and tactician that Sparta had ever produced.” He further claims that Lysander was, far more than any leader Athens produced during the war, “the true heir of Themistocles, Cimon, and Phormio.” That’s pretty high praise.

Finally, “Rebirth,” which covers the years immediately after the Peloponnesian War to the Age of Alexander the Great, may be the most interesting part of Hale’s narrative. For one thing, it was during the first half of the fourth century that Athens essentially “won” the Peloponnesian War. Hale shows that Aegospotomi was no more the final defeat of democratic Athens than the Michael Offensive in 1918 marked the final defeat of Germany. In 378, the Athenians re-launched the Delian League under a new brand and new rules. The so-called Second Maritime League’s charter called for 200 triremes to be paid for not by tribute but by a 2.5% tax on the value of all cargo that passed through Piraeus. The new league may have been structured differently, but its target was the same: Sparta. An Athenian-led fleet defeated the Spartan fleet off the island of Naxos in 376, the first naval engagement between the two rivals since the battle of Arginusae 30 years before. “The Peloponnesian War had lasted 27 years and settled nothing,” Hale writes. “The Spartan War, fought by generals from Conon to Iphacrates had also lasted a full generation (393 to 373), and it changed Greece forever.” The conflict between Athens and Sparta took nearly a century to work itself out but in the end, “Athenian democracy, leadership, and naval tradition had prevailed.”

The qualities of democracy and naval tradition may have combined to defeat the Spartans, but they proved to be a remarkably unstable mix within the city walls of Athens. There is a great irony at the heart of Hale’s narrative. The Navy built the democracy at Athens; the democracy, in turn, destroyed the navy, and with it Athenian power and independence. Virtually every military leader of substance and naval tactician of distinction were eventually run out of town – or worse. Themistocles, Cimon, Phormio, Thucydides, Alcibiades, Thrasyllus, Pericles the Younger, among many others – a veritable “who’s who” of Hale’s vaunted “Athenian naval tradition” – had been exiled, ostracized or executed by their ungrateful fellow citizens. Indeed, as Hale must reluctantly concede: “Given the Assembly’s relentless attacks on its democratically elected officials, service to the Great King [of Persia] had become [by the mid-fourth century] less hazardous than service to their own fellow citizens … Athens had become its own worst enemy.”

Hale attributes much of classical Athens’ greatness to its fleet. “Without the Athenian navy,” he writes, “there would have been no Parthenon, no tragedies of Sophocles and Euripides, no Republic of Plato or Politics of Aristotle.” However, many of Athens’ leading men saw things quite differently, a point the author acknowledges. Plato, for one, was “the navy's most articulate and vehement opponent,” according to Hale. The philosopher saw the city-state’s sprawling maritime empire as something meretricious and self-serving, and liable to corrupt its leaders. To the outside world, Plato said, the leading statesmen of Athens “appeared glorious and blessed to those who could not recognize true happiness. Yet at the very same time they were in fact full of greed and unrighteous power.” He wasn’t alone in his harsh criticism. Isocrates, for instance, compared thalassocracy to a high-priced prostitute: something as dangerous as it was attractive.

The final demise of the Athenian navy is perhaps the most shocking part of the story. When the end came, the Athenian navy was at its apogee, at least on paper. Never before had the fleet been larger and more up-to-date nor the support facilities vaster and stocked with supplies. There were 360 triremes fit for service, as well as 50 new quadriremes and two monster quinqueremes, not to mention a host of additional troop- and horse-carriers. The various sails and ropes were stored in Philo’s Arsenal, one of the largest buildings in the world at the time, as long as a modern football field and over thirty feet in height. In the end, however, “ships and crews were plentiful; leaders were scarce.” The Athenian navy’s final sea battle, at Amorgas in the eastern Cyclades in 322, included the largest fleet amassed since the Peloponnesian War, and yet it was the first Athenian fleet to surrender voluntarily. “Some mysterious, spiritual essence … had vanished,” Hale laments. The Macedonians garrisoned the Piraeus and exiled the sailor class (thetes) from Athens, banishing nearly two-thirds (12,000) of the body politic to distant lands in Thrace.

In closing, “Lords of the Sea” is a wonderful piece of scholarship. I would have liked to have seen more strategic analysis from a historical perspective, perhaps comparing and contrasting Athenian naval power to that of Renaissance Venice, nineteenth-century England, or perhaps even modern America. However, as a stand-alone history of Athenian thalassocracy it is without parallel and highly recommended by this reviewer.
Huston
This is a fine, accessible telling of the rise and decline of Athens, starting near the end of the Persian War (just before Artemisium and Thermopylae) and ending just after the death of Alexander the Great. It is written in a lively narrative style similar to a good novel.

For anyone unfamiliar with this period in ancient Greek history, this book is a terrific starting point. Those that have already read Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon will already be familiar with much of the story, and will likely not get as much out of it. The self-stated goal of “Lords of the Sea” is to be a specialized retelling of those stories with an emphasis on the Athenian Navy as the heart of Athenian power, influence, and democracy. Although this is certainly a terrific book taken on its own, the centrality of the Athenian Navy to the city's history is largely evident to those who have already read the classical sources mentioned above. Being one of those, I did not get much from this book that was truly new to me (although I did enjoy the story in the retelling). A better characterization might be to view this book as the relevant history of the period, being told with emphasis on the Athenian point of view. The classical sources take a broader view of the eastern Mediterranean world, and contain more detail on other parts of it.

One unique offering here is a generous extra helping of personal detail on many of the key actors in this story, such as Themistocles, Pericles, Alcibiades, and Conon. This extra material makes the story a much livelier and interesting read than the typical history book, which usually focuses more on what happened than on what makes the key characters tick, or how they might be thinking or feeling.

There are several decent maps placed in relevant chapters throughout the book. The author has chosen not to use footnotes tagging specific content within the text; instead, he has opted (presumably to improve readability) to add a section called “Note on Sources,” which has a paragraph or two for each chapter listing its general sources.

A few anecdotes the writer told as established facts are of doubtful provenance, if one is to go by some of the ancient sources (including those the author cites). Ignoring this certainly makes the narrative flow better, but knowing from previous reading about the doubt that exists takes just a bit of the shine off things.

Especially recommended for newcomers to ancient Greek history.
Made-with-Love
I agree with every word of praise for this book, and its author .He gives a deserved Epic story of the Athenian people in all its vision that brought grandeur, and its hubris that brought catastrophe. It is thrilling for the amateur and packed with information and insight for the Historian.
It has very complete and explanatory glossary for the layman, and an impressive bibliography for the specialist.
But I recommend to read it only as a book NOT the digital KINDLE edition (actually to the Kindle edition I only assigned three stars), for the book contains many drawings,careful scholarly reconstructions of ships, buildings, cities, diagrams of battles that are an integral part of the book, and appear so poor in the Kindle version that are for the most unreadable and impossible to interpret.