Lords of the Sea
I never understood how democracy manifested itself in early Greek culture until I read John Hale's gripping account of how the Greeks developed the triremes and then dominated the Aegean seas and Mediterranean civilizations for over 150 years from 480 BC to 322 BC. Hale describes how all able-bodied Greek men during that era, irregardless of social rank, economic status, or political rank, sat side by side rowing their triremes into battle. When the likes of Sophocles or Socrates pulled oars along side average citizens, the egalitarian spirit must have inspired all countrymen to go into battle to defend their nation.
A rousing history of the world's first dominant navy and the towering empire it built 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 a scholar's insight and a storyteller's flair, Hale takes us on an unforgettable voyage with these heroes, their turbulent careers, and far-flung expeditions, bringing back to light a forgotten maritime empire and its majestic legacy. ~