8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Sea..... I told you they had ships!!,
This review is from: Hellenistic and Roman Naval Warfare 336BC - 31BC (Hardcover)The naval aspect of ancient warfare is sadly an often neglected subject, even though naval superiority was a crucial element in the successful expansion of the Roman empire. Due to Italy's geographical predicament command of the seas was an absolute must. Sea battles raged as a constant in the mediterranean during the Hellenistic era, with Roman, Greek and Carthaginian fleets all vying for supremacy. Even the smaller states had considerable naval power with Rhodes, Syracuse and Tyre being able to put large fleets to sea. Piracy was also rife. The types of ship being used also varied greatly with the Greeks building ever larger galleys and the king Ptolemy taking it to extremes. The Romans preferred a lighter faster ship and developed tactics to suit such vessels, winning them many a set piece battle and eventually claiming control of the seas.
John D. Grainger has a well researched and comprehensive book here. Each chapter moves swiftly through history starting with Alexander's naval war, briefing us on the kings: Antigonos, Demetrios, Ptolmey, Dionysios and Agathokles and discussing the war for Sicily. Hannibal and Philip V take us to chapter ten and then the Roman domination is evident in the following chapters. Pirates are dealt with next and then Mithradates enters the equation. The book ends with the battle of Actium, that defining moment in Roman history.
I found this to be a compelling read that definitely bridges a gap in the lack of attainable books on this particular subject. However I was disappointed by the poor quality of the photographs contained. Black and white and grainy could surely be improved upon. Nevertheless a fine book awaits you here.