William Sterling

Great Sea Battles from the Classical World

Great Sea Battles from the Classical World – Salamis, Syracuse and Actium

A general look at ships and sailing techniques in the Ancient World and how vessels were used in warfare.  This course was run at the National Maritime Museum on Sunday 25th March 2018.

We looked at the strategies used by navies in the ancient world and specifically the tactics at Salamis in 480 BC where the allied Greek forces defeated the Persian fleet of King Xerxes, the second battle of Syracuse in 414 BC when the mighty Athenians were defeated by the Syracusans and the battle of Actium in 31 BC when Augustus and Agrippa decisively defeated Antony and Cleopatra. We also looked at some of the lesser known conflicts and the design of Ancient warships.

These are the slides from the course in printable format

Naval Warfare in the Ancient World in printable format

Greek Ships slides in printable format

Roman Warships slides in printable format

Battle of Salamis slides in printable format

Battle of Syracuse 413 BC slides in printable format

Actium slides in printable format

These are my notes from the course

Ancient Naval Battles notes

Some other sources

Aeschylus Salamis from The Persians

Horace Actium Ode

Battle of Actium sources and Shakespeare

A List of Ancient Naval Battles

ancient naval battles list

The following podcasts from Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time may be of interest.

The Battle of Salamis