William Sterling

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Great sea battles from the classical world – Salamis, Syracuse and Actium

March 27


Ships and sailing techniques and naval warfare in the Ancient World.

  1. What is the course about?

A general look at ships and sailing techniques in the Ancient World and how vessels were used in warfare.

  1. What topics will we cover?

We shall look 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 shall also look at some of the lesser known conflicts and the design of Ancient warships.

  1. What will I learn? By the end of the course you should be able to:

How naval warfare was conducted in the Classical World

When naval victories could be decisive conflicts

The reasons for and consequences of naval warfare.