Archive Results For: Antiquity

The Periplus of Pseudo-Skylax and its Relationship with Earlier Nautical Knowledge’

By Chiara Maria Mauro

This study focuses on the Periplus of Pseudo-Skylax, a controversial document from the late fourth century bc. Despite diverging views on its date and authorship, scholars agree this text could have derived most of its information from earlier and non-extant, nautical sources. This article contributes to addressing gaps and limitations concerning the Periplus’s relevance and […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Archaeology | Science & Exploration

Book Review-‘The Sea in History: The medieval world’ ed. by M. Balard

By Peter Furtado

This is the second of four massive volumes, the product of Oceanides, the extraordinary five-year international (but primarily French) research project which brings together hundreds of the world’s leading scholars of maritime history, and attempts to answer some of the very largest questions of how the sea has impacted on human history, from ancient times […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Other (Early Modern)
Subjects include: Administration | Archaeology | Strategy & Diplomacy

Book Review-‘The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the story of the Flood’ by I. Finkel

By Robert J.C. Mowat

Any reviewer dreams of the availability of a work of haute vulgarisation which offers a concise yet detailed account of a complex yet highly significant subject and makes it publicly available at an entirely reasonable price. Such delight is to be compounded if the work is centred around the life story of a recognized television […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity
Subjects include: Archaeology

Book Review-‘The Medieval Nile: Route, navigation and landscape in Islamic Egypt, by J. P. Cooper

By Deborah Cvikel

Herodotus (History, 2.5) named Egypt as the ‘gift of the river’. Cooper (p. 1), believes that Herodotus’ description suggests a rather passive Egypt, while in reality it was an active society interacting with the environment — the Nile, in which the main component was river navigation. Therefore the title and subtitle of this book convey […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Other (Early Modern) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

Book Review – ‘The Maritime Landscape of Roman Britain: Water transport on the coasts and rivers of Britannia’ by James Ellis Jones

By Jorit Wintjes

Water transport was an important part both of Roman army logistics and of the civil economy of Roman Britain. Given that Britain was an island, and one not only with many accessible shore areas, but also with rivers allowing access far inland, this appears to be rather self-evident. Yet even so, water transport has not […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | English Channel | Irish Sea | Internal Waterways
Subjects include: Archaeology | Ship Handling & Seamanship

Book Review – ‘Navigation et géographie dans l’antiquité greco-romaine’ by Jean-Marie Kowalski

By Anthony Jones Papalas

Kowalski begins by discussing how the Greeks imagined the sea. It was the realm of pirates; it separated lovers, and nurtured shady merchants. Plato compared the Greeks to frogs never far from water and lamented the sea’s corrupting influence on Greek civilization. But Kowalski’s main purpose is to analyse the works of the Greek geographers […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Miscellaneous | Ship Handling & Seamanship

The Battle of Marathon and the Persian Navy

By Anthony J. Papalas

In the summer of 490 bc the Athenians secured their freedom and that of the European Greeks by defeating a Persian army in the battle of Marathon. Herodotus gives a sketchy description of the battle without any material information on the size of the respective armies but states that the Persians arrived at Marathon with […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Logistics | Navies

Vegetius and Taccola: Was medieval writing on war at sea of any practical use?

By Susan Rose

For much of the medieval period little time was devoted to the discussion of how war should be waged at sea. Discussion on war was often based on the writings of Flavius Vegetius Renatus, from the late fourth or early fifth century. His short treatise De re militari is based on the works of earlier […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Strategy & Diplomacy | Weapons

The Case of the Roman Transom Bow

By Vittorio Bovolin

The discovery of a Roman boat with a transom end during the construction of a Metro line in Naples has reopened the discussion about whether this end is the bow or the stern of the boat. This issue was debated through the twentieth century and still continues today. Discussion so far has mainly been focused […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Archaeology | Shipbuilding & Design

Did Vessels Beach in the Ancient Mediterranean? An assessment of the textual and visual evidence

By Gregory F. Votruba

The practice of beaching seafaring ships in the ancient Mediterranean is a widely accepted phenomenon. This paper examines the evidence for beaching and outlines the various methods, tools and technology employed. While habitual beaching for seafaring vessels is testi ed for the Geometric Period Aegean, for later periods the evidence is primarily negative. With the […] Read More

Filed under: Antiquity | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Ship Handling & Seamanship

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