Thursday, 4 April 2019

Great Naval Battles of the Ancient Greek World

Usually, when I read military history, I like to get down to the nitty-gritty of a specific battle or campaign, but in some cases that just isn’t possible. As Owen Rees states in his introduction to Great Naval Battles of the Ancient Greek World, the sources just don’t allow for a super in-depth examination of individual battles; however, by looking at all of the major battles for which records exist, we do get a good overview of this type of warfare, including an interesting survey of the tactics and how those tactics evolved over time.

This book covers thirteen battles and spends a good chunk of time putting them in their historical and political context. Even if you are coming to the period completely cold, you will rarely feel lost. The writing is straightforward and smooth, and there is a good number of simple, but clear, maps and diagrams to help understand each battle.

At just over 200 pages, it is an un-intimidating book, but it’s a good one. If you’ve ever had any interest in the topic, this is a good place to start.


  1. I like the idea of doing a meta-analysis of the available accounts to build up a generic vision of the tactics.

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