Naval Athens and the Rise of Athenian Democracy Essay

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There is no coincidence that the rise of Athenian Democracy goes chronologically hand in hand with the rise of the Athenian Navy. Following the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks, Athens’ naval successes allow it to surpass the previous naval power of Corinth; create the Delian league to fund and support this navy; and eventually ruffle enough feathers with their fellow Hellenic neighbours that they inspire the Peloponnesian war. Overall their naval reputation and intimidation comes from the skill of the men who maneuver and command the ships, and the tool they use to wield their power, the Athenian trireme. By looking at the design of the trireme, and the work and numbers put both into the ship and the men that drive it, hopefully …show more content…
There is no coincidence that the rise of Athenian Democracy goes chronologically hand in hand with the rise of the Athenian Navy. Following the defeat of the Persians by the Greeks, Athens’ naval successes allow it to surpass the previous naval power of Corinth; create the Delian league to fund and support this navy; and eventually ruffle enough feathers with their fellow Hellenic neighbours that they inspire the Peloponnesian war. Overall their naval reputation and intimidation comes from the skill of the men who maneuver and command the ships, and the tool they use to wield their power, the Athenian trireme. By looking at the design of the trireme, and the work and numbers put both into the ship and the men that drive it, hopefully both the wealth and skill of the Athenian navy can be appropriately highlighted. In the end, it is this immense power and resources that allow the Athenians to overstep their limits and caused such demoralizing defeats such as the expedition at Syracuse and the eventual loss of the Peloponnesian war, after which they prove unable to grow to the same undefeated sea power they were.
ARCHAIC GREEK NAVY/SHIPS One of the first instances we hear about the Athenian navy is in the archaic period of the epic poem of the Iliad. Homer claims that Athens, lead by Menestheus, contributes 50 ships to the war efforts at Troy, which put them among the top contributors (Jordan, Athenian Navy in the Classical Period 1975, V). This could already perhaps show a
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