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The Athenian navy: an investigation into the operations, politics and ideology of the Athenian fleet between 480 and 322 BC

Potts, Samuel 2008. The Athenian navy: an investigation into the operations, politics and ideology of the Athenian fleet between 480 and 322 BC. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This investigation focuses on the Athenian navy, by which I mean the state-owned fleet of triremes. The study covers the years between 480 and 322 BC while Athens did possess a fleet in earlier years, it was in this period that it became an institution of the highest importance. The work is divided into three parts. Firstly, a systematic review of the operations of the Athenian navy, along with case study of naval activity around Naupactos, which brings up general debates regarding the nature of Athenian imperialism, the scale and nature of naval activity, and the experiences of the crew. Also in this first part, the diversity amongst the crew in terms of both social and professional status will receive attention. The second section seeks to explore the extent and nature of the link between the navy and the democracy. I shall look at the evidence for the participation of naval people in democratic politics at Athens, and the extent to which the policies and decisions of the Assembly can be viewed as favouring the trireme crews. One particularly important example of the trireme crews playing an active political role concerns the events on the island of Samos in 411 BC, when the men of the fleet constituted themselves as a democracy, independent of the oligarchy that had recently taken over in Athens. The third part of the study concerns the ideology of the navy. The first task will be to investigate whether the crewman can be fairly described as staunch democrats, and then to tackle the wider ideology and characteristics of the navy. It is preferable to speak of intersecting ideologies within the navy, an institution manned by slaves, foreigners, citizens and mercenaries, accompanied by armed men and all led by wealthy liturgist captains.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DE The Mediterranean Region. The Greco-Roman World
ISBN: 9781303209840
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2017 14:28

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