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Chabrias and Timotheus, generals in the Athenian Navy

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In Ch. 17, Passing the Torch, from John R. Hale's Lords of the Sea, discussing the years 397 to 371 B.C.E., Chabrias and Timotheus caught my interest. I hope to find more information on them. A couple of quotes:

Chabrias, the son of an affluent Athenian trierarch and horse breeder, took an interest in the technical side of naval operations. He invented new foul-weather fittings that improved his triremes' performance on rough seas, including extra steering oars and an extension of thick screens that completely enclosed the rowing frames. To train inexperienced oarsmen, Chabrias built wooden rowing frames on shore where beginners could learn technique and timing before they went on board ship.

His fellow citizens saw in Timotheus a small and unprepossessing fellow who could not exhibit the strong physique expected of a war hero. But his lack of brawn was offset by an excess of intelligence, energy, and honor.

Timotheus' unmatched record of bringing twenty-four cities over to the Athenian alliance with apparently little trouble made him the good humored target of the world's first known political cartoon. The anonymous artist depicted Timotheus as a fisherman dozing beside his lobster pot, as city after city crawled up to the trap and fell in. Above the scene floated the goddess Tyche ("Fortune"). She was directing the procession of lobsters while Timotheus enjoyed his nap.

The writing in this book is very engaging. I wondered when I chose it if it would sustain my interest and it has. There's a lengthy section on the author's sources, so I should be able to find more on these two very interesting generals, I think.


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Posted

It's interesting to read about simulation being used in training back then. Thanks for the quotes. :)

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Posted

A excellent book which I truly enjoyed. I've quoted from that book on some threads on TGL.Dave

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Yes, this is really a good read. Hale does a nice job of making his interpretation of the time and place and people come alive.I thought the rowing frames for training were pretty brilliant! My reason for reading about the history of Greece before getting down to reading the works of the Greek philosophers was so I could understand the philosophy better by knowing something about the places that produced the philosophers. Now I do know a little about why Plato was so anti-navy and why Socrates was not too keen on democracy, so my plan is beginning to work.

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