Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy

Lords of the Sea: The Epic Story of the Athenian Navy and the Birth of Democracy


By (author) John R. Hale

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  • Publisher: Penguin Putnam Inc
  • Format: Paperback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 244mm x 41mm | 363g
  • Publication date: 27 April 2010
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0143117688
  • ISBN 13: 9780143117681
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps, figures
  • Sales rank: 219,880

Product description

The epic true story of Themistocles and the Battle of Salamis, and a rousing history of the world's first dominant navy and the towering empire it built The Athenian Navy was one of the finest fighting forces in the history of the world. It engineered a civilization, empowered the world's first democracy, and led a band of ordinary citizens on a voyage of discovery that altered the course of history. With "Lords of the Sea," renowned archaeologist John R. Hale presents, for the first time, the definitive history of the epic battles, the fearsome ships, and the men-from extraordinary leaders to seductive rogues-that established Athens's supremacy. With a scholar's insight and a storyteller's flair, Hale takes us on an unforgettable voyage with these heroes, their turbulent careers, and far-flung expeditions, bringing back to light a forgotten maritime empire and its majestic legacy.

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Author information

John R. Hale studied at Yale and Cambridge before embarking on an archaeological career that includes extensive underwater searches for ancient warships. He has written for "Antiquity, Journal of Roman Archaeology," and "Scientific American" and has been profiled by NPR and "The New York Times." He has also been featured in documentaries broadcast by The Discovery Channel and The History Channel. He is currently the director of liberal studies at the University of Louisville.

Review quote

aNobody knows more about the history of oared ships around the world than John Hale, and he combines with it a knowledge of and love for the ancient Athenians that helps explain their achievement. To provide a new angle from which to view and understand the experience of the Athenians of the Classical age is a remarkable feat, but "Lords of the Sea" accomplishes just that. The writing is utterly captivating and makes the reader feel he is back in ancient Athens among the great poets, historians, sculptors, architects, soldiers and sailors, all of whom were connected in important ways to the Athenian navy.a a Donald Kagan, author of "The Peloponnesian War" aThe dazzling moment of Golden Age Athens was built on democracy, silver, reason and power. It was arguably the most creative moment in history, when western architecture, philosophy, drama and politics were all given their fundamental form. Behind it all was the Athenian navy, its life and fortunes described here with exemplary clarity and a vivid engagement with the visceral realities of battle and the sea. John Hale combines fluent readability with up-to-date scholarship and a sense that in these pages you are witnessing not only a driving collective enterprise but the foundation-level struggles of our own world. This is tour de force of historical imagination.a a Adam Nicolson Author of the "New York Times" bestsellers "Godas Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible" and "Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and Nelsonas Battle of Trafalgar"