Depictions of Ships on Ancient Greek Vases

Potters began to enrich vases in the Geometric Period with depictions of people, animals, ships, and more. Center for Hellenic Studies The Dipylon Vase Following the heroic age of the Myceneans is the silence of the Greek Dark Ages. In the proto-Geometric period (c1150–c950 BCE), the pre-Greek tribes make war, then consolidate and start forming[…]

The Persian Wars and the Maritime Supremacy of Ancient Athens

Figure 1: Greek Colonization of western Asia Minor / Image by Alexikoua, Wikimedia Commons The development of naval supremacy and of democracy became interdependent. In the period of about 600–480 BCE, Ionian colonists emigrated from Attica to the Aegean coast of Asia Minor, which is modern Turkey [1]. There they inhabited a narrow coastal strip from[…]

Navigation in the Ancient Mediterranean and Beyond

A 16th century chart of Europe and North Africa. Luis Texieira, Portolan Chart, Lisbon, ca. 1600 via Wikimedia Commons Navigation using celestial objects is a skill that was practised long before humans roamed the Earth; animals used it, too. By Dr. Markus Nielbock Scientific Staff Max Planck Institute for Astronomy Figure 1: The Iberian Peninsula[…]

Seafaring Material Culture in 18th-Century Ship Logs

‘Scene at Bideford Bridge’, by Mark Myers, showing the crowded waters of the Torridge during the heyday of colonial trade. / Burton Art Gallery and Museum, Wikimedia Commons Attention to the material cultures of the eighteenth-century log-book and journal reveal that media of navigation, through which to imagine distant, and not proximal, relations, might not be[…]

U.S. Naval Development, 1775-1815

Painting depicting the first victory at sea by USS Constitution over HMS Guerriere, by Anton Otto Fischer / Department of the Navy, Wikimedia Commons The early development of the U.S. Navy must be considered within the context of the interaction between domestic politics and public diplomacy.  By Lt. Col. Ronald J. Martin The Revolution As today’s foremost[…]