Contribution to Book
§1. The disaster at Syracuse (415-413) marked the effective end of Athenian naval supremacy. She would rebuild her fleets and continue to be a force, but Xenophon's account of the following half century tells of a hard-fought struggle among many contenders to dominate the Aegean Sea. Although in the ancient Mediterranean world geography and tradition favored islands and coastal cities as emergent sea powers, dominance could not be achieved without also having access to the vital resources of timber, manpower, and plenty of revenue. Thus the Persian king Artaxerxes and Jason of Pherai posed alarming threats to the traditional masters of the Aegean. Athens, Sparta, and reportedly the Phoenicians managed on occasion to raise fleets of two or even three hundred warships, but mostly the seas were dotted with much smaller flotillas that nevertheless effectively patrolled, threatened, or deterred.
Robert B. Strassler
Hirschfeld, N. (2009). Appendix K: Trireme warfare in Xenophon’s Hellenika. In R. B. Strassler (Ed.), The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika (pp. 384-390). New York, NY: Pantheon Books.
The Landmark Xenophon's Hellenika