domenica 2 novembre 2008

HISTORY OF THE NAVY

The Romans were born as shepherds and farmers, but soon, after the enlargement of their domination during the Republican age, Rome collided with the greatest commercial and naval potency known in the Mediterranean sea till then: Carthage.
In 260 b.C. Rome fought its first naval battle: nearby Mylae (present-day Milazzo), the Carthaginian fleet, in spite of hundreds of years of experience, was defeated by the Roman navy, thanks to a new instrument that would make Rome the master of the Mediterranean during the following centuries: the corvus.
The victory at Cape Mylae let consul Gaius Duilius celebrate the first naval triumph in the history of Rome. The consul himself was honoured in the forum with a columna rostrata, decorated with the rostrums of captured hostile ships.
During the following centuries, Rome fought many other naval battles, with alternating success; some of them were historically fundamental, like the Battel of Actium (considered the last naval battle of Antiquity), others not at all.
For many centuries the Mediterranean Sea has been considered, rightfully, a “Roman lake”, rechristened “mare nostrum”.
The Roman navy was also employed during the Macedonian wars, assisted by the Rhodian and Pergamene fleets.
With the coming of the Vandals, for the first time the Roman navy, largely abandoned during the V century, found an opponent that proved itself to be even better. In 458, emperor Majorian re-organized and re-armed two fleets, probably the classis Misenensis and the classis Ravennatis, but his big navy was destroyed during the African invasion, by the hand of Spanish traitors.
In 469 there had been the last and hugest naval operation of Antiquity: under the command of general Basiliscus, the combined fleets of Western and Easterne Empire attacked the Vandals: the Romans had the victory close, when the Vandals destroyed the adverse fleet with a night sortie. The Romans were born as shepherds and farmers, but soon, after the enlargement of their domination during the Republican age, Rome collided with the greatest commercial and naval potency known in the Mediterranean