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The Age of TitansThe Rise and Fall of the Great Hellenistic Navies$
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William Murray

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388640

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388640.001.0001

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Understanding the Big Ship Phenomenon

Understanding the Big Ship Phenomenon

Chapter:
(p.3) Introduction Understanding the Big Ship Phenomenon
Source:
The Age of Titans
Author(s):

William M. Murray

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388640.003.0000

This book explores the genesis and evolution of a “Macedonian” model of naval warfare when warships of increasingly large size were built by the successors of Alexander the Great. Scholars like W.W. Tarn explained this desire for greater size by the use of these ships as platforms for troops of marines and batteries of catapults that bombarded, grappled and boarded their foes in preference to maneuvering their vessels to deliver ram strikes. In opposition to this view, archaeological and literary evidence suggest a number of strategic factors related to siege warfare that were behind the genesis and evolution of the big ship phenomenon.

Keywords:   Tarn, big, ship, grapple, board, maneuver, ram

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