14 May 2009
Today was publication day for the book LORDS OF THE SEA: a craft that has been eight years in the making. It was in April 2001 that editor Wendy Wolf of Viking press in New York contacted me, and asked if I would be interested in writing a history of the Athenian navy. I had been interested for 30 years! So I said “Yes”. And after the better part of a decade spent in research, writing, visiting ancient battle sites in Greece, Sicily, and Turkey, and even diving for shipwrecks in the hope of discovering an Athenian trireme, the finished volume finally slid down the slipway this morning and splashed into the water.
Friends in Louisville, Kentucky, toasted the event, and the great independent bookstore DESTINATIONS in my home town of New Albany, Indiana hosted a publication party in the evening. I’m looking forward to tracking the course of the book in the months ahead.
The first published review also appeared today, a review written by a retired Vice Admiral of the United States Navy that was published in the Washington Times. The reviewer noted that there was no separate section in the book where readers could find a summary of the “Lessons Learned” from the history of the Athenian navy, but that the lessons were embedded in the text itself, as the great fleet of triremes cut a swath through ancient history from the time of the battle of Salamis (480 BC) to the seizure of the Athenian naval base by Macedonian successors of Alexander the Great (322 BC). So this log will also be a place to reflect on the lessons we can all learn from the heroes, the exploits, and the historical influence of the mighty Athenian navy, and its impact on the world’s first great democracy.