The navy created by the people of Athens in ancient Greece was one of the finest fighting forces in the history of the world and the model for all other national navies to come. The Athenian navy built a civilization, empowered the world's first democracy, and led a band of ordinary citizens on a voyage of discovery that altered the course of history. Its defeat of the Persian fleet at Salamis in 480 B.C.E. launched the Athenian Golden Age and preserved Greek freedom and culture for centuries.
With Lords of the Sea, renowned archaeologist and historian John R. Hale presents, for the first time, the definitive history of the epic battles, the indomitable ships, and the men—from extraordinary leaders to seductive rogues—who established Athens's supremacy. With a scholar's insight and a storyteller's flair, Hale takes us on an illustrated tour of the heroes, their turbulent careers, and their far-flung expeditions and brings back to life a forgotten maritime empire and its majestic legacy.