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reinforced triremes
#1
at the battle in the harbour at Syracuse at the end of the great Athenian siege thucydides mentions that the Syracusians had utalsied a Corinthian technique,that they had used in a battle in the gulf of Corinth against an Athenian squadron, to strengthen their ships bows which made them very effective ramming prow to prow .But i have never been able to find out if this method was used after this, particualry in the seafights in the rest of the war when Syracusian ships came east to fight with their Spartan allies.It was clearly effective and so logic suggests the idea would have been taken on.If anybody knows anything and has sourses i would love to hear ,thanks mike
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#2
Yes the Syracusans strengthened the bows of their triremes for the confrontation in the "Great Harbour". They also cordoned off the exit from the harbour so the Athenians had to fight to get out to sea. The tactic was to ram the Athenian ships, which would have to run at the battle line of the Syracusans, as they attempted to row out of the confined space so formed to clear water. It worked a treat as the Athenian pilots and crews did not have room to maneuver and employ their deadly "advanced" tactics. the battle then degenerated into a desperate replay of Sybota.

Syracusan ships (20?) are attested in the Ionian War but I do not recall if they persisted with the "loaded" bows. I think not. Here, aside from Arginusae, Athenian crews and pilots (and generals) proved the difference again (see the battles of 411-408 esp. Cyzicus). There was a definite reluctance on the part of the Spartans to face Athenian fleets unless they had similar or (even better) larger numbers.
Paralus|Michael Park

Ἐπὶ τοὺς πατέρας, ὦ κακαὶ κεφαλαί, τοὺς μετὰ Φιλίππου καὶ Ἀλεξάνδρου τὰ ὅλα κατειργασμένους

Wicked men, you are sinning against your fathers, who conquered the whole world under Philip and Alexander!

Academia.edu
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