13.As Hellas grew more powerful and the acquisition of wealth became more and more
rapid,1 the revenues of her cities increased, and in most of them tyrannies were
established;they had hitherto been ruled by hereditary kings, having fixed prerogatives.The Hellenes likewise began to build navies and to make the sea their element.
The Corinthians are said to have first adopted something like the modern style of
marine,and the oldest Hellenic triremes to have been constructed at Corinth.
A Corinthian ship-builder, Ameinocles, appears to have built four ships for the
Samians;he went to Samos about three hundred years before the end of the Peloponnesian2 War.
And the earliest naval engagement on record is that between the Corinthians and
Corcyraeanswhich occurred about forty years later.
Corinth, being3 seated on an isthmus,
was naturally from the first a centre of commerce;for the Hellenes within and without the Peloponnese in the old days, when they
communicated chiefly by land, had to pass through her territory in order
to reach one another.Her wealth too was a source of power, as the ancient poets testify, who speak of
“Corinth the rich”
.When navigation grew more common, the Corinthians, having already acquired a fleet,
were able to put down piracy;they offered a market both by sea and land, and with the
increase of riches the power of their city increased yet more.
Later, in the time of Cyrus, the4 first Persian king, and of Cambyses his son, the Ionians
had a large navy;they fought with Cyrus, and were for a time masters of the sea around their own coasts.Polycrates,5 too, who
was a tyrant of Samos in the reign of Cambyses, had a powerful navy and subdued several
of the islands, among them Rhenea, which he dedicated to the Delian Apollo6.And the Phocaeans, when they were colonising Massalia, defeated the Carthaginians
on7 the sea.
Rise of navies in Hellas: Corinth, Corcyra, Ionia, Samos, Phocaea.
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