Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228482
Title: TRACING THE AEGOSPOTAMI CAMPAIGN: THE LOGISTICS OF THE ATHENIAN FLEET AT THE END OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
Authors: ENOCH LIM HAO EN
Keywords: Trireme
Logistics
Aegospotami
Athenian Navy
Peloponnesian War
Athenian Empire
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2022
Citation: ENOCH LIM HAO EN (2022-03-30). TRACING THE AEGOSPOTAMI CAMPAIGN: THE LOGISTICS OF THE ATHENIAN FLEET AT THE END OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The Battle of Aegospotami was fought in 405 BC between the Athenian and Spartan fleets. But how did the Athenians reach Aegospotami? Their ship, the trireme, was built for speed, not to carry supplies, but depended on rowers to sail. Its range was highly limited unless it could resupply. Yet, the Athenians had lost most of their allies before Aegospotami, making it difficult for them to rely on their allies for resupply. Given these problems, I suggest that the Athenians could have sailed to Aegospotami by relying on their colonial possessions in the northern Aegean. I first examine the logistical constraints faced by the fleet, arguing that the limited storage capacity of the trireme and the crew’s need for food and water create dual pressures that force the fleet to turn to alternative methods of provisioning. I then argue that the dominant method of resupply would be the use of friendly markets with access to both food and water. Due to the former constraints, however, the Athenians would need to stop regularly for resupply – about twice a day. After examining the available sources for the Athenian fleet’s journey to Aegospotami and estimating the fleet’s speed, I suggest that the fleet would most likely have sailed through Skyros, Lemnos, and Imbros. These were Athenian colonial possessions in the northern Aegean, friendly locations with both food and water that the fleet could draw upon. In light of this reconstruction, I argue that examinations of the military and economic value of Athens’ imperial possessions need not be strictly bifurcated but can stem from the same source. These islands’ strategic location and fertile land made them economically valuable in peacetime, but also strategically important as sources of supply in war.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228482
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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