chapter  2
19 Pages

Seapower in the Mediterranean from the Seventeenth to the Nineteenth Century

Historians have actively researched matters on the Mediterranean for a long time. The Mediterranean is perhaps the best known area in the field of economic history as well as in naval history and this is not surprising. The Mediterranean is the ‘oldest’ sea. It saw the first designed warship, the trireme in the seventh century BC; the first great naval battle was fought near Corcyra in 664 BC, the first permanent battle fleet was created by Athens in the fifth century BC and its model of thalassocracy has aroused endless controversies.1 From antiquity to the great discoveries of the fifteenth and the sixteenth century, the Mediterranean was truly the center of the Western world, the link between West and East, the theater of conflict between Christendom and the Muslim world.2