History of the Peloponnesian War - Book 4 Summary & Analysis

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Book 4 Summary and Analysis

In 425 BC, an Athenian fleet departs for Sicily but takes a circuitous route to accomplish several political and military goals. By a fairly accidental confluence this Athenian fleet fortifies Pylos in Sparta and the fortification becomes a focus of Spartan military attention. The Athenian fleet's stop at Pylos is occasioned by the necessity of frequent land-encampment for naval forces. Triremes were designed for warfare and prolonged seaborne action was not their strength; crews needed space to cook, sleep, and relax; embarked soldiers similarly needed space; provisioning was required; and the trireme's hull needed to dry out to allow for good handling characteristics and speed—indeed, hauling out was a primary and constant concern of every naval commander. Thus, Demosthenes and the fleet lands at Pylos for what generally would have been a short encampment. After seeing the excellent defensive geographical...

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This section contains 1,173 words
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Buy the History of the Peloponnesian War Study Guide
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