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princes were received into favor at the Persian court, where they were given residence and

freedom. Of course, all these favors were contingent upon the submission of the recipients

and their loyalty to the new order of things. In case of rebellion, severe punishments

were meted out to the insurrectionists. The leaders were generally put to death in some

ignominious and cruel way. The chief aiders and abettors of revolt were likely to share

the fate of the principal instigators. It was not often, however, that the wrath of the

Persian kings burned so fiercely as to involve the common people of a rebellious province

in destruction. In one case, it is said that three thousand Babylonian rebels suffered a

wholesale crucifixion at the hands of Darius. To crucify or impale alive was the usual

penalty meted out to traitors and rebel chiefs. The people of a country engaged in revolt

were frequently punished by transportation into Persia, where they were reduced to the

condition of slaves.

The geographical position of Persia was not such as to suggest dominion over the seas.

When conquest, however, had given her supremacy over several maritime states, and had

taught her the vast importance of ruling by sea as well as by land, an appreciation of

nautical skill was produced, which exercised a large influence on the subsequent history

of the Empire. It was perceived that Phoenicia, Cyprus, and the islands of the Grecian

archipelago, owed their importance to the conquest of the sea. After the Persians acquired

control of the Mediterranean, it was but natural that they should concern themselves more

than hitherto with the means of maintaining their dominion. To this end the great kings

became the builders of docks and the patrons of sailors. The yards of Phoenicia, Cyprus,

and Egypt became quickened under this influence. Large fleets were built and equipped, and

the seamen of Persia became as skillful as any of that age.

Inasmuch as naval warfare was a conspicuous feature of the contests of several of the

great states of antiquity, notably of the Persians, Greeks, Romans, and Carthaginians, a

sketch of the war-vessels employed by them will be of interest. The standard ship of all

the nations just mentioned was the trireme, or three-oared boat, by which is meant three

banks of oars. Several attempts were made by the ancients, but without marked success, to

extend the number of benches and the consequent capacity of the galley; but the

quadriremes of the Carthaginians and the quinquereroes of the Syracusans were too unwieldy

for naked human strength, and were abandoned in favor of the trireme. The latter was a

ship of considerable size, requiring a regular crew of two hundred men. Besides these the

vessel was capable of accommodating thirty marines. Of the crew one hundred and eighty

sailors manned the oars, and the remaining twenty attended to the other service the

galley. Each oarsman sat on a small seat fixed in the side of the ship, opposite the port

of his oar. The oars in each superior tier were arranged obliquely above and behind those

of the inferior bank, and each was fastened in the port with a thong of leather. In

addition to the propelling force of the oars each galley was, as a rule, provided with a

mast and at least one sail. The twenty members of the crew not oarsmen included the

captain, or gubernator, and his subordinate officers and assistants. The steering was

accomplished by means of a rudder at the stern. The vessel in its central part was

overlaid with a deck, level with the bulwarks, and on this deck the marines stood and


The trireme was expected to do service not only by bringing a company of armed men against

a like company of the enemy, but also as a ram to split and run down the opposing galley.

Each ship was armed with a strong beak, called the embolus, projecting straight in front,

sometimes above and sometimes below the water-line, and mailed with a shoe of iron or

bronze. The beak was finished above in the likeness of the head of some animal real or

mythological. The point of superiority in the naval tactics of the times was to drive this

beak into the sides of the enemy's galleys, and send them and their crew