The Past Rewound

The Phoenicians built the first ships capable of sailing the open water of the Mediterranean, and purpose built warships were not far behind. Carthage and Rome contested for dominance of the western Mediterranean, and a thousand years later Venice controlled the trade routes to the Eastern world through naval dominance of the Adriatic. Control of the undersea littoral of the South China Sea is but the latest chapter in the ongoing saga, for who controls the sea controls the world.

Sharp beaked, low slung, lateen rigged
The galley ruled the waves
Purpose built for stealth and speed
And oared by bench chained slaves
But in the northern coastal states
Swift race-built ships took flight
Galleons of sturdy oak
Square rigged and built to fight
Then iron and steel, coal fired steam
To hide one must submerge
To blindly creep close into shore
Where shipping hugged the verge
And so full circle we have come
At depth no longer bound
Purpose built for stealth and speed
The galley’s past rewound

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