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The Carthaginian Navy: Questions And Assumptions

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers both the institutional and operational aspects of the Punic navy, and describes that an appreciation of both is essential for understanding the nature of Carthaginian 'thalassocracy'. It discusses the current state of knowledge in a number of key areas: the Punic naval landscape embodied by its network of harbors and naval bases, the resources of the state, the organisation and structure of fleets, and their modes of operation. The chapter attempts to draw out some further observations about the nature of Punic naval warfare, reflecting upon the naval ideology and strategic culture of the Carthaginians. It explains that the fleet can be understood as both an expression of the cultural and military outlook of the Carthaginians, and also as a flexible tool in the expansion and maintenance of Carthaginian imperial power.

Keywords: Carthaginian navy; Punic naval warfare; thalassocracy



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