"Nobody knows more about the history of oared ships around the world than John Hale, and he combines with it a knowledge of and love for the ancient Athenians that helps explain their achievement. To provide a new angle from which to view and understand the experience of the Athenians of the Classical age is a remarkable feat, but Lords of the Sea accomplishes just that. The writing is utterly captivating and makes the reader feel he is back in ancient Athens among the great poets, historians, sculptors, architects, soldiers and sailors, all of whom were connected in important ways to the Athenian navy."
- Donald Kagan, author of The Peloponnesian War
"The dazzling moment of Golden Age Athens was built on democracy, silver, reason and power. It was arguably the most creative moment in history, when western architecture, philosophy, drama and politics were all given their fundamental form. Behind it all was the Athenian navy, its life and fortunes described here with exemplary clarity and a vivid engagement with the visceral realities of battle and the sea. John Hale combines fluent readability with up-to-date scholarship and a sense that in these pages you are witnessing not only a driving collective enterprise but the foundation-level struggles of our own world. This is tour de force of historical imagination."
- Adam Nicolson Author of the New York Times bestsellers God's Secretaries: The Making of the King James Bible and Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty, and Nelson's Battle of Trafalgar
"Hale's simple but vigorous sentences prick up your ears from the first page... one hopes to hear more from him."
-New York Times (Dwight Garner)
"Compulsively readable...history so brilliantly told that, like the Athenian democracy, it is truly for all people."
-Louisville Courier-Journal (David Jones)
"Absorbing reading for those interested in either Greek or naval history...well- documented, with numerous maps, a chronology and glossary."
-Charleston Post and Courier (Lisa Isringhausen)
"You'd have to be half asleep to not become hooked by the first few paragraphs of Hale's Lords of the Sea."
-Cleveland Plain Dealer (Jean Dubail)
About the Author
John R. Hale studied at Yale and Cambridge before embarking on an archaeological career that includes extensive underwater searches for ancient warships. He has written for Antiquity, Journal of Roman Archaeology, and Scientific American and has been profiled by NPR and The New York Times. He has also been featured in documentaries broadcast by The Discovery Channel and The History Channel. He is currently the director of liberal studies at the University of Louisville.