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first was on the coast of Afric, where they founded the most powerful city of Carthage, which so long contended with Rome for the sovereignty of the world : thence they extended their dominions into Spain, and not so satisfied, coasted it round, still pursuing their discoveries along the coast of France, and even into this island of Great Britain, where they afterwards had a settled trade for tin, and such other commodities as the country then afforded, as may be seen at large in Procopius, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, and many other ancient authors. Pliny, lib. 2. cap. 69, with others, affirms, that in the flourishing times of the republic of Carthage, Hanno being sent out from thence to discover southward, sailed quite round Afric into the Red Sea, and returned the same way; and that Kimilco, setting out at the same time northwards, sailed as far as Thule or Iceland. Both these relations are in part rejected by most authors as fabulous, because it does not appear that the utmost extent of Afric was ever known till the Portuguese in these latter times discovered it; and the very northern parts of Europe were not thoroughly discovered even in the time of the Roman greatness. However, no doubt is to be made but that they sailed very far both ways, and might perhaps add something of their own invention, to gain the more reputation to their undertaking. Nor were they confined to the Mediterranean and westward ocean: it was they that conducted Solomon's fleets to Ophir; and we read in 1 Kings ix. 27, that Hiram (who was king of Tyre, and consequently his men Phoenicians) sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea. And again, chap. x. ver. 11, And the navy also of Hiram that brought gold from Ophir. Thus we see the Phoenicians traded to Ophir before king Solomon, and for him. To enter into the controversy where this Ophir was, is not proper for this place; but the most probable opinions conclude it to be some part of the East Indies, and indeed there is not the least show of reason to place it elsewhere. How they performed these long voyages without the help of the compass, or magnetical needle, would be another no
less difficult inquiry, considering they could not always sail by day, and lie by at night, or continually keep within sight of land, whence tempests at least would often drive them into the open sea; but this is easily solved by all authors, who with one consent inform us, that they were directed by the course of the sun in the day, and by the stars at night. And in this knowledge of the heavens the Phoenicians exceeded all other nations, as may be gathered from Pliny, lib. 5. c. 12, and 19, where he shows that mankind is obliged to the Phoenicians for five things of the greatest use, viz. letters, the knowledge of the stars, the art of navigation, military discipline, and the building of many towns. By this their knowledge of the stars, they recovered themselves when lost in foul weather, and knew how to shape their course across spacious gulfs, and bays, which would have spent them much time in coasting round. However, it must not hence be inferred that they were capable of traversing the vast ocean betwixt Europe and America, as some would endeavour to make out; because it is well known that voyage even with the help of the compass was at first thought impracticable, and when discovered, for some time proved very difficult and dangerous, till time and experience had made it more familiar. The very reason alleged for the possibility of their sailing to the West Indies, which is the certainty of the trade-winds blowing always at east within the tropics, makes against them, because had those winds carried them thither, the vast difficulty in returning the same way would deter them from that enterprise, they being altogether ignorant, and we may say incapable of coming away north, which was accidentally found out many years after the discovery of the West Indies.
The Greeks, though occasionally mentioned before them, were the next in order to the Phoenicians in maritime affairs, and learned the art of them. They not only equalled their masters in this art, but soon excelled them, and gave them several notable overthrows on their own element; for we often find them, though
much inferior in numbers, gaining glorious victories over the Persians, whose fleets were all managed by Phoenicians. One instance or two may serve for all; the first is the famous battle of Salamis, where the confederate Greeks, whose whole force consisted but of three hundred and eighty ships, defeated thirteen hundred of the Persians, with inconsiderable loss to themselves, and incredible to their enemies; as may be seen in Plutarch's lives of Themistocles and Aristides, in Diod. Sic. lib. XI. Herod. lib. VII, and VIII. and others. Again, the Athenian fleet commanded by Cimon lorded it along the coasts of Asia, where closely pursuing the Persian admiral Titraustes, he obliged him to run his ships aground, of which he took two hundred, besides all that perished on the shore. And not so satisfied, Cimon proceeded to Hydrope, where he destroyed seventy sail, which were the peculiar squadron of the Phoenicians; for which particulars see Thucydid. lib. I. cap. 11 and 12. Plutarch in vit. Cimon, and Diod. Sic. lib. XII. These victories were the bane of Greece, which, growing rich with the spoils of the Persians, fell into those vices it had before been a stranger to, and which broke that union which had preserved it against the common enemy. Hence followed the war betwixt the Athenians and Lacedemonians, and several others, where those little states confederating one against another set out many numerous fleets, and strove for the sovereignty of the sea; till having sufficiently weakened themselves, they at length became a prey to others. Yet during their flourishing times, and even in adversity, when driven from home by disasters, they never ceased sending out colonies upon all the coasts of the Mediterranean, and particularly of Asia, Spain, France, Italy, and Sicily. In all which countries they so far extended their empire, that it would fill a volume to give but an indifferent account of them. Yet under Alexander the Great, the founder of the Grecian empire, there are some things so singular that they well deserve a place here. That these latter ages may not boast of the invention of fire ships, we find in Curtius, lib. IV. that
at the siege of Tyre, when a mole was carrying on to join that city to the continent, the inhabitants having loaded a large ship heavily a-stern with sand and stones, to the end the head might rise above the water, and prepared it for their purpose with combustible matter, they drove it violently with sails and oars against the mole, where they set fire to it, the seamen in it escaping in their boats. The mole being in a great measure made of wood, with wooden towers on it, was by this device utterly destroyed. Thus we see the Tyrians successfully invented the first fire ship we read of in history. The next thing remarkable in this mighty conqueror's reign in relation to navigation was his sailing down the river Indus into the Indian ocean; where we may, by the by, observe the wonderful ignorance, not only of his landmen, but even of the sailors, who, as Curtius, lib. IX. testifies, were all astonished and beside themselves at the ebbing and flowing of the river. From hence the same author tells us, Alexander sent his admiral Nearchus to coast along the ocean as far as he could, and return to him with an account of what he should discover. Nearchus accordingly keeping along the Indian and Persian shores, and entering the Persian Gulf, returned to him up the river Euphrates, which was then looked upon as a wonderful discovery, and a great masterpiece of that admiral, for which he received a crown of gold from Alexander. Thus much we have concerning this expedition in Curtius quoted above, and in Plutarch in vit. Alex. Purchas, in his first vol. p. 86, 87, 88, gives a very particular account day by day of this voyage of Nearchus, taken out of Arianus, lib. VIII. who delivers it as Nearchus's journal of the expedition.
Next to the Phoenicians and Greeks, the Romans became sovereigns of the sea; yet not all at once, but after hard struggling with the Carthaginians, then in the height of their power, having by their naval force made themselves masters of the greatest part of Spain, and the coast of Afric, of many islands in the Mediterranean, and being intent upon the conquest of Sicily. This island furnished these mighty cities with an occa
sion of trying their forces on pretence of protecting their allies, but in reality out of a desire of sovereignty. The Romans were altogether unacquainted with naval affairs, insomuch that they knew not how to build a galley; but that the Carthaginians cruizing on the coast of Italy, as we find in Polybius, lib. I. one of their quinquereme galleys happened to fall into the hands of the Romans, who by that model built an hundred of the same sort, and twenty triremes. Whilst the galleys were building, they exercised the seamen in rowing upon the dry shore, causing them to sit in ranks as if they were aboard, with oars in their hands and an officer in the middle, who by signs instructed them how they should all at once dip their oars and recover them out of the water. When the fleet was launched, finding the galleys not artificially built, but sluggish and unweildy, they invented an engine to grapple fast with the enemy at the first shock, that so they might come to handy-strokes, at which they knew themselves superior, and prevent being circumvented by the swiftness of the Carthaginian galleys, and experience of their mariners. This engine they called corvus: it consisted of a large piece of timber set upright on the prow of the vessel, about which was a stage of several ascents of boards well fastened with iron, and at the end of it two massive irons sharp pointed. The whole could be hoisted or lowered by a pulley at the top of the upright timber. This engine they hoisted to the top when the enemy drew near, and when they came to shock ship to ship, they let it run down amain into the enemy's vessel, with which its own weight grappled it so fast that there was no breaking loose; and if the attack happened on the bow, the men went down two and two into the enemy's vessel by the help of the aforementioned scaffold; all which may be seen more fully described in Polybius above quoted. By the help of these engines Duillius the Roman admiral overthrew Hannibal the Carthaginian, though superior to him in number of vessels and experience in maritime affairs, taking his own septireme and fifty other vessels, with great slaughter of his men, though he himself escaped in his boat. This was in the year of Rome 493. In