Talk:Byzantine navy

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Featured article Byzantine navy is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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Gosh darnit, this does need cleaned up. A lot. A pity I don't know anything about the Byzantine fleet...

--- You do have to admit, however, that it is a hilarious article, even if it doesn't conform to any standards of quality... Morgan2317 17:28, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

I think the section for Greek fire is too long and needs to be merged with the Greek fire article--Cigor 18:55, 21 August 2005 (UTC)

The article is in good shape, IMHO. Does anybody object if I remove context and cleanup tags? --Cigor 14:42, 29 September 2005 (UTC)

Remove away - but maybe reword Context as introduction? I only put 'context' as the working title when I wrote it, forgot to change it. Or perhaps add the paragragh to the begining of the article in italics with no heading? Elias Bizannes 16:20, 29 September 2005 (UTC)
Ok, I waited 10+ days, it appears nobody minds. Eliasbizannes, thanks for the feedback the article may needs couple of tweaks but I think it’s pretty decent (altough it’s imposible to cover 10 centuries history in such a short article). --Cigor 07:47, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

I 've stumbled upon this article and while adding few wikilinks, I saw terms like "desert people", "police". I'm afraid it needs a little cleanup. +MATIA 09:51, 9 October 2005 (UTC)

Since I am the “culprit” for both terms I feel the need to explain:
  • Police: This is directly from Britannica 1911: Police here means mainly anti-pirate/smuggling activities.
  • Desert: The original sentence from Ostrogorski’s book is ‘’…This was a completely new problem for a desert race…’’ . I thought the race is rather strong so I changed it. But Arabia is not quite the bread basket of the world.
However you may be right about extra cleaning, so I’ll put that tag on. But as for context, I think we have more than enough. --Cigor 14:20, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
How can one maintain the thought of the Arabs as a desert people, when they for centuries kept a virtual monopoly on spice, myrrhe and frankinsense trade to/from the far east? They were extremely verse in seafaring across long distances, since early Roman days (see Arabia Felix) or even before. Mhaesen 14:47, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Before 644, the Arabs had no fleet. As for the spice monopoly, the major trade route was the land route from India, Middle East which was controlled by the Arabs and then Europe. I really don’t understand why some people are having issues with this, nothing wrong being desert people.--Cigor 14:58, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Always good to split some hairs, that's what makes a good encyclopedia: before 644, the Arabs did not have a fleet in the Mediterranean. May I quote, as an example, from Dilmun: Dilmun (sometimes transliterated Telmun) is associated with ancient sites on the islands of Bahrain in the Persian Gulf. Because of its location along the sea trade routes linking Mesopotamia with the Indus Valley Civilization, Dilmun developed in the Bronze Age, from ca. 3000 BC, into one of the greatest entrepôts of trade of the ancient world. Indeed, nothing wrong with being a desert people, however, by denying the Arabs their rightfull legacy as seafarers, it would seem as if the Byzantine navy had a very hard time dealing with naval 'new kids on the block', which in turn begrudges the Byzantines of their actual marine power. Mhaesen 16:17, 14 December 2005 (UTC)
Good point, Mhaesen. I admit I was just putting the stuff about desert people from Ostrogorski’s book. No injustice intended. --Cigor 17:17, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

Oarsmen and Marines[edit]

Should we open up a section on the Byzantines' naval strength? As shown by number of Marines and Oarsmen in the Aegean, Cibyrrhaeot, Hellas and Samos Themes, plus the Imperial Fleet? I have the 773 to 899 numbers. Dryzen 13:17, 4 July 2006 (UTC)

Minor comment on Byzantine history[edit]

With regard to the following statment

Although the Eastern Empire was a direct continuation of the Roman empire begun by Augustus, it developed its own unique culture and identity that in hindsight, appears to be Roman only in name.

I believe that this a fairly controversial statement given the leanings of modern historians. That is, it can be said that arguing that the late "Byzantine" empire was very different from the earlier "Roman" empire is really a lot like saying the modern United States is a different nation from that founded in 1776. Certainly such an argument could be made but the reality is that it is still the same state and one would expect that any nation changes over time. In the case of the Roman Empire there was a span of over a thousand years so one would certainly expect substantial changes over that time (certainly the Roman state when Rome fell was quite different than the state that existed when G. Julius Caesar was born). The fact that the primary language of the Eastern court changed to Greek (it had been the language of the people long before the fall of Rome) is really no different from the fact that Norman Britain switched from French back to English as the language of the court. It was still the same state with a continuity of culture (i.e. continually changing culture) regardless of the change in language.

I believe a discussion of the continuity of the Roman heritage is probably best left for the article on the "Byzantine Empire." I think this article should be more neutral on this point simply saying something to the effect that "Byzantine" is the name that western historians of the past few centuries (until recently) have assigned to the Eastern Empire after the Western Empire was lost. --Mcorazao 16:09, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree, this article spends too much time discussing the contunuity or otherwise with the earlier Roman Empire. Such a discussion is not directly applicable to the Byzantine navy, and merely makes the article appear contorted and apologetic. If no-one objects, I might cut these references down to a brief comment. --Iacobus 01:59, 13 December 2006 (UTC) (talk · contribs)[edit]

I'm unsure at the veracity of user's adits, at the very least his numbers (unsourced) seems far too large. His delivery is also suspect. Hopefully clearity will be given.--Dryzen 15:56, 7 November 2006 (UTC)


Merging some of the text describing the different varieties of dromon into the more specific article -- Matt 04:01, 17 May 2007 (UTC)

GA passes[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)

Great job! I'm impressed by the great usage of sources, the cleanliness of the article structure, and the comprehensiveness of the material covered.

  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):

Yep, no doubts there Tagmatarchos (talk) 08:47, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

  1. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  2. It is stable.
    No edit wars etc.:
  3. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    There is a surprising lack of images for this article, but since all relevant images would be PD, it's not that big of a problem.
  4. Overall:
    I'm going to look for more images since some sections were a bit spotty. Overall, great work! --Hemlock Martinis (talk) 17:21, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Medieval ships[edit]

WP has a rather thin article on Medieval ships, which would benefit from some fattening from here and cross-linking, if anyone's keen. Gwinva (talk) 02:00, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Empty first sentence[edit]

The Byzantine navy comprised the naval forces of the Byzantine Empire.

Really, who'd've guessed that. JIMp talk·cont 04:13, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

It's not unencyclopedic. Reader A thought maybe "Byzantine navy" was a color. Reader B hasn't heard of the "Byzantine Empire". Such is the unglamorous, orienting purpose of the first sentence of most of our articles. I'm not saying it couldn't be improved, but the simple-definition aspect would still be there. Outriggr (talk) 04:32, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Nice article, by the way. Forest for the trees, as usual, around here. Outriggr (talk) 04:33, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Here's an opening sentence that combines the first two: "The navy of the Byzantine Empire, like the empire it served, developed directly from its earlier imperial Roman counterpart...[, but in comparison with its precursor played a far greater role in the defense and survival of the state.]" Is something like that better? It's OK, but to me a dead simple topic sentence before that idea is presented is not a bad thing, given diverse readership. Outriggr (talk) 06:09, 1 October 2009 (UTC)
Yes, the reason I included it like that was pretty much as Outriggr states. It serves the purpose of precisely identifying the scope of the article, i.e. the naval forces of the Byzantine Empire, handled as a single topic, from 330 to 1453. It is more important a point than it seems. Just as an example, the "Byzantine navy" of 400 AD was, as one would expect, quite different from that of 800 AD or 1280 AD, and the point where it changed from "late Roman" to "Byzantine" could also be a point of contention. On the other hand, I don't have a particular problem with Outriggr's suggestion either. Regards, Constantine 07:59, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Control of the sea[edit]

...and control of the Aegean passed definitively to the Italian and Ottoman navies.

Not wanting to be picky, but as long as the Byzantine empire existed (-1453), the Ottomans did not have a navy worth its name. They only started to field one in the late 15th century in their wars against Venice. Until then, control of the Aegean Sea, as the whole Levante, lay with the Italians, mainly Venice and Genua. Gun Powder Ma (talk) 13:05, 14 March 2010 (UTC)


What dialect of English is this supposed to be in? --John (talk) 18:00, 22 April 2014 (UTC)

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