Sailors of fortune

Before the advent of  Cyber warfare,  when a ruler wanted to extend his (or her) sovereignty beyond the geographic boundaries of mountains or the sea, sailors were called upon.   Three thousand years BCE,  from their largest settlements on Crete, the Minoans had extensive trade with Egypt and the Syrian people of eastern shores of the Mediterranean.  They were wiped out from the sea– literally.   But the Philistines, whom Ramses III battled (his monuments bear witness to his Philistine captives) were likely either Minoan or proto- Roman Etruscan immigrants.  So once again sailors were prominent in history.

The Homeric tales of Greek mythology reflected actual battles of the Mycenaeans (Greeks) with the Trojans about 1100 years BCE in present-day Turkey.  Scholars think these wars were probably for access to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles.  Sailors as soldiers of fortune again made history.  Troy, whether or not fooled by a wooden horse at the time,  was laid waste, and likely sailors had some role.   About 500 years BCE,  the Mycenaeans battled and eventually repulsed invasion of the Persian Xerxes empire (attacking from the sea).   And as Greek seapower grew, sailors extended their reach and culture all through the eastern Mediterranean.

Alexander the Great, the Macedonian, about 300 BCE, created a Greek empire from Europe east to India and south into Egypt.  And the Romans about that time started to extend their reach by land and the sea.  For hundreds of years,  sailors extended the Roman influence from Britain to Egypt and North Africa.

Since the age of Christ,  European sailors have extended empires and trade to and from all corners of the globe. While squabbles between armies and navies are now over football games,  I think each is beholden to the other.   Sailors may have a tradition of rowdiness in ports around the world, but also gained a reputation for “girl in every port”.  FB_IMG_1491759647178From sailors, over the thousands of years of our known history,  we all potentially have some  DNA of people they encountered:  Assyrians, India,  Egyptians, Carthaginians,  Mongols, Polynesians, Chinese or aboriginal (native american or australian).  If not for Sailors of Fortune,  the dust of time would perhaps cover us.

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