The maneuver of the Diekplous.
The oldest ancient naval battle is that of Kadesh, which was held between the Egyptian Ramses II and the "peoples of the sea" (mostly Assyrians, Phoenicians and other free peoples of the coast). It is known to us both by famous and detailed bas-reliefs and a brief description of the battle dated with precision. Subsequently ... (battles)
In -201 a battle took place between the Macedonian fleet of Philip V and the coalition fleets of Rhodes and Pergamos. This battle of Chios is well known to us thanks to a detailed description of Polybius (Book XVI-I, the affairs of Macedonia, 2.1 to 7.6.).
2.1 - 2.10: "Seeing that the siege operations were unsuccessful and that the enemy was watching the coast with a large fleet of cataphracting ships, Philip was perplexed and worried about the sequel, as circumstances left him no choice He resumed the sea, contrary to the expectation of his enemies, and had expected that he would persevere in his mine-works, and the Macedonian sought above all to sail suddenly, for he was sure of winning the enemy And when he went along the coast, he arrived safely in Samos, but he was completely mistaken in his calculations, when Attalus and Theophiliscos (the navarch of the Rhodian fleet) saw him sail, and they immediately reacted.
Because, as I have said, they were convinced that Philip would stick to his original plan, but by oars they succeeded in starting the battle, To the right wing of the enemy, who went forward, and Theophiliscos to the left wing. Philip, having no longer time to flee, gave his right wing the signal of the combat by ordering him to face the enemy and to engage the action energetically. He himself, with some Lemboi, retired to the islets in the middle of the strait, to await the outcome of the battle there. The fleet which he put in line consisted of fifty-three cataphract vessels, Vessels, and two hundred small ships, Lemboi and Pristseis. He had not been able to equip the ships which were in Samos. The enemy (an Egyptian squadron disarmed). The enemy, on the other hand, had sixty-five cataphract vessels, including those of Byzantium, nine trihemolies, and three triremes.
* Or Pristis, type of unidentified vessel, near Lemboï.
** The fact that trihemolies are classified in the "non-cataphract" and less numerous than the trire seems to attest a type of "half-trire".
3.1 - 3.14: "The ship of Attalus having engaged the combat, all those who were in the neighborhood immediately threw themselves, without waiting for the orders, one on the other." Attalus came to give against an octere to which he carried a blow After a long battle sustained by the soldiers stationed on the deck of the enemy's ship, he finally sank it, and Philippe's flagship, a deer, A trihemolia having crossed its course, he struck a violent blow in the middle of the hull and remained fixed under the bench of the thranites because the pilot officer had not been able to moderate The dekere, completely paralyzed, could no longer maneuver at all, and two enemy pentères arriched on her, fastened her on both sides at the same time, and sank her with it His crew. On board was Democrates, the navarque of Philip. Towards the same moment, supernatural misadventures arrived at Dionysodoros and Deinocrates, two brothers, both of whom were navarks in the fleet of Attalus. They had rushed against the enemy, one against a heptere, the other against an octere. Deinocrates came up against the octere and his ship received a blow above the waterline, for the prow of the enemy's ship was very high, reaching the Macedonian ship above the water.
He could not at first disengage himself, in spite of all the efforts he made to retreat, and as the Macedonians fought with his heart, he found himself in a most perilous position. Attalus then came to his assistance, and separated the two ships by spurring that of the enemy. Deinocrates was thus saved unexpectedly, while the naval soldiers, enemies after a valiant resistance, were all massacred that the ship itself, abandoned by its crew, fell into the hands of Attalus. When Dionysodorus, having dashed on the enemy's ship to spur it, missed his goal, and spinning alongside his opponent, lost his row of oars to starboard, while the wooden pieces supporting the towers were also broken. As a result of this, the enemy ships surrounded him on all sides, and in the clamor and tumult, the ship of Dionysodoros was sunk with almost all its crew. The navarque himself, with two companions, succeeded in joining by swimming a trihemiolia which came to the rescue.
4.1 - 4.15: "Everywhere else the battle remained undecided, for if Philip outweighed the Lemboi, Attale had more cataphratic vessels, and the situation in the Macedonian right wing was such that , The outcome of the combat being still suspended, the confidence was much greater on the side of Attalus, and the Rhodians, as I have said above, were at first at the moment when they had Paired, far behind the enemy, but as their ships were much faster, they had succeeded in rejoining Philip's rearguard, and taking first the enemy ships which were retreating, they broke their oars. As the other Macedonian ships began to turn to help their comrades in danger, and that the last Rhodian ships, which had reached the open sea with some delay on the others, had now caught up with Theophiliscos, the two fleets lined up To face and bravely engaged the struggle, the men encouraging each other with loud cries as the trumpets sounded. If the Macedonians had not intercalated their Lemboi, between the Cataphractes ships, the decision would ultimately have been obtained after a brief battle. But the lembi of Philip embarrassed the Rhodian ships in their movements, and this in several ways.
As soon as, after the first shock, their order of battle was disturbed, all the ships were caught in a confused melee. As a result, the Rhodians found themselves in a good position to make inroads through the opposing lines, then tack and, in general, to take advantage of their advantages. Indeed, the Lembi sometimes rode on their oars, which they put out of service, sometimes on their prows, and sometimes also on their stern, thus appearing the pilot officers and the rowers. For the frontal attacks, the Rhodians had devised an ingenious process. They had their ships stung in front of them, as they were hit above the waterline, while they touched their opponents beneath, thus opening up irreparable breaches in their hulls. But in this case they seldom resorted to this procedure, as they generally endeavored to avoid collisions because of the valor displayed by the Macedonian soldiers stationed on the bridges in the fighting at the corps- To-body. They generally preferred to sink into the enemy lines in such a way as to put the enemy vessels out of service. Then, turning back, they would return to these ships and hit them either at the stern or flank, while they were still turning. Thus they disembowelled the hull of some, or broke some of the others indispensable to the service of the vessel. They put off a great number of Macedonian ships.
5.1 - 5.9: "Three Rhodian pentères behaved in a particularly brilliant manner during the battle: The flagship bearing Theophiliscos, then the ship commanded by Philistratos, and finally the ship on which Autolycos served as pilot officer and where Nicostratos, who had gone against a Macedonian ship, left his spur planted in his hull, and sent it at the bottom with all his crew, but the ship of Autolycos was now watering by the prow, The men on board fought valiantly, but finally Autolycos, wounded, fell into the sea with his arms, and the brave soldiers of the navy again killed themselves. However, Theophiliscos had tried to bring them relief with three pentres , But as their ship was invaded by water, he did not succeed in rescuing them, but he spurred their enemy ships, whose naval soldiers were thrown overboard.
He soon found himself surrounded by a great number of enemy ships, emblems, or cataphract vessels, and in the course of a heteric struggle, lost almost all his naval soldiers, and himself received three wounds, accomplishing prodigies of audacity. He barely saved his ship with the help of Philostratos, who, having come to his assistance, had played his part in this engagement. After rejoining his own, Theophiliscos rushed again against the enemy, for if he were physically very weakened by his wounds his valiant soul was more ardently and resolute than ever. There were now two naval battles that took place at a good distance from one another. Philippe's right wing, continuing to advance in the direction originally fixed, was no farther from the Asiatic coast, while the left wing, which had tacked to support the rear guard, was fighting against the Rhodians Not far from Chios.
6.1 - 6.13: "Attalus, however, largely dominated the enemy's right wing and was now approaching the islets in front of which Philippe was at anchor, awaiting the outcome of the battle. Who was on the point of sinking, after having been spurred by an enemy ship, he rushed with his two tents to assist him, and as the enemy's ship drew back and went towards the coast, he pursued it with ardor Hoping to catch him, and observing that Attalus had diverged a great deal from his own, he threw himself in his turn with four pentères, three hemiolies, and the few lemboi he had with him. Flew, and could only throw himself on the coast in this perilous danger, and then went with the crew to take refuge at Erythrai, while Philip seized his ships and all the Royal luggage. Had in fact had recourse to a stratagem and had all his precious stuff displayed on the bridges. So the Macedonians who first approached them with their Lemboi, seeing these heaped cuts, these purple cloaks, and all the rest to the end, abandoned the pursuit of the old men to take possession of the booty.
This enabled Attalus to arrive safe and sound in Eritrea. As for Philip, who had hitherto had everywhere and greatly undermined him, his ardor was stimulated by the mishap of Attalus. He went back to the sea and gladly opened his window to try to rally his ships, encouraging his men and assuring them that they were victors. And these were quite tempted to believe him, seeing him thus arrive with the Royal ship of Attale in tow, they could think that the latter had perished. But Dionysodorus suspected what had happened to the King, and, hailing a signal, he rallied his ships. Thus the Pergamon fleet, rapidly regrouped, was able to gain, without being disturbed, the ports of the Asiatic coast. In this time the Macedonian ships which fought against the Rhodians, and who had long suffered, withdrew from the struggle in small groups, by appearing to go and rescue theirs. Thereupon the Rhodian ships took in tow or spilled the enemy's boats, and then retired to Chios.