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Mare Nostrum . Mare Nostrum was the Roman name for the Mediterranean Sea, an inter-continental sea situated among Europe, Africa and Asia.

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Mare Nostrum was the Roman name for the Mediterranean Sea, an inter-continental sea situated among Europe, Africa and Asia.

It represents a real connection for the Mediterranean basin territories. It is considered as the main scene of the history and culture of the western countries.

the roman naval history

The Roman NavalHistory

Rome had a strategic position due to its climate and its geographical nature.

By the end of the VI century b.C., the Romans became more powerful thanks to their rule over the whole Mediterranean Sea.In 260 b.C. the Romans faced their first sea battle against Carthage, the major naval and commercial force of that period, carrying off a victory and achieving complete mastery of the inland sea. 

the pirate attacks
The pirateattacks

Whilethe Romans werethe indiscussedMediterraneanmasters, the pirateswerestrongerthaneverbecause of theirmainactivity of slavestrade.

When the piratesbeganto damage the Roman tradesby sackingtemples and towns, the Romans reactedcruelly. In factpiratesattackscaused a lack of wheatsupplies with the consequentincrease of prices.

the roman ships
The Roman ships

Throughout their history, the Romans were great knowers of the art of building ships, applying sophisticated and innovative techniques in mechanics, hydraulics and naval architecture.



The Romansused a particularmilitaryboardingdevice, called corvus or harpago, in naval warfare.a system of pulleys allowed the raising up and lowing down of this bridge.

Spikes shaped as birds’ beaks pierced the enemy ship's deck, thus allowing a firm gripping.

As the Roman navalskillsdeveloped, the corvusdevicewaslessusefulland thenitwasused no more.

merchant ships
Merchant ships

During the Imperial period was used an extraordinary

typological variety of ships from vessels for short and

medium-length coastal voyages, to large merchant ships,

including a range of vessels for fishing, auxiliary ships and

other particular functions.

Their names depended on their origin and hull shape such

as corbita, gaulus, ponto, cladivata.

From a technical point of view, however, there was a certain

typological homogeneity among these vessels as a

consequence of the exchanges across the mare nostrum.

the roman ships of albenga
The Roman shipsof Albenga

The Albenga wreck was a Roman cargo ship found at 42m depth, excavated and investigated in 1950. The ship was probably capable of carrying 10,000 amphorae.The ship sank in the waters of Albenga in the 1st century BC. These were full of Campanian wine together with pottery and crockery.

It is the largest known Roman freighter ever found in the Mediterranean.

the goods
The goods

The Romans imported:

-amber from the Baltic Sea -silks and damasks from the Chinese-blown glass from the Phoenicians-parchment from Pergamon-perfumes, cosmetics and textiles from the Anatolian-an alloy of gold and silver from Lydia-iron from Poland


The city of Rome required large quantities of food daily:


They also needed timber, coal, wool, cotton, spices.

All these goods were transported mainly by ships across the

Mediterranean Sea.