Saturday, April 4, 2015

The First Naval Strike

          The First Naval Strike 

          Μany were seen by my eyes,
          waves like mountains, oversize,
          distant seas and foreign skies,
          which of course was not wise,
          bringing me pain and lots of tears .....

          Many were heard by my ears,
          heard in boats and in the piers,
          in Seattle or in Algiers,
          at Yokohama or at Tangiers……

          A lifetime in the ships, I' ve heard many stories
          about wars and the glories,
          about workers struggles and strikes,
          which every ruler of course dislikes….

         The biggest surprise was when I heard
          that the first strike in the history is referred
          to the time of war against the Persians, before Christ..

          Ιn the opinion of the sailors, the wages did not suffice…
          They went on strike and left their ships,
          stating "we do not work for tips."

          Athens, city and state at the same time,
          proposed a salary increase and overtime…

          Finally an agreement, eight drachmas in a lump sum ...
          In a few minutes they heard the drum,
          which was giving rhythm at triremes,
          proving that undoubtedly all times,
          "money can move mountains", and yes,
          I paraphrase the Nat King Cole,*  is correct 
                                                              your guess..              *Faith can move mountains

          Flying in masts, flags and Banners of the first Republic in history,
          defeated the barbarians, but it has remained a mystery
          who inspired the first strike on earth,
          the death of the exploitation, and the strike birth.

Texts and Narration: Odysseus Heavilayias - ROTTERDAM //
Language adjustments and text adaptation: Kellene G Safis - CHICAGO//
Digital adaptation and text editing: Cathy Rapakoulia Mataraga - PIRAEUS

Νο: 1

* This poem is based on the historical book "The Building of Democracy", by author Angelos S. 55: 

 "Aristotle in 23 of the "Athenian State" says the Supreme Court who had implicitly recognized as supreme authority, distributed to each member of the crew of the ships of 8 drachmas, to agree to embark in the ships"

The Battle of Salamis was fought between an Alliance of Greek city-states and the Persian Empire in September 480 BCE, in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens. It marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece which had begun in 480 BCE.

To block the Persian advance, a small force of Greeks blocked the pass of Thermopylae, 

300 Spartan. After the loss at Thermopylae, the Allies prepared to defend the Isthmus of Corinth while the fleet was withdrawn to nearby Salamis Island.

The Greek fleet formed in line and scored a decisive victory, sinking or capturing at least 300 Persian ships. Afterwards the Persian made no more attempts to conquer the Greek mainland. A number of historians believe that a Persian victory would have hamstrung the development of Ancient Greece, and by extension western civilization, and this has led them to claim that Salamis is one of the most significant battles in human history.

The Tales of a Greek Sailor

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