|Quinquereme and Corvus (A Roman warship and an assault bridge, First Punic War) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
|Romans attached corvi to their ships so they could board and seize enemy vessels. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
During the First Punic War (264-241 B.C.) with Carthage, Rome had no choice but to challenge Carthaginian naval power. And Rome was bold enough to do it:
No better proof could be given of the self-confidence of the city and its determination to win. There was no naval tradition, no experience of shipbuilding, no trained crews. A grounded Carthaginian ship had to be used as a model with crews being trained on land as the first hundred quinqueremes were being built, according to the historian Polybius in only sixty days.
Charles Freeman, Egypt, Greece, and Rome: Civilizations of the Ancient Mediterranean 2nd ed. (Oxford Univ. Press, 2004), p. 384.
Yet, the war remained very difficult for Rome; but, in the end, she won with a grand naval victory: the newcomer to naval fighting beat the veteran at naval warfare.