Published at 8th of February 2021 03:12:25 PM
Hielos expressed his gratitude at Cornelius for his disguised praise .
Davos said, “Then allow me to recommend a suitable patrol captain for Amendolara . ”
Cornelius immediately cheered up, “Lord archon, please go ahead . ”
“Epiphanes, he will become an outstanding patrol captain . ” Davos then pointed to the back .
“Wha?!” Epiphanes, who was talking with Cid in a low voice, had not expected that he would be named and replied in surprised, “Why me?!”
“For you to focus more of your energy on the administrative affairs of the union and set a good example for your men, instead of scourging the young men of Theonia all day long!” Said Davos half jokingly .
Everyone burst out laughing . It is widely known that Epiphanes likes beautiful young men . In fact many statesmen also have this hobby, but Epiphanes was more obvious . It is not only a trend, but also a tradition for the Greeks to love and care for young men . Even though Davos felt uncomfortable, he still showed respect and didn’t want to force a change . Besides this, what Davos appreciates most about Epiphanes is that on the battlefield, he is able to think calmly and deal with complex situations flexibly, and can always accomplish the tasks given to him and could even exceed his expectations .
Under the pressure of Davos and the repeated pleading of Cornelius, Epiphanes could only agree .
The helpless expression of Epiphanes had once more caused Amintas and the others to burst out laughing .
By this point in the meeting, it was already noon, and Cornelius announced that the meeting would be adjourned for half an hour . Then the slaves, who had been waiting outside the Senate hall, immediately came in to give their masters water and food to fill their stomach .
Even with a half-hour break, Davos still has no free time . So while chewing his bread, he discussed with Scambras and Hielos about the problems that they would need to solve after taking their office and how the two cities should cooperate and strengthen ties with each other in order to cope with the situations that may arise in the south at any time .
Then Kunogelata approached him to discuss how to arrange the five new statesmen . As a statesmen of the senate, their residence should be placed in Thurii in order to make it convenient for them to perform their duties . And even if they were a praetor of other cities, they would still not move out their residence in Thurii . After all, the tenure of a praetor of a city is only two years, while the tenure of a statesman is for life .
There are a lot of public lands in Thurii that are not being used, which is controlled by the senate and will not be granted easily . Naturally, it is not possible to allocate a small land for the new statesmen to build their houses for free, because it is clearly stated in the 《Theonian Land Law》 that even if Davos were to buy a land, he still has to pay the market price . But due to the influx of people in this year, the price of residential land in Thurii has been increasing again and again, and this trend will definitely increase sharply now that Theonia has defeated Crotone .
However, Kunogelata hopes that the land given to the new statesmen by the senate will be sold at the original price in order to show the sincerity of the senate of Theonia and appease these new people .
Davos agreed, and had also considered that in case some of the five new Krimisian statesmen really can’t come up with the money, the treasury will pay it first and they will then repay it back later .
At the end of the half-hour break, the senate meeting continued .
Davos stood up and said his first proposal, “Although Theonia won this war with Crotone, some problems have come out . Among which is the navy, it is the most important and must be urgently solved!”
This sentence had immediately aroused a strong resonance among the statesmen as soon as Davos had said this .
“The archon is right! In this war, the biggest loss that we have suffered from Crotone was due to their fleets that have gone ashore and continuously plundered, burning down many villages in Thurii and killing many of our people . Up to now, the civil servants in Thurii are still suffering in trying to resettle the people and rebuilding their homes!” Complained Kunogelata .
“If we, Theonia, also have a navy, and it is as strong as our army, then Crotone would have long surrendered when we won the battle, and we wouldn’t even need to encircle Krimisa!” Emphasized Amintas .
“The trade of Theonia Union is becoming more and more prosperous, and our territory is also expanding rapidly . And so, we need a strong fleet to protect our maritime trade and prevent our long coastline from being attacked by enemy fleets and having our ports blocked by enemy warships!” Marigi warned loudly .
“That’s right! We need a strong navy to protect the security of Theonia Union!” Everyone agreed .
“Now that we have reached a consensus, my proposal is -” Davos looked at everyone and then said, “Besides accelerating the completion of the triremes that are under construction, we will also build seven more triremes this year . I had asked Enanilus about it and told me that Thurii’s shipyard doesn’t have enough docks to fulfill such a large order, but Krimisa also has a large shipyard and has the ability to manufacture triremes, so we can hand in a small part of the order to them . In the future, we will build ten triremes every year, until we have a fleet of triremes five years later . At the same time, we will also have ten medium-sized warships(i . e, hundred-man warships) and another ten small warships . Thus we will have a more powerful Theonian Navy . ”
Everyone thought that the plan was feasible, and only Mersis disagreed, “No! No way! With that, the Union will spend more than 100 talents a year! That is too much!” (T/N: Ancient Greek currency goes 1 Talent = 60 Minae = 6,000 Drachmae = 36,000 Oboloi . )
“Although it will cost us a bit more, I think that our treasury can afford it . Last year, we had only collected land tax, land rent tax and trade tax alone, but this year, the lowest estimate given by Marigi is that the treasury’s revenue will at least double . ” When Davos said this, many of the statesmen were surprised . Unknowingly, the revenue of Theonia was almost equal to that of Taranto and Crotone, and it should be more than enough to spend a small part of the money to build a fleet .
“Lord Mersis and everyone, in fact, it wouldn’t even cost more than a hundred talents to build ten triremes a year . ” Marigi stood up and reminded them, “The cost of building a warship mainly consists of two parts, one is the timber, and the other is the manufacturing . However, there are countless cedars of high quality in the mountains of our union’s territory, especially in the mountains of Lucania, which are the most suitable when constructing triremes . I heard that back then, there was a special agreement between Athens and Thurii, with Thurii providing Athens with a certain amount of timber for shipbuilding every year . ”
“There is indeed such an agreement of Thurii providing Athens with at least a thousand pieces of timber for shipbuilding every year, and if necessary, it will be doubled . ” Said Enanilus . At the beginning, in order to complete the agreement, the Thurians had cut down a large number of trees for decades . Although they earned some money, the cedar trees in the mountains around Thurii became fewer . Moreover, there were more than a dozen large shipyards in Athens, and so there was no need to make the ships in Thurii . Therefore, the family of Enanilus had always complained about this . Later, there were many barren mountains around Thurii due to excessive logging, and the Thurians soon noticed the disadvantages, and so they began buying timber from the other city-states in Magna Graecia and then selling it to Athens while earning some difference .
“In the latter part of the war between Athens and Sparta, we were forced to cancel the agreement after the navy of Sparta held the advantage . ” Added Kunogelata .
Davos nodded . As the archon of the union, he naturally knows about this agreement and even thinks that the reasoning for why the Athenian strategos, Pericles, agreed to the establishment of Thurii and had called for the establishment of a great pan Greek city-state was just a high sounding reason, and the real strategic purpose was for timber . Athens had two natural defects . First, they couldn’t produce much local food and had to rely on imports to maintain the needs of their city-state’s huge population . Therefore, they have built many colonies along the coast of Greece leading to the black sea or had controlled major city-states, such as Byzantium, and in order for them to ensure the smooth passage of food from the Black Sea, they need a strong navy . And the Athenians also ambitiously want to build a strong Mediterranean Greek city-state alliance, which also needed a strong navy . However, the second major defect of Athens is that it does not have many forests in its native land, and there are no trees that can make high-quality warships . What’s more, with the size of Athens navy and merchant ships, the required timber is bound to be a lot . Therefore, looking for timbers for shipbuilding has become a strategic issue related to whether Athens can maintain its strength . Egypt has no forest and even though Persia has timber, they will not sell it to their enemy, Athens . Though northern Greece and Thrace has forest, it is however located inland, cutting and transportation will be a problem, which will make the cost to be high, so Magna Graecia, which has the Apennine mountains running through it, has become an important timber purchasing location for Athens, and Thurii, which was established by the Athenians, was naturally the main supplier of timber .
“So I would like to ask the senate to discuss a plan to allow the union’s slaves to cut down a certain number of cedars every year to be used as timbers for the warship and it wouldn’t even cost us an obol . As for the manufacturing costs-” Marigi looked at Enanilus and said, while seemingly joking, “I don’t think that lord Enanilus will charge the union a high fee . ”
Enanilus smiled helplessly .
Everyone thought that Marigi was reasonable, and their worry about the cost dissipated a lot .
“But have you considered the maintenance of these warships after they are built? It is also a huge expense!” Said Mersis unconvinced .
“Enanilus and I already had a discussion regarding this . ” Said Davos, and Enanilus nodded indicating that what Davos said is the truth .
“We will naturally not leave the warships idle at the dock when there is no war . Except for a small part of them that will be use to patrol the coast of the union and some of them getting repaired in the dock, the rest can serve as escorts for the merchant ships, especially in the passage from the estuary of the Adriatic sea to the Greek mainland, where there are frequent incidents of piracy . They can also temporarily serve as a large cargo ship in order to transport goods for friendly city states…you see, our navy will not only earn its maintenance costs, but it will also train the seamen’s navigation skills, wouldn’t this be great?” When Davos finished with his thoughts, Mersis stopped talking .
“In addition, we need to find a qualified commander(nauarch) for the coming navy of Theonia . His current task will be to assist the military officer – Philesius, supervise the construction of warships, cooperate with the financial officer – Mersis in auditing the payment, and in the future, when the warship is built, he will also be the one in charge in recruiting sailors and crew members, conducting regular military training, arranging coastal patrol and -” Davos said emphatically, “Win the naval battle . Do you have any qualified candidates to recommend?”