Battle of Rhium

The Battle of Rhium or the battle of Chalcis was a naval battle in the Peloponnesian War between an Athenian fleet commanded by Phormio and a Peloponnesian fleet composed of contingents from various states, each with its own commander. The battle came about when the Peloponnesian fleet, numbering 47 triremes, attempted to cross over to the northern shore of the Gulf of Patras to attack Acarnania in support of an offensive in northwestern Greece. In the battle, the Peloponnesian ships, hampered by the fact that many of them were equipped not as fighting vessels but as transports, circled together in a defensive posture. Phormio, taking advantage of his crews' superior seamanship, sailed around the clustered Peloponnesians with his ships, driving the Peloponnesians closer and closer together until they began to foul oars and collide with each other; the Athenians suddenly attacked, routing the Peloponnesians and capturing 12 ships. The summer of 429 BC was marked by a Peloponnesian offensive in the Greek northwest.

The Spartans and their allies hoped to knock several Athenian allies such as Acarnania and Cephallenia out of the war, if possible to capture the Athenian base at Naupactus. The Spartan navarch Cnemus was placed in command of the campaign, he set out against Acarnania with 1,000 hoplites from Sparta, crossing over the Corinthian Gulf unnoticed by the Athenian fleet under Phormio. Combining his forces with 2,000 troops sent from allied states, Cnemus moved against the Acarnanian city of Stratus; the Acarnanians appealed to Phormio for help. The Peloponnesian fleet, was charged with ferrying troops to the southern coast of Acarnania to prevent the residents of that area from supporting their allies inland; as the Peloponnesians moved westward along the south coast of the Gulf of Corinth, the Athenian fleet followed them on the northern shore. The Peloponnesians, with 47 ships, were not concerned about the 20 Athenian ships across the gulf, but they nonetheless left their moorings at night to pass through the strait between Rhium and Cape Antirrhium, hoping to give their pursuers the slip.

This ruse failed, as the Athenians noticed the move and gave chase, catching the Peloponnesians in the open water of the Gulf of Patras. Although the Peloponnesian fleet was numerically superior to the Athenian, many of its ships were rigged out as transports instead of fighting vessels. Thus, as the Athenian fleet approached them, the Peloponnesian commanders ordered their 47 triremes to draw into a circle, prows outward, for defense. In the center of the circle were gathered the smaller ships and the five fastest triremes, which were to plug any gap that opened in the circle. Phormio chose to attack this formation by using a unorthodox tactic, he led his ships, in line, in a tightening circle around the Peloponnesians, darting inwards at times to drive the defending ships closer to each other. This tactic left the Athenians vulnerable to a swift attack, as any of the defending ships would only have to move a short distance straight ahead to ram a circling Athenian ship in the side. No such attack materialized and the Peloponnesians were driven closer and closer together.

At this point, Phormio was aided by his experience with the local weather patterns, which had taught him that a wind blew out of the gulf at dawn. Expecting that this wind would discomfort the inexperienced Peloponnesians but not interfere at all with the work of his own more experienced crews, he waited for the moment it arose to attack; as expected, when the wind blew up the Peloponnesian ships were driven together. At this moment the Athenians rushed in to attack; the rout was total. The Peloponnesian fleet retreated to Cyllene where it met up with Cnemus, retreating from a defeat by the Stratians; this double defeat embarrassed Cnemus, was in general an embarrassing failure for the Spartans. The victory did not, put an end to the Peloponnesian offensive in the Gulf. Within a short period of time the Spartans were able to assemble a larger fleet, this time of 77 triremes. Thus, Phormio's 20 ships were forced to fight on their own, only narrowly preserved Athenian dominance in the gulf at the Battle of Naupactus.

Kagan, Donald. The Peloponnesian War. ISBN 0-670-03211-5 Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. Translated by Richard Crawley – via Wikisource


Powellism is the name given to the political views of Conservative and Ulster Unionist politician Enoch Powell. They derive from his High libertarian outlook; the word "Powellism" was, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, coined by The Economist on 17 July 1965. However, the day before, Iain Macleod had reviewed a book of Powell's speeches entitled A Nation Not Afraid in The Spectator in which he mentioned the word: Enoch Powell has the finest mind in the House of Commons; the best trained and the most exciting. There is an attitude of mind which can be called "Powellism" and it is excellent that now we have the evidence collected in a book; the word was used to describe Powell's views on economics, Powell offered his own definition: " an unlimited faith in the ability of the people to get what they want through peace, profit and a competitive market". Powell was a romantic British nationalist and viewed the nation state as "the ultimate political reality. There is no political reality beyond it".

He believed the British Parliament to be the expression of the British nation and his opposition to British membership of the European Economic Community stemmed from his belief that it would abolish the sovereignty of the British nation state. His views on Britain's relations with the rest of the world derived from the belief in the independent nation state; the United Nations, to Powell, was an "absurdity and a monstrosity" by its nature because it sought to preserve the international status quo without the use of force but that the "rise and growth and disappearance of nations is mediated by force... Without war the sovereign nation is not conceivable". Powell's opposition to mass immigration derived from his nationalist outlook. Powell claimed that the children of Commonwealth immigrants to Britain did "not, by being born in England, become an Englishman. In law he becomes a United Kingdom citizen by birth. Powell claimed that Commonwealth immigration to Britain post-1945 was "in point of numbers out of all comparison greater than anything these islands have experienced before in a thousand years of history".

Powell asserted that as the immigration was concentrated in urban areas, the result would be violence: "I do not believe it is in human nature that a country... should passively watch the transformation of whole areas which lie at the heart of it into alien territory". Powell claimed that his warnings were political: It is the belief that self-identification of each part with the whole is the one essential pre-condition of being a parliamentary nation, that the massive shift in the composition of the population of the inner metropolis and of major towns and cities of England will produce, not fortuitously or avoidably, but by the sheer inevitabilities of human nature in society increasing and more dangerous alienation, he further believed that "parliamentary democracy disintegrates when the national homogeneity of the electorate is broken down by a large and sharp alteration in the composition of the population". To prevent "civil war", Powell advocated a system of voluntary repatriation for immigrants and their descendants, in February 1967, he wrote: The best I can dare hope for is that by the end of the century we shall not be left with a growing and more menacing phenomenon but with fixed and traditional'foreign' areas in certain towns and cities which will remain as the lasting monument of a moment of national aberration.

Roy Lewis stated that for Powell, the situation in Northern Ireland "went down to the roots of his position on nationhood, on British national identity, on the uniqueness of parliamentary government". Powell considered the unionist majority in Northern Ireland to be "part of the nation which inhabits the rest of the United Kingdom" and that Northern Ireland should remain in the United Kingdom. Speaking in March 1971, Powell claimed that "for the past eighteen months a part of the United Kingdom has been under attack from an external enemy assisted by detachments operating inside... when one part of a nation is under attack, the whole is under attack". He claimed that the vocabulary used in the context concealed the truth of the situation: "vocabulary is one of the principal weapons in the enemy's armoury"; those who perpetrated acts of violence, Powell asserted, were not an "extremist" but a criminal and that if their motives were "detaching part of the territory of the United Kingdom and attaching it to a foreign country", they become an "enemy under arms".

Powell considered those who committed crimes because they believed, "however mistaken", that they were thereby helping to safeguard their country's integrity and their right to live under the Crown to be "breaches the peace". Those who committed crimes "with the intention of destroying that integrity and rendering impossible that allegiance" were described as "extremist" and "executing an act of war". Powell disagreed with the notion that members of the British Army were "glorified policeman", designed to keep order between two warring sides. Powell instead argued that they were in Northern Ireland "because an avowed enemy is using force of arms to break down lawful authority... and thereby seize control. The army cannot be'impartial' towards an enemy". Powell, despite earlier supporting the Northern Irish Parliament and redrawing the Irish border to reduce the number of Northern Ireland's Irish nationalists, advocated that Northern Ireland should be politically integrated with the rest of the United Kingdom, treated no differently from its other constituent parts.

He believed that successive British governments, under American pressure, were determined to make Northern Ireland join an all-Ireland state, one way or another. Powell had supported B