Marina nell'antico Egitto
Nave usata da Ramses III contro i Shardana i popoli del mare

Sull’organizzazione della marina da guerra egizia si hanno scarsissime notizie.

Fino dall’epoca tinita gli Egizi furono in rapporti commerciali con i Fenici di Byblos, rapporti il cui carattere pacifico era garantito dalla costante presenza di vascelli da carico attraccati nel porto della città. 

Si è a conoscenza di una flotta di Cheope agli ordini di un certo Merib, bisogna però attendere il regno di Sahura prima di vedere sui muri del suo tempio funerario, ad Abusir, la raffigurazione di una spedizione navale sul Mar Rosso.

Sotto la dinastia successiva, Unas, in una delle sue campagne contro i Beduini del Sinai, utilizzò una flotta da sbarco, ma non si sa se i suoi vascelli fossero equipaggiati per sostenere combattimenti marittimi.

Poche notizie anche per la situazione della marina durante il Medio Regno e pare che i battelli inviati nel paese di Punt non fossero navi da guerra.

Dunque vere e proprie unità da combattimento apparvero soltanto nel Nuovo Regno. Si trattata delle monshu strutturate diversamente rispetto alle imbarcazioni da diporto, che erano invece dette bari.
Proprio al sorgere del Nuovo Regno risale l’autobiografia di Ahmès, figlio di Abana, che servì nella marina sotto Amhose.

Si sa che in quel periodo, sul Nilo, ebbero luogo scontri tra gli Egiziani e gli Hyksos.

Il vero organizzatore della marina faraonica sembra tuttavia essere stato Thutmosi III, il quale, a causa delle sue continue campagne asiatiche, aveva bisogno di possedere una flotta che assicurasse la protezione delle coste ed il trasporto delle truppe. Nell’anno della presa di Quadesh, egli sbarcò con il suo esercito a Simyra, il porto fenicio più vicino alla città e l’anno successivo fu, sempre alla testa della sua flotta, che sottomise i porti fenici.

Ramses III conferì un assetto più stabile alla marina egizia prevedendo la possibilità di assalti da parte di quei valenti marinai che erano i “Popoli del mare”.

E’ proprio grazie ai rilievi che egli fece incidere nel suo tempio di Medinet Habu che siamo a conoscenza di un combattimento navale avvenuto nell’antico Egitto:
“La flotta egizia era stanziata sulle bocche del Nilo, i vascelli avevano caricato le loro vele, i loro arcieri e i loro frombolieri; si era già preso posto sul ponte e sulla gabbia, mentre a prua si tenevano guerrieri armati di mazze e di scudi. I battelli avevano la prua ornata da una testa di leone.

Gli Egizi diedero fondo a tutte le loro frecce prima di passare all’abbordaggio armati soltanto di spade.
Alcuni vascelli furono rovesciati”.

Lo speronamento era sconosciuto, praticamente un combattimento per nave non si differenziava quasi per nulla da una battaglia sulla terraferma. I soldati della marina erano chiamati ueu come i fanti dell’esercito di terra, le navi erano condotte da un ufficiale il “comandante dell’esercito delle navi”.

Esisteva anche il titolo di “superiore delle vele della flotta del faraone”, che corrispondeva più o meno a quello del nostro ammiraglio. Comunque era al visir che spettava il compito di curare il mantenimento della flotta ed era a lui che gli ufficiali di marina consegnavano i propri rapporti.

Quanto alle flotte dei Tolomei, che ebbero nuova e straordinaria importanza nella storia d’Egitto, furono concepite secondo un progetto greco e furono gestite dai greci alla maniera greca.

Tributi di guerra

152 pensiero su “MARINA”
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