With Sparta controlling the ground power in Ancient Greece, Athens had to figure out a way to use what they had to gain a thresh-hold on some power. They did this by using the largest thing avaible to them and that was the coastline and the sea. Athens build a huge naval fleet, which was unmatched during its time. They did this to help protect their new found Democratic government from any attack. It also gave them a new form of mobility that was difficult to find in any other part of the ancient world. The fleet was massive, as were the ships as well. The video below gives specific details about these ships and how they were used in combat.