In 264 BC, Rome, then a regional power in Italy, went to war with the biggest dog in the Mediterranean: Carthage, a wealthy sea power with a top-noch navy. The Romans had no navy and no sailing experience, but by sheer luck they captured one of the Carthaginian’s best ships and went to use it as a blueprint to build their own fleet. Then came the battles.

For over 20 years there were up and downs, but after losing 700 ships – including one disaster where up to 100.000 soldiers are said to have drowned, it looked like the Romans were on the ropes. But Romans don’t give up. They knew that the Carthaginians were also exhausted by the titanic war effort, and through donations of their wealthiest citizens, they set out to build one last fleet. That fleet would go on to crush the Carthaginians off the coast of Sicily and finish the war. Learn from the Romans: fight, adapt, and never, ever give up.