Over 400,000 people visited Farnam Street last month to learn how to make better decisions, create new ideas, and avoid stupid errors. With more than 100,000 subscribers to our popular weekly digest, we've become an online intellectual hub. To learn more about what we do, start here.

Entering A Foreign Port In Situations Of Uncertainty

Insecurity was built into the seafaring life; any encounter with an unrecognized ship might cause alarm. In situations of uncertainty, galleys would enter a foreign port backward, crossbowmen covering the shore with cranked bows, the orsmen ready to pull out at a blast of the whistle.

— Via City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas