Persistence gained him early sea-duties. Family prestige brought him rapid promotion. Beardless, he became officer-commanding Mediterranean grain convoys; a hard school for a young seaman and a service of rich interest to a budding naval architect. Junius soon discovered that the pirates who preyed on Roman shipping were better served by ships than himself, and sought to improve the standard of escort-craft under his command.
He developed an interest in the liburna, a swift, hard-hitting twindecker which could work to windward under sail and was highly manoeuvrable in enclosed waters. In the course of time he drew plans for tactical evolutions with these craft, and frequently amused himself at sea by deploying them in mock attacks against his convoys.
When the civil war broke out it was natural he should fasten his fortunes on those of Caesar's nephew, Octavian. He was recalled to Rome and given command of the light forces u