The Battle of Alalia, By Giuseppe Rava. The Battle of Alalia, ca. 540 BCE, took place in the Sardinian Sea between the Phocaeans and a coalition of Etruscans and Phoenicians. According to Herodotus (1.166.2) the Phocaeans with sixty galleys achieved a "Cadmeian victory," over the coalition forces consisting of one hundred and twenty galleys. Both sides presumably deployed biremes, penteconters with two levels of oarsmen.