Dive into the History of Piracy
14W Health & Safety In The Work_31 (GNED1004-14W-22721)
Professor Katherine Burger
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Definition of Piracy
Piracy is typically an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea ( History of Piracy, )
The Jolly Roger is a flag flown to identify ship as pirate ship.
Names of Piracy
• Pirate: A person who robs from other ships at sea.
• Privateer: A captain of a ship that attacked and caught other ships and rob valuable items from them. A privateer was not a true pirate because the nation’s government would provide them special licenses called a Letter of Marque.
• Corsair: A privateer or French seaman who travelled generally in the South Mediterranean Sea.
• Sea robbers: These pirates were not faithful to any government and roamed in the open seas.
• Ruthless robbers: - They were very cruel and killed their victims. They just wanted to steal. They killed as much as they could and left no witnesses.
• Buccaneers: Few group of men from England, France, Holland and another group of pirates called the Barbary corsairs. These men were chased out of the Barbary Coast by merchant captains from France and England.
Few Recorded Incidence of Piracy
In 3rd century BC, Illyrians were supreme pirates who continuously looted the Adriatic Sea, and were against Roman Republic. The first recorded occurrence of piracy was as early as the 14th century where Sea Peoples threatened the Aegean and Mediterranean voyages.
When the great Roman Emperor Julius Ceaser was on a voyage in the Aegean Sea, he was captured by Cilician pirates. The ransom amount paid to release him was almost fifty talents of gold. After his release, he raised a fleet, killed the pirates who captured him.
The famous Irish saint St. Patrick was captured and enslaved by Irish pirates around 450 AD.
History of Piracy by Region
Mediterranean pirates belonged to countries that bordered the Mediterranean sea. These pirates had some kind of agreement with their home country so that they would not be arrested for any act of piracy. They will give some share of their treasure to their country.
Vikings: The Vikings sailed the sea between the 8 – 11 centrury. They were more powerful and talented. After the destruction of Roman Empire the people from Scandinavia became powerful pirates. Vikings means “pirate men” And they lived in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
These pirates were from North African region and were a small group. They created a pirate empire, Barbary States. These pirated got slaves from countries like England and France.