History Of Nautical Piracy Essay

1095 words - 5 pages

Pirates are sea robbers who prey on other ships and rob them of their goods and sometimes capture the ship itself for their own purposes. Piracy began over 2000 years ago in Ancient Greece, when sea robbers threatened the trading routes of the Greek Empire. Since then, this threat has continued amongst seafaring nations until the birth of regular navies. Roman ships were attacked by pirates who seized their cargoes of grain, and olive oil. The Vikings (which means sea-raider) were renowned for attacking shipping and coastal settlements. However, piracy really flourished between 1620 and 1720, and this period is known as the golden age of piracy. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth ...view middle of the document...

They caught on very quickly figuring out that instead of selling their captives into slavery they could make much for money kidnapping higher priority targets and using them for ransom. In 78 B.C. they attacked a Roman galley bound for Rhodes, one of Rome’s allies and famous for upholding a zero tolerance policy towards pirates. On board was a young 25-year-old Roman named Julius Caesar, who apparently “sat and read while his fellow passengers cowered before the sea robbers.” When the pirate captain proposed a 20 talent ransom Julius Ceasar laughed for underestimating his worth and voluntarily offer 50 talents if he was to be set free. Caesar maintained a superior but good-natured air;and told his captors how he was going to punish them when he was released. When the sum was delivered, Caesar immediately gathered four ships of 500 men and returned to where the Cilician fleet was still docked at Pharmacusa, making it easy for Caesar to capture more than 350 of the pirates and reclaim the ransom. He crucified every one of captors, 30 in all (WHAT A LEGEND).
Skipping to the mid 8-11th centurys, we can see the Norse Vikings originating from Scandinavia and spreading as far as Europe, Asia, and the North Atlantic islands. The Vikings commandeered wooden longships with wide, shallow-draft hulls, allowing navigation in rough seas or in shallow river waters, making them extremely versatile. The ships could be landed on beaches and carried long distances do to the lightweight nature of the craft, this in turn caused the viking to be able to spread as far north as Russia, as far west as Greenland, and as far south as Nekor. This period of Viking expansion, known as the Viking Age, constitutes an important element of the medieval history of Scandinavia and the rest of Europe.
The golden age of Piracy was from the 1650's to mid 1720's in the Caribbean and surounding seas. By 1650, France, England and the United Provinces began to develop their colonial empires. This involved considerable seaborne trade, and a general economic improvement: there was money to be made and much of it traveled by ship. French buccaneers were established on northern Hispaniola as early as 1625, but lived at...

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