Piracy Essay

1688 words - 7 pages

Piracy is typically an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. The term can include acts committed on land, in the air, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore. It does not normally include crimes committed against persons traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator (e.g. one passenger stealing from others on the same vessel). The term has been used throughout history to refer to raids across land borders by non-state agents.Piracy or pirating is the name of a specific crime under customary international law and also the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of States. It is distinguished from privateering, which is authorized by national authorities and therefore a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors.[1] Privateering is considered commerce raiding, and was outlawed by the Peace of Westphalia (1648) for signatories to those treaties.Those who engage in acts of piracy are called pirates.In the 21st century, the international community is facing many problems in bringing pirates tojustice.[2]Etymology[edit]The English "pirate" is derived from the Latin term pirata and that from Greek πειρατής (peiratēs), "brigand",[3] in turn from πειράομαι (peiráomai), "I attempt", from πεῖρα (peîra), "attempt, experience".[4] The word is also cognate to peril.[5]Also, particularly in the 1700s and 1800s, spelling was haphazard, and words such as "Pyrate" or "an act of Pyracy" are examples of some of the accepted ways of spelling in past years.[6]History by region[edit]It may be reasonable to assume that piracy has existed for as long as the oceans were plied for commerce.[7] The following will examine the history of piracy in a few central regions.Europe & Mediterranean[edit]Antiquity[edit]Further information: Ancient Mediterranean piracyMosaic of a Roman Trireme in Tunisia.The earliest documented instances of piracy are the exploits of the Sea Peoples who threatened the Aegean and Mediterranean in the 14th century BC.[8] In classical antiquity, the Illyrians andTyrrhenians were known as pirates, as well as Greeks and Romans. During their voyages thePhoenicians seem to have sometimes resorted to piracy, and specialized in kidnapping boys and girls to be sold as slaves.[9]In the 3rd century BC, pirate attacks on Olympos (city in Anatolia) brought impoverishment. Among some of the most famous ancient pirateering peoples were the Illyrians, populating the western Balkan peninsula. Constantly raiding the Adriatic Sea, the Illyrians caused many conflicts with theRoman Republic. It was not until 168 BC when the Romans finally conquered Illyria and made it a province that their threat was ended.During the 1st century BC, there were pirate states along the Anatolian coast, threatening the commerce of the Roman Empire in the eastern Mediterranean. On one voyage across the...

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