Steel Clashing. Muskets firing. Cannons booming. Specters appearing through thick smoke with death in their eyes. You’ve not dreaming; you’re under attack from the scourge of the open seas: Pirates.
When most people imagine Pirates today they picture the ever memorable Captain Jack Sparrow from the motion picture Pirates from the Caribbean. What happens I mean – the pirate bandana, the tricorn hat, loose shirt and pants with with an outer vest or pirate jacket with strapping boots. As weapons this imaginative pirate more than likely features a cutlass in a single hand and a flintlock pistol from the other. This concept of pirates, however, doesn’t represent the majority of pirates throughout the ages.
Perhaps so long as everyone has been sailing the seas there have been people preying upon them. Many of the earliest known records of piracy come from Phoenicians well past 1000 BCE. The Roman Republic frequently had difficulties with pirates from the Mediterranean and beyond. In reality, even the famed Julius Caesar spent time as being a pirate prisoner. Eventually Rome had had enough and devoted entire armies to taking out the problem.
Through the Medieval Ages, the most typical pirates were the Vikings in northern Europe. Whilst they preyed totally on land settlements, principle premise of piracy was kept alive – plunder, the allure of most pirates throughout any age. Far southeast in the Vikings, the many Muslim empires and Indian governments had their very own piracy problems as well. The valuable cargo coming from the China was too tantalizing a prize to face up to and merchant ships were often the victims of pirate attacks. Although the majority of the precious spices and silk that Europe and also the Middle East craved a great deal originated China, China itself had many problems with pirates. During the Qing dynasty, 17th – Twentieth century, pirate fleets grew powerful enough to rival the Qing navy!
Still, possibly the most well known and feared pirates of them all were those of hawaii. This is when the enduring picture of a pirate comes from. A swashbuckler. Buccaneer. Pirate. Most active throughout the mid to late 1600s as well as the early 1700s, pirates plagued the islands at sea and on land. Pirates of the age pillaged and plundered until people became afraid at the very sight of your pirate flag. Yet even in this golden age, the real pirate was completely different when compared to concept that most people have of these today.
Pirate ships were a number of the first and most effective true democracies considering that the traditional city states including Athens. Captains were elected through the crew and even though mutinies did happen, if your captain didn’t fit the desires of a crew they often just voted him, or her, out. Crews often decided the place that the ship would go and who it could attack, not the captain. However, certain captains and pirates did be noticeable and became a dominating voice in the realm of piracy: Blackbeard, Sir Francis Drake, Marie-Anne, Henry Morgan, Bartholomew Roberts for example.
Blackbeard and Sir Francis Drake represent two very distinct types of piracy. Blackbeard would have been a ferocious warrior with an unstoppable power in battle. He probably wore the distinct kind of pirate clothing and took an added step of putting slow burning matches under his hat to provide smoke to his already terrifying appearance, producing appear like a fury from Hell. Sir Francis Drake wore wealthier, Renaissance style clothing and drank tea. Seeming much more a noble, Drake’s rich appearance contrasted sharply with all the pure pirate look of Blackbeard. Both men, however, are legendary for exploits. Sir Francis Drake helped defend England from invasion by the Spanish and sunk numerous Spanish ships within the Caribbean and elsewhere. Blackbeard took a large number of ships and terrorized the sea together with his fleet, directing it from his flagship Queen-Anne’s-Revenge.