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History of Piracy in Mediterranean Sea in Ancient Times

Posted on September 3, 2012 by admin There have been 0 comments

History of Piracy in Mediterranean Sea in Ancient Times

The outlaw act called piracy had become a common thing in the ancient times. Time to time, it gained popularity in different regions and created a havoc in the seas. Their influence can be guessed with the fact that pirate shoes and dresses have become the fashion-statements in the recent times. The Mediterranean Sea was the favorite hub for the pirates in the ancient times.

The coasts of the Mediterranean were very favorable for raiding. Its coastal areas were rocky, so the agriculture was not so easy, and the people were highly dependent on fishing. Most of the able-bodied men of those areas used to have their own boats, seafaring skills, and navigation knowledge. Later on, when fishing was not enough for their livelihoods, the people of the coastal villages started raiding the vessels passing through the seas. Those days, trades were impossible in the open oceans and were restricted for the fixed lanes. On the other hand, the land routes were very few, so most of the nations would use the sea routes for their trades. It helped the pirates to raid the sea traders for supporting themselves.

These freebooters of the early ages used to loot the people of any nationality. They were not loyal for any nation. Some of these pirates not only used to plunder the ships and coastal areas, but would also raid the inlands. Because of this, many of the large cities relocated themselves 2 to 10 miles away from the coasts. Raiders did not dare to go to these new areas, as their way to escape was cut because of it. The major cities like Athens, Tiryns and Mycenae, got the cushion of safety because of this relocation. But, it cut them from the benefits of living on the coastal areas. Still, the piracy couldn’t be removed completely. Apart from the original raiders in the pirate shirts, some other men also started to join the pirate ships in order to attack their own ship. Surprisingly, the sailors of the merchant ships also started joining the sea robbers when they had no work, after getting attacked by the pirates. Some of these raiders began to kidnap the people also and selling them to the salve market.

The piracy continued in the later ages also in the Mediterranean up to the Hellenistic period in different forms. Then the Roman period arrived, which was ‘dark age of piracy’. Freebooters were declared the ‘enemies of humanity’ and Romans combated them seriously. They kept zero tolerance policy for the raiders. Still, we read different stories of the wars between the Romans and the sea rovers. Piracy was established in distinct areas, in the later ages, among which Caribbean was most popular. For more about pirates costumes and fashion trends visit our website Today also, this outlaw act is prevalent in the waters of Somalia and Sumatra.

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