Pirates are romantically described in different books. We meet them on TV and cinema screens, in the theatre. We play computer “Pirates” games with Pirate flags, adventures and treasure lands. They are associated with certain stereotypical manners of speaking and dress. Many sports teams use "pirate" or a related term such as "raider" or "buccaneer" as their nickname. The Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, both of whom play in the National Football League, also use pirate-related nicknames. Some inventions of pirate culture such as "walking the plank" were popularized by J. M. Barrie's novel, Peter Pan.
In our work we are going to introduce you some interesting facts about Piracy, pirate traditions. We want to show you why people nowadays remember the days of piracy and try to answer some very difficult questions:
Who were those Corsairs? What pirate clothing was fact and what pirate clothing was fiction? Were there real pirate flags? What ships did they sail? And so on. Read our work and get new information.
I. Introduction II.The Main Part
2 The Golden Age 3.Famous Elizabethan Pirates
4. Legends III. Conclusion IV. Literature.
The Start of Piracy
Piracy was a problem thousands of years before the Spanish began to bring gold, silver, and other treasures from the New World back to Spain. Men sailed the seas as pirates when countries began to cross the Oceans and Seas to trade goods with each other. There were powerful pirates that sailed the Mediterranean Sea . These pirates set up a large pirate nation in Cilicia. Barbary corsairs controlled the western part of the Mediterranean. Vikings were brave and strong pirates. They sailed all over the Atlantic Ocean, but especially terorized the European coastlines. Piracy was also active in the waters surrounding Asia. As ships were built bigger and better and men became braver, piracy began to spread into the New World.
Names of Piracy
Pirate: A pirate is really a robber who steals from other ships out at sea.
Corsair: A corsair is a French seaman or privateer who sailed mostly in the South Mediterranean Sea.
Sea robbers:- These pirates robbed in the open to capture riches for themselves.
Ruthless robbers: - Most pirates who earned this nickname were very cruel and did not care if they killed their victims. They just wanted to be rich.
Buccaneers: These pirates were made up of a group of men from Holland, England, France, went to the island of Hispaniola and lived with the Indians there. The Indians used special knives called "boucans" The pirates began to sail the Caribbean Sea and used the boucan knife as a weapon The name buccaneer came from them using the boucan knife.
II.The Main Part
Mediterranean Pirates: These pirates sailed from many different countries that bordered the Mediterranean Sea. Some of these pirates had an agreement with their home countries to share any treasure that they captured. In return, they would not be arrested Finally these pirates were chased out of the Mediteranean Sea by the French and went to live in the Caribbean on the island of Hispaniola.
Map of Mediterranean Sea
When the Roman Empire was destroyed, the people from Scandinavia became the pirates in power. These were the Vikings which means "pirate men". Vikings were very talented. They were called poets, storytellers, ruthless conquerors, explorers, plunderers and barbarians. Vikings lived in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. They sailed the seas between the eighth to the eleventh centuries and most countries were afraid of them. Some people called them Northmen or Norsemen. The Viking ships were called a longship and was a long thin ship.
Pirates of the Mediterranean were known as ‘corsairs’. The most famous corsairs were Muslims from North Africa. They took great pleasure in attacking Christian ships. Corsairs wanted people to sell them as slaves or make them row their ships. Half-naked slaves had to row 20 hours a day!
Pirates in the Orient Piracy was in the Pacific and Indian Oceans too. These pirates sailed the waters near apan and India.
Map of India
The word ‘piracy’ comes from the ancient Greek word for attack. In fact, ancient Greece was home to some of the earliest-known pirates.
Roman pirates once kidnapped young Julius Caesar and kept him for five weeks. They released him after a some money was paid. Then Julius returned and killed them.
In the 16th century, Spain invaded Central and South America, the land of the Incas and Aztecs. For 150 years Spanish galleons carried gold, silver and other riches across the Atlantic Ocean. Pirates attacked and robbed these huge ships.
Some sailors were given permission to attack ships from enemy countries (in return for a share in the loot). These sailors didn’t call themselves pirates, but were known as ‘privateers’.
The most famous British privateers were Francis Drake and Walter Raleigh who were given permission to attack Spanish ships.
Walter Raleigh was beheaded by James I for returning from two voyages empty-handed.
To the EnglishFrancis Drake was a hero who attacked the hated Spanish. To the Spanish he was a pirate who would steal anything.
After the privateers came the buccaneers. When governments stopped giving sailors permission to attack enemy ships, many privateers became pirates , instead. The buccaneers were often joined by criminals, slaves and ex-soldiers - anyone after a treasure. Henry Morgan started as a privateer, but soon | became a famous buccaneer.
Pirates sailed the Indian Ocean for many centuries. They liked the exotic treasures of the East, such as silks, spices and precious stones. The large island of Madagascar was once wild , so it was easy for pirates to hide there.
William Kidd was sent to chase pirates in the Indian Ocean but soon became a pirate himself!
2.The Golden Age .
The Golden Age of piracy lasted for only a short time from 1714 to 1722. By 1730, piracy had nearly disappeared from the Caribbean. During the Golden Age robbed regular merchant ships carrying goods from Europe to the America and back, or slave ships carrying slaves from Africa. Fictional pirates in film and literature present us with a romantic and exotic view of pirates, and while those stereotypes were rarely true, there were plenty of fascinating pirates operating during this “golden” era.
The Brigantine usually had only
two masts with two sails rigged
to each mast,carried about 100 pirates
The Caravel was usually used by the Spanish as a trading ship. They were about 80 feet long.
The Frigate had three masts This ship carried 24 - 38 guns, and about 190 men.
Schooners had a narrow hull and two masts. Itcarried about 75 pirates.
The Merchant ship had a small narrow stern that was used mainly for carrying goods across the ocean, but sometimes for war. It had three masts with 8 or more sails. This was a fast moving ship.
The Sloop had a narrow bow. It moved through waves easily. This ship was smaller and faster than the others,carried about 75 pirates
The Galleon was one of the most popular ships used by pirates .
The Man of War.
The Man-of-War carried 65cannons,but some carried 100. It had threemasts with square sails.
A pirate ship in full sail was a frightening sight. In order to catch and rob treasure galleons, they had to be small and fast. They usually had lots of sails and a large crew. Most pirates lived on ships called schooners or galleys. Schooners were small and had two masts. Galleys were larger ships and had three masts.
Were there real pirate flags? Yes! Pirates flew real pirate flags! Every pirate ship wanted to fly its own version of a pirate flag!
Pirate Flags History
Designing their own pirate flags was a natural progression in the pirate culture and history. Pirate flags were designed to threaten and spread fear.
The Colors of Pirate Flags - the Red Pirate Flags and the Black Pirate flags
The colors of real pirate flags were either red or black. The first pirate flags were in fact red! The colour red in pirate flags symbolized blood.
The French name for the red flag was the Jolie Rouge (some people translated it as Pretty Red ). The pirate flag was called the ‘Jolly Roger’. It was usually a black flag with a white skull and crossed bones.The color black symbolized death. The ‘Jolly Roger’ was raised when a pirate ship decided to attack. This was done to frighten the victims
The Pirate Flags of Calico Jack Rackham
The Pirate flags of Calico Jack Rackham included the picture of a skull with crossed cutlasses on a black background.
When pirates drank rum, they liked to sing a jolly pirate song. Fifteen Men on a Dead Man's Chest Pirate Song .The most famous words are from the first four lines of this pirate song are :
Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest.
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
Drink and the devil had done for the rest.
Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.
The tradition of singing Pirate Songs was an extremely important part in life of a pirate. The pirate song was sung to accompany the hard daily tasks of pirates.
The Golden Age of Pirates! The pirates had a definite style of Pirate Clothing. But what pirate clothing was fact and what pirate clothing was fiction.
The fabrics used in pirate clothing depended on what clothing had been stolen!
List of Pirate Clothing
The following list details the items of pirate clothing and some interesting facts and information about Pirate Clothing:
Bandana - A pirate clothing item which kept the sweat out of eyes.
Tri-cornered hat - made of various materials including leather
Doublet or coat - Expensive item of pirate clothing. Long clothes, decorated with ornate braids and fabrics
Breeches - trousers were generally only worn by English pirates
Knitted caps called Monmouth caps
Stockings - Woollen stockings for practical apparel and silk for land .
Braids and ribbons - adorned various elements of pirate clothing but were also used to braid a pirate beard or hair.
Pirate Boots - high boots, Pirate seamen often went barefoot ( a practical decision)
Pirate belts - these wide belts were worn around the waist and diagonally across the shoulder in order to take the weight of pirate weapons
Fancy buttons - a decorative addition to pirate clothing
Scarves - a flamboyant addition to pirate clothing
Wigs - stolen or purpose made - favored by Pirate captain
Life on Board.
Pirates were at sea for most of the time and their life on board was very hard.The food was awful and the cook was usually a pirate who had lost his arm in a battle and couldn’t do anything else on the ship .Pirate ships were overcrowded and smelly below deck; there was not much space for the crew to sleep.Pirates didn’t get enough vitamins so they got spots and scurvy. They often suffered from dysentery.
Pirate Code of Conduct.
The Pirate Code of Conduct The Pirate Code of Conduct consisted of a number of agreements between the Captain and pirate crew which were called Articles. The Pirate Code of Conduct was necessary as pirates were not governed by any other rules such as Naval regulations. Pirate captains were elected and could lose their position if lost the authority. The captain enjoyed few privileges:
"The Captain or any other Officer is allowed no more [food] than another man, nay,the Captain cannot keep his Cabbin to himself."
Pirates saw themselves as free sailors but they had their own rules of behaviour. Here are some of them:
● You must obey the captain’s orders.
● If you keep a secret from your shipmates you will be left on a desert island with a bottle of water, some gunpowder and a gun with one bullet .
● No lights at night - a pirates sleep should not be disturbed
●No Boys or women allowed on board.
●No fighting between pirates on board the ship.
● A Pension according to the severity of wounds.
●None shall game for money either with dice or cards..
●None shall strike another on board the ship.
Walking the Plank.
When pirates caught other ships they sometimes made their prisoners walk the plank.The victims had to walk blindfold along a plank - until they fell into the sea!
3.Famous Elizabethan Pirates
Picture of Queen
Elizabeth I Queen Elizabeth's 'pirates' brought wealth and power to England! A pirate is a person who robs at sea, or sometimes the shore .
●In August of 1670 he captured the city of Panama using thirty-six ships and two thousand crewmen.
●Was knighted by King George II of England.
● The governor of Jamaica.
●He died in Jamaica.
Women, too, became pirates sometimes. Females dressed as men in order to seek their fortune, or to follow husbands to sea. Two of the most famous women pirates who fought bravely together were Anne Bonny and Mary Read. These ladies struck terror in the hearts of friends and enemies alike..
●Born in London
●Died December 18, 1720
● On aMan-o-War ship at age thirteen.
●Pirate John Rackham captured the ship that she was working on and she joined his crew.
●Rackham's ship was captured and the entire crew was hanged except for Anne Bonny and Read.
●Born in Ireland in 1698
●Died April 25, 1782
●Sailed around Jamaica with pirate Captain John Rackham
●Mary Read, another female pirate, joined their crew
●Lived the life of a male pirate
●Anne Bonny and Mary Read were put in prison
Letter of Marque
A Letter of Marque is a special license that was given to some ship captains.
This was a legal license given by a countries government giving permission to take enemy goods and treasure on the open sea. In other words, it meant that you could be a pirate without going to jail. Weapons
When pirates attacked ships they used the boarding axe to help them scale the sides of the wooden ships.
The axe was also used to break down the doors on captured ships.
The cannons were used while battling with another ship The cannons were made from heavy steel or iron materials. Large ships had to twelve cannons, while smaller ships had not any.
The Musketoon was a short gun. These guns were so small, it was easy to use in tight small spaces and on moving ship decks.
The Flintlock pistol was so light it was favored by pirates for boarding ships.
The cutlass is a short sword that was used around the 16th century as butcher knives. Later the cutlass became favored by pirates .
The dagger was a very small sword . It was also used for fighting hand to hand when a long sword would not be useful.
The rapier is a sword, used for dueling between two pirates.
Hooks were not really used by pirates except in movies like Peter Pan. Some pirates tried to make a hook out of thick pieces of thin metal, but it would not really stay on the end of their arms very well.
Pirates often had to have their legs amputated because infection would set in after they were injured in a battle. The ship's surgeon was usually the ship's cook too. After the leg was amputated a fake leg called a peg leg was made out of a scrap of lumber, but it was too painful to be used for very long, so most pirates just walked with crutches.
It is true that there are treasure islands. They are found in the Gulf of Mexico along the south coast of Texas. One of the main treasure islands is called Padre Island and it is 130 miles long. It is called Treasure Island for two reasons. One reason is that there are many Spanish Galleons that sank during hurricanes near Padre Island. The second reason is that pirates buried their treasure on Padre Island. Every time there is a hurricane treasure coins are washed up on shore.
Though many books and movies tell stories about buried treasure the truth is that very few pirates buried their treasure. Captain William Kidd is suspected to have buried his treasure on Oak Island which is near Nova Scotia, Canada.
Pirates got treasure by stealing it from the treasure fleets The pirates knew that the gold and silver carried by the Spanish ships was stolen, so they didn't think that taking it away from the Spanish thieves was wrong. Many ships sank during strong storms and the treasure was lost at the bottom of the sea.
Spanish DoubloonSpanish Pieces of Eight
Piracy may seem like a romantic life of the past. In reality, piracy is robbery or criminal violence at sea., and today's pirates are far from the lovable characters who populate films like the new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest."There's nothing romantic about piracy," said Capt. PottengalMukundan, the director of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), based in London, England."These are ruthless people who are heavily armed and prey on people that are weaker than them."
Piracy has not gone away. There are still many attacks today.
The number of attacks have been rising ever since. At least 63 people have been taken hostage this year—twice the number of hostages taken in the same period last year.
Modern pirates use some of the same tactics as Golden Age pirates. They often attack ships from astern at night, using grappling hooks and ropes or hooks on poles to board the ship before anyone raises the alarm .As with Golden Age pirates, modern pirates arm themselves heavily. They use guns, knives, grenades and rocket launchers. Unlike Golden Age pirates, who often spent their lives at sea, modern pirates typically operate from shore. They must have access to markets to sell their plunder.
Piracy is typically an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea. But today it can have acts committed on land, in the air, online, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore.
To sum up, the acts of today's pirates are similar to the acts of the famous pirates from over 300 years ago. They still practice kidnapping people , robbing and murdering. They use different technology and skills, but their attacks are as scary as they have always been.
Modern definitions of piracy include the following acts:
Kidnapping of people for ransom
Sabotage resulting in the ship subsequently sinking
Seizure of items or the ship
Shipwrecking done intentionally to a ship
Modern pirates also use a great deal of technology: mobile phones, satellite phones, GPS, Sonar systems, modern speedboats, assault rifles, shotguns, pistols, mounted machine guns, and even RPGs and grenade launchers.
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