The Sea Peoples

My first topic is about the Sea Peoples. My personal questions about them are… Were the Sea Peoples cruel, uncivilized pirates? Who were the sea peoples? Well, I did some required research and answered those questions.
The Sea Peoples

Were the Sea Peoples cruel? In some ways yes, but here are the facts: they sometimes traded, but also engaged in piracy. Honestly, trading seems like something that more civilized people do, unless they took expensive things from people for unfair prices or fake things. Apparently, the Sea Peoples were not strictly real pirates. The Sea Peoples were made up of tribes, which I will talk more about in my next paragraph. They were formed by aggressive other tribes with ships. Apparently, they wanted to be like those people with the ships. So, if it said aggressive, that may be one of the traits that they caught from those other tribes. They were raiders also. Raiders doesn't necessarily mean they raided in a cruel way, but only the Sea Peoples know. However, I found out that they did have a diplomatic relationship with Egyptians.
Sea Peoples Hieroglyphs

So, who were these Sea Peoples? The Sea Peoples lived in tribes, and the tribes were Shardana, Denyen, Peleset, Shekelesh, Weshesh, and Tjeker. These tribes migrated, sort of like a flock of geese. Although they had a diplomatic relationship with the Egyptians, they raided the Egyptian’s empire. They were located around the Aegean, Adriatic, and the Western Mediterranean area. They were a confederacy of seafaring raiders. Their time was in the second millennium BC. Maybe multiple times, they tried to enter or control Egypt. So much for a diplomatic relationship. That is all I have learned about the Peoples of the Sea.

By: Camden

Greek Piracy
The following is information about the Greek pirates. My focus questions were who, where, and when did the Greek Pirates come from, and where did they raid?

Greek Pirates
My first question is who are the Greek Pirates? There were Dorian Greeks, Greeks from Crete, and there also were Lycian Pirates. Dorians, Cretes, and Lycians-Oh my! So where did the Dorians, Cretes, and Lycians come from and where did they go? Well, some came from Crete, and the other came from their homelands. So when did these pirates raid? Well, my sources lacked information about when; it just said that they were ancient Greek Pirates.

The Greek Pirates Attack

So where did the Greeks raid? They raided in many places, mostly around the eastern Mediterranean Sea. There were pirate bases dotting most of the the eastern Mediterranean. They also used Cretan cities as bases. They raided around Cilicia also. So they raided in the areas that they came from. That’s all about those Greek Pirates!

By: Camden

The Cilicians

The Cilicians are my second group of pirates. My questions were: How was Julius Caesar involved with these pirates (I found his name multiple names while skimming), and were they bloodthirsty pirates?

Julius Caeser approves this paragraph
Well, Julius Caesar was held for a ransom by these pirates. For ransom he was held for 25 talents, the second time it was doubled. Who were they ransoming exactly? The Romans. So, he manned a few pirate ships to gain his vengeance. He went to the pirates’ lair and he destroyed the whole thing. He then had the people who captured him crucified. So, Julius Caesar was a major part of their piracy.

The main base of the Cilicians

So were they bloodthirsty? This is what I found: They took advantage of a war in the Eastern Mediterranean to attack unsuspecting places. Well, as you already know, they took people like Julius Caesar as captives and held ransom. They did make allies though, because they allied with a man named Pontus. They challenged Rome, and they hindered the trade going on. So overall, they were not the cruelest pirates ever.

By: Camden

Piracy in the Ancient World: Going Old School Piracy

This is a picture of Dionysos hunting pirates.
This is a picture of Dionysos hunting pirates.

How long ago do you think piracy started: 15th century, 14th century, even 8th century? Well, all of those are wrong. Piracy actually goes back as far as 1350 B.C. Some of the first pirates operated in the Mediterranean. Even though these first pirates are not mentioned after the 11th century B.C., their existence is proof that piracy was not just a recent occurrence. The appearance of sea raiders crippled the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean basin as the Dark Ages began. It seemed that Maritime trade would dwindle during this time, making piracy decrease as well. However, pirate activity was widespread. As the Greek and Persian civilizations rose to power, they created strong navies to patrol their waters. Rome was also able to keep piracy at bay by destroying pirate communities. The Mediterranean was made immune to pirate attack for an incredible four centuries while monitored by the Roman Empire. Even so, piracy was not completely eliminated. That proves that piracy is ancient, and will always be around.

By: Kalen

The Byzantine Pirates

My two key questions for the Byzantine pirates were: 1. Who contributed to the existence of these pirates? and 2. Where, when, and who are the origins of these pirates?

A byzantine pirate base
So who contributed to the existence of these pirates? Well, arrested seamen became scapegoats. The scapegoats then turned to piracy. A scapegoat is someone accused of a wrongdoing or fault. They also were Italian pirates. These pirates practiced piracy in the Baltic Sea. Since these people were scapegoats, they turned to piracy against the Byzantine Empire.

The Byzantine Empire

Where and when are the origins of these Pirates? The Byzantine Empire was formed in 330 AD. Their bases were located on Aegean islands dotting the sea. These pirates were Italian, so they mainly raided the seas around Italy. They also had bases in Constantinople. Constantinople was the name of a city in the Byzantine Empire. However, Constantinople was sacked in 1204 AD. To summarize, these were Italian Pirates in the Byzantine Empire.

By: Camden

The Pirates of Northern Europe: European Criminals with Boats
Jean-David Nau was one of the last pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy.

After Europe was invaded by barbarians, it was thrust into what is known as the Dark Ages. Raiders were responsible by bringing maritime commerce to a standstill. Attempts to get things moving again were ended in the 8th century by the Viking attacks. The waters of northern Europe for the next 300 years were dominated by Scandinavian raiders, followed by Norse settlers. The feudal system was adopted in the 10th and 11th centuries, yet Scandinavian traders established fortified posts that gradually developed into ports by the 12th century. Piracy was also brought on by an increase in the maritime trade. Norse raiding parties went as far as Russia in the Mediterranean, and piracy formed part of daily life during the early medieval period. By the 13th century, attacks become more selective due to national and city identities. The feudal rulers of Europe even tried to harness piracy for their own purposes. Norse pirates dominated the area of northern Europe during the Middle Ages. Europe probably had more pirates than anywhere else. European pirates were by far the most notorious.

By: Kalen

The Knights of Malta: Christian Corsairs
This picture depicts what a Knight of Malta would have worn in combat.

The Knights of Malta were a Christian organization, who fought Muslims, the Ottoman Empire, and anti-Christian organizations. The Knights were brutal and highly trained soldiers. No one really knows when The Knights were formed, but we do know when their name became The Knights of Malta. The Knights were originally called The Knights of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (really long name, right?). You may think that because the Knights were Christians, that they had mercy. WRONG! The Knights almost never had mercy; they even took other Christian ships and usually killed the crew. They especially hated and hunted the Muslims. The Knights killed every one onboard a Muslim ship. The Muslims almost always fought back because they knew the Knights would have no mercy. Then the Ottoman Empire started to take over. The Knights, foolishly, started attacking the shipping routes of the Ottoman Empire. Then, when the Knights captured an Ottoman galleon in the Adriatic by Romegas in 1564, the Ottoman Emperor became enraged. In retaliation, the Ottoman Empire attacked the Knights of Malta and drove them from Malta, which took them four months.

By: Kalen

The Buccaneers: Hobos by Day, Assassins by Night
Francis Drake was one of the very few pirates to be knighted.

During the 1620s, men who hated Spain began to attack Spain’s coastal shipping between Hispaniola (modern Haiti) and Cuba. These men were French settlers who had been driven from their homes by the Spanish. On Hispaniola, these settlers called “buccaneers” hunted wild animals on the island. The name buccaneer has its origin from the Arawak word buccan, which means 'a fire used to smoke meat.' These early buccaneers dressed in rough rawhide and skins, and were tough frontiersmen living outside the law. They carried hunting muskets, knives, and occasionally a sword. Because they were originally hunters, they were skilled with musket and knife. The Spanish tried to get rid of the buccaneers on Hispaniola in the 1630s, and many turned from hunting to piracy. As pirates, they attacked under the cover of night to steal ships. As buccaneers, they were just trying to survive. The fortified island of Tortuga off the northwest corner of Hispaniola was established as a buccaneer haven for fugitives of any nation. Others saw the buccaneer as lawless, but they actually had codes of conduct that they took very seriously. The Treaty of Madrid in 1670 marked the end of the buccaneer. Some turned to farming, but many took up piracy. The tragedy of the buccaneers was harsh and unfair, but they did what was necessary to survive.

By: Kalen