Piracy: The Complete History
, Aug 19, 2008
- 336 pages
When we think of pirates we conjure up images of Blackbeard and Captain Kidd, or even fictional pirates such as Long John Silver, Captain Hook and Captain Jack Sparrow. These historical characters all hailed from one period. Known as "The Golden Age of Piracy", this period only lasted around a quarter of a century - from around 1700 until 1725. However, piracy has been around a lot longer than that. In fact ever since people started venturing onto the sea, others were waiting to waylay them.
Pirate expert Angus Konstam sails through the brutal history of piracy, from the pirates who plagued the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans to the Viking raids on northern Europe through the golden age of piracy and on to the era of privateers who flourished during a period of constant warring on the European continent. He then examines the West's initial encounters with Eastern pirates off the Chinese coast whose confederations had sprung up in the 17th century and whose actions were severely hampering the West by the 19th century. Finally Konstam examines the phenomenon of the modern pirate, preying on modern super tankers. The reality of piracy is that it is a vicious, often deadly business. By separating the realities of piracy from the Hollywood-inspired fiction, and by tracing the development of piracy through the centuries, this book gives a realistic vision of what piracy actually involves.
The book includes approximately 100 color and black & white images, eight maps, a glossary of sea terms, notes on sources and a bibliography.
Chapter 1: Piracy in the Ancient World; Chapter 2: Medieval Pirates; Chapter 3: The Sea Dogs of the Renaissance; Chapter 4: Mediterranean Corsairs; Chapter 5: The Buccaneers of the Caribbean; Chapter 6: The Golden Age of Piracy; Chapter 7: The Pirate Round; Chapter 8: The Last of the Pirates; Chapter 9 The Chinese Pirates; Chapter 10: Modern Pirates; Chapter 11: Pirates in Fiction; Conclusion