Do you know what the first recorded instance of pirate history was? Or where the most successful and long reigning pirates came from? We bet you think you do, but we’re also willing to put money on the fact that the truth will surprise you!
What was the first recorded instance of piracy?
Believe it or not it was in 3000 BC and comes from the ancient kingdom of Sumer, which was in what is now Iraq, where for many years they had their trade and communications disrupted by pirates. These raiders made their way up the Tigris and Euphrates rivers to attack Sumerian cities and towns.
Which famous pirates are not really considered pirates?
The Vikings, of course! Because they were based mainly on land, and attacked cities as well as ships they don’t really fall under the modern interpretation of pirate, but in their time (700-1100 AD) they were feared and respected for their military prowess. They were truly wolves of the sea!
So who were the most successful pirates then?
Well you might be surprised to know it was not the Early Modern pirates of the Atlantic and Caribbean, but the pirates who prowled the South China Sea. They were active for around 1000 years, an impressive pedigree, and still hold the title for the biggest eve pirate fleet which was actually ruled by a woman!
Well what about the Golden Age?
The Golden Age of Pirates was called this not because it was the most active period, but because it was arguably the best for business, so to speak. At this time there was a boom in international trade and wealth, but still relatively few anti-piracy laws, and little international cooperation in a legal sense.
Let’s be thankful that these days piracy is pretty rare and limited to movie and music!