Piracy is the illegal seizure, robbery or sinking of civilian ships and aircraft. In modern international law, piracy is a criminal offence of an international character. In addition to hijacking and robbing merchant and other vessels in peacetime, piracy is equated with an attack on merchant ships, submarines and military aircraft by neutral States during wartime. The definition of and measures to combat piracy are regulated in the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
Antique Pirate SVG
Piracy, in its original form of sea raids, appeared at the same time as seafaring and sea trade; such raids were carried out by all the coastal tribes that had mastered the basics of seafaring. With the advent of civilization, the line between Pirates SVG and merchants remained conditional for a long time: sailors traded where they did not feel strong enough to rob and capture. The Phoenicians, the most skilful navigators of the ancient world, are especially notorious. The poem “The Odyssey” mentions Phoenician pirates who kidnapped people from Syros Island and sold them into slavery. Unlike the New Age pirates, the ancient pirates, unlike the New Age pirates, attacked not so much the ships, as the coastal villages and individual travelers, with the aim of capturing them and selling them into slavery (later, they also began to demand ransom for the noble captives). Piracy is reflected in ancient poetry and mythology (the myth of the capture of Dionysus by the tyrrhist (Etruscan) pirates in the Homer’s hymn and Ovidius’ poem Metamorphoses, as well as some episodes in Homer’s poems).
As trade and legal ties between countries and peoples have developed, piracy has become one of the most serious crimes and attempts have been made to jointly combat it. The heyday of ancient piracy is in the anarchy of the Roman Civil War, with the mountainous region of Cilicia and its fortresses as the base for pirates, and the islands, especially Crete, also serving as the base for pirates. Roman piracy has blossomed especially since Mithridates VI Eupatores entered into an alliance with the Cilician pirates against Rome. In this era, the young Julius Caesar, in particular, was among the victims of pirates. The audacity of the pirates has grown to the point where they even attacked the port of Rome – Ostia – and once captured two praetors along with their entourage and insignia.
In 67 BC, Pompey the Great received extraordinary powers to fight against pirates and a fleet of 500 ships. In preparation for the struggle, he ordered the construction of the same ships as the pirates’. Dividing the Mediterranean into 13 districts and sending a squadron to each district, Pompey drove the pirates to the mountain fortresses of Cilicia, which then took. Instead of the assumed three years, it took Pompey three months to completely eliminate piracy in the Mediterranean.
It resumed with the next round of civil wars, this time led by Pompey’s son Sextus Pompey Magnus, who after the murder of Caesar strengthened in Sicily and tried to block Italy. With the end of the civil wars, the sea became safe.
Medieval Pirate SVG
In the Middle Ages, the most common method of pirate attack was boarding. As a rule, enemy ships were getting closer to each other, clinginging cats and gear, and pirates, supported by pirate fire from the pirate ship, were running and jumping to the enemy ship.