Evolution of Piracy: Historical Piracy

Piracy has plagued the seas for at least 40 centuries and has been a thorn in the side of nearly every sea-going civilization.

Key Findings

Pirates have plied their trade as common thieves, instruments of war, or as civilizations in their own right. Most states throughout history have utilized three strategies when dealing with pirates: Collaborate, Suppress, or Tolerate. From the Cilician, Greek, Chinese, Barbary, and Caribbean pirates of history, to the Somali, Malacca Straits, South China Sea, and West African pirates of today, pirates have operated either in collusion with, or in the absence of, state authority.