It is now customary for popular histories of piracy to begin with a cursory study of pirates in the Ancient Mediterranean, sometimes mentioning Julius Caesar's fight against Cilician pirates in the Aegean, before jumping forward to stories of notorious early-modern pirates like Blackbeard, Bartholomew Roberts, “Calico Jack” Rackham, Captain Kidd, and others.1 There are a number of reasons why pirate books tend to pass over the ancient world and focus on the early-modern Atlantic. For one thing, it tends to be easier to research and write about Anglophone pirates from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Their colorful lives and crimes are generally well documented in Admiralty court records and in contemporary literary accounts such as Charles Johnson's A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates (1724). However, it is also easier to write about early-modern maritime...

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