The practices of pirates and corsairs in the Mediterranean in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries provide the backdrop for a discussion of gendered violence. First I explore the most common form of that violence—male on male violence—and argue that it can be as fully gendered as male on female violence. Second, I discuss the role of women in pirate violence, not only as victims but as resisters, mitigators, and collaborators. Finally, I argue that the discursive refashioning of pirate violence in the transition from early modern to modern times entailed the development of this violence as a symbol of the depravity of those regions soon to come under European domination. The paper draws on a range of materials, including pirate captivity narratives, European and Ottoman state documents, and legal opinions.

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