The Importance Of Piracy In The Ancient Empire

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Pirates. When you hear that word you probably think of long bearded, hat wearing, shoulder squawking bird type of people. This description would be right if you added in malicious and fearsome. Back in ancient times, pirates were not a sassy, sarcastic Jack Sparrow in a comedy movie. Pirates were people to be feared. They ruled the seas, took ships, and slaughtered innocent men. The Romans certainly did not find pirates to be comedic back in B.C. Piracy caused some pretty big issues for Rome and its neighbors. Piracy in Rome interfered with trading, caused war and political issues, and eventually lead to the suppression of piracy in the Mediterranean. Piracy interfered with trade in the Mediterranean, which was a big deal as Rome depended on trade for their food supply. A common way of trade was through ships. The Romans used ships because they were the fastest way to travel (Asadurian). Trade was not safe, though. Pirates ruled the sea. They raided ships for cargo and riches. The pirates killed everyone on board (Souza). Piracy didn’t just affect trading. Some wealthy men owned ships and this was dangerous because pirates would try to capture the wealthy man and hold him for ransom (Asadurian). Piracy put lives and the economy in danger. Rome had to do something if they wanted to continue to trade. By the end of the 2nd century bc Rome was the leading political power in the Mediterranean. Neighboring regions began to look to them for assistance in the piracy dilemma.

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