Piracy is the most interesting phenomenon in the history of humankind. However, with all the popularity of the topic in society, there is not much genuine information about them and a lot of myths and misconceptions. But, among the reliable data about these sea robbers, you can find quite curious and even funny ones. Here are the “five” fun facts about pirates.
1. The first pirates of ancient Greece
The heyday of piracy came at the end of the Middle Ages when there was active development of sailing ships. But for the first time, they appeared in ancient times. Thus, ancient Greek sources dating back to the 15th-11th centuries BC preserved information about one of the first sea robbers, which are considered to be the Teucers. They are part of the ancient pirates, who were called “peoples of the sea” by Egypt’s rulers- they regularly attacked their territory. They are often associated with the famous Troy, and historians believe that her fall ultimately caused the Teucres to disappear from the historical arena.
2. The original meaning of the sign of the Jolly Roger
In fairness, it should be noted that the Jolly Roger symbol was used for intimidation during the entire period of piracy’s existence. But if it already became a symbol of the sea robbers themselves in the future, then in the early years, it was used to scare away other ships due to its original meaning.
And all because in ancient times, a flag or an image of a skull with crossbones on a black background symbolized that there were people on the ship who were infected with the plague.
The discipline on pirate ships
Pirates in modern popular culture are often portrayed as disorganized, promiscuous drunkards. However, in reality, they lived by the strict rules that the captain of each ship set and the discipline was tough – because otherwise, they could not effectively carry out their conquest and robbery campaigns.
On each ship, they were different but often coincided. So, for example, they did not drink as much as it might seem, and many of them even lived on ships under dry law. In addition, there were rules for the hierarchy of each pirate in the team, who had both duties and their share in the division of booty.
The Pirate Code
The main theses that constituted discipline on the ship were also documented. We are talking about the so-called pirate code, which was a set of rules prohibiting a number of actions for a pirate. First of all, it was about excessive drinking, gambling, and inciting quarrels between team members during swimming.
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The roles played by the captains
The captain of the ship is usually portrayed as the organizer of voyages and attacks and the one who maintains order and discipline in the team. But in reality, they had at least one more duty – the ship’s accountant.
So, any robbery, whether it was a rich port or a ship, ended with the calculation by the captain of a percentage of the proceeds and for each team member separately because the aforementioned hierarchy was decisive in this case – the rank and position of the pirate.
In addition, the captain was required to allocate a certain amount for the purchase of supplies and food or, if necessary, repair work on the ship.