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First of all I would like to talk about the history of pirates. There are some sources that say that pirates exist since ships exist. When people invented ships and started to sail, pirates started to steal from ships on the sea, by using their ships. Oldest pirates that are known to us are the Cilician pirates. They dominated in the Mediterranean sea from 2nd century before Christ till the secong half of the first century. They were notorious, and every single sailor of that age was afraid of them. Their base was in Cilicia, it is located on the coast of Asia Minor. All pirates during that time were colled Cilicians because of that. This group of pirates was responsible for the rise of piracy.
Cilician pirates were stealing money, gold and other valuable things and kidnapping people and later they were selling them as slaves far away from their homes.
They were very cruel and they had their own religion. Some sources say that they were the peeonirs of the Mithraism. Whole new religion that will become very popular in Roma druring 1st century before Christ.
After the fall of Western Roman Empire, most dangerous pirates were Vikings. They were living on the North and they did not have a lot of food there,they did not have a lot of gold, silver and other valuable things, and because of that they turned to sailing and many of them were pirates.
Later, when the America was discovered, pirates become widespread in the whole old and new world. Ships were going from Europe to America and to other continents, so that was a chance for pirates to steal gold and money from sailors.
The renaissance of pirates lasted between from 1560. and 1720. And, that is the period of piracy that you can see in 'Pirates of the Caribbean'. Many ships, a lot of gold, money and other valuable things. Paradise for pirates.
Later, during the 18th and 19th centuyry, big European countries had control of the most seas, but pirates did not disappear. They were not as powerful as before.
Pirates exist even nowadays. Piracy is a crime and it is sanctioned by the International law and by the laws of almost all countries. Nowadays sailors are not fighting against pirates, because those people are very dangerous. They are killing even for things that are not very valuable. That is why sailors are giving them what they want. They are attacking only commercial ships, not military ones.
Pirates that were working for Governments. During the 'Golden period of piracy' many big countries were in various wars against each others. That is why they were paying some groups of people (in those groups you could find ex pirates, slaves that escaped from their owners, prisoners...) to attack ships of countries that they were fighting against.
There is only one pirate ship from Golden age of piracy that is known to us nowadays. It is called Whydah Gally. At first it was English commercial ship, later pirates stole it, and it became a pirate ship. It was destroyed in the stoprm and it is the only wreck of pirate ships that we have nowadays.
About look of those ships we can not tell anything special, it lookd like all other ships back then. They had holes in the walls of the ship for cannons, they had sails, oars and all other parts that ships had.
Those ships were recognizable for its flag. They had those black flags with skull and bones.
Pirates had their code. They could not gamble on the ships, they could not smoke cigarettes, because flame could cause fire on the ships that were made out of wood. Because of that they were chewing the tobacco.
They were eating various food, specially when they steal it from some other ship. They were also fishing, catching turtles and various animals while they were on unihabited islands.
Scurvy was very common illnes, because pirates did not have a lot of fresh fruits, later, when they realized that lemons can help them, they were also taking a lot of lemon with them.
They did not have a lot of fresh water, so they were drinking a lot of alcohol, mostly wine and rum. If they take a lot of water with them, after some time, it is not going to be good anymore, but alcohol can last forever.
While they were on the land, they were spending a lot of money to food, alcohol, women, and other things. That is why thely could spend all their money in just a couple days. After they spend their money, they were going beck to the sea.
It is wrong to think that they were not taking care of their ships. They were fixing and cleaning their ships, because they needed fast ships.
Many people say that woman on the ship is bad luck. But is that true? There are many ladies, who were pirates, and who showed us that it is not true.
Some women were even captains of pirate ships.
Most famous female pirates are Mary Read and Anne Bony.
There is a story that says that man who tried to rape Anne ended up in hospital because she beaten him. She was married to one sailor, but she left him for pirates. She decided to leave her home, and to go to be a pirate in 1720.
Pirates from Anne's ship kidnapped Mary, who was dressed like a man. Anne even tried to seduce Mary, before Mary showed her that she is a woman, after that they become friends and some stories say that they were even lovers.
One of the most famous female pirates is also Cheng I Sao. She was very cruel and she had no mercy for people that were captured on her ship.
Cheng prohibited any sexual activity on her ships. Rapes were punised with dead penalty, and it was also prohibited to sleep with captured women, even if they had to do that.
Chinese Government was afraid of Cheng that is why they gave the pension to her and her crew. That is how her 'career' ended.
In one moment Cheng had 400 ships and 50,000 male pirates.
Piracy was popular among women during the Golden period of piracy because women were not free. They were sometihng what tiehr fathers owned, after they got married, their husbands were owning them. And,when they become pirates, they become free.
Grog, as I said before pirates, and also sailors in the past had no a lot of fresh water. There were a lot of various bacteria in the water, and because of that they were mixing water with rum. Rum was killing the bacteria in water, and water was reducing the percentage of alcohol in rum, so they needed more ot get drunk.
Blindfold, many pirates who were wearing that actually had both eyes. They were using those because with the blindfold they needed less time to get used to the dar, when they get below the deck.
Clothes and earrings, clothes was there to keep them warm, and even if it was warm it was not to heavy, so if they fall into the water they donot get to the bottom. Earrings were made out of gold, and they could pay many things with them. For example if they die somewhere alone, people who find them could pay their funeral with those earrings. Also there are some superstitions about earrings. Some of them believed that earrings can help them to see better or to avoid illneses. Also, some of them were putting wax on their earrings so they do not become deaf from loud cannons.
Treasure, pirates were not stealing only gold and money, they were taking everything what is valuable. Guns, clothes, wood, spices...
Gay marriage, pirates were first who allowed gay marriage. Two pirates could live together, exchange golden rings and they could also innheritance each other.
Executions, people who were captured were even killed at the moment when they were captured, either they were tortured, for fun. If they had no luck to be killed, they were either tied for the rope and towed behind the ship either they were whipped with wet whip till death.