The English term "pirate" was allegedly derived from the from the Greek term “brigandage” which is essentially defined as a gang and who lives off of plunder, extortion and blackmail. In other words, a pirate exploits others in order to survive and thrive. Other terms in the English lexicon for “pirate” include but are not limited to: buccaneer, corsair, privateer, and raider. In the early days of maritime navigation, most vessels hugged the coast and therefore sea traffic was generally restricted to fixed lanes. Consequently, the predictability in seafaring enabled pirates to routinely prey on ships as they would know exactly when and where they would be. While pirates did take to the water to commit attacks, the first pirates likely started on land, luring unsuspecting ships onto the rocks were they would ultimately crash and be plundered. The term “buccaneer”, a euphemism for pirate, was evidently derived from the root words “beacon” and “near”. These two words were likely shouted over and over again by excited pirates each time a wayward ship began to sail near one of their strategically placed beacons. In piracy, a beacon or bonfire was known as a “false light” which was purposely lit and then set at a well-known location such as a hill near the sea in order to lure passing ships into danger. These land pirates were known as shipwreckers because they used said beacons and bonfires to misdirect passing ships against shoals or beaches so that its cargo could be looted once the ship ran aground or sank. The word “shill” was evidently derived from “shoal” which is defined as a plant, stooge or fake. In time, these original shipwreckers likely developed their own fleet of salvaged ships which enabled them to carry out their piracy at other locations.
The Greco-Roman Empire was essentially spawned by piracy, starting with Minos who founded the city of Chania on the Island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea. The term “conspiracy” literally means “Chania’s Piracy” or “Con’s Piracy” since Chania was originally pronounced “Con”. This particular notion is substantiated by modern historical sources which state that Crete had a reputation of harboring pirates. Crete’s piracy was also confirmed in book "Piracy, Maritime Terrorism and Naval Strategy" (2009) by Bjørn Møller of the Danish Institute for International Studies, wherein he states, “In ancient Greece piracy seems to have been widespread and widely regarded as an entirely honorable way of making a living”. Because of Crete’s geographic location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, the island was ideal for both shipwrecking and piracy. By controlling Crete and the waterways around the island, the pirates of Crete were able to establish a naval chokehold in the region consisting of both piracy and later taxes. Over time, the ships, slaves and general wealth accumulated by Cretan-based piracy spawned the first-ever army, navy and government. According to classical historian Dr. Janice Gabbert, “The eastern Mediterranean has been plagued by piracy since the first dawn of history”. This particular notion is corroborated by modern historical sources which state that in classical antiquity, “the Illyrians and Tyrrhenians were known as pirates, as well as Greeks and Romans”. In “Piracy in the Ancient World” (1996), noted maritime historian Henry Ormerod states that, “If we remember that piracy was, for centuries, a normal feature of Mediterranean life, it will be realized how great has been the influence which it exercised on the life of the ancient world”. In other words, is piracy ruled the day. In “Pirate Coasts of the Mediterranean Sea” (1916), Ellen Churchill Semple found that the area around the island of Crete was famous for its slave markets and that Crete was notable for its pirates. This was because after a ship was captured, it cargo was plundered and its human cargo was sold to the highest bidder, ultimately creating the first-ever slave market. Greek historian Thucydides wrote in “History of the Peloponnesian War” (c. 10th century) that, “For in early times the Hellenes (Greeks) and the barbarians of the coast and islands ... were tempted to turn to piracy, under the conduct of their most powerful men ... [T]hey would fall upon a town unprotected by walls ... and would plunder it ... no disgrace being yet attached to such an achievement, but even some glory”. In the Iliad and Odyssey by Homer, the greatest of the Greek poets, piracy was perfectly normal occurrence. Odysseus recounts that: “We boldly landed on the hostile place, And sack’d the city, and destroy’d the race, Their wives made captive, their possessions shared, And every soldier found a like reward”. Being kidnapped by pirates and sold into slavery was so commonplace that it also became a favorite theme of Greek poets and plays. Due to centuries of shipwrecking and piracy, the Island of Crete essentially had unabated access to free slaves, free ships and free treasure, ultimately spawning what would eventually become the Greco-Roman Empire.
On par with the fraudulent riddled history of the Greco-Roman Empire, the term Sea Peoples appears to be historical cover for Cretan-based piracy in the Mediterranean. This notion has been confirmed by modern historical accounts which state that “With Crete’s reputation of harboring pirates, it is not too surprising to find much evidence of their involvement with the Sea Peoples”. In other words, the Sea Peoples, who are admittedly Greek, were from Crete, an island with a long history of piracy. According to the book “In Search of the Trojan War” (1998) by noted historian Michael Wood, “…the Sea Peoples ... in part actually composed of Mycenaean Greeks - rootless migrants, warrior bands and condottieri on the move ...? Certainly there seem to be suggestive parallels between the war gear and helmets of the Greeks ... and those of the Sea Peoples ...”. The Sea Peoples are also identified in Egyptian records as the Ekwesh, a group of Bronze Age Greeks known as the Achaeans (C+H+N+S), otherwise known as the Chanians (C+H+N+S), one of the four major tribes of Classical Greece. The city of Chania on the Island of Crete is the oldest city in Europe which was founded by the original pirate Minos, the godfather of the Greco-Roman Empire. In time, the piracy committed by the Sea Peoples became so rampant that even modern historical sources state in respect to the Sea Peoples that “there seemed to be no real distinction made between a pirate and a mercenary”. In other words, due to the Sea Peoples from Crete, the Mediterranean was over-run with pirates. Although the term "Sea Peoples" is routinely used to describe pirates form Crete, the original term for these pirates was likely "Sea Men" as in “C Men”. The symbol for both the letter “C” and “K” in the Roman Score (i.e., the Roman alphabet) is the “Ʌ” symbol, otherwise known as a Chevron symbol. The “Ʌ” symbol was the first-ever Greco-Roman symbol for it represented the mountainous Island of Crete, the home of these pirates. Consequently, the “Ʌ” symbol later adorned the shields of Greek warriors and was therefore likely present in the name of said pirates emanating from Crete. Since Crete pirates were “men” that were ruled by Minos (from whence the terms "man" and "men" were ultimately derived from), it stands to reason these pirates would be entitled “Ʌ Men” (i.e., “C Men”) rather than “Sea Peoples”. Modern tributes to the Sea Men include "semen" (i.e., seminal fluid) and Siemens, the largest Europe-based electronics and electrical engineering company in the world.
After the alleged fall of the Roman Empire, ships heading north towards Greenland had to be stopped by a non-nation state. Therefore, Rome commissioned an unknown amount of “pirates” (e.g., buccaneers, corsairs, privateers, raiders, etc.) to attack, sink or turn away any ships heading due north. A privateer or corsair was also a pirate but acted while in possession of a government commission or letter of marque from a state or monarchy authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation. In other words, privateers and corsairs were state-sponsored pirates. According to historian Adrian Tinniswood, the most notorious corsairs were English and European renegades who had learned their trade as privateers, and who moved to the Barbary Coast during peacetime to pursue their trade. These privateers brought state-of-the-art naval expertise to the piracy business, and enabling them to make long-distance slave-catching raids as far away as Iceland and Newfoundland. In other words, from Canada to Iceland to Britain, the route to Greenland was literally blocked by state-sponsored pirates who were paid to attack any ship in site, making travel north impossible. Pirates were notorious for flying the Jolly Roger, a pirate flag which depicts the skull and crossbones. Interestingly, the crossbones are arranged in the shape of an “X”, a symbol in the Roman Score (i.e., the Roman alphabet) which acronymically equates to “No”, and “North” but also means “Death” and “Keep Out”. The term “Jolly Roger” (G/J+L R+G+R) acronymically equates to “Greenland-Rome-Greenland-Rome” or “Greenland-Ra-Greenland-Rome”. Symbolically speaking, the skull represents the Island of Greenland while the crossbones represent the naval blockade of pirates which protect it from any wayward ships. Contrary to pirate myth, the “X” does not mark the spot, just the pirates on the cusp of Greenland.
Northern European Pirates
The notion that pirates once swarmed off the coasts of Northern Europe was recently documented in the New York Times’ review of “Pirates of Barbary” (2010), a book by Adrian Tinniswood which states that “the most notorious corsairs were European renegades who had learned the trade on “privateers,” or private warships commissioned by a government [i.e., the Roman Empire] to prey on enemy merchantmen…In the early 17th century, the Mediterranean swarmed with pirate ships manned by blue-eyed Caucasians who spoke English, Dutch or Cornish…The renegades fit out state-of-the-art sailing ships that could spread terror well beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, and they often returned to the waters they were familiar with — off Ireland, Britain and Northern Europe — where the sea lanes offered no shortage of fat, opulent targets”. In other words, England and Ireland were home to Roman pirates, lots of them. One of these pirates was Marcus Aurelius Carausius, a Roman military commander during the 3rd century who eventually became Emperor of the Britannica Empire from 286–293 A.D. Prior to becoming Emperor of Britannia (i.e., Roman England), Carausius was appointed to command the “Classis Britannica”, a fleet based in the English Channel. Carausius, an admitted pirate, kept captured treasure and even commanded other pirates of Roman origin to carry out attacks in European waters. The notion that state-sponsored piracy was alive and well in Europe was confirmed by the fact that King James I of England issued a blanket pardon to all pirates, making piracy essentially legal. The duplicity of pirates was never more apparent that in the case of English pirate Henry Mainwaring who returned to England with a royal pardon, was knighted, elected to Parliament, and then appointed a vice admiral of the Royal Navy. According to the book “Sir Francis Drake; The Queen's Pirate” (1998), by Harry Kelsey, the English privateer Sir Francis Drake was a patron was Queen Elizabeth I whose relationship ultimately proved to be quite profitable for England. Although English pirate John Ward was once called "beyond doubt the greatest scoundrel that ever sailed from England" by the English ambassador to Venice, he was a privateer for Queen Elizabeth during her war with Spain. Shortly after the war, Ward became a corsair who, along with some fellow pirates, captured a ship around 1603 and sailed it to Tunisia where he and the crew reportedly converted to Islam. Interestingly, Ward introduced the newly invented heavily-armed square-rigged ships, likely courtesy of the Roman Empire. With this advanced technology, Ward and the Barbary Pirates were able to dominate the Mediterranean via piracy for the next 300 years.
Similar to the aforementioned corsairs and privateers of Northern Europe, the Barbary Pirates (16th to 19th century) were authorized by the Ottoman Empire (at the behest of Rome) to attack, sink or turn away all seafaring vessels. Known also as the Barbary Corsairs, these pirates were based primarily out of ports in Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers and Morocco. This volatile region was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast, a term allegedly derived from the name of its Berber inhabitants. Although the Barbary Pirates operated primarily throughout the Mediterranean and off the coast of North Africa, their predation reportedly extended south along West Africa's Atlantic seaboard, down to South America, and into the North Atlantic as far north as Iceland. In addition to seizing ships, these pirates reportedly engaged in “Razzias” (i.e., raids) on European coastal towns and villages in the British Isles, France, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. In short, the goal of the Barbary Pirates was to discourage any form of coastal living and seafaring emanating out of Europe. Consequently, long stretches of coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants, discouraging settlement until the 19th century. From the 16th to 19th century, Barbary Pirates captured an estimated 800,000 to 1.25 million people as slaves via their various acts of piracy. According to modern historical sources, from 1609 to 1616, England lost 466 merchant ships to Barbary Pirates. Another 160 British ships were captured by Algerian-based pirates between 1677 and 1680, bringing the total amount of English ships lost to 626 in just 10 years. Based on these statistics, the total amount of English ships lost to state-sponsored pirates during the 16th to 19th century is rouhghly 19,000 ships.
Corsairs, Pirates & Privateers
Aside from the aforementioned European-based privateers and African-based Barbary Pirates, the Maltese Corsairs were privateers who were authorized by the Knights of St. John while the Dunkirkers were pirates who acted in the service of the Spanish Empire. In the years 1626 to 1634 alone, the Dunkirk privateers reportedly captured 1,499 ships, and sank another 336. In essence, most of the major powers in Europe funded piracy in either the Atlantic or the Mediterranean, making travel and commerce by sea highly dangerous. While there is a long list of pirates, the following pirates are notable because of their service to both European powers and the allegedly Muslim Barbary Pirates, further showing the duplicity of piracy. In short, the European-based corsairs and privateers and the African-based Barbary Pirates were working together hand in hand at the behest of the Roman Empire to sink as many ships as possible, creating a chilling effect in respect to sailing. A few of these state-sponsored pirates include but are not limited to: John Ward, also known as Jack Ward (c. 1553 – 1622), a notorious English pirate who later changed his name to Yusuf Reis after becoming a Barbary Pirate operating out of the port in Tunis, Tunisia; Jan Janz (Murad Rais) (c. 1570 - c. 1641), a Dutch privateer who was taken captive by Barbary Pirates and later became a Barbary Pirate himself; Simon (Zyman) the Dancer (c. 1579 – c. 1611), a Dutch Barbary Pirate based in Algiers and Tunis who operated during the early 17th century; Simon Danziker (c. 1579 – c. 1611), a Dutch corsair and privateer who later became a Barbary Pirate, dominating the Western Mediterranean during the early 17th century with John Ward; Sir Francis Verney (1584 – September 6, 1615), an English nobleman who allegedly left behind his inheritance to become a Barbary Pirate; De Veenboer (c. 1620), a Dutch corsair and privateer who later became a Barbary Pirate, working under Simon the Dancer, commanding an Algiers corsair fleet; Assan Reis (Jan Marinus van Sommelsdijk) (c. 1626), a Dutch privateer turned Barbary Pirate who is notable for attacking the Dutch ship “St. Jan Babtista” under Jacob Jacobsen of Ilpendam on March 7, 1626; and Charles Harris (c. 1723), an Englishman who converted to Islam after joining the Barbary Pirates.
The Raiders were a group of pirates who engaged in commerce raiding. The term “Raider” is generally used as a synonym for “pirate”. According to the book “Seapower as Strategy: Navies and National Interests” (2001) by Norman Friedman, commerce raiding is a form of naval warfare used to destroy or disrupt logistics of the enemy on the open sea by attacking its merchant shipping, rather than engaging its combatants or enforcing a blockade against them. Raider-related mascots include but are not limited to: Australia: Adelaide Raiders, football (soccer) club in Adelaide, South Australia: Canberra Raiders, National Rugby League team based in Canberra, Australia: Toowoomba Raiders FC, an Australian football (soccer) club from Toowoomba, Queensland: and Wodonga Raiders Football Club, football (soccer) club in Wodonga, Australia; Austria: Swarco Raiders Tirol, a semi-professional American football club based in Innsbruck; Canada: Georgetown Raiders, a Junior "A" ice hockey team from Georgetown, Ontario; Georgetown Raiders Sr. A, a former ice hockey team from Georgetown, Ontario; Kingston Raiders, a junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League for the 1988-1989 season only; Napanee Raiders, a Canadian Junior ice hockey team based in Napanee, Ontario; Nepean Raiders, a Junior ice hockey team from Nepean, Ontario; Ontario Raiders, a National Lacrosse League during the 1998 season; Preston Raiders, a former (1965-1977) Canadian Junior "B" ice hockey team from Preston (now Cambridge), Ontario; Prince Albert Raiders, a major junior ice hockey team based in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; Raider, the official mascot of Delhi District Secondary School, Norfolk County, Ontario; and Wexford Raiders, former name (1983-2006) of the Toronto Jr. Canadiens, a Junior "A" ice hockey team from Downsview, Ontario; New Zealand: Hibiscus Coast Raiders, a rugby league club based on the Hibiscus Coast; and Waitakere City Raiders, a New Zealand rugby league club based in Waitakere City from 1994 to 1996; England: Barrow Raiders, an English rugby league team; Bournemouth Raiders, a former American football team; Plymouth Raiders, a British Basketball League team; Romford Raiders, an English Premier Ice Hockey League based in Romford, London; Telford Raiders, a rugby league club based in Telford, Shropshire, England; and Wightlink Raiders, an ice hockey team based in Ryde on the Isle of Wight, England; Poland: Bydgoszcz Raiders, an American football team based in Bydgoszcz, Poland; and the United States: Colgate Raiders, the athletics teams of Colgate University, Hamilton, New York; MT Blue Raiders the athletics teams of Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Oakland Raiders, a National Football League team based in Oakland, California; New York Raiders, an American National Rugby League team based in New York, New York; Racine Raiders, a Mid-States Football League team based in Racine, Wisconsin; Richmond Raiders, an American Indoor Football Association based in Richmond, Virginia; Rochester Raiders, a Continental Indoor Football League team based in Rochester, New York; Salem Raiders, a former professional hockey team (1980-1982) based in Salem, Virginia; Southern Oregon Raiders, the athletic teams of Southern Oregon University, Ashland, Oregon; Virginia Raiders, a defunct (1982-1983) minor league professional ice hockey team based in Salem, Virginia; and Wright State Raiders, the athletics teams of Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.
Raiders in Popular Culture
The Raiders were a group of pirates who engaged in commerce raiding. The term “Raider” is generally used as a synonym for “pirate”. According to the book “Seapower as Strategy: Navies and National Interests” (2001) by Norman Friedman, commerce raiding is a form of naval warfare used to destroy or disrupt logistics of the enemy on the open sea by attacking its merchant shipping, rather than engaging its combatants or enforcing a blockade against them. Tributes to Raiders in popular culture include but are not limited to: Books: “Raider” (1995), a novel by Susan Gates; Candy: Raider, the name of the Twix chocolate bar in several European countries until the 1990s; Comics: Raiders, three Marvel Comics characters; Films: “Western Approaches” (1944), alternatively titled “The Raider”; “Raiders of the Seven Seas” (1953); and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1987); Military: Commerce raider, a type of warship in naval warfare; “HMS Raider”, an R-class destroyer launched in 1916; “HMS Raider (H15)”, a “Rotherham”-class destroyer launched in 1942; “HMS Raider (P275)”, a GRP “Archer”-class fast patrol boat and is the training craft for Bristol University Royal Naval Unit; Marine Raiders, an elite United States Marine Corps unit during World War II; Merchant raider, a type of ship in naval warfare; Northrop YC-125 Raider, a 1940s American three-engined STOL utility transport; and Sikorsky S-97 Raider, a light helicopter currently under development for the United States Army; Music: Paul Revere & the Raiders, an American rock band; and "Raider", a track from the album Farewell Aldebaran (1969) by Judy Henske and Jerry Yester; Technology: HTC Raider 4G, a smartphone released in South Korea in 2011; Television: Cylon Raider, fighter spacecraft in various “Battlestar Galactica” TV series and movies; Toys: Raider, a G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero toy vehicle; Vehicles: Dodge Raider, a rebadged Mitsubishi Montero sold by Dodge; Mitsubishi Raider, a rebadged Dodge Dakota sold by Mitsubishi Motors; Suzuki Raider 150, a motorcycle; Raider, a custom version of the Yamaha XV1900A motorcycle; and “Raider”, a brand of skid loader; and Video Games: “Raiders”, a term for bandits and highwaymen in the Fallout video game series.
Buccaneers in Popular Culture
The Buccaneers were a group of pirates who attacked Spanish ships in the Caribbean Sea and Indian Ocean during the 17th century. The term “Buccaneer” is generally used as a synonym for “pirate”. Tributes to Buccaneers in popular culture include but are not limited to: Aviation: Advanced Aeromarine Buccaneer, a one or two seat, ultra-light amphibious aircraft; Blackburn Buccaneer, a British-built strike aircraft, in service from 1962 to 1994; Brewster SB2A Buccaneer, a US close support aircraft; and Menasco Buccaneer, a 1930s-1940s aero engine; Books: “Buccaneers” (1980), a children's book series written by Sheila K. McCullagh; “The Buccaneers” (1938), a novel by Edith Wharton; Films: “The Buccaneer” (1938); “Buccaneer Bunny” (1948); “Buccaneer's Girl” (1950); “Last of the Buccaneers” (1950); “Yankee Buccaneer” (1952); “The Buccaneers” (1956); and “Rage of the Buccaneers” (1961); Games: Buccaneer (1938-195), a board game published by Waddingtons; Government: Operation Buccaneer (2000-Present), an American government copyright anti-piracy project; Films: “The Buccaneers” (1924); Television Series: “The Buccaneers” (1956-1957), an ITC Entertainment television series; “Buccaneer” (1980), an ITV television series; and “The Buccaneers” (1993), a BBC television series; Watercraft: Buccaneer, a type of light sailboat; “HMS Buccaneer”, a Brigand-class tug of the Royal Navy; “HMAS Buccaneer (P 100)”, a patrol boat of the Australian Navy; and “USS Sapphire (PYc-2)”, originally named Buccaneer, a United States Navy patrol vessel of World War II.
The Buccaneers were a group of pirates who attacked Spanish ships in the Caribbean Sea and Indian Ocean during the 17th century. The term “Buccaneer” is generally used as a synonym for “pirate”. Buccaneer-related mascots include but are not limited to: Blackburn Buccaneers, an ice hockey team in Blackburn, England; Buccaneer, the mascot of the Pittsburgh Pirates, an American baseball team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Buccaneers RFC, a semi-professional rugby union team based in Athlone, Ireland; Cape Cod Buccaneers, a former professional ice hockey team based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Charleston Southern University Buccaneers, athletic teams of Charleston Southern University in North Charleston, South Carolina; Christian Brothers Buccaneers, athletic teams of Christian Brothers University in Memphis, Tennessee; Des Moines Buccaneers, an ice hockey team in Des Moines, Iowa; East Tennessee State Buccaneers and Lady Buccaneers, sports teams of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee; Galveston Buccaneers, a former baseball team in Galveston, Texas; Liverpool Buccaneers, a rugby league team in Liverpool, England; Los Angeles Buccaneers, a former NFL team in Los Angeles, California; New Orleans Buccaneers, a basketball team in New Orleans, Louisiana; Oakland Buccaneers, a soccer team in Oakland, California; Reading Buccaneers Drum and Bugle Corps, a drum and bugle corps based in Reading, Pennsylvania; and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an American football team in Tampa, Florida.
Privateers in Popular Culture
The Privateers were a group of pirates who were authorized by a government’s letters of marque to attack ships. The term “Privateer” is generally used as a synonym for “pirate”. Tributes to Privateers in popular culture include but are not limited to: Cities: Privateer, South Carolina; Games: Privateer Press, publisher of tabletop role-playing games; “Wing Commander: Privateer” (1993); and “Privateer: Righteous Fire” (1993); Mascots: New Orleans Privateers, the athletic teams of the University of New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana; Military: PB4Y Privateer, a naval version of the B-24 Liberator bomber; and “USS Privateer (SP-179)”, later YP-179, a United States Navy patrol vessel in commission from 1917 to 1930; Music: “Privateer” (2007), an album by Tim Renwick; “Privateering” (2012), an album by Mark Knopfler; and “Privateering”, a track on the album “Privateering” (2012) by Mark Knopfler; Sports: Privateer, a competitor in motorsports who does not have manufacturer support; and Television: “Privateers” (2003), an episode of “The West Wing” television series.
Corsairs in Popular Culture
The Corsairs were a group of pirates who were authorized by various governments by letters of marque to attack foreign ships. The term “Corsair” is generally used as a synonym for “pirate”. French Corsairs were authorized to conduct raids on ships on behalf of the French crown while Barbary Corsairs or Ottoman Corsairs were authorized to attack ships on behalf of the Ottoman Empire. Tributes to Corsairs in popular culture include but are not limited to: Comics: “Corsair”, a fictional character, a star-faring hero in the Marvel Comics universe; Corporations: Corsair International (formerly Corsairfly and Corsair), a French airline; and Corsair Memory, a hardware company that specializes in designing and manufacturing computer memory, power supply units and computer cases; Film: “Corsair” (1931); “El Corsario Negro” (1944); and “The Black Corsair” (1976); Literature: “Corsair” (1987), a nautical historical novel by Dudley Pope; “Corsair” (2001), a fantasy novel by Chris Bunch; “Corsair” (2009), an adventure novel by Clive Cussler; “Corsair” (Unknown); a novel by Walton Green; “Corsairs of Umbar”, a fleet of Men of Umbar in J. R. R. Tolkien's series of books “The Lord of the Rings” (1954-1955); and “The Corsair” (1814), a poem by Lord Byron; Magazines: “Corsaren”, a nineteenth-century Danish magazine; Military: A-7 Corsair II, a single-seat light jet attack aircraft; F4U Corsair, a single-engine fighter aircraft; O2U Corsair, a biplane scout and observation aircraft; and “USS Corsair (SS-435)”, a United States diesel-electric submarine; Music: "Corsair", a track on “Geogaddi” (2002), an album by the duo Boards of Canada; "Corsair" a track on “Voyage” (2007), an album by the band Fear and Faith; “Le Corsaire” (1858), a ballet created by Joseph Mazilier to music by Adolphe Adam et al.; and “The Corsairs”, a 1960s doo wop group; Places: Corsair Bay, a bay located in Lyttelton Harbour, Canterbury New Zealand; Technology; Corsair (Novell), a former operating system and user interface project for NetWare; Television: “The Corsair”, a Time Lord in the British TV series “Doctor Who” (1963-Present); Transportation: Edsel Corsair, an American automobile of the late fifties; Ford Corsair, a British car model of the late 1960s, and an Australian model of the late 1980s; “Corsair”, a GWR 3031 Class locomotive that was built for and run on the Great Western Railway between 1891 and 1915; Corsair, a class of sixteen-foot three-handed sailing dinghies; Corsair Trimaran, built by Corsair Marine; Corsair motorcycle, built by Cotton; and Cessna 425, originally known as Corsair; and Video Games: “Corsair”, an evolution to the Gambler class in “Final Fantasy XI” (2002); “Corsairs”, a fictional criminal organization in “Freelancer” (2003); “Corsairs: Conquest at Sea” (1999), a video game by Microïds; and “The Corsair”, a persona in “Assassin's Creed: Revelations” (2011), a multiplayer video game.
Pirates in Popular Culture
Pirates were a gang of men who lives off of plunder, extortion and blackmail. Tributes to Pirates in popular culture include but are not limited to: Characters: Space pirate, a character archetype in science fiction; Films: “Pirates” (1986), an adventure/comedy directed by Roman Polanski; “Pirates" (2005), a pornographic film; “Pyrates” (1991), a comedy film; “The Pirate” (1948), an American musical film; “The Pirate” (1984), a French film; “The Pirates” (2014), a South Korean period/adventure film; and “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!” (2012), a Aardman Animations film; Games: Pirate game (1998), a puzzle of logic and mathematics; Pirateer (1978), a board game; and “Pirates Constructible Strategy Game” (2004), a tabletop game; Holidays: International Talk Like a Pirate Day; Literature: “A General History of the Pyrates” (1724), a book about pirates; “Piracy” (1954-1955), an EC Comics title; “The Pirate” (1821), a novel by Sir Walter Scott; “The Pirate” (1968), a science fiction short story by Poul Anderson; “The Pirate” (1974), a novel by Harold Robbins; and “The Pyrates” (1983), a comedic novel by George MacDonald Fraser; Military: “Passive Infra-Red Airborne Track Equipment, a tracking system for the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft; USS Pirate (AM-275)”, a minesweeper in commission from 1944 to 1946 and again in 1950; and “USS Pirate (SP-229)”, a patrol vessel in commission from 1917 to 1918; Music: Johnny Kidd & The Pirates, a British musical group; "Pirate" (1997), a track on “Cherished”, an album by Cher; "Pirates" (1977), a track on “Works Volume 1”, an album by Emerson, Lake & Palmer; “Pirates” (1981), an album by Rickie Lee Jones; and “The Pirates” (1792), an opera by Stephen Storace; Plays: “Die Seeraeuber” (The Pirate), a play by Ludwig Fulda and the basis of the Behrman play; and “The Pirate” (1942), a play by S. N. Behrman; Science: Pirate, a type of butterfly; Sports: Pirate, a type of sailing boat; and Marco Pantani, professional cyclist nicknamed "Il Pirata" (The Pirate); Terminology: Pirate, sexual slang; “Piracy” is a synonym used to describe aircraft hijacking, copyright infringement (i.e., “The Pirate Bay”), patent infringement, trademark infringement and stealing or the illegal copying of computer software. Lastly, the term Pirate radio used to describe the illegal or unregulated radio transmission for entertainment or political purposes; Toys: Lego Pirates, a class of Lego toys; and Mega Bloks Pyrates a construction block toy line; Transportation: “Pirate” (1839), a steamboat; “Pirate (R-class sloop)”; a ship landmark in South Lake Union, Seattle; and Video Games: “Furry Pirates” (1999), a role-playing game; “Pirates!” (2003), a role-playing game; “Pirates: Duels on the High Seas” (2008), a video game for Nintendo DS; “Pirates: The Key of Dreams” (2008), a video game for Wii; “Pirates of the Burning Sea” (2008), a role-playing game; “Sid Meier's Pirates!” (1987), a computer game; and “Sid Meier's Pirates!” (2004), a remake of the 1987 game.
The Pirate Party
To date, a total of 96 Pirate Parties have been identified around the world. Similar to pirates of old, these political parties appear to have been created as a safety valve so that if and when a particular county becomes a viable threat due to a legitimate revolution, the Pirate Party will be there to step in and neutralize it, politically speaking. Current and former Pirate Parties include but not limited to: 60 National Pirate Parties: Argentina (Partido Pirata de Argentina), Australia (Pirate Party Australia), Austria (Piratenpartei Österreichs), Belarus (Пиратское движение Беларуси), Belgium (Pirate Party), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Piratska Partija Bosne i Hercegovine), Brazil (Partido Pirata do Brasil), Bulgaria (Пиратска Партия), Canada (Pirate Party of Canada), China (中国盗版党), Chile (Partido Pirata de Chile), Colombia (Partido Pirata Colombiano), Croatia (Pirate Party Croatia/Piratska Stranka Hrvatske), Cyprus (Pirate Party Cyprus), Czech Republic (Česká pirátská strana), Denmark (Piratpartiet), Estonia (Eesti Piraadipartei), Finland (Piraattipuolue), France (Parti Pirate), Germany (Piratenpartei Deutschland), Greece (Κόμμα Πειρατών Ελλάδας), Hungary (Magyar Kalózpárt), Iceland (Best Party/Píratar), India (Pirate Party of India), Ireland (Pirate Party Ireland/Páirtí Foghlaithe na hÉireann), Israel (Piratim/הפיראטים), Italy (Partito Pirata Italiano), Japan (日本海賊党), Kazakhstan (Пиратская Партия Казахстана/Қазақстан Қарақшылар Партиясы), Latvia (Piratu Partija), Lebanon (Pirate Party Lebanon - حزب القراصنة لبنان), Lithuania (Lietuvos Piratų Partija), Luxembourg (Piratepartei Lëtzebuerg), Malaysia (Malaysia Pirate Party), Mexico (Partido Pirata Mexicano), Montenegro (Piratska Partija Crne Gore), Morocco (Pirate Party of Morocco), Nepal (Pirate Party Nepal), The Netherlands (Piratenpartij Nederland), New Zealand (Pirate Party of New Zealand), Norway (Pirate Party of Norway), Peru (Partido Pirata de Perú), Poland (Polska Partia Piratów), Portugal (Partido Pirata Português), Romania (Partidul Pirat România), Russia (Пиратская партия России), Serbia (Piratska Partija Srbije), Slovakia (Slovenská pirátska strana), Slovenia (Piratska stranka Slovenije), Spain (Partido Pirata), Sweden (Piratpartiet), Switzerland (Piratenpartei Schweiz/Parti Pirate Suisse/Partito Pirata Svizzera/Partida da Pirats Svizra), Taiwan (Pirate Party of Taiwan), Tunisia (Pirate Party of Tunisia/Tunisian Pirate Party), Turkey (Korsan Partisi), Ukraine (Pirate Party Of Ukraine/Піратська Партія України), United Kingdom (Pirate Party UK/Plaid Môr-leidr DU), United States (United States Pirate Party), Uruguay (Partido Pirata en Uruguay) and Venezuela (Partido Pirata de Venezuela); 1 Super National Pirate Party: European Pirate Party; and 36 Sub-National and Regional Pirate Parties: Australia (Pirate Party ACT), Austria (Piraten Partei Tirol), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Piratska Partija), Germany (Piratenpartei Baden-Württemberg, Piratenpartei Bayern, Piratenpartei Berlin, Piratenpartei Brandenburg, Piratenpartei Bremen, Piratenpartei Hamburg, Piratenpartei Hessen, Piratenpartei Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Piratenpartei Nordrhein-Westfalen, Piratenpartei Niedersachsen, Piratenpartei Rheinland-Pfalz, Piratenpartei Saarland, Piratenpartei Sachsen, Piratenpartei Sachsen-Anhalt, Piratenpartei Schleswig-Holstein and Piratenpartei Thüringen), United States (California Pirate Party, Florida Pirate Party, Georgia Pirate Party, Pirate Party of Hawaii, Michigan Pirate Party, Maryland Pirate Party, Massachusetts Pirate Party, Minnesota Pirate Party, New York Pirate Party, Oklahoma Pirate Party, Oregon Pirate Party and Washington Pirate Party), and Spain (Pirates de Catalunya, Piratas de Galicia, Piratas de La Rioja, Piratas de Madrid, and Piratas de Extremadura).
Pirates were a gang of men who lives off of plunder, extortion and blackmail. Pirate-related mascots include but are not limited to: England: Bristol Rovers F.C., a football team in Bristol nicknamed the Pirates; Cornish Pirates, a rugby team in Cornish; Croydon Pirates, a baseball team in Croydon; Essex Pirates, a basketball team in Essex; and Poole Pirates, a motorcycle speedway team in Poole; Philippines: LPU Pirates, the sports team of Lyceum of the Philippines University, participating in the NCAA Philippines; United States: East Carolina Pirates, the athletic teams of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina; Hampton Pirates, the athletic teams of Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia; Pittsburgh Pirates, a Major League Baseball team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh Pirates, (1933-1939), a former NFL football team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania now known as the Pittsburgh Steelers; Pittsburgh Pirates (1925-1930), a former National Hockey League team in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Portland Pirates, a minor league hockey team in Portland, Maine; and Seton Hall Pirates, the athletic teams of Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey; Scotland: East Kilbride Pirates, an American football team in Kilbride; and South Africa: Orlando Pirates FC, a South African football team in Johannesburg;
Jolly Rodger in the Military
The skull and crossbones (i.e., the Jolly Roger ) has been a sacred symbol which has been used by various militaries around the world for hundreds of years. This phenomenon is due to the simple fact that the militaries of all nations are unwitting participant military arms of the Roman Empire and therefore are outfitted with their symbology. To date, at least 21 nations and former nations have used the Jolly Rodger (i.e., the Totenkopf) in some form, including but not limited to: Australia: Heavy Weapon's Platoon (DFSW) of the 3rd Battalion (insignia) of the Royal Australian Regiment; Brazil: Batalhão de Operações Policiais Especiais (insignia), a special unit within the military police of Rio de Janeiro state, uses the Jolly Roger (i.e., the Totenkopf) to differentiate their team from the regular units; Chile: "Husares de la muerte" or “Hussars of death” (insignias and flags) were led by Chilean guerrilla leader Manuel Rodríguez; England: 17th Light Dragoons (insignia), a former cavalry regiment of the British Army; 21st Lancers (insignia), a former cavalry regiment of the British Army; No. 100 Squadron RAF (flag) of the Royal Air Force; and the Queen's Royal Lancers (insignia), a cavalry regiment of the British Army; Estonia: Kuperjanov Battalion (insignia), an Estonian Army infantry battalion of the Estonian Defence Forces; and Kuperjanov Partisan Battalion (insignia), an elite Estonian military unit established during the Estonian War of Independence; France: French 43-victory flying ace Charles Nungesser (insignia on side of aircraft) during World War I; and the Hussards de la mort (uniforms), known as Death Hussars, they defend the French Republic from an Austrian invasion; Germany: 1st, 5th, and 11th squadrons of the “Reichswehr's” 5th Cavalry Regiment (uniforms and insignias); 1st SS Panzer Regiment LSSAH (uniforms); 3rd SS Division of the Waffen SS (insignias); 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf (insignias); Fallschirm-Panzer Division 1 Hermann Göring (insignia); Kampfgeschwader 54 (insignia); Nazi SS (insignias and uniforms); Panzer Forces of the German “Heer” (insignia); Panzer Units of the Luftwaffe (insignia); SS-Totenkopfverbände (insignia), the SS organization responsible for administering the Nazi concentration camps for the Third Reich; and Stabswache (insignia), Adolf Hitler's bodyguard unit; Hungary: Officer's of Alexandrya Hussars Regiment (emblem); Israel: 101 Squadron (insignia) of the Israeli Air Force; Italy: Arditi (insignia), elite Italian storm-troopers during World War I; and Black Brigades (uniforms) from 1943-1945; Nigeria: Fourth Commando Brigade (flag) of Biafra; Philippines: The Llanera Brigade (flag) during the Philippine Revolution; Poland: Dywizjon Jazdy Ochotniczej and Poznański Ochotniczy Batalion Śmierci (insignias), two cavalry units during Polish–Ukrainian War and Polish–Soviet War; Portugal: 2nd Lancers Regiment (insignia), an army/cavalry regiment of the Portuguese Army; Prussia: 41st Regiment New York Volunteer Infantry (insignia) from 1861-1865; Black Brunswickers (insignia and uniforms) during the Napoleonic Wars; Husaren-Regiment Nr. 5 (uniforms), a Hussar regiment commanded by Colonel von Ruesch during the War of Austrian Succession and the Seven Years' War; Leib-Husaren Regiments Nr.1 and Nr.2 (uniforms) during the Napoleonic Wars; and Seventeenth Brunswick Hussar Regiment (hat); Russia: Kornilov Assault Regiment (right shoulder mark); and Revolutionary Insurrectionary Army of Ukraine (flag) during the Russian Civil War; South Korea: 3rd Infantry Division (insignia); Spain: 8th Light Armoured Cavalry Regiment Lusitania (coat of arms); and Ramón Cabrera's regiment (1838) during the Carlist Wars (flag); Sweden: Kingdom of Sweden's Hussar Regiments (unknown); United States: 90th Bomb Group (emblem); 190th Fighter Squadron (emblem); 310th Fighter Squadron (emblem); 319th Bombardment Squadron (nickname); 320th Bombardment Squadron (emblem and nickname); 321st Bombardment Squadron (emblem and nickname); 400th Missile Squadron (shoulder sleeve); 428th Fighter Squadron (emblem); 493rd Fighter Squadron (emblem); 512th Rescue Squadron (emblem); 527th Bombardment Squadron (emblem); 587th Bombardment Squadron (emblem); 1st Reconnaissance Battalion (emblem); 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (emblem); 2nd Reconnaissance Battalion (emblem); 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion (emblem); 4th Reconnaissance Battalion (emblem); 5th Reconnaissance Battalion (emblem); “HMS E9”, an E class submarine (flag); MALS-40 Squadron (emblem); Marine Amphibious Reconnaissance (emblem); MWSS-274 Squadron (emblem); Second Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion (emblem); Thirty-first Test and Evaluation Squadron (emblem); Thirty-sixth Commando Battalion (emblem); United States Marine Corps Reconnaissance Battalions (emblem); VMF(AW)-114 Squadron (emblem); VMO-4 Squadron (emblem); VP-26 Patrol Squadron (emblem); VQ-11 Squadron (emblem); “VF-17”, Squadron (emblem); VF-61 Squadron (nickname); VF-84 Squadron (nickname); VFA-103 Squadron (emblem and nickname); and the “VP-26” Squadron (emblem); and Yugoslavia: Chetnik Detachments of the Yugoslav Army (flag) commonly known as the Chetniks, a warring party in Yugoslavia during World War II.
Tributes to the Jolly Roger in popular culture include but are not limited to: Films: “Dr. Totenkopf” is the name of the supervillain from the science fiction film “Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow” (2004), and was played by Sir Laurence Olivier posthumously, using archived footage and computer graphics; Medicine: The skull and crossbones (i.e. the Jolly Roger) is used globally as a warning of danger, usually in regard to poisonous substances, such as deadly chemicals; Music: During the “WAT” tour, the band Laibach used the “SS Totenkopf” with a bullet hole in the forehead. The defaced symbol is also found on the cover of their CD single entitled “Tanz Mit Laibach”; The group Death in June uses a modified Jolly Roger (i.e., the Totenkopf) as their logo; The rock band the Melvins use the World War 2 Panzer version of the Jolly Roger (i.e., the Totenkopf); with three rather than two crossed bones for the "Singles 1–12" compilation album which was released in 1997 through Amphetamine Reptile Records and for the CD-Single #5; The singer Marilyn Manson combined the Jolly Roger (i.e., the Totenkopf) insignia with Mickey Mouse's likeness for varied use, leading up to and throughout era of his album entitled “The Golden Age of Grotesque” (2003); Video Games: In the computer game “Empire Total War” (2009), the Death's Head Hussars (i.e., the Totenkopf) appears as a Special Forces unit; In the video game entitled “Half-Life 2” (2004), the Combine's Special Forces, or the Overwatch Elite, bear an insignia of a human skull that strongly resembles the Jolly Roger (i.e., the Totenkopf); and in the video game entitled “Wolfenstein: The New Order” (2014), the creator of Germany's latest war machines is referred to by the Allies as "Deathshead", although he refers to himself as "Totenkopf”; and Secret Societies: The group Skull and Bones at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut has a logo which features the Jolly Roger (i.e., the Totenkopf).
Hollywood Pirate Propaganda
Since 1908, there has been over 150 movies featuring pirates (see list below) which equates to more than one film per year. Needless to say, there is a concerted agenda by Hollywood to influence the populous as to the true origin and history of piracy. The goal of pirate-related propaganda has and always will be to glorify piracy, the origins of the Greco-Roman Empire, and to psychologically move it as far away from Crete and the North Atlantic possible to other regions such as Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Pirate-related propaganda is being produced at ad nauseam, possibly more than any other genera, including but not limited to: Films: “The Pirate's Gold” (1908); “Treasure Island” (1912); “Pirate Gold” (1913); “Pirate Haunts” (1915); “Colonel Heeza Liar and the Pirates” (1916); “Daphne and the Pirate” (1916); “The Sea Panther” (1918); “Treasure Island” (1918); “Pirate Gold” (1920); “Treasure Island” (1920); “Cold Steel” (1921); “Captain Kidd” (1922); “The Buccaneers” (1924); “Captain Blood” (1924); “Peter Pan” (1924); “Clothes Make the Pirate” (1925); “The Black Pirate” (1926); “Breed of the Sea” (1926); “Old Ironsides” (1926), also known as “Sons of the Sea”; “The Road to Romance” (1927); “The First Kiss” (1928); “The Pirate of Panama” (1929); “Hell Harbor” (1930); “Treasure Island” (1934); “Captain Blood” (1935); “China Seas” (1935); “Captain Calamity” (1936); “Doctor Syn” (1937); “The Buccaneer” (1938); “Spawn of the North” (1938); “The Sea Hawk” (1940); “The Black Swan” (1942); “Reap the Wild Wind” (1942); “El Corsario Negro” (1944); “Frenchman's Creek” (1944); “Princess and the Pirate” (1944); “Captain Kidd” (1945); “The Spanish Main” (1945); “The Sea Hound” (1947); “Sinbad the Sailor” (1947); “Buccaneer Bunny” (1948); “The Pirate” (1948); “Rosvo-Roope (Raunchy Ropey)” (1949); “Buccaneer's Girl” (1950); “Double Crossbones” (1950); “Fortunes of Captain Blood” (1950); “Last of the Buccaneers” (1950); “Pirates of the High Seas” (1950); “Two Lost Worlds” (1950); “Treasure Island” (1950); “Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N.” (1951); “Anne of the Indies” (1951); “Hurricane Island” (1951); “Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd” (1952); “Against All Flags” (1952); “Blackbeard the Pirate” (1952); “Captain Pirate” (1952), also known as “Captain Blood, Fugitive”; “The Crimson Pirate” (1952); “The Golden Hawk” (1952); “Caribbean Gold” (1952); “Yankee Buccaneer” (1952); “Peter Pan” (1952); “Fair Wind to Java” (1953); “The Great Adventures of Captain Kidd” (1953); “Prince of Pirates” (1953); “Raiders of the Seven Seas” (1953); “The Black Pirates” (1954); “Captain Hareblower” (1954); “Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl” (1954); “Long John Silver” (1954); “Return to Treasure Island” (1954); “Moonfleet” (1955); “Pirates of Tripoli” (1955); “Davy Crockett and the River Pirates” (1956); “La Bigorne” (1958); “The Buccaneer” (1958); “The Fabulous World of Jules Verne” (1958); “Swiss Family Robinson” (1960); “The Boy and the Pirates” (1960); “Captain Blood” (1960); “Queen of the Pirates” (1960); “The Adventure of Mary Read” (1960), also known as “Queen of the Seas”; “Rage of the Buccaneers” (1961); “Morgan, the Pirate” (1961); “Pirates of Tortuga” (1961); “Jules Verne's Mysterious Island” (1961); “Hero's Island” (1962); “The Pirates of Blood River” (1962); “Seven Seas to Calais” (1962); “The Son of Captain Blood” (1962); “The Lion of St. Mark” (1962); “Captain Clegg” (1964), also known as “Night Creatures”; “The Devil-Ship Pirates” (1964); “Treasure Island” (1964); “Cold Steel for Tortuga” (1965); “A High Wind in Jamaica” (1965); “The King's Pirate” (1967); “Blackbeard's Ghost” (1967); “Pippi Longstocking on the Seven Seas” (1970); “The Light at the Edge of the World” (1971); “Treasure Island” (1972); “The Black Corsair” (1976); “Swashbuckler” (1976), also known as “Scarlet Buccaneer”; “Oro rojo” (1978); “The Island” (1980); “Los Diablos del mar” (1981); “The Pirate Movie” (1982); “Nate and Hayes” (1983); “Yellowbeard” (1983); “The Pirates of Penzance” (1983); “The Ice Pirates” (1984); “The Master of Ballantrae” (1984); “The Pirate” (1984); “The Goonies” (1985); “The Pirates of Penzance” (1985); “Treasure Island” (1985); “Return to Treasure Island” (1986); “Pirates” (1986); “Jim & Piraterna Blom” (1987); “The Princess Bride” (1987); “Shipwrecked” (1990); “Treasure Island” (1990); “Hook” (1991); “Pirate's Island” (1991); “Pirate Prince” (1991); “Matusalem” (1993); “Treasure Island: The Adventure Begins” (1994); “Cutthroat Island” (1995); “Magic Island” (1995); “Muppet Treasure Island” (1996); “Return to Treasure Island” (1996); “Matusalem II” (1998); “Treasure Planet” (2002); “Peter Pan” (2003); “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003); “Captain Sabertooth” (2003); “Pirates” (2005); “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest” (2006); “Pirates of the Great Salt Lake” (2006); “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End” (2007); “Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge” (2008); “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (2011); “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!” (2012); “Treasure Island” (2012); “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales” (2016); and “Pirate Latitudes” (TBA); Television: “Pirate Party on Catalina Isle” (1935); “The Buccaneers” (1956); “Peter Pan and the Pirates” (1987); “The Pirates of Dark Water” (1991); “Pirates” (1994); and “Pirate Tales” (1997); and Video Games: “Blood Royale (Hentai)” (2002).