They plundered, pillaged, and murdered on their search for booty. Pirates were the curse of the high seas! Or were they rather noble, courageous buccaneers in pursuit of adventure and freedom? What we allegedly know about pirates today is often influenced by Hollywood. But many a pirate worked on becoming a legend during their own lifetime.
Pirates have been around for as long as ships have sailed the seas.
Pirates appeared wherever trade flourished and there was no protecting power.
Different laws applied on board the ship.
Prisoners, slaves, and even women saw piracy as an opportunity for freedom and a self-determined life.
Pirates still operate worldwide today, as they did 3,000 years ago.
Their global sign is the Jolly Roger flag with skull and crossbones.
The sight of it once instilled fear on trade ships.
Today, companies use its symbolism for their own purposes.
What do we really know about how pirates lived, what they did, and how successful they were? What did they do with their loot, and how did they live out their lives?
What is true, and what is myth?