Plastic Model Kits
The history of piracy dates back more than 3000 years. The Greek historian Plutarch,
writing in about 100 A.D., gave the oldest clear definition of piracy. He described
pirates as those who attack without legal authority not only ships, but also maritime
cities. Piracy was described for the first time, among others, in Homer's The
Iliad and The Odyssey. Norse raiders of the 9th and 11th century AD were not considered
pirates but rather, were called "Danes" or "Vikings".
Another popular meaning of the word in medieval England was "sea thieves".
The meaning of the word pirate most closely tied to the contemporary was established
in the XVIII century AD. This definition dubbed pirates "outlaws" whom
even persons who were not soldiers could kill. The first application of international
law actually involved anti-pirate legislation. This is due to the fact that most
pirate acts were committed outside the borders of any country.
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This page was last updated March 15th 2007.