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All About Pirates

Pirates, Corsairs...

...Buccaneers and Filibusters

Some Names

dijous, 30 de març de 2006
From the 16th of March to the 15th of October, the Barcelona Maritime Museum, located at what was once the royal shipyards ('Drassanes'), is holding the 'Pirates' exhibition, an overview of the history of a phenomenon that is as old as navigation itself and which, even today, is still alive in some parts of the globe.

The exhibition shows how piracy evolved over time and is divided into four areas: 'The Ancient Era and Classical Antiquity', 'The Middle Ages', 'The Modern Age' and 'Piracy Today'. Set designs, reproductions, models and original pieces illustrate these four areas, which are completed with an educational area adapted for children.

The whole idea of the exhibition is to show the true scope of a condemnable criminal activity which has nevertheless become the stuff of legend. We must remember that piracy is nothing more than attacking and seizing ships and merchandise on the open sea or pillaging coastal settlements.

It is a practice that, as previously mentioned, still persists in some oceans, as witnessed by reports drawn up by the International Maritime Organisation and the International Maritime Bureau (a specialist section of the International Chamber of Commerce), which are working to eradicate it completely.

Pirates, Corsairs...

+ Khayr al-Din, one of the Barbarossa brothers.
As explained in the 'Pirates' exhibition, historically the phenomenon of piracy has not been restricted to any specific area – it has stretched to any sea with a notable level of maritime traffic. Piracy was already around in the Mediterranean during the Egyptian, Phoenician, Etruscan and Greek periods and it created a lot of headaches for Ancient Rome, which managed to politically unify the northern and southern coasts of the sea that the Romans called Mare Nostrum (Our Sea). In the Middle Ages, the figure of the corsair thrived; on the basis of what was known as the Letter of Marque, they attacked enemy ships with the state's consent.

...Buccaneers and Filibusters

+ Reproductions and original pieces illustrate the exhibition at the Maritime Museum.
European 'discovery' of America, at the end of the 15th century, kicked off a new era in the history of piracy, which then centred mostly on attacks against Spanish ships laden with silver and different objects of value. Next, the Modern Era, a time of buccaneers and filibusters, which are also covered in the exhibition at the Maritime Museum. Of English, French and Dutch origin, these pirates were based in the Antilles– the centre of operations of their wicked deeds.

Some Names

+ Blackbeard, one of the most famous pirates in history.
The most famous pirates or corsairs in history are from the Modern Era. In the Mediterranean, we had the feared Barbarossa brothers, who were active during the first half of the 16th century (in 1535, one of them, Khayr al-Din, commanded the sacking of Mahon, Menorca); and in American waters, we find names such as Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Henry Morgan and Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard...


  • Museu Marítim de Barcelona
    Hi ha l'exposició 'Pirates', oberta fins a mitjan octubre. La pàgina inclou una seguida de vincles de museus marítims.
  • Pirates
    A la revista de la National Geographic Society.
  • Pirates of the Bahamas
    Filibusterisme i pirateria a les Antilles, a cavall dels segles XVII i XVIII.
  • Pirate Info
    Pàgina dedicada als lladres de la mar. Història de la pirateria, pirates famosos...
  • Piracy
    A l'enciclopèdia lliure Wikipedia.
  • International Maritime Bureau
    Secció especialitzada de la Cambra Internacional del Comerç que treballa per l'eradicació de la pirateria.


  • During the Middle Ages and until the beginning of the 18th century, the Catalan coast was subject to pirate raids, which favoured the settlement of sheltered places inland as can be clearly seen in the Maresme area, for example, just north of Barcelona.
  • According to the report by the International Maritime Bureau, last year saw an increase in piracy in some areas, especially in Iraq, Somalia, Tanzania and Vietnam. It was in Indonesian waters where the most pirate attacks occurred– seventy-nine.


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Com apuntar-s'hi


Tomb virtual pel Museu Marítim, a les Drassanes de Barcelona.
Bandolers i corsaris a Catalunya durant l'edat moderna.
Francis Drake (~ 1543-1596), mariner, corsari i aventurer.
Maó, depredada per Barba-rossa el 1535.
I també...
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