Pirates In The Romans

873 Words 4 Pages
Pirates. When you hear that word you probably think of long bearded, hat wearing, shoulder squawking bird type of people. This description would be right if you added in malicious and fearsome. Back in ancient times, pirates were not a sassy, sarcastic Jack Sparrow in a comedy movie. Pirates were people to be feared. They ruled the seas, took ships, and slaughtered innocent men. The Romans certainly did not find pirates to be comedic back in B.C. Piracy caused some pretty big issues for Rome and its neighbors. Piracy in Rome interfered with trading, caused war and political issues, and eventually lead to the suppression of piracy in the Mediterranean.
Piracy interfered with trade in the Mediterranean, which was a big deal as Rome depended
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Once you invest your time and military forces, you have to stick with it. They could either have a huge victory or fail and piracy would spread. After time quiet turned to pressure. Rome was pressured by their subjects and allies to do something about piracy in the east mediterranean, especially the Rhodians whose very existence was dependent on maritime commerce (Souza). Rome started to take an interest in the pirates. They saw it as a way to establish power. They set their targets on Cilicia, a known pirate allie. Marcus Antonius led Rome into war. Marcus Antonius was an orator, a strong political speaker, in Rome. Though he had experience with Rome’s strong, political and military branches, he was nervous about the outcome of the war. He knew if he was going to defeat the pirates, he had to have a smart strategy plan. He attacked cities on the south side of turkey which were identified as pirate bases (Souza). This strategy worked and Rome won the war. In 99 bc Marcus Antonius earned his spot as a consulship. Although this war was a success, it did not completely do away with piracy. Pirates still lurked around and continued with shenanigans. When Rome went to war against the Mithridates, pirates were able to expand behind the scenes. Rome was too politically invested in their current war that they did not realize the piracy issue had become greater. At first, …show more content…
In 67 bc Pompey the great, or Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus, was given a special, mediterranean wide command to rid the sea of pirates (Souza). As stated earlier in this paper, piracy interfered with trade. The Romans depended on trade to get their food. Gnaeus Pompey's first concern was protecting Rome’s food supply. Pompey’s strategy was to assign multiply ships to a part of the sea and barricade the pirates so they had no other option but land. The pirates that escaped were greeted by 60 of Pompey’s best ships. The Romans finally got the pirates under control with a major military effort led by Pompey (Jones). What people see when reading a story like this is a brave hero who stepped up to serve his country and had a brilliant plan that worked and rid the sea of pirates. This is true. What they do not see, though, is the political hand in it all. The creation of a monarchy and the subordination of aristocratic rivalry under Augustus enabled the emperor to maintain a permanent, professional army and navy which could turn Rome’s claim to be the generator of maritime security into reality. (Souza) It was a time to celebrate for Rome. Although, even through all of these wars and political battles, piracy still did not vanish completely (Souza).
Piracy in Rome caused war, political issues and suppression, and interfered with trading. Without safe trade, the economy was put in danger, wars were fought, and people died. Pirates were

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