Footnoting History

From Neanderthals to Napoleon's sister, each week Footnoting History's team of young academics share their favorite stories from across history. New episodes every other Saturday.

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  Direct Link   Download 0 Minutes 08 Feb 2014

(Lucy) Who were the pirates of the 17th and 18th centuries, and what enabled them to rise to power? In Europe, pirates could be treated as celebrities or tried as criminals. At sea, pirate crews made legal agreements covering not only the division of loot, but forms of health insurance and injury benefits. Contrary to the pirates of Hollywood, moreover, crews were often multiracial, with men (and sometimes women) from Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean working side by side. In this week's episode, Lucy looks at what made piracy attractive, what made its unusual degree of equality possible, and how pirate legends have endured and been used in subsequent centuries.. . .