Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable items or properties. Those who engage in acts of piracy are called pirates; the earliest documented instances of piracy were in the 14th century BC, when the Sea Peoples, a group of ocean raiders, attacked the ships of the Aegean and Mediterranean civilizations. Narrow channels which funnel shipping into predictable routes have long created opportunities for piracy, as well as for privateering and commerce raiding. Historic examples include the waters of Gibraltar, the Strait of Malacca, the Gulf of Aden, the English Channel, whose geographic structures facilitated pirate attacks. A land-based parallel is the ambushing of travelers by bandits and brigands in highways and mountain passes. Privateering uses similar methods to piracy, but the captain acts under orders of the state authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation, making it a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors.
While the term can include acts committed in the air, on land, or in other major bodies of water or on a shore, in cyberspace, as well as the fictional possibility of space piracy, this article focuses on maritime piracy. It does not include crimes committed against people traveling on the same vessel as the perpetrator. Piracy or pirating is the name of a specific crime under customary international law and the name of a number of crimes under the municipal law of a number of states. In the early 21st century, seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue in the waters between the Red Sea and Indian Ocean, off the Somali coast, in the Strait of Malacca and Singapore. Today, pirates armed with automatic weapons, such as assault rifles, machine guns and rocket propelled grenades use small motorboats to attack and board ships, a tactic that takes advantage of the small number of crew members on modern cargo vessels and transport ships, they use larger vessels, known as "mother ships", to supply the smaller motorboats.
The international community is facing many challenges in bringing modern pirates to justice, as these attacks occur in international waters. Some nations have used their naval forces to protect private ships from pirate attacks and to pursue pirates, some private vessels use armed security guards, high-pressure water cannons, or sound cannons to repel boarders, use radar to avoid potential threats; the English word "pirate" comes from the Latin term purateivitia and that from Greek πειρατής, "brigand", in turn from πειράομαι, "I attempt", from πεῖρα, "attempt, experience". The meaning of the Greek word peiratēs is "one who attacks"; the word is cognate to peril. The term first appeared in English c. 1300. Spelling did not become standardised until the eighteenth century, spellings such as "pirrot", "pyrate" and "pyrat" occurred until this period, it may be reasonable to assume that piracy has existed for as long as the oceans were plied for commerce. As early as 258 AD, the Gothic-Herulic fleet ravaged towns on the coasts of the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara.
The Aegean coast suffered similar attacks a few years later. In 264, the Goths reached Galatia and Cappadocia, Gothic pirates landed on Cyprus and Crete. In the process, the Goths took thousands into captivity. In 286 AD, Carausius, a Roman military commander of Gaulish origins, was appointed to command the Classis Britannica, given the responsibility of eliminating Frankish and Saxon pirates, raiding the coasts of Armorica and Belgic Gaul. In the Roman province of Britannia, Saint Patrick was enslaved by Irish pirates; the most known and far-reaching pirates in medieval Europe were the Vikings, seaborne warriors from Scandinavia who raided and looted between the 8th and 12th centuries, during the Viking Age in the Early Middle Ages. They raided the coasts and inland cities of all Western Europe as far as Seville, attacked by the Norse in 844. Vikings attacked the coasts of North Africa and Italy and plundered all the coasts of the Baltic Sea; some Vikings ascending the rivers of Eastern Europe as far as the Black Sea and Persia.
The lack of centralized powers all over Europe during the Middle Ages enabled pirates to attack ships and coastal areas all over the continent. In the Late Middle Ages, the Frisian pirates known as Arumer Zwarte Hoop led by Pier Gerlofs Donia and Wijerd Jelckama, fought against the troops of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V with some success. Toward the end of the 9th century, Moorish pirate havens were established along the coast of southern France and northern Italy. In 846 Moor raiders sacked the extra muros Basilicas of Saint Paul in Rome. In 911, the bishop of Narbonne was unable to return to France from Rome because the Moors from Fraxinet controlled all the passes in the Alps. Moor pirates operated out of the Balearic Islands in the 10th century. From 824 to 961 Arab pirates in the Emirate of Crete raided the entire Mediterranean. In the 14th century, raids by Moor pirates forced the Venetian Duke of Crete to ask Venice to keep its fleet on constant guard. After the Slavic invasions of the former Roman province of Dalmatia in the 5th and 6th centuries, a tribe called the Narentines revived the old Illyrian piratical habits and raided the Adriatic Sea starting in the 7th
Second Virginia Charter
The Second Virginia Charter, dated May 23, 1609, provided "a further Enlargement and Explanation of the said Grant and Liberties" which gave the London Company adventurers influence in determining the policies of the company, extended the Company's rights to land extending "up into the Land throughout from Sea to Sea", allowed English merchant companies and individuals to invest in the colonization effort. The charter includes a detailed list of the names of some 650 noblemen, officials and individuals who subscribed as investors
Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc, in French Jeanne d'Arc or Jehanne, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans", is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War, was canonized as a Roman Catholic saint. She was born to a peasant family, at Domrémy in north-east France. Joan claimed to have received visions of the Archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, Saint Catherine of Alexandria instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War; the uncrowned King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief army. She gained prominence. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's coronation at Reims; this long-awaited event paved the way for the final French victory. On 23 May 1430, she was captured at Compiègne by the Burgundian faction, a group of French nobles allied with the English, she was handed over to the English and put on trial by the pro-English bishop Pierre Cauchon on a variety of charges.
After Cauchon declared her guilty she was burned at the stake on 30 May 1431, dying at about nineteen years of age. In 1456, an inquisitorial court authorized by Pope Callixtus III examined the trial, debunked the charges against her, pronounced her innocent, declared her a martyr. In the 16th century she became a symbol of the Catholic League, in 1803 she was declared a national symbol of France by the decision of Napoleon Bonaparte, she was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. Joan of Arc is one of the nine secondary patron saints of France, along with Saint Denis, Saint Martin of Tours, Saint Louis, Saint Michael, Saint Rémi, Saint Petronilla, Saint Radegund and Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Joan of Arc has remained a popular figure in literature, painting and other cultural works since the time of her death, many famous writers, filmmakers and composers have created, continue to create, cultural depictions of her; the Hundred Years' War had begun in 1337 as an inheritance dispute over the French throne, interspersed with occasional periods of relative peace.
Nearly all the fighting had taken place in France, the English army's use of chevauchée tactics had devastated the economy. The French population had not regained its former size since the Black Death of the mid-14th century, its merchants were isolated from foreign markets. Before the appearance of Joan of Arc, the English had nearly achieved their goal of a dual monarchy under English control and the French army had not achieved any major victories for a generation. In the words of DeVries, "The kingdom of France was not a shadow of its thirteenth-century prototype."The French king at the time of Joan's birth, Charles VI, suffered from bouts of insanity and was unable to rule. The king's brother Louis, Duke of Orléans, the king's cousin John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, quarreled over the regency of France and the guardianship of the royal children; this dispute included accusations that Louis was having an extramarital affair with the queen, Isabeau of Bavaria, allegations that John the Fearless kidnapped the royal children.
The conflict climaxed with the assassination of the Duke of Orléans in 1407 on the orders of the Duke of Burgundy. The young Charles of Orléans succeeded his father as duke and was placed in the custody of his father-in-law, the Count of Armagnac, their faction became known as the "Armagnac" faction, the opposing party led by the Duke of Burgundy was called the "Burgundian faction". Henry V of England took advantage of these internal divisions when he invaded the kingdom in 1415, winning a dramatic victory at Agincourt on 25 October and subsequently capturing many northern French towns. In 1418 Paris was taken by the Burgundians, who massacred the Count of Armagnac and about 2,500 of his followers; the future French king, Charles VII, assumed the title of Dauphin—the heir to the throne—at the age of fourteen, after all four of his older brothers had died in succession. His first significant official act was to conclude a peace treaty with the Duke of Burgundy in 1419; this ended in disaster when Armagnac partisans assassinated John the Fearless during a meeting under Charles's guarantee of protection.
The new duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, blamed Charles for the murder and entered into an alliance with the English. The allied forces conquered large sections of France. In 1420 the queen of France, Isabeau of Bavaria, signed the Treaty of Troyes, which granted the succession of the French throne to Henry V and his heirs instead of her son Charles; this agreement revived suspicions that the Dauphin may have been the illegitimate product of Isabeau's rumored affair with the late duke of Orléans rather than the son of King Charles VI. Henry V and Charles VI died within two months of each other in 1422, leaving an infant, Henry VI of England, the nominal monarch of both kingdoms. Henry V's brother, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, acted as regent. By the time Joan of Arc began to influence events in 1429, nearly all of northern France and some parts of the southwest were under Anglo-Burgundian control; the English controlled Paris and Rouen while the Burgundian faction controlled Reims, which had served as the traditional coronation site for French kings since 816.
This was an important consideration since neither claimant to the throne of France had been crowned yet. In 1428 the English had begun the siege of Orléans, one of the few remaining cities still loyal to Charles VII and an important objective since it held a strategic position along the Loire River, which ma
Battle of Heiligerlee (1568)
Not to be confused with the earlier Battle of Heiligerlee The Battle of Heiligerlee was fought between Dutch rebels and the Spanish army of Friesland. This was the first Dutch victory during the Eighty Years' War; the Groningen province of the Spanish Netherlands was invaded by an army consisting of 3,900 infantry led by Louis of Nassau and 200 cavalry led by Adolf of Nassau. Both were brothers of William I of Orange; the intention was to begin an armed uprising against the Spanish rulers of the Netherlands. The Stadtholder of Friesland and Duke of Aremberg, Johan de Ligne, had an army of 3,200 infantry and 20 cavalry. Aremberg avoided confrontation, awaiting reinforcements from the Count of Meghem. However, on 23 May, Adolf's cavalry lured him to an ambush at the monastery of Heiligerlee. Louis' infantry, making up the bulk of the army, defeated the Spanish force which lost 1,500–2,000 men, while the invading force lost 50, including Adolf; the rebels captured seven cannons. The invading force however, did not capture any cities and was soon defeated at the Battle of Jemmingen.
The death of Adolf of Nassau is mentioned in the Dutch national anthem: Graef Adolff is ghebleven, In Vriesland in den slaech, "Count Adolf stayed behind, in Friesland, in the battle" Dupuy, R. Ernest and Trevor N. Dupuy, The Harper Encyclopedia of Military History, (HarperCollins Publishers, 1993. Laffin, Brassey's Dictionary of Battles, Barnes & Noble Inc. 1995. Menzel, The history of Germany: from the earliest period to 1842, Vol.2, George Bell & sons, 1908
Eighty Years' War
The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance, they were able to oust the Habsburg armies, in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas; the Dutch Republic was recognized by Spain and the major European powers in 1609 at the start of the Twelve Years' Truce. Hostilities broke out again as part of the broader Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was definitively recognised as an independent country no longer part of the Holy Roman Empire; the Peace of Münster is sometimes considered the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age.
There are numerous causes that led to the Eighty Years' War but the primary reasons could be classified into two: resentment towards the Spanish authority and religious tension. The first was articulated by the Dutch nobility who wanted to regain power and privileges lost in favor of the King, so they settled the thought that Phillip II was surrounded by evil advisors; this developed into an overarching discontent against the absolutist Spanish regime. Religious resistance, on the other hand, came with the imposition of an ecclesiastical hierarchy for all of the Spanish territories; this created resistance in the Dutch provinces, which embraced the Reformation. In the decades preceding the war, the Dutch became discontented with Spanish rule. A major concern involved the heavy taxation imposed on the population, while support and guidance from the government was hampered by the size of the Spanish empire. At that time, the Seventeen Provinces were known in the empire as De landen van herwaarts over and in French as Les pays de par deça – "those lands around there".
The Dutch provinces were continually criticised for acting without permission from the throne, while it was impractical for them to gain permission for actions, as requests sent to the throne would take at least four weeks for a response to return. The presence of Spanish troops under the command of the Duke of Alba, brought in to oversee order, further amplified this unrest. Spain attempted a policy of strict religious uniformity for the Catholic Church within its domains, enforced it with the Inquisition; the Reformation meanwhile produced a number of Protestant denominations, which gained followers in the Seventeen Provinces. These included the Lutheran movement of Martin Luther, the Anabaptist movement of the Dutch reformer Menno Simons, the Reformed teachings of John Calvin; this growth led to the 1566 Beeldenstorm, the "Iconoclastic Fury", in which many churches in northern Europe were stripped of their Catholic statuary and religious decoration. In October 1555, Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire began the gradual abdication of his several crowns.
His son Philip II took over as sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands, which at the time was a personal union of seventeen provinces with little in common beyond their sovereign and a constitutional framework. This framework, assembled during the preceding reigns of Burgundian and Habsburg rulers, divided power between city governments, local nobility, provincial States, royal stadtholders, the States General of the Netherlands, the central government assisted by three councils: the Council of State, the Privy Council and the Council of Finances; the balance of power was weighted toward the local and regional governments. Philip did not govern in person but appointed Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy as governor-general to lead the central government. In 1559 he appointed his half-sister Margaret of Parma as the first Regent, who governed in close co-operation with Dutch nobles like William, Prince of Orange, Philip de Montmorency, Count of Hoorn, Lamoral, Count of Egmont. Philip introduced a number of councillors in the Council of State, foremost among these Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, a French-born cardinal who gained considerable influence in the Council, much to the chagrin of the Dutch council members.
When Philip left for Spain in 1559 political tension was increased by religious policies. Not having the liberal-mindedness of his father Charles V, Philip was a fervent enemy of the Protestant movements of Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Anabaptists. Charles had outlawed heresy in special placards that made it a capital offence, to be prosecuted by a Dutch version of the Inquisition, leading to the executions of over 1,300 people between 1523 and 1566. Towards the end of Charles' reign enforcement had become lax. Philip, insisted on rigorous enforcement, which caused widespread unrest. To support and strengthen the attempts at Counter-Reformation Philip launched a wholesale organisational reform of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands in 1559, which resulted in the inclusion of fourteen dioceses instead of the old three; the new hierarchy was to be headed by Granvelle as archbishop of the new archdiocese of Mechelen. The reform was unpopular with the old church hierarchy, as the new dioceses were to be financed by the transfer of a number of rich abbey
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with 383,084 inhabitants in 2013, over 1,520,000 in its metropolitan area. Florence was a centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of that era, it is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, has been called "the Athens of the Middle Ages". A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1871 the city was the capital of the established Kingdom of Italy; the Florentine dialect forms the base of Standard Italian and it became the language of culture throughout Italy due to the prestige of the masterpieces by Dante Alighieri, Giovanni Boccaccio, Niccolò Machiavelli and Francesco Guicciardini. The city attracts millions of tourists each year, the Historic Centre of Florence was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982; the city is noted for Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.
The city contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Palazzo Pitti, still exerts an influence in the fields of art and politics. Due to Florence's artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Florence is an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked in the top 15 fashion capitals of the world. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy. Florence originated as a Roman city, after a long period as a flourishing trading and banking medieval commune, it was the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, it was politically and culturally one of the most important cities in Europe and the world from the 14th to 16th centuries; the language spoken in the city during the 14th century was, still is, accepted as the Italian language. All the writers and poets in Italian literature of the golden age are in some way connected with Florence, leading to the adoption of the Florentine dialect, above all the local dialects, as a literary language of choice.
Starting from the late Middle Ages, Florentine money—in the form of the gold florin—financed the development of industry all over Europe, from Britain to Bruges, to Lyon and Hungary. Florentine bankers financed the English kings during the Hundred Years War, they financed the papacy, including the construction of their provisional capital of Avignon and, after their return to Rome, the reconstruction and Renaissance embellishment of Rome. Florence was home to the Medici, one of European history's most important noble families. Lorenzo de' Medici was considered a political and cultural mastermind of Italy in the late 15th century. Two members of the family were popes in the early 16th century: Leo X and Clement VII. Catherine de Medici married King Henry II of France and, after his death in, reigned as regent in France. Marie de' Medici married Henry IV of France and gave birth to the future King Louis XIII; the Medici reigned as Grand Dukes of Tuscany, starting with Cosimo I de' Medici in 1569 and ending with the death of Gian Gastone de' Medici in 1737.
The Etruscans formed in 200 BC the small settlement of Fiesole, destroyed by Lucius Cornelius Sulla in 80 BC in reprisal for supporting the populares faction in Rome. The present city of Florence was established by Julius Caesar in 59 BC as a settlement for his veteran soldiers and was named Fluentia, owing to the fact that it was built between two rivers, changed to Florentia, it was built in the style of an army camp with the main streets, the cardo and the decumanus, intersecting at the present Piazza della Repubblica. Situated along the Via Cassia, the main route between Rome and the north, within the fertile valley of the Arno, the settlement became an important commercial centre. In centuries to come, the city experienced turbulent periods of Ostrogothic rule, during which the city was troubled by warfare between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines, which may have caused the population to fall to as few as 1,000 people. Peace returned under Lombard rule in the 6th century. Florence was conquered by Charlemagne in 774 and became part of the Duchy of Tuscany, with Lucca as capital.
The population began to grow again and commerce prospered. In 854, Florence and Fiesole were united in one county. Margrave Hugo chose Florence as his residency instead of Lucca at about 1000 AD; the Golden Age of Florentine art began around this time. In 1013, construction began on the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte; the exterior of the church was reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128. In 1100, Florence was a "Commune"; the city's primary resource was the Arno river, providing power and access for the industry, access to the Mediterranean sea for international trade. Another great source of strength was its industrious merchant community; the Florentine merchant banking skills became recognised in Europe after they brought decisive financial innovation to medieval fairs. This period saw the eclipse of Florence's powerful rival Pisa, the exercise of power by the mercantile elite following an anti-aristocratic movement, led by Giano della Bella, that resulted in a set of laws called the Ordinances of Justice.
Of a population estimated at 94,00
Louis of Nassau
Louis of Nassau was the third son of William, Count of Nassau and Juliana of Stolberg, the younger brother of Prince William of Orange Nassau. Louis was a key figure in the revolt of the Netherlands against Spain and a convinced Calvinist, unlike his brother William, whom he helped in various ways, including by arranging the marriage between him and his second wife Anna of Saxony. In 1569 William appointed him governor of the principality of Orange, giving him an indisputable position in French politics. In 1566 he was one of the leaders of the league of lesser nobles who signed the "Compromis des Nobles"; the Compromise was an open letter, in the form of a petition, to King Philip II of Spain stating that he should withdraw the Inquisition in the Netherlands. On April 5, 1566, with the following of two hundred horsemen, the Compromise was presented to the regent Margaret of Austria. During this audience one of her councilors, count Charles of Berlaymont, tried to calm her nerves with the words "Quoi, Madame.
Peur de ces gueux?" "What Madame, afraid of these beggars?". It was from this moment on that the opponents of King Philip's policy proudly took the name Beggars as their own. With the coming of Alva and his brother William withdrew from the Netherlands. From outside they gathered an army and in 1568, with the help of French Huguenots, they were able to invade from three sides. Louis and his younger brother Adolf would enter the northern Netherlands through Friesland, Jean de Villers entered the southern provinces between the Rhine and the Meuse and the Huguenots would invade Artois; the Army under Louis’s command would be the only one to gain a victory. Jean de Villers and his troops were captured two days after they crossed the Meuse, while the Huguenots were attacked and defeated by French royal troops at St. Valery. Jean de Villers betrayed the entire campaign and the sources of the war-treasury to his interrogators. Louis entered Friesland on April 24, to which Alva responded by sending an army under the command of Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg.
The Spaniards had an inferior force, Aremburg wanted to wait for reinforcements from the Count of Meghem, but he was late in coming and Aremberg's men were mutinous and pressured him to offer battle. The two armies met at Heiligerlee on May 23. Louis won the army his younger brother Adolphus fell in the battle. Although William wanted Louis to retreat to Delfzijl, Louis remained in Groningen, where he met the much smaller army led by Alva himself. Louis fell back towards Jemmingen where, on July 21, 1568, the battle raged for three hours until Alva's army drove them over the bridges of the Ems and into the Ems itself. Many drowned trying to cross the river. In the end the Dutch rebellion lost 7,000 men at the battle of Jemmingen. After Jemmingen Louis rejoined his brother William and went back to France where they joined up with Huguenot leader Admiral Coligny, he fought in the battles at Jarnac and Moncontour and was able to improve their French connections as governor of the principality of Orange.
In 1572 Watergeuzen claimed it for William. Soon most cities in Holland and Zeeland were in the hands of the rebels and William once again became stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland. Louis raised a small force in France, entered Hainaut on May 23, capturing Mons. Alva found himself held between two enemies with his own army rebellious and unpaid. William tried to relieve his brother at Mons but after an attempt on his life from which he managed to escape, he was unable to come to Louis’s aid. Alva was now able to bring the surrender of Mons on good terms and on September 19 Louis and his army left Mons with the honors of war. Diverting Alva’s attention to Mons had made it possible for the North to strengthen itself and although he may have regained Mons he had lost Holland, now strong enough to resist. In 1574 funds were running low and the Spanish were closing in on Middelburg and Leiden. Hoping for a diversion in the south, William wrote to Louis asking for help; that spring, along with his youngest Nassau brother Henry and the Elector Palatine’s son Christopher of Bavaria, crossed the Meuse with their army.
They hoped to be a decent diversion but found themselves outmaneuvered by the Spanish troops under an experienced leader, Sancho d'Avila. Leading the charge on the Spanish Louis was shot in the arm, he carried on, pretending he was fine, but was losing blood so fast that his friends took him away from the battle. He was brought to a nearby hut. Louis was never seen again, neither dead, his brother Henry and Christopher of Bavaria were lost in the Battle of Mookerheyde