Pirates are coming!
Piracy is an organized act of robbery by ship with the goal of stealing some loot. Pirates are as old as navigation and the first historical references date back to the 5th century BC. Although modern piracy is carried out with semi-automatic firearms, the best-known characters assaulted enemy ships with sabers and cutlasses. In fact, the Golden Age of piracy ran from the early 17th century to the late 18th century. Piracy profession was one of the most dangerous at that time, but all of them boasted of their freedom.
For those who survived the naval engagements the spoils were juicy. During the fighting for control of the seas, even the colonial powers realized its capacity and effectiveness. English, French, Spanish and Dutch navies not only persecuted pirates for their plundering into the Caribbean cities under colonial control, but they also hired them as privateers to attack the ships of enemy states.
Famous pirates and corsairs and their swords
Although today pirates are portrayed as vile criminals, in the Golden Age of piracy many of them were loved and feared alike. In the 16th century at Mediterranean Sea, one of the most famous pirates was Barbarossa, who also acted as a privateer under Ottoman protection. In Tienda-Medieval you can find a replica of the famous pirate saber with which he terrorized the ships of the Spanish Empire.
Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard, is one of the best known pirates of the Golden Age in the Caribbean Sea. Teach was a sailor in the English Royal Navy and began his career as a privateer for the English Crown before launching into piracy on his own. Teach, John Roberts or Francis Drake were also some of the most successful pirates. However, among all of them, Anne Bonny stood out especially, one of the most famous women in a field reserved mainly for men.
During its Golden Age, most of the weaponry used by pirates in naval combat consisted of swords, daggers and small firearms. In close combat during boarding, the pirates' weapon common choice was sabers and cutlasses. The lighter and elongated sabers were often used for duels. However, the most of the troop wielded cutlasses. Shorter in length than a saber, cutlasses were more practical for fighting on ship decks. This type of sword is heavier than a saber and the upper part is wider and curved.
These characteristics allowed the pirates to hit with more force, even breaking the enemy's chainmail or causing serious injuries due to the force of the blow. Movies like Pirates of the Caribbean or Black Sails have helped us to better understand the form and use of these swords. In Medieval Shop we have a wide variety of replicas, both functional and decorative, of these interesting pieces.