Piracy and Privateering in the Eastern Mediterranean, in the Early 19th Century: From the Standpoint of the Ionian Consular Network (1800-1807)

Gerassimos D. Pagratis - Associate Professor, Italian Language and Literature, University of Athens



In the context of the Napoleonic Wars, international political instability, games of diplomacy and the pursuit to destroy the enemy’s infrastructures favoured the growth of piracy and privateering. In this particular historical period, the Septinsular Republic (1800-1807) was founded: a small state which came under the protection of Russia and the Ottoman Empire and unified the once Venetian islands of the Ionian Sea administratively, for the first time in their history. The aim of this paper is to utilize reports produced by the dense Ionian consular network, in order to identify the key players in this lawful/unlawful activity, as well as analyze the space, tactics and key pursuits involved. Also, to test the ‘certainties’ with which historians approach the complex phenomenon of piracy and privateering.




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