Pirates during a Revolution – The Faces of Piracy and the Reaction of Local Societies

Dimitris Dimitropoulos - Senior Research Associate, Institute of Historical Research
(Section of Neohellenic Research), National Hellenic Research Foundation



This paper examines the pirate action developed mainly by Greek pirates during the Greek Revolution of 1821. It also surveys the impact of piracy on the lives of the inhabitants of coastal settlements, the central government’s efforts to control the situation, the reactions of local communities, and the involvement of locals in the phenomenon of piracy by participating in the trade of sea captures or even through their direct participation in piracy-operating crews. The thin line between legality and illegality, the alternation of roles and the effects of piracy as an action that ruins or invigorates local economy will also be surveyed. The sources used for this paper include documents produced by the Greek administration during the War of Independence, official correspondence of local authorities, logbooks of ships, memoirs, as well as other testimonies from the period examined.





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