Monday, April 6, 2009


Ahoy there, Reinhardt students, staff, faculty and friends!
It's not as if your faithful blogger here is obsessed with pirates. It's surely a coincidence that I happened to find an old picture of myself dressed as a pirate to illustrate this post.
I will, however, be very excited to attend tomorrow's Year of the Mediterranean lecture. At 2:00 pm on Tuesday on the third floor of the library, Mark Aloisio of Colorado State University will present "Pirates and Privateers in the Pre-Modern Mediterranean."
Dr. Anne Good provided the following preview of the lecture:

"Renegade pirates and state-licensed corsairs were the scourge of Mediterranean sea lanes in medieval and even early modern times. Few coastal zones were immune to the threat posed by pirates and privateers and there was practically no maritime city, state or people whose seamen were not involved in this activity.
In fact, piracy and privateering not only represented a potential source of profit for the direct participants but was an integral part of the Mediterranean economic system: pirates became merchants and merchants became pirates; individuals from all walks of life invested their capital in piratical ventures as they would in any commercial enterprise; entire communities made a living by supplying the necessary provisions and equipment that this naval activity required; and the authorities provided facilities and took a cut of the profits. For medieval and early modern rulers, pirates and corsairs sometimes served as an instrument of state policy and hence an extension of their military might. As a result, privateering became a critical aspect of the continuous wars between Christian and Muslim states across the Mediterranean basin.
This lecture will examine many of these issues from the perspective of a particular Mediterranean community: the islands of Malta and Gozo in late medieval and early modern times. The lecture will highlight not only the extent to which the inhabitants of these small islands participated in piratical and corsairing activity but also the cost which the population was forced to bear as a result that participation."
This is the final scheduled YM lecture. So be there--or be prepared to walk the plank!
(Note: the enthusiasm of the blogger does not imply in any way that the Hill Freeman Library and Spruill Learning Center condones piracy. Nor does the blogger have access to a plank.)

1 comment:

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