Monday, September 19, 2016

Arrrrrrr matey! It be talk like a pirate day all day today!

yo-ho-ho! french man-o'-war under attack by barbary gentlemen o' fortune, ca. 1615. Painting by Aert Anthonisz.
This day, if ye did nay already know, be international talk like a gentleman o' fortune day. Gentlemen o' fortune 'ave been around as long as men 'ave gone to down to the sea in ships. The earliest documented instances o' reluctant transfer o' people's property on the high seas was in the 14th century bc, when the sea peoples, a crew o' ocean raiders, attacked the ships o' the aegean an' mediterranean civilizations. A gentleman o' fortune ship be a gang on water. They come with guns to get what they want, an' what they want be guns, women, an' liquor or the sweet petals of the lotus flower. So ye see they be no different than the gangs o' today.

Hanging of Captain Kidd;
illustration from The
Pirates Own Book (1837).
Gentlemen o' fortune 'ave always 'ad two classes o' targets: other ships at sea, an' ports bustlin' with wenches along the coast.

Today gentlemen o' fortune armed with automatic fire sticks an' pineapple-petard-hurlin' sticks  use small put-put boats to attack an' board ships, a tactic that there takes advantage o' the small number o' crew members on modern cargo vessels an' transport ships. Them crews is shippin' men, an' when they see the gleamin' smiles of a hundert grizzly gentlemen, they gentle up right-quick!

In ancient times, the Illyrians an' the Tyrrhenians was known as gentlemen o' fortune. The ancient Greek an' ancient Roman nations faced piracy. Durin' their voyages, the Phoenicians oftentimes resorted to piracy. Some Phoenician gentlemen o' fortune specialized in kidnappin' children an' youth to be sold as slaves.

The most widely known an' far-reachin' gentlemen o' fortune in medieval europe was the vikings, seaborne warriors from Scandinavia who raided an' looted mainly between the 8th an' 12th centuries of the current age, which be known as the Vikin' age in the early middle ages. They raided the coasts, rivers an' inland cities o' all western Europe as farrr as Seville, which been attacked by Norse in 844. Vikings also attacked the coasts o' North Africa an' It-ly an' plundered all the coasts o' the Baltic sea. Some vikings ascendin' the rivers o' eastern europe as farrr as the black sea an' Persia. The lack o' centralized powers all o'er europe durin' the middle ages enabled gentlemen o' fortune to attack ships an' coastal areas all o'er the continent.

Now, just remember, use matey a lot an' say arrrr a lot so's we don't confuse ye with a landlubber an' press ye into service! Do we have a clear understandin'?
Capture of the Pirate Blackbeard, 1718 depicting the battle between Blackbeard and Robert Maynard in Ocracoke Bay; romanticized depiction by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris from 1920.

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