What Are Pirates?

pirates Credit: Candela Foto Art / Kreuziger/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Pirates are people who rob ships and boats at sea. Their aim is to take items of worth, such as jewels and money. Sometimes, pirates board vessels with the intent on taking over the ship itself.

Piracy began over 2,000 years ago in ancient Greece when pirates began to attack ships on their trading routes. Roman ships were continually attacked for their cargoes of olive oil and grain. Later, the Vikings were some of the most well-known pirates. Piracy flourished between the years of 1620 and 1720. Often, sailors turned into pirates after realizing that they would be treated better on a pirate ship.