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The Story of the Barbary Corsairs: Islamic Pirates of the Mediterranean 1504-1881 (Capa Dura)


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When the blue Mediterranean turned blood red Powers that rise must fall-it is the way of things and is true of all, from the smallest realms to the mightiest of empires. There is no place on earth where this is more evident than in the lands and waters of the Mediterranean, where once the Greeks held sway, then Rome fought and conquered Carthage as it spread its influence-and the Christian faith-throughout Europe. In the 7th century, in the Arabian Peninsula, the prophet Mohammed founded Islam; it too spread quickly. It became inevitable that these two great empires of faith would both seek to dominate the region; so there came a time when Christianity and Islam overlapped and the crescent banner flew on the battlefields of Europe and particularly of Spain. By the beginning of the 14th century only Al-Andalus remained in Muslim hands and in 1492 Granada fell to the Catholic monarchs and the Moors pushed back to North Africa. Now the west began to separate from the east and territories and battle lines were drawn; the day of the Barbary pirate had come. Allied to the Ottoman sultan these ruthless freebooters were a powerful force able to hold cities and territories and to engage in pitched battles and lightning raids in search of goods and slaves. The story of the sea war of the Mediterranean, between Islam and the great sea-going city states of Europe and the famous Knights of St. John, makes fascinating reading. The Battle of Lepanto broke the corsairs as a major threat, but what makes this account especially interesting is that it follows the activities of the corsairs-who were still a formidable force-into the 19th century. Here the reader will discover the actions of the United States Navy at Tripoli, the Battle of Algiers in 1816 and the final struggles against the French at the close of the century. This is a fascinating and engrossing read for any enthusiast of naval and maritime history. Leonaur editions are ..."


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