How Julius Caesar convinced pirates to raise their ransom demand

A Mediterranean-style piracy tale

Stars Insider

26/09/23 | StarsInsider


The name Julius Caesar reverberates through the annals of history like a thunderclap. A figure of immense power and importance in the ancient Roman world, Caesar's life was filled with military conquests, political intrigue, and unprecedented statesmanship. Yet amidst the grandeur of his achievements, there is one compelling episode that is often overshadowed by his other exploits: the time Julius Caesar was captured by pirates.

This extraordinary story is set in the Mediterranean, 16 years before Julius Caesar first became consul of Rome and more than three decades before he declared himself emperor for life. When the young Caesar sailed to Rhodes in his twenties, he had no idea that this voyage would throw him into a severe ordeal that would not only test his courage, but also reveal the indomitable spirit that would shape his destiny.

In 75 BCE, the Mediterranean was a dangerous area, infested by marauding pirates known for their ruthlessness and cunning tactics. Halfway through this treacherous sea voyage, Caesar's ship was ambushed and he fell into the clutches of the Cilician pirates, a notorious brotherhood feared by sailors the world over. Thus began a chapter in Caesar's life that revealed the depths of his resilience, his courage in the face of danger, and a promise of revenge that became the stuff of legend.

So, intrigued? Then click through the following gallery to get to know this story of Mediterranean-style piracy, Caesar's resilience, and the ultimate revenge that sealed 'the deal' and set him on course to become the Roman "dictator for life."

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