la storia della pirateria

The history of piracy starts in 500 BC, the time of ancient Greece and Rome, when pirates sailed (= salpavano nel) the Mediterranean Sea and attacked the cargo ships (= navi mercantili). Also Julius Caesar at the age of 25 was captured by Cilician pirates and was a prisoner on an Dodecanese islet. Back in Rome, he sent a fleet (= flotta) to catch and kill the pirates.
Most of the pirates in the Mediterranean Sea were called corsairs. They were Muslims and they mainly predated Christian ships. Usually they dod not search for treasures or ships, but for  people. They took rich people for ransom (= riscatto), sold them as slaves or also forced them to work on their galleys (the ship = galee). In 846 Muslim raiders (=predatori) sacked (=saccheggiarono)Rome and damaged the Vatican.
Piracy was practised also in Northern Europe. In particular during the Middle Ages the Vikings travelled across the North Sea and invaded Britain. Their ships were fast and long , with a flat-bottom (= fondo piatto) to travel up river and attack inland villages. Also Saint Patrick was captured and enslaved (= reso schiavo) by Irish pirates.
In the first half of the 7th century, in Italy, Venice was often raided by a Slavic tribe from Pagania, a land between Dalmatia and Zachlumia. They were known as the Narentines, and raided Venetian traders coming back from the southern coasts, sometimes together with the Arabs. The fight continued during the 10th-11th centuries.
After the discovery of America, pirates began to travel in the Caribbean Sea, the Spanish Domain. These pirates attacked merchant ships, the galleons, which were quite large, slow and heavy and carried enormous treasures.
The first headquarter of the pirates was the small, rocky island of Tortuga because it had a protected harbour. There the pirates built a big armed fort with 24 cannons.
Afterwards, the pirates repaired in Port Royal, a British possession with a lively night. The British usually did not interfere in the lives of the pirates. Unfortunately for the pirates, in 1692, an earthquake (= terremoto)and a giant wave destroyed Port Royal.
Soon the situation changed: the Europeans fed up with raids and destructions, built bigger, faster and stronger steam ships. The pirates could not take them. It was the end of that form of piracy.
When the British captured the pirates, they sent them to prison in England or pardoned them. Usually the younger ones got pardon if they accepted certain terms. Instead the condemned pirates were hanged (to hang, regolare= impiccare) in the first American port and their bodies were shown in cages (= gabbie).
However, piracy still continues today. Modern day pirates use high-tech equipment like speed boats, automatic rifles (=fucili)  and machine guns. They use computers and contact each other with radios. In the middle of the night they climb ropes to get on to the deck and take all of the treasure. Then they go back into their boats and disappear into the darkness.