|Pirates and Privateers
The History of Maritime
Cindy Vallar, Editor
P.O. Box 425,
Keller, TX 76244-0425
Time Line of History
Piracy & Privateering, Maritime, Scottish, & Events
(updated 3 February 2023)
This time line is a work in
progress. It incorporates events important
to pirate history, as well as important
historical happenings at sea, in Scotland,
and around the world. Although pirates gave
allegiance to no nation, they didn't work in
a void. What happened on land could and did
impact what happened at sea. Dates are
divided into centuries first, then by year,
and if the exact date is known, by month and
day within that year.
Special thanks to Luis for his
assistance in researching some of these dates.
Special thanks to those who have
caught my errors and let me know.
Like a Pirate Day, September 19
National Maritime Day,
Before the 1st
4th & 5th
6th & 7th
the 1st Century
April 27: According to the
calculations of Johannes Kepler, a German
mathematician and astronomer, this is the day
that the universe is created.
1220 BCE - 1186 BCE
plague Egypt, Syria, Cyprus, and Crete. Around
1200, they destroy several cities, including
Ugarit. They are defeated in 1186 by Ramses III.
June 11: Troy is sacked and
burned during the Trojan War.
June 4: Chinese record a solar
eclipse. It is the oldest written record of such
April 21: Founding of Rome
king of Assyria, attempts to stamp out piracy.
March 16: Babylonians capture
recorded incident of piracy in the South China
Roman Republic founded
Sea battle of Salamis (first
recorded sea battle in history)
February 15: Athens sentences
Socrates to death for corrupting youths and for
not being pious.
May 22: Alexander the Great's
Macedonian army defeats Darius III of Persia
at the Battle of the Granicus.
Alexander the Great conquers
Alexander the Great appoints
Admiral Amphoterus to hunt pirates.
October 1: Battle of Gaugamela.
Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of
Persia. It signals the end of the Persian
Alexander the Great dies.
c. 300 BCE
Theophrasus, a Greek scientist,
uses messages in bottles to study the currents
of the Mediterranean.
develops the triemiola, a three-banked ship that
uses both sail and oar together. These vessels
8,000 pirates join Demetrius in
his fight to control a portion of Alexander the
Great's empire during the 4th Diadoch War.
March 10: Romans sink the
Carthaginian fleet at the Battle of the
Aegates Islands, bringing an end to the 1st
Lucius Corancanius, official envoys from Rome,
request that Queen Teuta restrain her fleet
after most honest trade grinds to halt because
of piratical attacks.
surrenders to the Romans, agrees to pay annual
tribute, and relinquishes most of her
territorial holdings. She retains the right to
sail only two unarmed galleys at one time.
The Second Punic War begins.
By the time it ends in 201 BCE, the Roman
Republic controls Italy.
February 28: Liu Bang is
crowned Emperor Gaozu in China, beginning four
centuries of rule by the Han Dynasty.
conquers the Aetolian League, and the pirates
relocate to Cilicia.
Rome conquers Greece and
February 5: Rome
destroys Carthage, bringing an end to the 3rd
October 1: Germanic tribes
defeat the Roman army in the Battle of Arauso.
its first anti-piracy law.
fleet defeats Roman squadron off Brindisi, in
Southern Italy, disrupting communications
between Rome and Greece.
c. 75 BCE
pirates capture Julius Caesar. He remains their
prisoner for just over a month until the ransom
is paid. Once he gains his freedom, he gathers a
punitive force and returns to their island,
where he crucifies the pirates.
Antonius Creticus is defeated while attacking
Cretan pirates. He soon dies.
pirates aid Spartacus, who leads a slave revolt
in Italy. This alliance inspires Rome to deal
with the piracy threat.
sack the sacred isle of Delos where the Roman
Empire's main treasury is located.
Pompeius Magnus (Pompey the Great) is granted an
imperium to enforce Rome’s anti-piracy law. He
eradicates the pirates in 49 days.
August 9: Julius Caesar defeats
Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus during the
Roman Civil War (49-45 BCE). Pompey flees to
Egypt, where he is subsequently murdered.
September 28: King Ptolemy of
Egypt orders the assassination of Pompey the
Great after he lands in Egypt.
January 1: First use of the
of piracy in Mediterranean.
March 15: Julius Caesar is
assassinated. Brutus Cassius and other Roman
senators stab him to death.
defeats Sextus and crushes the pirates.
September 2: Battle of Actium.
Octavian, who later becomes Augustus Caesar,
wins this decisive naval battle against Mark
- 3rd Centuries
According to Dionysius Exiguus, a 6th-century
monk and calendar maker, this is the date of
the first Easter.
Officers of the Praetorian Guard assassinate
Caligula. His uncle Claudius succeeds him as
July 18: Fire
spreads through Rome during Nero's reign.
June 8: Jews
rebel against Rome. They capture the
fortress of Antonia in Jerusalem.
June 9: Roman Emperor Nero commits
June 21: During the Great Jewish Revolt, the
Romans capture Jericho.
June 5: Titus
and the legions of Rome breach the middle wall
Jerusalem falls to Roman forces, marking the
collapse of the Jewish state.
Masada, a Jewish fortress atop a mesa in
Israel, falls to 8,000 Roman soldiers after
a siege that lasts several months. Of the
960 Judean rebels, only two women and five
children survived. Rather than become
slaves, the others commit suicide.
August 24: Mount
Vesuvius, which has been dormant for
centuries, erupts, burying Pompeii and
Herculaneum and killing 15,000. The cities
aren't excavated until the mid-18th century.
Sighelm makes a
pilgrimage to Indian at the behest of Alfred
Romans begin building Hadrian's Wall in
Praetorian Guards assassinate Emperor Pertinax
of Rome. They auction the throne to the
highest bidder, Didius Julianus.
April 8: Roman
Emperor Caracalla is assassinated by his
Praetorian Guard prefect Marcus Opellius
Macrinus, who succeeds him as emperor.
Pirates plague Chinese coast.
Sextus Julius Africanus identifies this year
as the birth date of Jesus.
4th & 5th
September 3: St.
Marinus establishes San Marino, one of the
world's smallest nations and the world's
oldest republic still in existence today.
Emperor Diocletian of Rome begins
persecuting Christians and razes the church
Council of Nicaea closes. This first
ecumenical council of the Christian church
adopts the Nicene Creed, establishing the
doctrine of the Holy Trinity.
moves to Byzantium and founds the Byzantine
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is
consecrated in Jerusalem.
Summer: Large fleets of Chinese
pirates attack all ships they encounter.
January 1: Final
competition of gladiators in Rome
Alaric I and the Visigoths sack Rome, bringing
about the downfall of the Western Roman
Founding of Venice
begins to spread Christianity through Ireland.
makes a pilgrimage to Cruachan Aigle
(Eagle Mountain) in Ireland.
Flavius Aetius, a Roman general, defeats
Attila the Hun at the Battle of the
Catalaunian Plavis. This ferocious battle
stops the Huns' first advance in Europe.
June 8: Attila
the Hun invades Italy.
January 16: King Totila and the
Ostrogoths conquer Rome after a long siege.
May 7: The dome of the
Hagia Sophia collapses in Constantinople.
August 21: St. Columba sees
the Loch Ness monster.
record of a pirate attack in Chinese waters
June 18: Coronation of Li
Yuan as emperor, beginning 300 years of
the Tang Dynasty's rule of China.
July 16: Muhammad begins his
flight from Mecca to Medina.
June 8: Muhammad, founder
of Islam, dies in Medina.
Copper coins are minted for the first time in
Charlemagne and Carloman I, his brother,
become Kings of the Franks.
July 31: First
record of the eruption of Mount Fuji in Japan.
conquers most of Italy.
Vikings' first raid on England.
Three ships of Norsemen land on the Wessex
coast and slay the king's official.
June 8: Vikings raid Saint
Cuthbert's monastery on Lindisfarne Island in
Britain. The monks are slain, the monastery
looted and set afire.
organizes coastal defenses north of the Seine
estuary against pirates.
December 25: Charlemagne, king
of the Franks, is crowned Holy Roman
Emperor. He is the first such monarch.
slay sixty-eight monks on Iona.
pirates attack Japan.
pirates attack Japan.
Oseberg ship burial in Norway.
winter in Ireland for the first time.
July 10: Dublin is
founded on the river Liffey in Ireland. At
the time, it is known as Dubh Linn (black
24: Vikings destroy Nantes, France.
raid Lisbon and Cadiz, but a Muslim army
repulses them at Seville.
28: Vikings sack Paris.
of Saracen pirates attack Rome. Unable to
penetrate the city's walls, they plunder the
many outlying villas and basilica of Saint
Peter. On their way home, they encountered a
storm and the ships sank.
winter in England for the first time.
18: Rus Vikings attack Constantinople.
attack boats carrying tax rice and slaying
people in west of Japan.
army (referred to in English sources as the
Great Heathen Army) invades Britain. The
Vikings that take part are Norse, Danes, and
Swedes and are commanded by three sons of
Ragnar Lodbrok: Halfdan Ragnarsson, Ivar the
Boneless, and Ubba. They land on the coast of
East Anglia and eventually capture Northumbria
Danes capture York.
North African Muslims capture the
King Alfred founds English navy
and designs new ship to combat Vikings.
May 6: Alfred the Great and
his West Saxon Army defeat the Vikings,
under the command of Guthrum the Old, at the
Battle of Edington.
attack cities along the Rhine River, including
Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne, and Trier.
Viking seige of Paris begins. Nearly a year
passes before the siege is lifted in October
pirates attack Japan.
October 6: Formosus becomes
pope. Nine months after his death in 896,
his body is dug up, propped on a throne, and
placed on trial. He will be found guilty of
the charges against him and his papacy is
declared invalid. This and the treatment of
his corpse will divide Rome; Pope Stephen VI
will be imprisoned and strangled to death.
Pope Theodore II reinstates Formosus's
ordinations and reinters his body in Saint
Peter's Basilica. The incident is one of the
most bizarre in papal history.
pirates attack Japan.
King Alfred of Wessex in England
circa: Gokstad ship buried.
expelled from Dublin, Ireland.
29: Saracen pirates sack Thessalonica.
Their leader is Leo of Tripoli.
5: King Edward and Earl Aethelred defeat a
Viking army at the Battle of Tettenhall.
It is the last major raid by the invaders.
October 1: Mary, Jesus's
mother (also known as the Theotokos),
appears at the church in Balchernae during
the siege of Constantinople. She holds her
veil over those who are praying, including
Saint Andrew of Constantinople.
raiders prey on shipping in the Caspian
September 4: Athelstan of
the West Saxons becomes the first king to
rule all of England.
June 23: Founding of
Icelandic Althing, the oldest parliament
in the world.
time in Japanese history that pirates band
together under a strong leader, Fujiwara
9: King Olaf of Norway, aboard Long
Serpent, is defeated in the Battle
of Svolder, one of the greatest naval
battles of the Viking Era.
October 9: Leif Ericson discovers
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