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n. 32 Minna Rozen

The Mediterranean in the Seventeenth Century: Captives, Pirates and Ransomers

Associazione no profit Mediterranea, Palermo, 2016. ISBN 978-88-99487-29-4 ISSN 1828-1818 ISBN-online 978-88-99487-34-8

MEDITERRANEA WEB 32

The purpose of this essay is to examine the positions taken by various early-modern states, religions, and organizations on the redeeming of captives in light of the following question: Which played the more important role – piety and religious imperatives, or the pportunity for many people to make a living and even get rich from the activities surrounding the redemption of captives? The answer to this question can help when grappling with such contemporary quandaries as: Should a shipping company bargain with a gang of pirates that have no relation to a specific country over the redemption of their boat, cargo, or sailors that fell captive to them? One should remember that today the boat and cargo are the main goal of the pirates. If the shipping company does not redeem the crew, they will be murdered. One can also ask another question: Should a country negotiate with irrational religious organizations over citizens that fell captive to them? This article does not answer these questions directly, but it can offer important insights. (Minna Rozen)