Pirate's Sword with hand guard-HK 5549
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- The mere mention of the word “pirate” conjures up images of daring swashbucklers, bloodthirsty scoundrels and wicked rogues of the sea. As a nation, we have been reared on the media’s portrayal of pirates as either improbably romantic and dashing heroes or incorrigible villains. There has been no in-between. Those that explore the history of piracy in deeper detail find themselves exposed to a much more complex world than had previously been suspected. Often, many of these would-be scholars stop when they learn the truth of the gruesome and horrible deeds of some pirates. Unfortunately, they stop too soon. While it is true that there were several pirates and privateers that more than lived up to this reputation for evil, it is also true that as a nation we owe a great deal of our history to those very same pirates.
In the very popular modern imagination, pirates of the classical period were rebellious, clever teams who operated outside the restricting bureaucracy of modern life. In reality, many pirates ate poorly, did not become fabulously wealthy, and died young. Unlike traditional Western societies of the time, many pirate clans operated as limited democracies, demanding the right to elect and replace their leaders. The captain of a pirate ship was often a fierce fighter in whom the men could place their trust, rather than a more traditional authority figure sanctioned by an elite. However, when not in battle, the ship's quartermaster usually had the real authority. Many groups of pirates shared in whatever they seized; pirates injured in battle might be afforded special compensation. Often all of these terms were agreed upon and written down by the pirates, but these articles could also be used as incriminating proof that they were outlaws. Pirates readily accepted outcasts from traditional societies, perhaps easily recognizing kindred spirits, and they were known to welcome them into the pirate fold. Such practices within a pirate clan were tenuous, however, and did little to mitigate the brutality of the pirate's way of life.
The classical age of piracy coexisted with a rise in English imperialism which required merchant vessels to transport goods and warships to protect the trade ships from pirates and privateers. Living conditions on the warships were horrible even by 17th-century standards; sailors were often fed rotten, maggot-infested food, frequently suffered from scurvy or other nutritional disorders, and could be counted lucky to escape their service without a crippling injury. English captains were known to have been extremely brutal; the captain held a nearly sovereign power aboard his ship and many were unafraid to abuse that power. To fill the warships, officers would forcibly pressgang boys and young men to replace lost crew. The horrid living conditions, constant threat to life, and brutality of the captain and his officers pushed many men over the edge. Possessing seafaring skill, a learned intolerance for absolute authority, and a disdain for the motherland they might have believed abandoned them, many crews would simply mutiny during an attack and offer themselves and their ship as a new pirate vessel and crew.
This Pirate’s Sword is sure to be everyone’s favorite. It comes with a bronze colored hand guard and a black hard scabbard.
▪ Overall Length: 28”
▪ Blade Length: 21 ¾”
▪ Blade Material: 440 Stainless Steel
▪ Handle Material: Metal
▪ Includes: Hard Scabbard
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