General Question

XOIIO's avatar

What came first, pirates or knights?

Asked by XOIIO (16861 points ) December 19th, 2013

Just something I have been wondering, what era was first? The era of piracy or the era of nights and that sort of armor? It seems like pirates should have been afterwards, they had more advanced technology, but you never really hear anything in history lessons or in stories/movies about what came first or if they were at similar times.

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5 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

There have been pirates since before the Common Era. The Mediterranean had pirates in various places that preyed upon Roman and Greek and Phoenician ships. And the China Seas have been rife with pirates for millennia.

Knights in Western Civilization were a form of cavalry to serve medieval nobles. So in the common connotation they were from the 6th Century through the middle of the Renaissance. But remember that there was an order of knights in the Roman Empire, an order of equestrians founded by Romulus, the Equites.

So while piracy was banditry that has existed probably back to the days of Egyptian glory, Knights were found at about the same time.

Nimis's avatar

Unofficially, pirates.
Officially, knights.

rojo's avatar

Pirates, for sure.

downtide's avatar

There have always been pirates for as long as goods have been carried by boat, but they didn’t always look like the ones in popular culture and stories. The swashbuckling buccaneers of “Pirates of the Caribbean” with frilly shirts and tricorn hats are 17th/18th Century. Heavily armoured knights were 2–3 centuries earlier than that. Heavy plate armour went out of fashion when firearms came into warfare, because it’s useless against guns.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

From the viewpoint of the vast majority, it was impossible to tell the difference. Both, in effect, had the power to take what they wanted when they wanted.

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