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The Barbary Corsairs, also known as Barbary Pirates or Ottoman Corsairs, were a group of pirates and privateers that operated from the Barbary coast in North Africa.


Islamic sailors, known as corsairs, sailed from the Barbary Coast in the southern Mediterranean and raided European trade vessels during the time of the Crusades. Then counter-corsairs subsidized by the Knights of Malta were sent forth to battle the Barbary pirates.[1]


The Barbary Corsairs lead by Ammand.

By the 18th century, one of their most prominent and notorious leaders was Pirate Lord Ammand, who commanded a fleet of galleys.[2] The Barbary Corsairs were known to attack trade ships of the "Christian infidels", and preyed on all trade from the Gulf of Morocco to Turkey, due to Ammand serving as a privateer for the Ottoman Empire.[3] They frequently crossed blades with the Spanish Treasure Fleet of Eduardo Villanueva as they operated in the same waters.

Known shipsEdit

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The name "Barbary Corsairs" was used in the "Inside the Brethren Court" special feature for At World's End.[4]
  • In Pirates of the Caribbean Online, a player can buy an outfit called the Barbary Corsair.
  • The name Barbossa might have been derived from "Barbarossa" (Italian for "Redbeard"), the nickname of the legendary Turkish Barbary pirate Aruj, and his brother Hayreddin Barbarossa; the Barbarossa brothers were infamous across the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean in the 16th century.
  • One of the ideas for Chris Schweizer's Pirates of the Caribbean comic book series was to have James Norrington and his crew surviving the hurricane off Tripoli and being captured by the Barbary Corsairs and eventually becoming slaves/rowers aboard a galley.[5]
  • Many of the stereotypical features associated with pirates in popular culture are partly derived from the Barbary pirates. The eyepatch, for example, dates back to the Arab pirate Rahmah ibn Jabir al-Jalahimah, who wore it after losing an eye in battle in the 18th century.[6] The prosphetic limb, used by pirate characters like Peter Pan's Captain Hook, for example, is derived from the legendary Turkish pirate Barbarossa (Redbeard), who in the early 16th century lost his left arm, earning him the nickname Silver Arm, in reference to the silver prosthetic device which he used in place of his missing limb.



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Notes and referencesEdit

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