Alain CharlesGuestNovember 27, 2020 at 3:57 amPost count: 2529
Algiers in the Age of the Corsairs
(Centers of Civilization)
by William Spencer
- ISBN: 9780806113340 (0806113340)
- Release date: November 8, 1976
- Genres: history
- Author: William Spencer
- Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
- Format: paperback, 200 pages
- Language: english
- Series: Centers of Civilization
About The Book
The story of Algiers is one of the great paradoxes in the annals of western Mediterranean civilization. The city’s origins were obscure, its history much like that of other towns in the region. But a thousand years of anonymity ended abruptly in the 1500’s, when the city emerged as the dominant maritime power of the Barbary Coast.
It was one of the ports conquered by Spain after the Spaniards had freed themselves from Moorish rule in 1492. Among the Muslim sea captains who helped dislodge the Spaniards from North Africa were the two Barbarossa brothers-corsairs, pirates whose business was preying on shipping from Christian countries plying the Mediterranean.
In this book William Spencer tells how the Barbarossas gained control of Algiers, with permission to rule it as a dependency of the Ottoman Empire, and built it into a highly efficient city-state that prospered from its main business-piracy-and endured for more than three centuries.
The most important commodity taken by the corsairs was prisoners. Some were sold into slavery, but many were ransomed at a better price. The Western world shuddered at the horror of being captured by Barbary pirates, but in fact the prisoners had the freedom of the city and lived much as did the troops of the Algiers garrison.
Stephen Decatur defeated the corsairs in 1815 and forced them to respect American shipping. Great Britain defeated them in 1816 and made them observe international agreements. But the corsair state remained in business until the French invaded in 1830, ending the Golden Age of Algiers.
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(FB2) Algiers in the Age of the Corsairs by William Spencer • 97808061133402020-11-27T03:57:58+00:00
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