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The Story of Julius Caesar and the Pirates Who Dared to Kidnap Him

Before Julius Caesar became Rome’s first emperor, he was kidnapped for ransom… But his experience was definitely a peculiar one!

Julius Caesar wasn’t always the imposing Roman conqueror we knew in history books. He once was a young man who went through a traumatizing experience like a champ. Back when he was just 25 years old, Julius Caesar was kidnapped by a bunch of pirates.

Caesar was thrust into a position of leadership at the tender age of 16. His father had died suddenly, thus making him the head of the family. When civil war broke out between his uncle Marius and Lucius Cornelius Sulla, Marius won and thus made Caesar the high priest of Jupiter.

Caesar has always been a great figure of leadership.

However, when Marius died in 86 BC, Sulla rose to power and purged the government of anyone associated with Marius. Caesar then had to flee Rome for Asia, where he joined the army and earned the Civic Crown, the second highest military honor that Romans can achieve.

When Sulla died in 78 BC, Caesar returned to Rome and became a famous lawyer in a poor Roman district. This made him popular with the lower class, even though he was of aristocratic heritage. A few years later, he became more affluent, and traveled towards Rhodes with servants and friends for a business trip. But as they crossed the Mediterranean Sea, the ran into some Cilician pirates.

The pirates took their ship and all the passengers were made to choose between paying a ransom or being sold into slavery. Naturally, Caesar chose the ransom.

The pirates set his ransom for 20 talents of silver, or about $600,000 in today’s money. Caesar gasped in shock. Then he burst out laughing. The price astounded Caesar but not because it was too much, but because it offended him that his ransom would be so low!

How dare they ask for so little in exchange for the son of the Julii, a Roman aristocrat descended directly from Venus?! Caesar then demanded that his ransom be raised to 50 talents (about 1,550 kg) of silver.

Naturally, the pirates agreed and even let some of his friends go to gather his ransom. Caesar, of course, was too prideful to play the role of a timid prisoner and insisted that he be free to roam about and do as he pleased while his servants still served him. However, he did warn the pirates that he will crucify them once he was free. The pirates thought he was kidding.

The pirates thought he was kidding when he said he’d come back and crucify every last one of them. Boy, were they wrong!

Source: Getty

Caesar would write poetry and compose speeches, and demanded that the pirates listen to him as he read aloud. If they didn’t praise him, he’d yell at them and call them illiterate savages. He would even order the pirates to be quiet as he slept. The pirates found this incredibly amusing. In the end, Caesar earned their respect. They even allowed him to move freely and sometimes joined in their games. To the pirates, Caesar’s attitude was either that of a simpleton, or the result of boyish playfulness.

After 38 days of being the pirates’ haughty prisoner, Caesar was finally set free along with his men. The pirates went on their merry way with the 50 talents of silver.

As soon as Caesar reached Miletus, a port city in Soke, Turkey, he amassed an armed fleet and returned to the island where his captors were known to stay. He was able to capture most of the pirates and take their property for his own. He then sailed off to Pergamon, another Turkish city, where he threw the pirates into prison before he meted out his punishment: crucifixion.

The pirates begged for mercy as they reminded Caesar of the fun times they had together. And while Caesar did feel some pity for them, he couldn’t just back out of his word. Instead, as a final act of mercy, he slit the pirates’ throats before he crucified them.

Julius Caesar marked the creation of the Roman Empire and it’s his charm, his diplomacy, his leadership, and his bravery that made him Rome’s first emperor.

Caesar’s just punishment and his penchant for some semblance of mercy earned him the respect of many of his peers. The story of Caesar and his pirate captors became legend, and would be a popular anecdote among the Romans from then on up to Caesar’s rule as Rome’s first emperor, and until the fall of the Roman Empire.


Mauthausen Stairs: A Brutal Reminder Of The Hitler’s Reich

Located not so far away from Linz was a concentration camp that housed prisoners of war, and on its steps died many innocent prisoners.

Ever so often, there are stories about the holocaust that happened under Hitler's Reich. The brutality of it all, from small children to old men and women left a deep mark on everyone who have survived it and who has listened to the stories of the old. Concentration camps were camps in which prisoners of war were sent to, either to die by force labor or through gas chambers.

Many of you may not have heard about the "Mauthausen Stairs of Death" in the Mauthausen Concentration Camp. The camp is located some 20 kilometers east of the city of Linz in upper Austria. The camp was one of the biggest concentration camps during the war, with a central camp in Mauthausen and many subcamps located throughout Austria and southern Germany.

A side by side picture the stairs of death at a time of the holocaust was and a time of peace.


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10 Facts About the Holocaust That You Might Have Not Known About

The cruelty was absolutely horrible.


The Holocaust is one of the most heart-wrenching events in history. It was the brutal, state-sanctioned murder of millions of Jews by Nazis who believed that Germans were "racially superior" than Jews. Other minority groups that were deemed inferior to the Germans were also targeted during the Holocaust, including the gypsies and the disabled, while others were persecuted because of their political and socio-cultural beliefs.

In honor of the 11 million victims of the Holocaust, the world observes the International Day of Remembrance every year on January 27. Now, three scores and twelve years later, there are still a lot of people who remain unaware of the dreadful events that occurred back then.

Here is a compilation of ten facts about the Holocaust. Though some stories are tragic, some depict the courage and tenacity of those who fought and of those who survived.

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The Rich History Of Ferdinandea; A Long Lost Island Of The Sicilian Sea

This island suddenly emerged from the ocean floor. Four major countries fought because of it!

A long time ago, somewhere across the shores of Sicily, was an island that was called many names - the island of Ferdinandea. This island was located somewhere in the narrowing channels between Sicily and Tunisia. Ferdinandea's location was foreseen by many countries as one of the most strategic locations at its time of discovery.

Over four countries fought for the sovereignty of Ferdinandea but upon its sudden emergence from the ocean, Ferdinandea also retreated quickly. After six months of the island being above water, it sunk down.

This red x marks the location of the long lost island of Ferdinandea.


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