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“Tremendous Damage” or “Mere Pinpricks”: The Costs of Piracy

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Abstract In the voluminous literature on historical piracy there is no convincing analysis of the actual impact of piracy on sea trade. This article attempts, in a preliminary way, such an analysis. Fragmentary data from the early modern Indian Ocean suggests that the cost of piracy was a minor imposition as compared with many other charges and dangers, some of them predictable, others not.

Affiliations: 1: University of New South Wales

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