History ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-16-2023


Medieval piracy is a mysterious phenomenon that is interwoven within the politics, culture, economic histories of the Middle Ages. Its presence throughout the Middle Ages is not questioned, yet it is rarely researched thoroughly. The subject of medieval piracy falls prey to the biases and assumptions that modern historians carry towards piracy as a whole, making the subject be under researched and improperly utilized. In this thesis, I will be highlighting the role that piracy played in medieval life and the way that modern historiography has neglected it. To do so thoroughly, I have pulled examples from different times, regions, and cultures to be able to show the longterm trends and overarching themes attached to medieval piracy. While a large part of the purpose of this thesis is to explore how modern scholars view medieval scholarship, I pull from a wide variety of primary sources to verify and challenge the conclusions that modern scholars have come to. While scholars today tend to take the presence of piracy during the Middle Ages for granted, it played a substantial role in society and the progression of history.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Sarah Davis-Secord

Second Committee Member

Dr. Michael Ryan

Third Committee Member

Dr. Timothy Graham




Medieval, Piracy, Historiography, Culture, Politics, Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Islam, Christian

Document Type


Included in

History Commons