With the destruction of Ancient Carthage, the demise of the Seleucid Empire, and Ptolemaic Egypt on the wane, there was no strong naval power left in the Mediterranean. Rome was the only major Mediterranean power left, but by this time her navy was reduced and Rome relied on hiring ships as necessity required. Rome only protected the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas, on account of their proximity, with expeditions sent against the pirate bases on the Ligurian and Illyrian coast. The Balearic Isles were cleared in 120 BC for the same purpose.

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  • Die sogenannten Kilikischen Seeräuber waren eine von Basen im gesamten Mittelmeerraum operierende Seemacht, die vom 2. Jahrhundert v. Chr. bis zu ihrer Unterwerfung durch Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus 67 v. Chr. vor allem das östliche Mittelmeer beherrschte und während dieser Zeit den Handel im Mittelmeerraum empfindlich störte. (de)
  • With the destruction of Ancient Carthage, the demise of the Seleucid Empire, and Ptolemaic Egypt on the wane, there was no strong naval power left in the Mediterranean. Rome was the only major Mediterranean power left, but by this time her navy was reduced and Rome relied on hiring ships as necessity required. Rome only protected the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas, on account of their proximity, with expeditions sent against the pirate bases on the Ligurian and Illyrian coast. The Balearic Isles were cleared in 120 BC for the same purpose. As a result, the pirates became consolidated and organized. The smaller communities of the Greek and African waters were left to make their own arrangements. Communities unable to fend off the pirate incursions were forced to come to an understanding with the pirates, and thus became havens. Crete at this time was still an independent Greek territory. Civil wars had devastated the land, and much of the population turned to piracy. Crete became a major haven for piracy, with its strategic position in the midst of the Mediterranean and because it did not fall under the control of any of the Mediterranean empires. Cilicia was the other major pirate refuge. Like Crete, Cilicia enjoyed excellent natural harbors which geography rendered easily defensible. The Seleucids were too weak to suppress them, and Diodotus Tryphon, king of the Seleucid Empire from 142-138 BC, actually supported them, in order to strengthen his position. Around 140 BC, Rome sent Scipio Aemilianus to assess the situation. He reported that the governments of the region were too weak or unwilling to settle the issue. Rome at this time was unwilling to spend the effort needed to reduce the Cilician pirates, perhaps because of the benefits piracy afforded the Romans. Consequently, the pirates remained the only considerable naval power in the Eastern Mediterranean. They eventually had bases all throughout the Mediterranean. (en)
  • Piraci cylicyjscy – morscy piraci mający swe siedziby w Cylicji, w południowej części Azji Mniejszej, działający najintensywniej w późnym okresie hellenistycznym od połowy II w. p.n.e. do połowy I w. p.n.e. (pl)
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  • Die sogenannten Kilikischen Seeräuber waren eine von Basen im gesamten Mittelmeerraum operierende Seemacht, die vom 2. Jahrhundert v. Chr. bis zu ihrer Unterwerfung durch Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus 67 v. Chr. vor allem das östliche Mittelmeer beherrschte und während dieser Zeit den Handel im Mittelmeerraum empfindlich störte. (de)
  • Piraci cylicyjscy – morscy piraci mający swe siedziby w Cylicji, w południowej części Azji Mniejszej, działający najintensywniej w późnym okresie hellenistycznym od połowy II w. p.n.e. do połowy I w. p.n.e. (pl)
  • With the destruction of Ancient Carthage, the demise of the Seleucid Empire, and Ptolemaic Egypt on the wane, there was no strong naval power left in the Mediterranean. Rome was the only major Mediterranean power left, but by this time her navy was reduced and Rome relied on hiring ships as necessity required. Rome only protected the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic seas, on account of their proximity, with expeditions sent against the pirate bases on the Ligurian and Illyrian coast. The Balearic Isles were cleared in 120 BC for the same purpose. (en)
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  • Kilikische Seeräuber (de)
  • Cilician pirates (en)
  • Piraci cylicyjscy (pl)
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