History

Rogue History

What if everything we know about pirates is actually wrong? Join maritime archaeologist and historian Joel Cook as we explore the history of pirates through a new lens in this digital series from PBS Origins. Together we’ll unravel historical myths, unearth lost narratives and discover fresh perspectives.

Did Pirates Really Sing Sea Shanties? It’s Complicated

8m 36s

Songs like “A Pirate’s Life for Me” and “Dead Man’s Chest” are as prevalent in pirate lore as eye patches or treasure maps. These tunes, however, were written more than a hundred years after the golden age of piracy. Join us as we trace the roots of TikTok’s viral sea shanties and examine the types of music pirates likely heard on the open seas.

Episodes

  • Did Pirates Really Sing Sea Shanties? It’s Complicated: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Did Pirates Really Sing Sea Shanties? It’s Complicated

    S1 E4 - 8m 36s

    Songs like “A Pirate’s Life for Me” and “Dead Man’s Chest” are as prevalent in pirate lore as eye patches or treasure maps. These tunes, however, were written more than a hundred years after the golden age of piracy. Join us as we trace the roots of TikTok’s viral sea shanties and examine the types of music pirates likely heard on the open seas.

  • Anne Bonny to Zheng Yi Sao: The Notorious Women of Piracy: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Anne Bonny to Zheng Yi Sao: The Notorious Women of Piracy

    S1 E3 - 8m 20s

    Why is the woman pirate Zheng Yi Sao not as well known as the male pirate Blackbeard? Zheng Yi Sao had a fleet of 1,200 ships at the height of her powers whereas Blackbeard had just four or five. Join us as we explore the incredible and unsung stories of history’s most notorious women pirates.

  • Black Caesar: The Pirate with a Thousand Faces: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Black Caesar: The Pirate with a Thousand Faces

    S1 E2 - 8m 4s

    You may have heard of the larger-than-life “Black Caesar” who plundered alongside Blackbeard. But as it turns out, there were dozens of pirates of African descent referred to as “Black Caesar.” In this episode of Rogue History, we will unearth the stories of some lesser-known Black Caesars and examine how certain forces shape the stories we remember today.

  • What Pop Culture Gets Wrong About Pirates: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    What Pop Culture Gets Wrong About Pirates

    S1 E1 - 8m 35s

    Stories of pirates are hugely popular but what do we really know about the history of piracy? Let’s explore common assumptions about pirates and figure out which ones are true and which are myths.

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