Warning, this is a true story – or at least, almost true.
If you go to Turkey, on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, you will find a small village wedged between hills – it is the home village of the great Turkish pirate Redbeard/Barbarossa.
But… of course…if you go to Greece, you will be told that Redbeard was born on the island of Lesbos – it is not far from Marmara, but it is not the same place.
To each his own pirate – is that so important ? not at all.
You only have to look at Turkish sailing ships to know that Turkey has the sea in the corner of its soul, and the mooring lines ready to be cast off.
And so Redbeard was the man who conquered the Mediterranean Sea.
We are in the glorious time of Soliman the Magnificent.
It seems that history wanted to confuse two brothers – the first was a famous pirate with a long red beard, the second a captain of genius – who used the long red beard to forge his legend.
These pirates were “poor” children, they set out with nothing in life but their courage, indifference to death – to their own first and the desire to take what they did not have.
But the youngest one, the very great pirate, wanted more than a life of adventure, red flags and drawn swords.
He went to Algiers – and offered his help to the Bey to fight against the very powerful – and very rich – Spanish naval fleet.
The alliance was quickly concluded – and almost as quickly, the pirate proclaimed himself King of Algiers – then of Ténès and Tlemcen.
The Spanish king was not to be denied and on all the roads of the Mediterranean, the fighting raged. Barbarossa asked for Soliman’s help – and of course Soliman accepted.
The enemy was Spanish…. Barbarossa easily got the help of the Kingdom of France and was able to scour the seas and prevent the Spaniards from dreaming of eastern conquests.
Charles V saw himself as King of the world –
Barbarossa took the Mediterranean from him.
During this time, the fabulous treasures of this time were exchanged – often by force -: camels, lions, tigers, gold sheets, gold chalices, silk, silver, splendid women intended for the harem of Istanbul.
But/or if we have to adapt some episodes of this pirate’s life, then we have to talk about his most chivalrous raid – or his most outrageous one, it depends on your morals.
Here’s the plot:
In 1534 Barbarossa orchestrated an attack on the city of Fondi, near Naples, with one goal in mind: to capture the beautiful, very young, very lovely Giulia Gonzaga and bring her back to Suleiman to be the gold star of his Harem.
He arrived with 2000 men – an army for a star – can an army catch a star?
The men, accustomed to the coups de main, silently go up to the Gonzaga residence.
A man guides them – what would one not do for gold?
Warned by her servants, the distraught young woman woke up with a start – they were there – only one road to save her, only one road covered with armed men
What to do?
What to do???
Dress as a man, roll up her hair and drown it under a man’s hat, climb the wall – above all, don’t make a sound, above all, don’t arouse the attention of those who, a few meters away from her, were preparing to break down the door. She jumped outside, as flexible as a cat, joined by a young squire who would pretend to be her brother.
To slip into the bushes – it was necessary to reach the stable – not to rush – not to hurry – to reach the horses while bypassing these men
Seeing herself caught at every sound – having her heart pounding at every step of the pirates she had to walk along to reach the horses
finally – the stable
as long as the horses
wait – the child said to wait – the pirates will open the big door – that will be the moment, they will not pay attention to their backs
He was right, the boy.
And so the beautiful one rode off into the night, accompanied by her young squire. Frustrated by this utterly humiliating failure, Barbarossa ordered the massacre of the inhabitants of Fondi – as if they were the ones who had been stupid.
Anyway, this adventure allows the “bad guy” to lose because, after all, pirates are bad guys.
And we can forget to mention that this villain died peacefully in Istanbul, where we find his mausoleum – and his very famous green flag that made the Spanish world shudder – a copy of which is exhibited in the Istanbul Marine Museum.
Try to persuade me that a story like this won’t enthrall children – and even grown-ups – you won’t succeed at all
Again, will be my answer – yes, yes, I want more
the adventures of Barbarossa, again, quick & please
Yes, yes, what did he do in the beginning of his life ?
Who was his brother?
What do you mean, in slavery? he was ? Who was ?
And : how did he get out of it?
And : the beautiful Italian woman, did he finally see her?
And : and and and… well done, we make a whole Mediterranean season under the auspices of the great pirate.
And : it will be wonderful. Toc
Oh what a story! Sad about the villagers, frustration can take you down dark roads sometimes.
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Oh yes – particularly when you’re used to be “the big boss” !!!
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