History: Piracy on the Mediterranean

This site psu.edu has a translation entitled “The Report of Wenemdiamun” which is a history of piracy back in the days when Ugarit was strong and Egypt was vacillating between being a strong place and a weak one. Hittites are mentioned.

Note, this would have been before the era of my novel, but Zimrind is a sea merchant and so might encounter piracy like this.

I took my wife and children, and they were boarded upon a boat with many other women and children of our people, with supplies and horses and oxen. When they reached the mainland, they were to set out with an armed guard and make way for Amurru. I went forth before them in a ship manned by the most ferocious of our fighters, and we led the way, bringing a great fleet against the coast of Hatti-land.

“I must honestly tell you that, when we approached the shore of our intended enemies, I was terrified. Every limb of my body trembled, for I knew of the might of the Hittites. After all, had not Hattusas been the most powerful kingdom in the world aside from Egypt since the time of our forefathers? I also knew that several other fleets of Alashiyan ships had tried to battle the Hittites before ours, and had had but limited success in previous attempts. But I need not have feared so much.

“The fleet that came to meet us was not the great wall of fire and fury that I had expected, but a few ships, badly prepared. It seems the king of Hattusas was too busy trying to protect his skin from his own kinsmen to prepare a proper fleet. We had their ships capsized and the crews begging for mercy in the space of an hour. Some of the crews, which consisted of Shardana and Shekelesh working in the service of the Hittites, defected to our own side. They had heard the levies of the Hittite kingdom break, and knew that the flood-waters would soon burst forth.

Just a few paragraphs from the whole.