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Julius Caesar Was Once Kidnapped By Pirates Who Asked for 20 Talents of Silver, He Insisted They Increase the Ransom

Ancient History | August 4, 2016

A 25-year-old Julius Caesar was sailing the Aegean Sea when he was kidnapped by Sicilian pirates. The kidnappers initially asked for 20 talents of silver, which is about 620kg of silver or $600,000 by today's silver prices.

But rather than send his associates to gather the silver ransom, Caesar laughed at the pirates and demanded they ask for 50 talents of silver (1550 kg) as the original demand was too small as a ransom for himself. Of course, the pirates agreed. Caesar send off his associates to gather the ransom, which took 38 days to accomplish.

Julius Caesar

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Now, nearly alone with his kidnappers (only keeping one of his friends and two servants), Caesar treated them like they were his subordinates. He even went so far as to demand they not talk whenever his taking a nap or retiring for the night.

He also spent most of his time composing poetry and writing speeches, which he would recite to the pirates. He also participated in many of their games and joined in their exercise, acting not as a prisoner but more like a leader.

The pirates grew to respect and like him so they let Caesar to do more or less as he pleased while he was with them.

Although he was friendly with them, Caesar doesn't like being held captive. He swore to the pirates that he would hunt them down and had them crucified once the ransom gets paid.

True enough, after he was freed, Caesar raised a small fleet and brought them to the island where the pirates were staying. Apparently, they didn't take Caesar's threat seriously as they were still there when Caesar arrived with his fleet.

He captured them and took back the 50 talents of silver, including all the pirates' possessions. He also had them crucified as promised.

H/T Todayifoundout

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