His­tory an­swers

How did Barbary pi­rates di­vide up their spoils?

All About History - - CONTENTS - Me­gan Lowry

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There were strict rules re­gard­ing how the prof­its from the sale of slaves, ships and cargo were dis­trib­uted. Up to one-fifth went to the state ruler, then fees were paid to custom of­fi­cials, slave mer­chants and the upkeep of the port the pi­rates used. Half of what was left was then paid to the shipowner (who may well be the ruler again). The re­main­der was di­vided into sev­eral hun­dred shares, with 40 go­ing to the cap­tain, 10-20 to each of­fi­cer, 3 per sailor and 1.5 per janis­sary. Bonuses were also paid to the sailor who first spot­ted the prize.

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