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Grace Elliot
August 21st, 2011, 04:50 PM
Walking the Plank – Fact or Fiction? <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p>
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Walking the plank is described in J.M Barrie’s children’s classic “Peter Pan” and also featured in the “Pirates of the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /><st1:place w:st="on">Caribbean</st1:place>” movies, but did it happen in reality? Did pirates force their hostages to ‘walk the plank’; after all, wouldn’t it have been easier just to toss unwanted visitors overboard?
So what evidence is there to back up the myth?
As David Cordingly, curator of the <st1:place w:st="on"><st1:PlaceName w:st="on">National</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceName w:st="on">Maritime</st1:PlaceName> <st1:PlaceType w:st="on">Museum</st1:PlaceType></st1:place> and author of “Under the Black Flag” points out:
“There are no written accounts in the 17<SUP>th</SUP> and 18<SUP>th</SUP> century of walking the plank, and so historians largely dismissed the practise as the fanciful product of fiction writers.”<o:p></o:p>
However, Plutarch, the first century Greek historian, writing in his work “Life of Julius Caesar” tells a fascinating story of a young Julius Caesar being captured by Cicilian pirates. In his account the 18 year old Caesar was:
“…was taken near the island Pharmacus by…pirates, who, at that time, with large fleets of ships and innumerable smaller vessels infected the seas everywhere.”<o:p></o:p>
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http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com/2011/08/walking-plank-fact-or-fiction.html (http://graceelliot-author.blogspot.com/2011/08/walking-plank-fact-or-fiction.html)<o:p></o:p>