Note: In Opposition to the Lawful King’: Pirates and land-based authority in Sri Lanka, 1000–1500

By Lara Wijesuriya, published August 2021


Existing literature on piracy in the pre-colonial and colonial Indian Ocean deals with certain regions more than others, and the existence of pirates in pre-colonial Sri Lanka has not received much academic attention in English. This article is a review of evidence of piratical activity in historical sources concerning Sri Lanka for the period 1000 to 1500. The evidence gathered from these sources is examined in light of some of the theories put forward by scholars of Indian Ocean piracy, especially those concerning the use of piracy as a weapon for political gain.

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Filed under: Early Middle Ages | Indian Ocean
Subjects include: Pirates, Corsairs & Privateers

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