Pirates were the scourge of the seas during the Golden Age of Piracy from roughly the 1670s to the 1730s. Certainly, they were violent, but they also were remarkably egalitarian. Social commentators and political leaders in the late 1600s and early 1700s, such as Cotton Mather of Massachusetts, railed against pirates as “villains of all nations”. Today, popular culture romanticizes pirates everywhere from Halloween costumes, to Captain Morgan Spiced Rum, to Renaissance fairs, to Johnny Depp and Pirates of the Caribbean. How do you view pirates and why? Were they villains, or heroes, or something else?