Given the importance of trade to the Roman Empire, it was important that the Romans didn’t have their trading roots disrupted by pirates. Piracy was a permanent threat on the Roman seas. Bandits would form small teams and plot ambushes before retreating with their loot to hidden lairs. Much of the Roman navy was devoted to protecting transport boats. In the first century BC
Pompey the Great was given over 500 warships and tasked with driving out the pirates. With his highly trained force he drove out the pirates in just three months in 67 BC. During the purge over 900 warships were seized.

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