Tag Archive: History of Asia


In the final part to my series on Russian colonialism, I looked at the the Russian efforts to colonize the Caucasus. In that discussion, I mentioned the country of Georgia. That mention led me to write about today’s topic: The medieval-era Kingdom of Georgia.

Tamar_(Vardzia_fresco_detail)

Tamar of Georgia. 12th/13th century mural by an unknown artist. Public domain, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by User:Kober.

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Every year, over 120,000 ships make journey through a narrow spit of the Indian Ocean, passing between the Malay Peninsula and the Island of Sumatra. About one third of maritime trade will slip through these waters, including about 70% to 80% of all oil imported by China and Japan. But the journey is not always safe. On May 28, 2014, ten men armed with guns and machetes stormedĀ Orapin 4, a tanker hauling oil from Singapore to Pontianak. The Thai owners lost contact with the ship for four days before Orapin 4 pulled into the port of Sri Racha. The crew was safe, but the ship was missing 3,700 metric tons of fuel – a value of $1.9 million. It had been siphoned off by the pirates into a smaller cargo ship. This was the sixth act of piracy within three months in the Malacca Strait. And part of a legacy going back centuries.

USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG 81) locates a suspected dhow involved in an attempted hijacking of a merchant vessel off the coast of Somalia. For further information contact Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/Commander 5th Fleet Public Affairs at 011-973-1785-4027 of pao@cusnc.navy.mil.

A suspected pirate ship prior to being boarded by U.S. naval forces in January 2006. Credit: Kenneth Anderson, uploaded to Wikimedia Commons by Spencer.

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