A Noble Youth

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A Noble Youth

In the year 76 b.c. a group of Mediterranean pirates captured a youth who gave all the appearance of being of the nobility. Convinced that they had captured a rich prize, the pirates set his ransom at twenty talents (equivalent to about $10,000 today). The boy was actually insulted by their offer and laughed in their faces, insisting he was worth much more—at least fifty talents. Brave to the point of foolhardiness, the youth threatened that if his ransom was met he would return and have them all hanged.

The ransom was paid, and true to his word, the boy guided a naval expedition to his former captors. Pocketing the fifty talents, he calmly watched while each of the pirates was hanged for his crime. The boy's name? Julius Caesar.


From the book: 
Our Fascinating Earth