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Barbary Coast / Pirates /
Aruj
Also called: Barbarossa; Aruj Barbarossa; Baba Aruj


Aruj, from a 19the century drawing by Achille Devéria.
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Aruj, from a 19the century drawing by Achille Devéria.

(Around 1473-1518) Barbary pirate of Turkish origin, operating along the Barbary coast.
Barbarossa is an Italian name, meaning "Red Beard". Still, another explanation is that was from Baba Aruj, virtually meaning "Daddy Aruj." Who actually was known as Barbarossa is confusing. First it was Aruj who had this name, then it passed on to Khayr ed-Din.

History
Around 1473: Born into a Turkish family on the island of Lesbos. His father may have been a sipahi.
Late 15th century: While being involved in piracy, Aruj is captured and jailed at Rhodes. He would escape to Egypt. In Egypt, Aruj was given a ship, which was manned and used to attack Christian strongholds in the Mediterranean Sea.
Around 1505: Aruj conquers Jerba, and gets involved in aiding Muslims from Spain to find security in North Africa.
1516: Conquers Algiers, and moved on to take control over Tlemcen.
1518: Is killed by the Spanish while trying to take Tlemcen. He is succeeded by his brother, Khayr ed-Din, who takes his name, Barbarossa.




By Tore Kjeilen