According to Discovery News, the earliest pirates used the advantageous environments of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas to hide and wait for ambushes or to relax after a successful theft, given their great number of small islands. In fact, the word "pirate" has a Greek root in the word "peiran", which means "to atack, make a hostile attempt on, try".
This whole daring, back in those days, evolved into an occupation, which in turn formed a community, and those people passed their traditions across generations! Referred as "Sea Peoples", ancient pirates were basically groups of people from various backgrounds, and usually targeted vessels from the dominant naval power at the time, a.k.a. Egypt. How do we now that? Because of references to piracy in ancient Egyptian tablets!
Those raids continued until the Egyptian empire faced its sunset, but there was some resistance...
Oh, and the famous "pirate speak" we love nowadays? Apparently comes from the portrayal of Long John Silver in Disney's adaptation of Robert Newton's Treasure Island. Sorry to burst your bubble on that.