blood feud

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blood feud:

see vendettavendetta
[Ital.,=vengeance], feud between members of two kinship groups to avenge a wrong done to a relative. Although the term originated in Corsica, the custom has also been practiced in other parts of Italy, in other European countries, and among the Arabs.
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Blood Feud


a custom that arose and developed in society before the origin of the state. It arose as a universal means of protecting the life, honor, and possessions of one’s kinsmen (tribesmen). Although it had a common basis, the custom of the blood feud existed in different versions. Among some peoples it was considered sufficient to kill one representative of the offender’s family (that is, not necessarily the offender himself); among others the feud had to be continued until the number of victims from both sides was equal.

In early state societies the blood feud was not abolished but was restricted somewhat. The circle of avengers and those answerable for a murder was narrowed, and the extent of the damage and the sex, age, and social position of the victim of the feud were taken into consideration. At the same time, a system of compositions developed—material compensation for the damage. For example, according to Saxon customs, the blood feud extended only to a murderer and his sons. According to Burgundian customs, the feud extended only to the murderer himself, and the circle of persons having the right to take vengeance was also limited. A murder as part of a blood feud could not be carried out in the premises of a church. According to the Russkaia Pravda, one could avenge a brother by killing the perpetrator’s brother, and one’s father could be avenged by killing the perpetrator’s son; if there were no such relatives, a fine (vira) was set. According to the Salic Law, a fine (wergild) replaced the blood feud. As a rule, the blood feud was forbidden if a person had been killed through carelessness or by accident. The blood feud and the compositions continued to exist in such a form in many countries and regions, and in some of them (Albania, Serbia, southern Italy, Corsica, Japan) the blood feud survived to the 20th century.

In the USSR, the blood feud and the compositions, which had been preserved among some peoples in the Caucasus, Middle Asia, and other places, are considered by the criminal law of a number of Union republics to be crimes constituting survivals of local customs (for example, the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, arts. 102 and 231). In the USSR, the custom has practically died out.


Kosven, M. O. Prestuplenie i nakazanie v dogosudarstvennom obshchestve. Moscow-Leningrad, 1925.
References in periodicals archive ?
26 did little to simplify the issues for trial, it left insiders wondering just how many blood feuds there are in this case.
The brutal killing of the women and innocent children motivated by a blood feud has sent shockwaves across the country, with many questioning the underlying reasons behind these murders and possible solutions.
Now the male members of the families involved in the blood feud do not dare leave their homes.
Starring silver screen veteran ylyas Salman and newcomer Dilan AksE-t in the leading roles, "Lal Gece" follows the story of a 14-year-old girl who is forced by her parents to marry a middle-aged man in order to end a blood feud between their families.
9 ( ANI ): In yet another shocking incident, as many as 13 young girls have been bartered to settle a five-month-old blood feud between two tribes in Pakistan's Balochistan province.
I have a blood feud with Josh,'' Shatner said, tongue-in-cheek, after finishing a couple of practice rounds on the Champ Car track in Long Beach.
The killing follows a recent blood feud by loyalist terror gangs who broke the peace deal in a row over drugs turf and protection rackets.
One killed, 1 wounded in blood feud: A man was killed and another sustained bullet wound over the dispute of blood feud in Wanda Aurangzeb village, said a police official on Wednesday.
Lal Gece," starring actor ylyas Salman and newcomer Dilan AksE-t in its leading roles, follows the story of a 14-year-old girl (AksE-t) who is forced by her parents to marry a middle-aged man who has just gotten out of prison (Salman) in order to put an end to a blood feud between their two families.
The release of Suleiman seems to have got no closer to ending the blood feud between the families.
Wednesday's clash is the latest development in a blood feud, which police say is linked to control of drugs and racketeering.
If the aim was to add a contemporary commentary on the blood feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, this version misses its mark.