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(brĭg`əndĭj) [Ital. brigare=to fight], robbery and plundering committed by armed bands, often associated with forests or mountain regions. Social and political demoralization, economic or political oppression, and racial or religious antagonisms may give rise to brigandage, especially if the area provides suitable hiding places for the brigands. Brigandage can flourish during the disintegration of a state, as the decline of the Roman Empire; at a time of major economic and social change, as at the end of the feudal ages; after a great war, in the early stages of frontier settlement, as in early California and in the Australian bush; or in national borderlands, as in Scotland. Some argue that when a strong centralized authority develops, or when a disciplined constabulary is organized, brigandage disappears or goes underground. Others argue that people held under intolerable economic subjection adopt brigandage as a means of retaliation. Under the latter conditions, the bandit is often protected by a sympathetic public opinion, and can become a popular hero, a symbol of resistance to tyranny. Thus supported, the brigand leader may extend his jurisdiction over a wide area, establishing a recognized authority. The lawless lives of brigands and highwaymen have often become legends. Stories of gallantry and heroism have gathered about many brigands, especially those who were the victims of social or political oppression, who were rebels rather than bandits. Ballads and folk tales have grown about brigands such as Dick Turpin, the highwayman; Hereward the Wake; Robin Hood; Stenka Razin, the Cossack; Fra Diavolo of Italy; and Jesse James of the United States.


See C. J. Finger, Highwaymen (1925, repr. 1970); D. Dolci, Outlaws (1961); C. Hibbert, Highwaymen (1968); E. Hobsbawm, Bandits (1969).

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References in periodicals archive ?
ce titre le grand anc?*tre (34), et il a pour emules, dans les romans, le brigand Theron (Chariton 3,2) (35), qui fait croire qu'il n'a rien ??
The Special Task Force team formed in 1990 to nab the brigand lay in wait for him after receiving secret information of his movements.
Was Lady Mary description's of William Cragh as a 'brigand' more accurate than her step-son's choice of the term 'rebel'?
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brigand had testified that the cigarette company he once worked for hid evidence that nicotine, an oily liquid produced by tobacco leaves, can be addictive.
"Le heros brigand" begins as a band of unruly brigands are walking down a country road in torrid heat.
Franz imprisons and mistreats their father, who dies when he learns that Karl is a brigand. Amalia, Karl's faithful beloved, knows that Karl will never break his vow of allegiance to his robber comrades; she convinces Karl to kill her because she cannot live without him.
The police and Army intelligence units in Sultan Kudarat said the brigand Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, which boasts of allegiance to the Islamic State, was behind the pre-empted bombing plots.
AFTER completing a weeklong charter around the Isle of Man last week, Liverpool charter boat skipper Kevin McKie, on Brigand, reported some excellent fishing as recordings of the number of different species went into double figures.
And the brigand is establishing his base in the thick jungles of Mahadeshwara Hills and Sathyamangala, bordering Karnataka.