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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).

References in periodicals archive ?
and 500 miles of common roads [would also lead to the extirpation of brigandage from the Greek soil].
Si, en 1863, alors que l'on insistait sur le caractere exceptionnel de la situation, la loi Pica (17) avait introduit un systeme special de repression du brigandage, les partisans de l'abolition de la peine de mort faisaient appel, non sans une contradiction evidente (18), a la necessite de depasser les differents regimes penaux en adoptant un code penal unique.
Leaders within an Afghan tribal qawm traditionally extracted wealth from brigandage, road taxes and protection rackets and distributed these subsidies to their supporters.
La presse egyptienne rapporte quotidiennement des informations sur la perte de controle de la situation securitaire (tentatives d'evasion collective de postes de police et de prisons, actes de brigandage, des rixes a l'arme a feu et blanche, vols de voitures, enlevements d'enfants.
Brigands with a Cause: Brigandage and Irredentism in Modern Greece, 1981-1912.
In fact, much like battles with opportunistic motives, antistate resistance was quickly described in official writings as brigandage.
The popular image of the Middle Ages is that of uncontrolled warfare, brigandage and violence.
Since when anarchy and brigandage have been the policy of CHP?
The shadow of Al Qaida's threats to the West looms over the brigandage and random acts of terror in the country that have stymied the tourist industry.
One is not free if forced to educate their children in the classical curriculum, which glorifies violence and brigandage.
It is more distressing than shocking to note that this very alternate generation creates a corresponding increase of rape and social brigandage, break-ins, betrayals of love, suicides and vengeance-driven murders in the society.
It is the US that has pampered the Jewish entity into a bully, feeding it with atomic secrets, regular and massive financial assistance and shameless support to its wild acts of brigandage at every international forum.