vendetta


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vendetta

(vĕndĕt`ə) [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. It generally reflects a society where the family is the only social unit with authority or where there is no centralized government to compel order. After a society attains cohesion and will no longer tolerate private vengeance, compositioncomposition,
in ancient and medieval law, a sum of money paid by a guilty party as satisfaction to the family of the person who was injured or killed. Failure to make the payment might justify retaliation in kind against the offender or his family.
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 for offenses may be compelled. In time the state itself punishes antisocial acts, and a system of criminal lawcriminal law,
the branch of law that defines crimes, treats of their nature, and provides for their punishment. A tort is a civil wrong committed against an individual; a crime, on the other hand, is regarded as an offense committed against the public, even though only one
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 takes form. The vendetta may prevail also where the government is feared or distrusted to such an extent that private justice is considered more equitable. The obligation to carry on the vendetta usually rests primarily on the male who is next of kin to the wronged person. Among some peoples, vengeance may be taken on any member of the group of the person who has done the wrong. The most striking form of the vendetta is the blood feudfeud,
formalized private warfare, especially between family groups. The blood feud (see vendetta) is characteristic of those societies in which a strong central government either has not arisen or has decayed.
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, or the taking of a life for a life. While the vendetta is almost universally proscribed by law, it persists in areas that are remote or lack trusted police protection.
References in periodicals archive ?
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Par Nevine Ahmed Certes, la vendetta a paralyse, pour des decennies durant, des regions de la Haute-Egypte, oE la peur regnait toujours.
In a statement Mr Quinn claimed Anglo had waged a "vendetta" against him.