In the historical cycle of every civilization, different periods of state of law and order, stability of a central controlling authority come. The interim periods are characterized by some dark spots. European history defining the Middle Ages (sometimes referred as The Dark Ages) has such examples of turmoil’s, wars and tribes fighting amongst themselves for supremacy over others and to establish their rule. Such situation provided a fertile ground for the Bandits and Marauders to form their large bands and cause large scale disturbance to the life of peaceful people.
The aim of this thesis is to go into the background study and “Exploring the Reasons for the Inevitability of Bandits and Marauders during High Middle Ages”.
Throughout the high middle ages especially in the tenth to thirteenth century, prosperous travellers and traders as well as general public and farmers faced the fear of banditry. The general population and the rulers and governments knew how to deal with pilfering beggars and stealers fire wood. However they were afraid of gangs of bandits, vagabonds and gypsies in groups of unpredictable size were both dangerous. They refused to obey the state monopoly of carrying arms and they also disobeyed God.
Geographically they were operating in vast areas of Europe. The major areas where they preyed were the Dalmatian highlands located around regions between Venice and Turkey. The open areas spread over vast frontier areas of Hungary, the Pyrenees, Catalonia, the areas near French border, and low mountain areas in the Roman Empire like Spessart etc.
Spanish bandits were no less and very boldly operated throughout the country, especially in Murcia, Valencia, Catalonia, banditry and brigandage were a permanent phenomenon in mountainous areas of Spain, the period under discussion.
Vast areas of France the Périgord was really dominated by the bandits. Mostly the rich merchants who travelled through the jungle and unpopulated areas in that part of France fell prey to the brigands and the bandits.
In fact no area of European countries was free from this menace. The main reason being a chaotic situation in political scenario. There were small holdings and some oligarchies, princedoms and kingdoms with weak spots in the border areas where no firm control of any government existed and they had the freedom of moving from one kingdom to the other. The travellers merchants or pilgrims commonly fell victims to their activities.
Background for Development of Bandits
Collapse of the Roman Empire in fifth century created a vacuum of power in entire Western Europe. The central controlling in the form of any established government was amiss. The Romans just pulled back without leaving any representative or structure of some organized government and left the countries at their own. Every tribe under the leadership of their chief tried to expand its area of influence and occupy the territory of the...