Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Highway robbery
(851 words)

1. Early modern era

The robber bands in the era of the stagecoach took their first form in the Middle Ages as robber barons and marauding bands of soldiers. At this point, travel no longer connoted “departure for war” but carried the implication of roving and plundering “cohorts of knights” (Soldier). The arsonist bands of the 16th century were responsible for the first high point in the history of brigandage. For a token fee, out-of-work mercenaries (Landsknecht) ransacked farms and entire villages, plun…

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Beyrer, Klaus, “Highway robbery”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_025773>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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