• Osvaldo Raggio
Part of the Early Modern History: Society and Culture book series (EMH)


This chapter pieces together the autobiographical fragments and information about the bandits’ networks in order to study, from a prosopographical perspective, problems that have been highlighted in previous chapters. The broad context in which the bandits operated was constituted by the interweaving of kin dynamics and power dynamics, situated between local history and high politics. The role of bandits in local communities can be explained with reference to feuds between kin groups, in the context of competition for power and local resources, and of illegal activity related to circuits of exchange. The confessions made to commissioners recount individual stories that include elements of all these overlapping realities. But there is also another aspect that comes to the fore in some of the depositions, and in the bandits’ behavior. Organization into companies, a high level of mobility, a skilled use of weaponry, and a vast network of supra-local and diversified relationships permitted the bandits to carve out an autonomous space with respect to the cohesive structures of kinship and village.

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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Osvaldo Raggio
    • 1
  1. 1.University of GenoaGenoaItaly

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