From the fall of the Roman Empire in the West to the Renaissance and the Reformation, there are relatively few clear-cut examples of active terrorist groups for which we have information. Warfare in China, India, and the empires of the Americas also appear to have been conventional ones.The arms available to the rebels and dissidents were similar to those in the hands of governments (although the governments frequently had the advantage of better organization and organized military units). There are a few examples of systematic terrorist violence in this period. The activity of the Assassins in the Levant and Persia from the eleventh to the thirteenth centuries was in many ways the best chronicled. In addition, the city-states in Italy were often in turmoil in the Middle Ages. There were different types of political violence that occurred, including some activities involving attempts to intimidate and instill fear in opposing groups. A third case involves the appearance of some similar kinds of political violence in the great peasant uprisings in Europe. The last of these traditional peasant uprisings, and in some respects the greatest, occurred in Germany and the surrounding areas in the early sixteenth century—the German Peasant War of 1525.
KeywordsPolitical Violence Thirteenth Century Great Family Italian City Early Sixteenth Century
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