Terrorism in the middle Ages

The seeds of later developments

Authored by: Steven Isaac

The Routledge History of Terrorism

Print publication date:  April  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415535779
eBook ISBN: 9781315719061
Adobe ISBN: 9781317514879


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There is no shortage of problems in trying to speak consistently of terrorism per se in the Middle Ages. This historical period has the burden of covering three continents across a period of at least one thousand years of changes. To this historiographical headache, this chapter poses another disjunction: namely, how to find aspects of terrorism, as understood today, in these periods and places that generally lacked the organizing principle and legitimacy of the nation-state, that struggled to define the warrior against the innocent bystander, and whose ideological police (the Church) preached both pacifism and physically enforceable dogma.

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