Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 30 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the instrumental use of terror in the region that first produced the concept “terrorism,” Europe, in a period before the conditions that produced it existed, the Middle Ages. For much of this thousand-year period, Europeans did not make the distinctions on which most modern definitions of terrorism depend, such as between state and non-state actors, civilian and military targets, civil and criminal offenses, or political and religious orders; nor did they restrict the legitimate use of force to a state. It is only towards the end of the period that European ideas about proper order and about the legitimate use of violence began to evolve in ways that set the stage for modern terrorism both as a concept and as a practice.

Keywords: terror, medieval, Middle Ages, violence, power, order, religion, state

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.