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date: 26 May 2019

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

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