Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Bandits, banditry and royal power in Catalonia between the 16th and 17th centuries

Ernest Belenguer i Cebrià


This article is a synthesis of a phenomenon banditry in Catalonia which peaked in the century and a half between approximately
1500 and 1630. In this article, by banditry we mean the kind waged by both the upper classes and nobility and the lower classes. With
forerunners in the late Middle Ages, banditry is ultimately part of a history of social transversality in all sectors, which seriously hindered
its official repression from the Crown to the Diputació del General (General Deputation) because bandits had infiltrated all
the institutions, including the Reial Audiència (Appellate Court). This article then describes the most vivid periods of banditry, its
leading personalities or groups, including the nyerros and cadells, and the savage violence that it generated far and wide. Nonetheless,
a minimal comparison with broad swaths of the Mediterranean reveals that banditry is not unique to the history of Catalonia.

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