The Roman Bandit (<i>Latro</i>) as Criminal and Outsider

Werner Riess

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Relations in the Roman World

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780195188004
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 The Roman Bandit (Latro) as Criminal and Outsider

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This article introduces the term latro, or Roman bandit, who were members of groups or bands that commit aggravated robbery. These bandits are normally separated from those who have been officially declared as “enemies” of the state. The discussion begins with a study of the way Roman people dealt with or punished these bandits; this shows that bandits were viewed as outsiders and criminals. It then looks at the sociology of deviant behavior and the nature of Roman banditry, where the terms “anomic” perpetrators and “labeled” criminals are introduced. Finally, examples of regionalized appearances of organized banditry are provided.

Keywords: latro; bandit; aggravated robbery; enemies of the state; punishment; deviant behavior; nature; banditry; anomic perpetrators; labeled criminals

Article.  10990 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Roman History

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