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17

You may want to check the cour des miracles (court of miracles) as a real life example of a "thieves guild". Clearly reading about the Mafia, Tong, and Yakuza should be compulsory as those are crime organisations. Look at your local law enforcement web site for further information on organised crime as well if you are looking for more modern organisations. ...


16

Arrr, tharr niver has been an orgarrrnization o'pirates in t'traditional sense. Tharr may well ha' been brief alliarrrnces o' convenyence, for when ye can trust a man no to make ye walk the plank, ye may help each other in gathering in the booty! Also now an' then a Cap'n of dark renown might set up his followers as minor cap'ns in their own right, and so ...


13

Loki and Hermes are well-known gods of thievery. As for saints, St. Nicolas is the patron of thieves. As for clans, often there was some community of people that had any normal work forbidden by the society or some inner rules. Some opressed small nation could choose non-collaboration policy and crime remained their only way of living. Gipsies or ...


9

The common date is the massive introduction of the automobile, in the early 1900s (interpreting these data) or 1908 (Ford T model production start). After the US civil war, a lot of train robberies happened, but the trains (as later the planes again high-jacking) were rapidly secured. The car itself rapidly became more value for potential robbers than most ...


8

As stated, the question has a simple answer: no! In Rome the right to mint currency was strictly reserved to the emperor. The emperor might at times devolve the right to mint copper or silver (but not gold!) coins to certain favoured cities, but it was his to grant and his to withdraw. There were severe punishments for counterfeiters (don't remember ...


7

Romans never believed the emperor to be god. This is a popular misconception. The emperors could be declared divine (divinus) by the senate (god-like), which is not the same as being a god (divus). At the same time there was a cult of the emperor's genius: the Romans believed that each person had a supernatural protector (genius), similar to Christian ...


4

Of course, proof of absence is a very hard thing to achieve, but I'm going to argue that the US Army at least absolutely did not organize military brothels in Western Europe. My main source is What Soldiers Do: Sex and the American GI in World War II France by Mary Louise Roberts. This book is somewhat unfavorably reviewed on Amazon by veterans who state ...


3

I'd also do some research into Tammany Hall particularly under the guidance of the infamous William "Boss" Tweed. While more of an example of political corruption than outright organized property crime, it is a very illustrative example of the interplay between criminals and public officials. In this particular example the line between the two became very ...


3

The DoJ published this paper in December 2011 and released prison statistics for 2010. According to the article the number of people in prison at year-end'10 was 7.1 million of which 2,226,800 people were sentenced in 2010 itself [table 1, in that paper]. This wikipedia article also has a lot of detail on this subject. I think you can extrapolate the ...


3

In medieval India, or, at least the portions ruled by Hindu empires (considered "Classical India" until the late 18th century), the functions of society were arranged differently than in modern nations or contemporaneous societies in Europe or Asia. Most notably, the caste system played a very important part - different castes were responsible for ...


2

The historical reason is simply that the US originated from an oppressed colony. Attempts to restrict guns were one of many ways the king attempted to keep the colonists under control. There is thus, an ingrained suspicion towards attempts to restrict guns. Even if greater availability of guns did lead to more crime, the people of the US felt that some ...


2

A prison is expensive: you have to build the installation with all the necessary security precautions (fixed costs), and then feed and cloth the inmates and guards (variable costs). This is completely unaffordable for a subsistence society (IOW, before feudal castles provides dungeons). The Biblical law provides for 3 kinds of penalties: death, flogging (at ...


2

The source of this information comes from the personal memoirs of Yakuza crime boss Kodama. The event never took place, though, so verifying or disproving it is impossible. According to Kodama, he was asked to raise a small army to put down the protests and protect the US president's motorcade and says that he prepared to do this. His proof is that in ...


1

Prisons, as we understand them today serve the purpose of depriving an individual of their liberty; that idea of liberty did not exist at the time that you refer to. The liberty of an individual to live their life as they see fit within the restraints of the law is a modern concept, therefor the idea of punishing a person by depriving them of something of ...


1

The ancient Romans had prisons, such as Mamertime Prison, but imprisonment was just a temporary measure before trial or execution, not a punishment in itself. The English Houses of Correction introduced a more modern system of mass incarceration, with hard labor.


1

A recent Smithsonian article on Islam's medieval underworld might be of interest. This broad group was known collectively as the Banu Sasan, and for half a dozen centuries its members might be encountered anywhere from Umayyad Spain to the Chinese border. Possessing their own tactics, tricks and slang, the Banu Sasan comprised a hidden counterpoint to ...



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