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The emblem of the bandits during the Peloponnesian War

A bandit is an individual, often belonging to a gang, who habitually partakes in illegal activities, typically in an isolated or lawless region.


5th century BCE

With the absence of a proper and organized law enforcement, usually fulfilled by guards, bandits were widespread in ancient antiquity. People who had found robbing and harrying of civilians profitable also harassed the Spartan misthios Kassandra throughout her travels across Greece during the Peloponnesian War. At the time, the bandits commonly seemed to favor the helmet which originated from Chalkidiki, Makedonia. A number of them also sported tattoos, using dark pigments to adorn their faces and their arms with relatively simple markings, though some bore an elaborate image of a griffin on their chests or on their backs.[1]

Exceptions to haphazard bandits did exist, as proven by the existence of The Dagger, a criminal organization haunting the Abantis Islands.[2] Although smaller organized groups of bandits also existed, their leader being a regarded as "chief". A chiefship was an unsteady position however, and in-fighting for leadership was not uncommon. Allegedly, a chief made a belt from the skin of the previous chief.[3]

Kassandra also acquired crews consisting of bandits for her ship, the Adrestia. In addition to that, due to an Animus modification, Kassandra was also able to crew the Adrestia with gang members.[1]

1st century BCE

Bandits were also a common sight in ancient Egypt during the Ptolemaic Kingdom. The Medjay Bayek of Siwa encountered and fought numerous bandits while he was hunting down the Order of the Ancients.[4]

Of special note during this time were the gangs called Hungry Great Ones in Sap-Meh and Sapi-Res Nomes[5] and the Disciples of the Lioness in the proximity of Letopolis.[6][7]

12th century

Upon his return to Masyaf, the exiled Levantine Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad encountered the brigand Bayhas and his gang. The assassin killed the bandits and released the tradesman Mukhlis they'd imprisoned, and proceeded to Masyaf. Later, Altaïr also met Bayhas' father, the bandit leader Fahad.[8]


The 15th century Italy also had its bandit problems, which carried over to the following century as well. Bandits occasionally targeted the Italian Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze while he travelled through the landscape of Florence, Forlì, San Gimignano, Tuscany, and Venice.[9] From 1500 onwards the streets of Rome were plagued by a gang called Cento Occhi (hundred eyes) allied with the Borgia, while Followers of Romulus haunted Rome's countryside and the ruins therein.[10]

19th century

In Victorian London, England, bandits were organized into gangs, and in 1868, the two leading gangs were the Blighters led by Maxwell Roth, and the Clinkers, who were taken over by the British Assassins Evie and Jacob Frye, and renamed Rooks.[11] The Rooks later were overtaken by Jack the Ripper, who turned them against the Assassins.[12]

Behind the Scenes

Though the emblem of the bandits in Assassin's Creed: Odyssey seems to be based on a 3rd century BC mosaic of a dragon from Caulonia,[13] according to the Discovery Tour: Ancient Greece, it's based on coins from Halikarnassos.[14]



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