The discursive constellations and iconographic sources about the brigand and the phenomenon of brigandage produced a very broad and distinctive repertoire between the 18th and the 19th centuries, which combined politics, literature, visual culture and crime. This repertoire fed almost seamlessly into the imagination of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, when it produced representations suited to the new communication circuits and languages of the audiovisuals and social media. The special issue focuses on the morphology and intermedial circulation of these narratives in the recent Italian historical context. It shows the extent to which these cultural processes belonged to a permanent global fascination for the figure of the outlaw hero. These narratives, that result from a combination of history and mythography, are indebted to the codes of the «untold story», to the melodramatisation of the past and to the morphology of the «Robin Hood principle».
Keywords: Outlaw hero; Brigandage; Robin Hood principle; Mass media.