The Vendicatori, or Avengers, were a secret society of rebel-vigilantes formed about 1186 in Sicily to avenge popular wrongs. The society was finally suppressed by William II of Sicily (1155–1189), who hanged the grand master and branded the members with hot irons.
The vindicosi, or vindicators, are described as a historical sect by Francesco Maria Emanuele Gaetani Villabianca (1720–1802) in his Diari palermitani (Palermo diaries). According to this author, they may date back to 1185.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Avengers". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- Cities of the Underworld: Real Mafia Underground  History Channel documentary on the proto-Mafia Avengers and their underground catacomb networks in Palermo and Sicily