I certainly like everyone's definition much better than my own, but maintain that even though they may be laxly
used synonymously, bear an innate difference depending on the circumstances, i.e., if both cases are adjudicated in a modern court of law, looting would carry with it a charge of simple robbery depending on the value of the looted booty and pillaging would carry a charge of aggravated/armed robbery thus guaranteeing felony charges.
In the olden days of "an eye for an eye" looting would get your hand cut off, but pillaging?... "Off with his head!"
Louis R wrote:
Sounds good. Unfortunately, they really are synonyms - looting is done forcibly as often as not, pillage doesn't require force if there's no resistance [i.e. the force has already been applied successfully
Or to put it another way, the OED uses each as part of the definition of the other.
Imaginos1892 wrote:Looting is stealing stuff and hauling it away with you. With or without violence.
Pillaging is destruction - razing buildings, breaking dams, polluting wells, flooding fields, and otherwise making it hard for the enemy to use their resources even after your rampaging horde has left the area.
Arson could be considered part of pillaging, but it denies the resources to your horde immediately, so it's best saved for last.
Hey! Looting is tactical, pillaging is strategic.