Duel

Duel

Overview
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.

Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe
Early modern Europe
Early modern Europe is the term used by historians to refer to a period in the history of Europe which spanned the centuries between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century...

, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry
Chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

, and continued into the modern period (19th to early 20th centuries) especially among military officers
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

.
During the 17th and 18th centuries (and earlier), duels were mostly fought with sword
Sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

s (the rapier
Rapier
A rapier is a slender, sharply pointed sword, ideally used for thrusting attacks, used mainly in Early Modern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.-Description:...

, later the smallsword, and finally the French foil
Foil (fencing)
A foil is a type of weapon used in fencing. It is the most common weapon in terms of usage in competition, and is usually the choice for elementary classes for fencing in general.- Components:...

), but beginning in the late 18th century and during the 19th century, duels were more commonly fought using pistol
Pistol
When distinguished as a subset of handguns, a pistol is a handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel, as opposed to a revolver, wherein the chamber is separate from the barrel as a revolving cylinder. Typically, pistols have an effective range of about 100 feet.-History:The pistol...

s, but fencing and pistol duels continued to co-exist throughout the 19th century.

The duel was based on a code of honour
Honour
Honour or honor is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Duel'
Start a new discussion about 'Duel'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Quotations

Well, you never know...you just never know. You just go along figuring some things don't change ever, like being able to drive on a public highway without someone trying to murder you. And then one stupid thing happens. Twenty, twenty-five minutes out of your whole life, and all the ropes that kept you hanging in there get cut loose, and it's like, there you are, right back in the jungle again. All right boy, it was a nightmare, but it's over now. [pauses] It's all over.

Fear is the driving force.

The Killer's Weapon - A 40 Ton Truck

Terror in your rear view mirror.

When the headlights of a truck become the eyes of a psychopath.

The most bizarre murder weapon ever used!

Encyclopedia
A duel is an arranged engagement in combat
Combat
Combat, or fighting, is a purposeful violent conflict meant to establish dominance over the opposition, or to terminate the opposition forever, or drive the opposition away from a location where it is not wanted or needed....

 between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with agreed-upon rules.

Duels in this form were chiefly practised in Early Modern Europe
Early modern Europe
Early modern Europe is the term used by historians to refer to a period in the history of Europe which spanned the centuries between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, roughly the late 15th century to the late 18th century...

, with precedents in the medieval code of chivalry
Chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

, and continued into the modern period (19th to early 20th centuries) especially among military officers
Officer (armed forces)
An officer is a member of an armed force or uniformed service who holds a position of authority. Commissioned officers derive authority directly from a sovereign power and, as such, hold a commission charging them with the duties and responsibilities of a specific office or position...

.
During the 17th and 18th centuries (and earlier), duels were mostly fought with sword
Sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

s (the rapier
Rapier
A rapier is a slender, sharply pointed sword, ideally used for thrusting attacks, used mainly in Early Modern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.-Description:...

, later the smallsword, and finally the French foil
Foil (fencing)
A foil is a type of weapon used in fencing. It is the most common weapon in terms of usage in competition, and is usually the choice for elementary classes for fencing in general.- Components:...

), but beginning in the late 18th century and during the 19th century, duels were more commonly fought using pistol
Pistol
When distinguished as a subset of handguns, a pistol is a handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel, as opposed to a revolver, wherein the chamber is separate from the barrel as a revolving cylinder. Typically, pistols have an effective range of about 100 feet.-History:The pistol...

s, but fencing and pistol duels continued to co-exist throughout the 19th century.

The duel was based on a code of honour
Honour
Honour or honor is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation...

. Duels were fought not so much to kill the opponent as to gain "satisfaction", that is, to restore one's honour by demonstrating a willingness to risk one's life for it, and as such the tradition of duelling was reserved for the male members of nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

, however in the modern era it extended to those of the upper classes generally.
From the early 17th century duels were often illegal in Europe, though in most societies where duelling was socially accepted, participants in a fair duel were not prosecuted, or if they were, not convicted.

History



In Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 society, the formal concept of a duel developed out of the mediaeval judicial duel and older pre-Christian practices such as the Viking Age
Viking Age
Viking Age is the term for the period in European history, especially Northern European and Scandinavian history, spanning the late 8th to 11th centuries. Scandinavian Vikings explored Europe by its oceans and rivers through trade and warfare. The Vikings also reached Iceland, Greenland,...

 holmgang
Holmgang
Holmgang was a duel practiced by early medieval Scandinavians. It was a recognized way to settle disputes....

. Judicial duels were deprecated by the Lateran Council
Fourth Council of the Lateran
The Fourth Council of the Lateran was convoked by Pope Innocent III with the papal bull of April 19, 1213, and the Council gathered at Rome's Lateran Palace beginning November 11, 1215. Due to the great length of time between the Council's convocation and meeting, many bishops had the opportunity...

 of 1215. However, in 1459 (MS Thott 290 2) Hans Talhoffer
Hans Talhoffer
Hans Talhoffer was a Fechtmeister , employed as 'master of arms' to the Swabian knight Leutold von Konigsegg, a feudatory of Count Eberhardt the Bearded of Württemberg in southern Germany...

 reported that in spite of Church disapproval, there were nevertheless seven capital crimes that were still commonly accepted as resolvable by means of a judicial duel. Most societies did not condemn duelling, and the victor of a duel was regarded not as a murderer but as a hero; in fact, his social status often increased. During the early Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, duelling established the status of a respectable gentleman
Gentry
Gentry denotes "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class, especially in the past....

, and was an accepted manner to resolve disputes. Duelling in such societies was seen as an alternative to less regulated conflict.

The first published code duello
Code duello
A code duello is a set of rules for a one-on-one combat, or duel.Codes duello regulate dueling and thus help prevent vendettas between families and other social factions. They assure that non-violent means of reaching agreement be exhausted and that harm be reduced, both by limiting the terms of...

, or "code of duelling", appeared in Renaissance Italy. The first formalised national code was France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

's, during the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. In 1777, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 developed a code duello, which was the most influential in American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 duelling culture.

According to Ariel Roth, during the reign of Henry IV
Henry IV of France
Henry IV , Henri-Quatre, was King of France from 1589 to 1610 and King of Navarre from 1572 to 1610. He was the first monarch of the Bourbon branch of the Capetian dynasty in France....

, over 4,000 French aristocrats were killed in duels "in an eighteen-year period" whilst a twenty-year period of Louis XIII
Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority...

's reign saw some eight thousand pardons for "murders associated with duels". Roth also notes that thousands of men in the Southern United States
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 "died protecting what they believed to be their honor."

Duels could be fought with swords, the rapier
Rapier
A rapier is a slender, sharply pointed sword, ideally used for thrusting attacks, used mainly in Early Modern Europe during the 16th and 17th centuries.-Description:...

 and later the smallsword, or between cavalry officers with
military swords such as the broadsword
Broadsword
Broadsword may refer to:*Broadsword , a military sword used by heavy cavalry during the 17th to early 19th centuriesIn more modern times, it has also been used to refer to:...

 or the sabre
Sabre
The sabre or saber is a kind of backsword that usually has a curved, single-edged blade and a rather large hand guard, covering the knuckles of the hand as well as the thumb and forefinger...

, and from the 18th century onward, increasingly with pistol
Pistol
When distinguished as a subset of handguns, a pistol is a handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel, as opposed to a revolver, wherein the chamber is separate from the barrel as a revolving cylinder. Typically, pistols have an effective range of about 100 feet.-History:The pistol...

s. Special sets of duelling pistol
Duelling pistol
A duelling pistol is a pistol used in a classical duel. As a general rule, they are single-shot flintlock or percussion black powder pistols which fire a lead musket ball...

s were crafted for the wealthiest of noblemen for this purpose.

Offense and satisfaction


The traditional situation that led to a duel often happened after the offense. Whether real or imagined, one party would demand satisfaction from the offender. One could signal this demand with an inescapably insulting gesture, such as throwing his glove before him. This is the origin of the phrase "throwing down the gauntlet
Gauntlet (gloves)
Gauntlet is a name for several different styles of glove, particularly those with an extended cuff covering part of the forearm. Gauntlets exist in many forms, ranging from flexible fabric and leather gloves, to mail and fully articulated plate armour....

". This originates from medieval times, when an individual was knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

ed. The knight-to-be would receive the accolade of three light blows on the shoulder with a sword and, in some cases, a ritual slap in the face, said to be the last affronts he could accept without redress. Therefore, anyone being slapped with a glove was, like a knight, considered obliged to accept the challenge or be dishonoured. Contrary to popular belief, hitting one in the face with a glove was not a challenge, but could be done after the glove had been thrown down as a response to the one issuing the challenge.

Each party would name a trusted representative (a "second") who would, between them, determine a suitable "field of honour". It was also the duty of each party's second to check that the weapons were equal and that the duel was fair. In the 16th and early 17th centuries, it was normal practice for the seconds as well as the principals to fight each other. Later the seconds' role became more specific, to make sure the rules were followed and to try to achieve reconciliation, but as late as 1777 the Irish code still allowed the seconds an option to exchange shots.

Field of honour


The chief criteria for choosing the field of honour were isolation, to avoid discovery and interruption by the authorities; and jurisdictional ambiguity, to avoid legal consequences. Islands in rivers dividing two jurisdictions were popular duelling sites; the cliffs below Weehawken on the Hudson River where the Hamilton-Burr duel
Hamilton-Burr duel
The Burr–Hamilton duel was a duel between two prominent American politicians, the former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton and sitting Vice President Aaron Burr, on July 11, 1804. At Weehawken in New Jersey, Burr shot and fatally wounded Hamilton. Hamilton was carried to the home of...

 occurred were a popular field of honour for New York duellists because of the uncertainty whether New York or New Jersey jurisdiction applied. Duels traditionally took place at dawn, when the poor light would make the participants less likely to be seen, and to force an interval for reconsideration or sobering-up.
For sometime before the mid-18th century, swordsmen duelling at dawn often carried lanterns to see each other. This happened so regularly that fencing manuals integrated lanterns into their lessons. An example of this is using the lantern to parry blows and blind the opponent. The manuals sometimes show the combatants carrying the lantern in the left hand wrapped behind the back, which is still one of the traditional positions for the off hand in modern fencing.

Conditions


At the choice of the offended party, the duel could be fought to a number of conclusions:
  • To first blood
    First Blood
    First Blood is a 1982 action thriller film directed by Ted Kotcheff. The film stars Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood Vietnam War veteran, with Sheriff Will Teasle as his nemesis and Colonel Samuel Trautman as his former commander and only ally...

    , in which case the duel would be ended as soon as one man was wounded, even if the wound was minor.
  • Until one man was so severely wounded as to be physically unable to continue the duel.
  • To the death, in which case there would be no satisfaction until one party was mortally wounded.
  • In the case of pistol duels, each party would fire one shot. If neither man was hit and if the challenger stated that he was satisfied, the duel would be declared over. If the challenger was not satisfied, a pistol duel could continue until one man was wounded or killed, but to have more than three exchanges of fire was considered barbaric and, on the rare occasion that no hits were achieved, somewhat ridiculous.



Under the latter conditions, one or both parties could intentionally miss in order to fulfill the conditions of the duel, without loss of either life or honour. However, doing so, known as deloping
Delope
Delope is the practice of throwing away one's first fire in a duel, in an attempt to abort the conflict. According to most traditions the deloper must first allow his opponent the opportunity to fire after the command is issued by the secondary, without hinting at his intentions...

, could imply that your opponent was not worth shooting. This practice occurred despite being expressly banned by the Code Duello
Code duello
A code duello is a set of rules for a one-on-one combat, or duel.Codes duello regulate dueling and thus help prevent vendettas between families and other social factions. They assure that non-violent means of reaching agreement be exhausted and that harm be reduced, both by limiting the terms of...

 of 1777. Rule 13 stated: "No dumb shooting or firing in the air is admissible in any case... children's play must be dishonourable on one side or the other, and is accordingly prohibited."

Practices varied, however, and many pistol duels were to first blood or death. The offended party could stop the duel at any time if he deemed his honour satisfied. In some duels, the seconds would take the place of the primary dueller if the primary was not able to finish the duel. This was usually done in duels with swords, where one's expertise was sometimes limited. The second would also act as a witness.

Pistols


For a pistol duel, the parties would be placed back to back with loaded weapons in hand and walk a set number of paces, turn to face the opponent, and shoot. Typically, the graver the insult, the fewer the paces agreed upon. Alternatively, a pre-agreed length of ground would be measured out by the seconds and marked, often with swords stuck in the ground (referred to as "points"). At a given signal, often the dropping of a handkerchief, the principals could advance and fire at will. This latter system reduced the possibility of cheating, as neither principal had to trust the other not to turn too soon. Another system involved alternate shots being taken, beginning with the challenged firing first.

Many historical duels were prevented by the difficulty of arranging the "methodus pugnandi". In the instance of Dr. Richard Brocklesby
Richard Brocklesby
Richard Brocklesby , an English physician, was born at Minehead, Somerset.He was educated at Ballitore, in Ireland, where Edmund Burke was one of his school fellows, studied medicine at Edinburgh, and finally graduated at Leiden in 1745...

, the number of paces could not be agreed upon;
and in the affair between Mark Akenside
Mark Akenside
Mark Akenside was an English poet and physician.Akenside was born at Newcastle upon Tyne, England, the son of a butcher. He was slightly lame all his life from a wound he received as a child from his father's cleaver...

 and Ballow, one had determined never to fight in the morning, and the other that he would never fight in the afternoon. John Wilkes
John Wilkes
John Wilkes was an English radical, journalist and politician.He was first elected Member of Parliament in 1757. In the Middlesex election dispute, he fought for the right of voters—rather than the House of Commons—to determine their representatives...

, "who did not stand upon ceremony in these little affairs," when asked by Lord Talbot
William Talbot, 1st Earl Talbot
William Talbot, 1st Earl Talbot PC , known as the Lord Talbot from 1737 to 1761, was a British politician....

 how many times they were to fire, replied, "just as often as your Lordship pleases; I have brought a bag of bullets and a flask of gunpowder."

Unusual duels


In 1808, two Frenchmen are said to have fought in balloons over Paris, each attempting to shoot and puncture the other's balloon; one duellist is said to have been shot down and killed with his second.

Thirty-five years later in 1843, two men are said to have fought a duel by means of throwing billiard balls at each other.

In the 1860s, Otto von Bismarck
Otto von Bismarck
Otto Eduard Leopold, Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg , simply known as Otto von Bismarck, was a Prussian-German statesman whose actions unified Germany, made it a major player in world affairs, and created a balance of power that kept Europe at peace after 1871.As Minister President of...

 was reported to have challenged Rudolf Virchow
Rudolf Virchow
Rudolph Carl Virchow was a German doctor, anthropologist, pathologist, prehistorian, biologist and politician, known for his advancement of public health...

 to a duel. Virchow, being entitled to choose the weapons, chose two pork sausages, one infected with the roundworm Trichinella
Trichinella
Trichinella is the genus of parasitic roundworms of the phylum Nematoda that cause trichinosis . Members of this genus are often called trichinella or trichina worms...

; the two would each choose and eat a sausage. Bismarck reportedly declined. The story could be apocryphal, however.

Prominent duels


To decline a challenge was often equated to defeat by forfeiture, and sometimes regarded as dishonourable. Prominent and famous individuals were especially at risk of being challenged.

The Russian poet Alexander Pushkin prophetically described a number of duels in his works, notably Onegin's duel with Lensky in Eugene Onegin
Eugene Onegin
Eugene Onegin is a novel in verse written by Alexander Pushkin.It is a classic of Russian literature, and its eponymous protagonist has served as the model for a number of Russian literary heroes . It was published in serial form between 1825 and 1832...

. The poet was mortally wounded in a controversial duel with Georges d'Anthès
Georges d'Anthès
Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès, baron was a French military officer and politician. Despite his later career as a senator under the Second French Empire, d'Anthès's name is most famous because he killed Russia's greatest poet, Alexander Pushkin in a duel.Born in Colmar to a French royalist...

, a French officer rumoured to be his wife's lover. D'Anthès, who was accused of cheating in this duel, married Pushkin's sister-in-law and went on to become a French minister and senator.
In 1598 the English playwright Ben Jonson
Ben Jonson
Benjamin Jonson was an English Renaissance dramatist, poet and actor. A contemporary of William Shakespeare, he is best known for his satirical plays, particularly Volpone, The Alchemist, and Bartholomew Fair, which are considered his best, and his lyric poems...

 fought a duel, mortally wounding an actor by the name of Gabriel Spencer.
In 1798 HRH
Royal Highness
Royal Highness is a style ; plural Royal Highnesses...

 The Duke of York, well known as "The Grand Old Duke of York
The Grand Old Duke of York
‘The Grand Old Duke of York’ is an English children's nursery rhyme, often performed as an action song. The Duke of the title has been argued to be a number of the holders of that office, particularly Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany and its lyrics have become proverbial for futile action...

", duelled with Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Lennox
Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond
Charles Lennox, 4th Duke of Richmond, 4th Duke of Lennox KG, PC was a British soldier and politician and Governor General of British North America.-Background:...

 and was grazed by a bullet along his hairline.
In 1840 the 7th Earl of Cardigan, the officer in charge of the now infamous Charge of the Light Brigade
Charge of the Light Brigade
The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British cavalry led by Lord Cardigan against Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava on 25 October 1854 in the Crimean War. The charge was the result of a miscommunication in such a way that the brigade attempted a much more difficult objective...

, fought a duel with a British Army officer by the name of Captain Tuckett. Tuckett was wounded in the engagement, though not fatally.

Four Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom have engaged in duels, although only two of them – Pitt and Wellington – held the office at the time of their duels.
  • William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne
    William Petty, 2nd Earl of Shelburne
    William Petty-FitzMaurice, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, KG, PC , known as The Earl of Shelburne between 1761 and 1784, by which title he is generally known to history, was an Irish-born British Whig statesman who was the first Home Secretary in 1782 and then Prime Minister 1782–1783 during the final...

     fought a duel with Colonel William Fullarton
    William Fullarton
    William Fullarton was a Scottish colonial administrator and Member of Parliament.-Early life:He was only son of William Fullarton of Fullarton, a wealthy Ayrshire gentleman. After spending some time at the Edinburgh University he was sent to travel on the continent with Patrick Brydone, at one...

     (1780)
  • William Pitt the Younger
    William Pitt the Younger
    William Pitt the Younger was a British politician of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. He became the youngest Prime Minister in 1783 at the age of 24 . He left office in 1801, but was Prime Minister again from 1804 until his death in 1806...

     fought a duel with George Tierney
    George Tierney
    George Tierney PC was an English Whig politician.-Background and education:Born in Gibraltar, Tierney was the son of Thomas Tierney, a wealthy Irish merchant of London, who was living in Gibraltar as prize agent. He was sent to Eton and Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he took the degree of Law in 1784...

     (1798)
  • George Canning
    George Canning
    George Canning PC, FRS was a British statesman and politician who served as Foreign Secretary and briefly Prime Minister.-Early life: 1770–1793:...

     fought a duel with Lord Castlereagh
    Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh
    Robert Stewart, 2nd Marquess of Londonderry, KG, GCH, PC, PC , usually known as Lord CastlereaghThe name Castlereagh derives from the baronies of Castlereagh and Ards, in which the manors of Newtownards and Comber were located...

     (1809)
  • The Duke of Wellington
    Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
    Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

     fought a duel with Lord Winchelsea
    George Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchilsea
    George William Finch-Hatton, 10th Earl of Winchilsea, 5th Earl of Nottingham , politician.Hatton, born at Kirby Hall, Northamptonshire, on 19 May 1791, was grandson of Edward Finch-Hatton, and son of George Finch-Hatton of Eastwell Park, near Ashford, Kent, M.P...

     (1829)


In 1864, American writer Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

, then a contributor to the New York Sunday Mercury
Sunday Mercury (New York)
The Sunday Mercury was a weekly Sunday newspaper published in New York City that grew to become the highest-circulation weekly newspaper in the United States at its peak...

, narrowly avoided fighting a duel with a rival newspaper editor, apparently through the quick thinking of his second, who exaggerated Twain's prowess with a pistol.

The most notorious American duel was the Burr-Hamilton duel, in which notable Federalist
Federalist
The term federalist describes several political beliefs around the world. Also, it may refer to the concept of federalism or the type of government called a federation...

 and former Secretary of the Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

 Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 was fatally wounded by his political rival, the sitting Vice President of the United States
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

 Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

. Another American politician, Andrew Jackson, later to serve as a General Officer in the U.S. Army and to become the seventh president, fought two duels, though some legends claim he fought many more. On May 30, 1806, he killed prominent duellist Charles Dickinson
Charles Dickinson (historical figure)
Charles Dickinson was an American attorney, and a famous duelist. An expert marksman, Dickinson's died from injuries sustained in a duel with Andrew Jackson, who later became President of the United States.-Life:...

, suffering himself from a chest wound which caused him a lifetime of pain. Jackson also reportedly engaged in a bloodless duel with a lawyer and in 1803 came very near duelling with John Sevier
John Sevier
John Sevier served four years as the only governor of the State of Franklin and twelve years as Governor of Tennessee. As a U.S. Representative from Tennessee from 1811 until his death...

.

On September 22, 1842, future President
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

 Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

, at the time an Illinois
Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

 state legislator
Legislator
A legislator is a person who writes and passes laws, especially someone who is a member of a legislature. Legislators are usually politicians and are often elected by the people...

, met to duel with state auditor James Shields
James Shields
James Shields was an American politician and United States Army officer who was born in Altmore, County Tyrone, Ireland. Shields, a Democrat, is the only person in United States history to serve as a U.S. Senator for three different states...

, but their seconds intervened and persuaded them against it.

On 30 May 1832, French
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 mathematician Évariste Galois
Évariste Galois
Évariste Galois was a French mathematician born in Bourg-la-Reine. While still in his teens, he was able to determine a necessary and sufficient condition for a polynomial to be solvable by radicals, thereby solving a long-standing problem...

 was mortally wounded in a duel at the age of twenty, the day after he had written his seminal mathematical results
Galois theory
In mathematics, more specifically in abstract algebra, Galois theory, named after Évariste Galois, provides a connection between field theory and group theory...

.

Irish political leader, Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell (6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847; often referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century...

 killed a man in a duel in 1815. He felt remorse for the rest of his life and paid an income to the dead man's daughter until his death.

The last known fatal duel in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, in Perth, Ontario in 1833, saw Robert Lyon challenge John Wilson
John Wilson (Ontario politician)
John Wilson was an Ontario lawyer, judge and political figure. He shot and killed Robert Lyon in what is believed to have been the last duel fought in Ontario and the last fatal duel in Canada....

 to a pistol duel after a quarrel over remarks made about a local school teacher, whom Wilson married after Lyon was killed in the duel. The last fatal duel in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 took place on Priest Hill, between Englefield Green
Englefield Green
Englefield Green is a large village in northern Surrey, England. It is home to Royal Holloway, University of London, the south eastern corner of Windsor Great Park and close to the towns of Egham, Windsor, Staines and Virginia Water...

 and Old Windsor
Old Windsor
Old Windsor is a large village and civil parish in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead in the English county of Berkshire.-Location:...

, on 19 October 1852, between two French refugees, Cournet and Barthelemy, the
former being killed.

German-speaking Europe


In Early Modern High German, the duel was known as kampf, or kampffechten.
The German duelling tradition originates in the Late Middle Ages, within the German school of fencing
German school of fencing
The German school of fencing is the historical system of combat taught in the Holy Roman Empire in the Late Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern periods , as described in the Fechtbücher written at the time...

. In the 15th century, duels were fought between members of the nobility wearing full plate armour
Plate armour
Plate armour is a historical type of personal armour made from iron or steel plates.While there are early predecessors such the Roman-era lorica segmentata, full plate armour developed in Europe during the Late Middle Ages, especially in the context of the Hundred Years' War, from the coat of...

. During the late 16th and the 17th century, this tradition is gradually replaced with the modern fencing with the rapier following the Dardi school, while at the same time the practice of duelling spread to the bourgeois classes, especially among students
Academic fencing
Academic fencing or Mensur is the traditional kind of fencing practiced by some student corporations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and to a minor extent in Kosovo, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Flanders.- Technique :Modern academic fencing, the "mensur," is neither a duel nor a sport...

.
The term kampf is replaced by the modern German Duell during the same period, attested in the Latin form duellum from ca. 1600, and as Duell from the 1640s.

A modern remnant of German duelling culture is found in the non-lethal Mensur tradition in Academic fencing
Academic fencing
Academic fencing or Mensur is the traditional kind of fencing practiced by some student corporations in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and to a minor extent in Kosovo, Estonia, Latvia, Poland and Flanders.- Technique :Modern academic fencing, the "mensur," is neither a duel nor a sport...

.

Great Britain and Ireland


The duel arrived at the end of the sixteenth century with the influx of Italian honour and courtesy literature – most notably Baldassare Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione
Baldassare Castiglione, count of was an Italian courtier, diplomat, soldier and a prominent Renaissance author.-Biography:Castiglione was born into an illustrious Lombard family at Casatico, near Mantua, where his family had constructed an impressive palazzo...

's Libro del Cortegiano (Book of the Courtier), published in 1528, and Girolamo Muzio
Girolamo Muzio
Girolamo Muzio or Mutio Justinopolitano was an Italian courtier, poet, and author in defence of the vernacular Italian language against Latin.-Works:...

's Il Duello, published in 1550. These stressed the need to protect one's reputation and social mask and prescribed the circumstances under which an insulted party should issue a challenge. Soon domestic literature was being produced such as Simon Robson's The Courte of Ciuill Courtesie, published in 1577. Duelling was further propagated by the arrival of Italian fencing masters such as Rocco Bonetti and Vincento Saviolo. By the reign of James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 duelling was well entrenched within a militarised peerage – one of the most important duels being that between Edward Bruce, 2nd Lord Kinloss and Edward Sackville
Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset
Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset KG was the son of Robert Sackville, 2nd Earl of Dorset and the brother and heir of Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset.-Life:...

 (later the 4th Earl of Dorset) in 1613, during which Bruce was killed. James I encouraged Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Albans, KC was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist, author and pioneer of the scientific method. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England...

 as Solicitor-General to prosecute would-be duellists in the Court of Star Chamber, leading to about two hundred prosecutions between 1603 and 1625. He also issued an edict against duelling in 1614 and is believed to have supported production of an anti-duelling tract by the Earl of Northampton
Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton
Henry Howard, 1st Earl of Northampton was a significant English aristocrat and courtier. He was suspect as a crypto-Catholic throughout his life, and went through periods of royal disfavour, in which his reputation suffered greatly. He was distinguished for learning, artistic culture and his...

. Duelling however, continued to spread out from the court, notably into the army. In the mid-seventeenth century it was for a time checked by the activities of the Parliamentarians whose Articles of War specified the death penalty for would-be duellists. Nevertheless, duelling survived and increased markedly with the Restoration. Not least amongst the difficulties of anti-duelling campaigners was that although monarchs uniformly proclaimed their general hostility to duelling, they were nevertheless very reluctant to see their own favourites punished. In 1712 both the Duke of Hamilton and Charles 4th Baron Mohun
Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun
Charles Mohun, 4th Baron Mohun was an English politician best known for his frequent participation in duels and his reputation as a rake....

 were killed in a duel induced by political rivalry and squabbles over an inheritance. Duels at this time were indiscriminate affairs fought with swords and with the main protagonists bringing their own assistants to join in the fray.

By about 1770 however, the duel had undergone a number of important changes. Firstly, unlike their counterparts in many continental nations, English duellists had enthusiastically adopted the pistol and few duels were now being fought with the sword. Secondly, the office of 'second' had developed into 'seconds' or 'friends' being chosen by the aggrieved parties to conduct their honour dispute. These friends would attempt to resolve a dispute upon terms acceptable to both parties and, should this fail, they would arrange and oversee the mechanics of the encounter. By this time the values of the duel had spread into the broader and emerging society of gentlemen. Research shows that much the largest group of later duellists were military officers, followed by the young sons of the metropolitan elite (see Banks, A Polite Exchange of Bullets). Duelling was also popular for a time amongst doctors and, in particular, amongst the legal professions. Quantifying the number of duels in Britain is difficult, but there are about 1,000 attested between 1785 and 1845 with fatality rates running at at least 15% and probably somewhat higher. The last duel in England was fought in 1852.

In 1777, at the Summer assizes in the town of Clonmel
Clonmel
Clonmel is the county town of South Tipperary in Ireland. It is the largest town in the county. While the borough had a population of 15,482 in 2006, another 17,008 people were in the rural hinterland. The town is noted in Irish history for its resistance to the Cromwellian army which sacked both...

, County Tipperary
County Tipperary
County Tipperary is a county of Ireland. It is located in the province of Munster and is named after the town of Tipperary. The area of the county does not have a single local authority; local government is split between two authorities. In North Tipperary, part of the Mid-West Region, local...

, a code of practice was drawn up for the regulation of duels. It was agreed by delegates from Tipperary, Galway
County Galway
County Galway is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Galway County Council is the local authority for the county. There are several strongly Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county...

, Mayo
County Mayo
County Mayo is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the village of Mayo, which is now generally known as Mayo Abbey. Mayo County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county is 130,552...

, Sligo and Roscommon
County Roscommon
County Roscommon is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the town of Roscommon. Roscommon County Council is the local authority for the county...

, and intended for general adoption throughout Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

. A copy of the code, known generally as 'The twenty-six commandments', was to be kept in a gentleman's pistol case for reference should a dispute arise regarding procedure. An amended version known as 'The Irish Code of Honor', and consisting of 25 rules, was adopted in some parts of the United States. The first article of the code stated:

Rule 1.—The first offence requires the apology, although the retort
may have been more offensive than the insult.
—Example: A. tells B. he
is impertinent, &C.; B. retorts, that he lies; yet A. must make the
first apology, because he gave the first offence, and then, (after one
fire,) B. may explain away the retort by subsequent apology.

The 19th-century statesman Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell
Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell Daniel O'Connell (6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847; often referred to as The Liberator, or The Emancipator, was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century...

 took part in a duel in 1815. Following the death of his opponent, John D'Esterre, O'Connell repented and from that time wore a white glove on his right hand when attending Mass
Mass (liturgy)
"Mass" is one of the names by which the sacrament of the Eucharist is called in the Roman Catholic Church: others are "Eucharist", the "Lord's Supper", the "Breaking of Bread", the "Eucharistic assembly ", the "memorial of the Lord's Passion and Resurrection", the "Holy Sacrifice", the "Holy and...

 as a public symbol of his regret.

In 1862, in an article entitled Dead (and gone) Shots, Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 recalled the rules and myths of Irish duelling in his periodical All the Year Round
All the Year Round
All the Year Round was a Victorian periodical, being a British weekly literary magazine founded and owned by Charles Dickens, published between 1859 and 1895 throughout the United Kingdom. Edited by Dickens, it was the direct successor to his previous publication Household Words, abandoned due to...

.

Greece


In the Ionian Islands
Ionian Islands
The Ionian Islands are a group of islands in Greece. They are traditionally called the Heptanese, i.e...

 in the 19th century, there was a practice of formalised fighting between men over points of honour.
Knives were the weapons used in such fights. They would begin with an exchange of sexually-related insults in a public place such as a tavern, and the men would fight with the intention of slashing the other's face, rather than killing. As soon as blood was drawn onlookers would intervene to separate the men. The winner would often spit on his opponent and dip his neckerchief in the blood of the loser, or wipe the blood off his knife with it.

The winner would generally make no attempt to avoid arrest and would receive a light penalty, such as a short jail sentence and/or a small fine.

South America


Duels were common in much of South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

 during the 20th century, although generally illegal.
  • In Peru there were several high-profile duels by politicians in the early part of the 20th century including one in 1957 involving Fernando Belaúnde Terry
    Fernando Belaúnde Terry
    Fernando Belaúnde Terry was President of Peru for two non-consecutive terms . Deposed by a military coup in 1968, he was re-elected in 1980 after eleven years of military rule...

    , who went on to become President.
  • Uruguay
    Uruguay
    Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

     decriminalised duelling in 1920, and in that year José Batlle y Ordóñez
    José Batlle y Ordóñez
    José Pablo Torcuato Batlle y Ordóñez was the president of Uruguay in 1899 and from 1903 until 1907 and for a further term from 1911 to 1915. He was the son of former president, Lorenzo Batlle y Grau. His children César, Rafael and Lorenzo Batlle Pacheco were actively engaged in politics...

    , a former President of Uruguay, killed Washington Beltran, editor of the newspaper El País, in a formal duel fought with pistols. In 1990 another editor was challenged to a duel by an assistant police chief. Although approved by the government the duel did not take place, and the practice was once again prohibited in 1992.
  • In 2002 Peru
    Peru
    Peru , officially the Republic of Peru , is a country in western South America. It is bordered on the north by Ecuador and Colombia, on the east by Brazil, on the southeast by Bolivia, on the south by Chile, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean....

    vian independent congressman Eittel Ramos challenged Vice President David Waisman
    David Waisman
    -Early life:Waisman is Jewish; he and his father left Romania in 1935 and came to Lima, where he made a meager living selling cloth and blankets door to door. Waisman joined his father on horseback as he peddled merchandise in small villages...

     to a duel with pistols, saying the vice president had insulted him. Waisman declined.
  • 1952: Chile
    Chile
    Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

    . Senator, and future President of Chile
    President of Chile
    The President of the Republic of Chile is both the head of state and the head of government of the Republic of Chile. The President is responsible of the government and state administration...

    , Salvador Allende
    Salvador Allende
    Salvador Allende Gossens was a Chilean physician and politician who is generally considered the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in Latin America....

     was challenged to a duel by his colleague Raúl Rettig
    Raúl Rettig
    Raúl Rettig Guissen , was a Chilean politician and lawyer.A member of the Radical Party, between 1938 and 1940 he served as under-secretary of the interior and, later, at the foreign affairs ministry. He was elected to the Senate in 1949...

     (who later headed a commission investigating human rights violations committed during the 1973–1990 military rule in Chile
    Government Junta of Chile (1973)
    Government Junta of Chile was the military junta established to rule Chile during the military dictatorship that followed the overthrow of President Salvador Allende in the 1973 Chilean coup d'état. It was the executive and legislative branch of government until December 17, 1974...

    ). Both men agreed to fire one shot at each other, and both deloped. At that time, duelling was already illegal in Chile.

Russia


The Western European tradition of duelling and the word duel itself were brought to Russia in the 17th century by European adventurers in Russian service. Duelling quickly became so popular – and the number of casualties among the commanding ranks so high – that, in 1715, Emperor Peter the First
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

 was forced to forbid the practice on pain of having both duellists hanged. Despite this official ban, duelling became a significant military tradition in the Russian Empire with a detailed unwritten duelling code – which was eventually written down by V. Durasov and released in print in 1908. This code forbade duels between people of different ranks. For instance, an infantry captain could not challenge a major but could easily pick on a Titular Counsellor. On the other hand, a higher ranked person could not stoop to challenge lower ranks; so, it was up to his subordinates or servants to take revenge on their master's behalf.

Duelling was also common amongst prominent Russian writers, poets, and politicians. Russian poet Alexander Pushkin fought 29 duels, challenging many prominent figures – count Fyodor Tolstoy
Fyodor Ivanovich Tolstoy
Count Fyodor Ivanovich Tolstoy , also known as the "American" was a Russian nobleman from the well-known Tolstoy family. Possessed of an unusual temper, he became famous for his gambling, his passion for duels, and his voyage to North America, where he earned his nickname...

, prince Nikolay Repnin and others – before being killed in a duel with Georges d'Anthès
Georges d'Anthès
Georges-Charles de Heeckeren d'Anthès, baron was a French military officer and politician. Despite his later career as a senator under the Second French Empire, d'Anthès's name is most famous because he killed Russia's greatest poet, Alexander Pushkin in a duel.Born in Colmar to a French royalist...

, a notable French adventurer, in 1837. His poetic successor Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Lermontov
Mikhail Yuryevich Lermontov , a Russian Romantic writer, poet and painter, sometimes called "the poet of the Caucasus", became the most important Russian poet after Alexander Pushkin's death in 1837. Lermontov is considered the supreme poet of Russian literature alongside Pushkin and the greatest...

 was killed four years later by fellow Army officer Nikolai Martynov
Nikolai Martynov
Nikolai Solomonovich Martynov was the Russian army officer who fatally shot the poet Mikhail Lermontov in a duel on July 27, 1841.-External links: *...

.
The duelling tradition died out in the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 slowly from the mid-19th century.

Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth


In Poland duels have been known since the Middle Ages. The method of duelling in early medieval Poland was described in detail in the "Book of Elbing
Elbing
Elbing is the German name of Elbląg, a city in northern Poland which until 1945 was a German city in the province of East Prussia.Elbing may also refer to:- Ships :* SMS Elbing, light cruiser of the Imperial Germany Navy...

" containing the oldest record of the Polish common law (13th–14th century). Later, Polish duelling codes were formed based on Italian, French and German codes. The best known Polish code was written as late as 1919 by Władysław Boziewicz. At this time duels were already forbidden in Poland, but the "Polish Honorary Code" was quite widely in use. Punishments for participation in duels were rather mild – up to a year's imprisonment if the outcome of the duel was death or grievous bodily harm.

In the subordinated state of Ukraine, a part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, duelling rights varied widely depending on the nobles' pro-Polish or anti-Polish stance. Native Ukrainian landlords stood in a lesser position in comparison with their Polish-descended neighbours. Even among the Ukrainian natives there was a wide gap in their rights and opportunities, depending on their partiality to Poland. For example, the prominent Ukrainian politician and military leader Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Bohdan Khmelnytsky
Bohdan Zynoviy Mykhailovych Khmelnytsky was a hetman of the Zaporozhian Cossack Hetmanate of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth . He led an uprising against the Commonwealth and its magnates which resulted in the creation of a Cossack state...

 was humiliated by his pro-Polish neighbour Daniel Czapliński
Daniel Czapliński
Daniel Czapliński was a deputy starosta of Chigirin and a rotmistrz in the forces of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. He is best known as an enemy of Bohdan Khmelnytsky with whom he got into a dispute over property...

, who seized Khmelnytsky's patrimony, killing one of his sons with a whip and raping his wife. After Khmelnytsky returned his place and discovered what had happened, he fought Czapliński in a sabre duel, but was stunned from behind and thrown into a dungeon. Later, because Czapliński was higher ranked and far more privileged than he, Khmelnytsky appealed legally to the king, whose response was merely "You have your sabre" (see "The Uprising").

Opposition to and disappearance of dueling


The Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 was critical of duelling throughout medieval history, frowning both on the traditions of judicial combat and on the duel on points of honour
Honour
Honour or honor is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation...

 among the nobility.
During the Early Modern period
Early modern period
In history, the early modern period of modern history follows the late Middle Ages. Although the chronological limits of the period are open to debate, the timeframe spans the period after the late portion of the Middle Ages through the beginning of the Age of Revolutions...

, there were also various attempts by secular legislators to curb the practice. But as the tradition was deeply rooted in feudal
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 society, and a prerogative of the upper classes, such attempts largely failed until the advent of the Age of Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

 and modern civil society
Civil society
Civil society is composed of the totality of many voluntary social relationships, civic and social organizations, and institutions that form the basis of a functioning society, as distinct from the force-backed structures of a state , the commercial institutions of the market, and private criminal...

. Duelling still remained commonplace among military officers, but the practice became commonly frowned upon in the course of the 19th century.
By the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, duelling was not only illegal almost everywhere in the western world, but also widely seen as an anachronism. Military establishments in most countries began to frown on dueling because officers were the main contestants. Officers were often trained at military academies at government's expense; when officers killed one another it imposed an unnecessary financial and leadership strain on a military organization, making dueling unpopular with high ranking officers.

With the end of the duel, the dress sword also loses its position as an indispensible part of a gentleman's wardrobe, a development described as an "archaeological terminus" by Ewart Oakeshott
Ewart Oakeshott
Ewart Oakeshott was a British illustrator, collector, and amateur historian who wrote prodigiously on medieval arms and armour. He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a Founder Member of the Arms and Armour Society, and the Founder of the Oakeshott Institute...

, concluding the long period during which the sword
Sword
A sword is a bladed weapon used primarily for cutting or thrusting. The precise definition of the term varies with the historical epoch or the geographical region under consideration...

 had been visible attribute of the free man. beginning as early as three millennia ago with the Bronze Age sword
Bronze Age sword
Bronze Age swords appear from around the 17th century BC, in the Black Sea region and the Aegean, evolving out of the dagger. They are replaced by the Iron Age sword during the early part of the 1st millennium BC....

.

United Kingdom


Under the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 law, to kill in the course of a duel was formally murder, but for much of the history of the duel the courts were very lax in applying the law, since the legal professions were themselves sympathetic to the culture of honour. The Anglican Church was generally hostile to duelling, although some clergymen duelled, but non-conformist sects were relentlessly hostile. The sovereigns generally opposed duelling but rarely were active in suppressing it. Even towards the end of duelling Queen Victoria expressed the hope that Lord Cardigan, prosecuted for wounding another in a duel, "would get off easily". The reasons for the disappearance of the duel are controversial, but include the emergence of a new middle class hostile to honour culture, the development of collective imperialist ideologies rather than individualistic ideals and finally the need of the higher orders to present a law-abiding front in the face of the increasing challenges to the traditional order of society offered by those from below.

The prohibition on duelling in the military was more rigidly observed (though exceptions were not unheard of), due to the ease by which a skilled but unscrupulous individual could gain rapid promotion by challenging senior officers to duels, killing them, and thus gaining promotion by seniority. It would also be bad for discipline, as officers could query any orders they did not agree with and contradict officers on important points, backed up by the threat of duels.

France


King Louis XIII of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 outlawed duelling in 1626, and duels remained illegal in France ever afterwards. At least one noble was beheaded for fighting a duel during Louis's reign, and his successor Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 intensified efforts to wipe out the duel. Despite these efforts, duelling continued. Between 1685 and 1716, French officers fought 10,000 duels, leading to over 400 deaths.

The last duel in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 took place in 1967 when Gaston Deferre insulted René Ribière at the French parliament and was subsequently challenged to a duel fought with swords. René Ribière lost the duel, having been wounded twice. He escaped relatively uninjured, however.

Canada


Duelling is illegal in Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, pursuant to statute 71 of the Criminal Code
Criminal Code
A criminal code is a document which compiles all, or a significant amount of, a particular jurisdiction's criminal law...

 which states:
Everyone who:

(a) challenges or attempts by any means to provoke another person to fight a duel,

(b) attempts to provoke a person to challenge another person to fight a duel, or

(c) accepts a challenge to fight a duel,

is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

History


Duelling began to fall out of favor in America in the 18th century, and the death of former United States Secretary of the Treasury
United States Secretary of the Treasury
The Secretary of the Treasury of the United States is the head of the United States Department of the Treasury, which is concerned with financial and monetary matters, and, until 2003, also with some issues of national security and defense. This position in the Federal Government of the United...

 Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was a Founding Father, soldier, economist, political philosopher, one of America's first constitutional lawyers and the first United States Secretary of the Treasury...

 in a duel against the sitting Vice President
Aaron Burr
Aaron Burr, Jr. was an important political figure in the early history of the United States of America. After serving as a Continental Army officer in the Revolutionary War, Burr became a successful lawyer and politician...

 Aaron Burr in 1804 did not help its declining popularity. Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin
Dr. Benjamin Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A noted polymath, Franklin was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, postmaster, scientist, musician, inventor, satirist, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat...

 denounced the practice as uselessly violent, and George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 encouraged his officers to refuse challenges during the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

 because he believed that the death by duelling of officers would have threatened the success of the war effort.

In 1820, the American naval hero Stephen Decatur
Stephen Decatur
Stephen Decatur, Jr. , was an American naval officer notable for his many naval victories in the early 19th century. He was born on the eastern shore of Maryland, Worcester county, the son of a U.S. Naval Officer who served during the American Revolution. Shortly after attending college Decatur...

 was killed in a duel with fellow naval officer James Barron
James Barron
James Barron was an officer in the United States Navy. Commander of the frigate USS Chesapeake, he was court-martialed for his actions on 22 June 1807, which led to the surrender of his ship to the British....

. Between 1798 and the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, the US Navy lost two-thirds as many officers to dueling as it did in combat at sea. Many of those killed or wounded were midshipmen or junior officers. Despite prominent deaths, such as that of Decatur, duelling persisted because of contemporary ideals of chivalry
Chivalry
Chivalry is a term related to the medieval institution of knighthood which has an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. Chivalry was also the term used to refer to a group of mounted men-at-arms as well as to martial valour...

, particularly in the South
Dueling in the United States South
Dueling was a common practice in the U.S. South from the seventeenth to the end of the nineteenth century. Although the dueling largely disappeared in the early nineteenth century in the North, it remained a common practice in the South until the end of the century, where the concept of honor...

, and because of the threat of ridicule if a challenge was rejected.
Among the lower classes in this period, gouging
Gouging (fighting style)
Gouging was a form of fighting in the back-country United States, primarily in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Also known as rough-and-tumble fighting, it was often characterized by the objective of gouging out an opponent's eye, and typically took place in order to settle disputes...

was a form of fighting that combatants also engaged in to defend their honor.

By the end of the 19th century, legalised duelling was almost extinct in most of the world. Some U.S. states do not have any statute or constitutional provision prohibiting duelling, though the party causing injury in a duel may be prosecuted under the applicable laws relating to bodily harm or manslaughter.

Article 114 of the federal laws for the conduct of servicemen, the Uniform Code of Military Justice
Uniform Code of Military Justice
The Uniform Code of Military Justice , is the foundation of military law in the United States. It is was established by the United States Congress in accordance with the authority given by the United States Constitution in Article I, Section 8, which provides that "The Congress shall have Power . ....

, makes duelling by a member of the armed forces a military crime.

State constitutional provisions and military laws prohibiting duelling



Several states have very high-level bans laid against duelling, with stiff penalties for violation. Several United States state constitutions
State constitution (United States)
In the United States, each state has its own constitution.Usually, they are longer than the 7,500-word federal Constitution and are more detailed regarding the day-to-day relationships between government and the people. The shortest is the Constitution of Vermont, adopted in 1793 and currently...

 ban the practice, the most common penalty being disenfranchisement or disqualification from all offices.

State constitutions prohibiting dueling specifically are those of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia and the Session law of Texas.

State and territorial laws prohibiting duelling


20 states, along with the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, have some statute(s) (including constitutional provisions) specifically prohibiting duelling. The remaining 30 states either have no such statute or constitutional provision, or limit their duelling prohibition to members of their state national guard. This does not necessarily mean, however, that duelling is legal in any state, as assault and murder laws can apply.

States which specifically prohibit members of the state national guard from duelling are Arizona
Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, Arkansas
Arkansas
Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

, Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

, Missouri
Missouri
Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

, Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

, Oregon
Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

, Washington and New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

.

States and territories which have statutory prohibitions on duelling for all citizens are Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

, District of Columbia, Idaho
Idaho
Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

, Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

, New Mexico
New Mexico
New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

, New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

, Rhode Island
Rhode Island
The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

 and Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

. California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 previously prohibited duelling, but this was repealed in 1994.

Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 passed the Anti-Dueling Act in 1810, creating civil and criminal penalties for the most usual causes of duelling, rather than for the act itself. It is still on the books. Virginia Code §8.01-45 creates a Civil Action for insulting words. Virginia Code §18.2-416 makes it a crime to use abusive language to another under circumstances reasonably calculated to provoke a breach of the peace. Virginia Code §18.2-417 makes certain slander and libel a crime.

Japan



In Edo period
Edo period
The , or , is a division of Japanese history which was ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family, running from 1603 to 1868. The political entity of this period was the Tokugawa shogunate....

 Japan, there was a tradition of duelling among the Samurai
Samurai
is the term for the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany a person in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau...

 class.
On April 14, 1612 the famous Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi
Miyamoto Musashi
, also known as Shinmen Takezō, Miyamoto Bennosuke or, by his Buddhist name, Niten Dōraku, was a Japanese swordsman and rōnin. Musashi, as he was often simply known, became renowned through stories of his excellent swordsmanship in numerous duels, even from a very young age...

 dueled his rival Sasaki Kojiro
Sasaki Kojiro
was a prominent Japanese swordsman widely considered as a Kensei, born in Fukui Prefecture. He lived during the Sengoku and early Edo periods and is most remembered for his death while battling Miyamoto Musashi in 1612.-History:...

 on the island of Funajima. Musashi is said to have fought over 60 duels and was never defeated, although this is a conservative estimate, most likely not accounting for deaths by his hand in major battles.

In May 2005, twelve youths aged between fifteen and seventeen were arrested in Japan and charged with violating a duelling law that came into effect in 1889. Six other youths were also arrested on the same charges in March.

Philippines


In the Philippine Visayan islands, there is a tradition of duelling where the offended party would first "hagit" or challenge the offender. The offender would have the choice whether to accept or decline the challenge. In the past, choice of weapons was not limited. But most often, bolo
Bolo knife
A bolo is a large cutting tool of Filipino origin similar to the machete, used particularly in the jungles of Indonesia, the Philippines, and in the sugar fields of Cuba...

s, rattan canes, and knives were the preferred weapons.
Duels were either first-blood, submission, or to the last man standing. Duels to death were known as "huego-todo" (without bounds).

Widely publicised duels are common in Filipino martial arts
Filipino martial arts
Filipino Martial Arts refers to ancient and newer fighting methods devised in the Philippines, the most popular of which are known as Arnis/Eskrima/Kali. The intrinsic need for self-preservation was the genesis of these systems. Throughout the ages, invaders and evolving local conflict imposed new...

 circles. One of those very controversial and publicised duels was between Ciriaco "Cacoy" Cañete and Venancio "Ansiong" Bacon. It was rumoured that Cacoy won in this match by executing an illegal manoeuvre, but this rumour has not been proven to this day. Another match was between Cacoy and a man identified only by his name "Domingo" in the mountain barangay of Balamban in 1948, which was also very controversial. Some claimed that this event was just a hoax.

Duels in film



In cinema, duelling has provided themes for such motion pictures as Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick was an American film director, writer, producer, and photographer who lived in England during most of the last four decades of his career...

's 1975 Barry Lyndon
Barry Lyndon
Barry Lyndon is a 1975 British-American period romantic war film produced, written, and directed by Stanley Kubrick based on the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray which recounts the exploits of an 18th century Irish adventurer...

, which is in turn an adaptation of an 1844 William Makepeace Thackeray
William Makepeace Thackeray
William Makepeace Thackeray was an English novelist of the 19th century. He was famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of English society.-Biography:...

 novel; and Ridley Scott
Ridley Scott
Sir Ridley Scott is an English film director and producer. His most famous films include The Duellists , Alien , Blade Runner , Legend , Thelma & Louise , G. I...

's 1977 The Duellists
The Duellists
The Duellists is a 1977 historical drama film that was Ridley Scott's first feature film as a director. It won the Best Debut Film award at the 1977 Cannes Film Festival...

, itself adapted from Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad
Joseph Conrad was a Polish-born English novelist.Conrad is regarded as one of the great novelists in English, although he did not speak the language fluently until he was in his twenties...

's 1908 short story The Duel. The 1943 film The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is a 1943 film by the British film making team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger under the production banner of The Archers. It stars Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr and Anton Walbrook. The title derives from the satirical Colonel Blimp comic strip by David...

shows two main characters becoming friends after fighting a duel, the preparations for which are shown in great detail. Perhaps most notable is the career of Max Ophuls
Max Ophüls
Maximillian Oppenheimer — known as Max Ophüls — was an influential German-born film director who worked in Germany , France , the United States , and France again...

, who employs duels to resolve passionate conflicts in a number of his films. In 1974's The Man with the Golden Gun
The Man with the Golden Gun (film)
The Man with the Golden Gun is the ninth spy film in the James Bond series and the second to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond...

the duel between Bond and Scaramanga is refereed by Nick-Nack, who tells both contestants that this is a duel to the death; no wounding is allowed and, if necessary, Nick Nack will administer the coup-de-grace. In the 1958 film The Big Country
The Big Country
Meanwhile, Terrill insists on riding into the canyon. Initially, Leech refuses to accompany him, and the other men follow his lead. However, after Terrill rides out alone, Leech catches up with him. The remaining hands again align themselves with Leech by following. The group soon rides into a trap...

, the character of James McKay (played by Gregory Peck
Gregory Peck
Eldred Gregory Peck was an American actor.One of 20th Century Fox's most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s, Peck continued to play important roles well into the 1980s. His notable performances include that of Atticus Finch in the 1962 film To Kill a Mockingbird, for which he won an...

) is forced into dueling the son of one of two families in the middle of a feud with his own dueling pistols. The son cheats by firing before the command was given, nicking McKay, but McKay then elects to fire his own gun into the ground.

See also


  • List of famous duels
  • Trial by combat
    Trial by combat
    Trial by combat was a method of Germanic law to settle accusations in the absence of witnesses or a confession, in which two parties in dispute fought in single combat; the winner of the fight was proclaimed to be right. In essence, it is a judicially sanctioned duel...

    , judicially-sanctioned duel
  • Holmgang
    Holmgang
    Holmgang was a duel practiced by early medieval Scandinavians. It was a recognized way to settle disputes....

    , a Scandinavian form of duelling
  • Code duello
    Code duello
    A code duello is a set of rules for a one-on-one combat, or duel.Codes duello regulate dueling and thus help prevent vendettas between families and other social factions. They assure that non-violent means of reaching agreement be exhausted and that harm be reduced, both by limiting the terms of...

    , a set of rules for duelling
  • Truel
    Truel
    A truel is a neologism for a duel between three opponents, in which players can fire at one another in an attempt to eliminate them while surviving themselves.-Game theory overview:A variety of forms of truels have been studied in game theory...

    , a duel with three participants
  • European duelling sword
  • Duelling pistol
    Duelling pistol
    A duelling pistol is a pistol used in a classical duel. As a general rule, they are single-shot flintlock or percussion black powder pistols which fire a lead musket ball...

  • Champion warfare
    Champion warfare
    Champion warfare refers to a type of battle, most commonly found in the epic poetry and myth of ancient history, in which the outcome of the conflict is determined by an individual duel between the best soldiers from each opposing army...

  • Gunfighter, a popular stock character commonly placed in a gun duel or showdown

Sources

  • Baldick, Robert. The Duel: A History of Duelling. London: Chapman & Hall, 1965.
  • Banks, Stephen. A Polite Exchange of Bullets; The Duel and the English Gentleman, 1750–1850, (Woodbridge: Boydell 2010)
  • Banks, Stephen. "Very little law in the case: Contests of Honour and the Subversion of the English Criminal Courts, 1780-1845" (2008) 19(3) King's Law Journal 575-594.
  • Banks, Stephen. "Dangerous Friends: The Second and the Later English Duel" (2009) 32 (1) Journal of Eighteenth Century Studies' 87-106.
  • Banks, Stephen. "Killing with Courtesy: The English Duelist, 1785-1845," (2008) 47 Journal of British Studies 528-558.
  • Bell, Richard, “The Double Guilt of Dueling: The Stain of Suicide in Anti-dueling Rhetoric in the Early Republic,” Journal of the Early Republic, 29 (Fall 2009), 383–410.
  • Cramer, Clayton. Concealed Weapon Laws of the Early Republic: Dueling, Southern Violence, and Moral Reform
  • Freeman, Joanne B. Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001; paperback ed., 2002)
  • Freeman, Joanne B. "Dueling as Politics: Reinterpreting the Burr-Hamilton Duel." The William and Mary Quarterly, 3d series, 53 (April 1996): 289–318.
  • Frevert, Ute. "Men of Honour: A Social and Cultural History of the Duel." trans. Anthony Williams Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995.
  • Greenberg, Kenneth S. "The Nose, the Lie, and the Duel in the Antebellum South." American Historical Review 95 (February 1990): 57–73.
  • James Kelly. That Damn'd Thing Called Honour: Duelling in Ireland 1570–1860" (1995)
  • Kevin McAleer. Dueling: The Cult of Honor in Fin-de-Siecle Germany (1994)
  • Morgan, Cecilia. "'In Search of the Phantom Misnamed Honour': Duelling in Upper Canada." Canadian Historical Review 1995 76(4): 529–562.
  • Rorabaugh, W. J. "The Political Duel in the Early Republic: Burr v. Hamilton." Journal of the Early Republic 15 (Spring 1995): 1–23.
  • Schwartz, Warren F., Keith Baxter and David Ryan. "The Duel: Can these Gentlemen be Acting Efficiently?." The Journal of Legal Studies 13 (June 1984): 321–355.
  • Steward, Dick. Duels and the Roots of Violence in Missouri (2000),
  • Williams, Jack K. Dueling in the Old South: Vignettes of Social History (1980) (1999),
  • Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. Honor and Violence in the Old South (1986)
  • Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (1982),
  • Holland, Barbara. "Gentlemen's Blood: A History of Dueling" New York, NY. (2003)

Popular works

  • The Code of Honor; or, Rules for the Government of Principals and Seconds in Duelling, John Lyde Wilson
    John Lyde Wilson
    John Lyde Wilson was the 49th Governor of South Carolina from 1822 to 1824 and an ardent supporter of dueling.-Early life and career:...

     1838
  • The Field of Honor Benjamin C. Truman
    Benjamin C. Truman
    Benjamin Cummings Truman , was an American journalist and author; in particular, he was a distinguished war correspondent during the American Civil War, and an authority on duels....

    . (1884); reissued as Duelling in America (1993).
  • Savannah Duels & Duellists, Thomas Gamble (1923)
  • Gentlemen, Swords and Pistols, Harnett C. Kane (1951)
  • Pistols at Ten Paces: The Story of the Code of Honor in America, William Oliver Stevens (1940)
  • The Duel: A History, Robert Baldick (1965, 1996)
  • Dueling With the Sword and Pistol: 400 Years of One-on-One Combat, Paul Kirchner
    Paul Kirchner
    Paul Kirchner is an American writer and illustrator who has worked in diverse areas, from comic strips and toy design to advertising and editorial art....

     (2004)
  • Duel, James Landale
    James Landale
    James Landale is a BBC journalist who is the current Deputy Political Editor for BBC News.-Education:Landale was educated at Eton College, a famous independent school in the town of Eton in Berkshire, and was a contemporary of London Mayor Boris Johnson and Prime Minister David Cameron, followed by...

     (2005). ISBN 1-84195-647-3. The story of the last fatal duel in Scotland
  • Ritualized Violence Russian Style: The Duel in Russian Culture and Literature, Irina Reyfman (1999).
  • A Polite Exchange of Bullets; The Duel and the English Gentleman, 1750-1850, Stephen Banks (2010)

External links


  • Ahn, Tom, Sandford, Jeremy, and Paul Shea. 2010. "Mend it, Don't End it: Optimal Mortality in Affairs of Honor" mimeo
  • Allen, Douglas, W., and Reed, Clyde, G., 2006, "The Duel of Honor: Screening for Unobservable Social Capital," American Law and Economics Review: 1–35.
  • "Duels and Dueling on the Web", "...a comprehensive guide and web directory to pistol and sword duelling in history, literature and film..."
  • Banks, Stephen, Dead before Breakfast: The English Gentleman and Honour Affronted", in S. Bibb and D. Escandell (eds), Best Served Cold: Studies on Revenge (Oxford: Inter-Disciplinary Press, 2010), http://www.inter-disciplinary.net/publishing/id-press/ebooks/best-served-cold<
  • Banks, Stephen "Challengers Chastised and Duellists Deterred: Kings Bench and Criminal Informations, 1800-1820" (2007) ANZLH E-Journal, Refereed Paper No (4). http://www.anzlhsejournal.auckland.ac.nz/Refereed_Papers_2007.htm
  • Kingston, Christopher G., and Wright, Robert E. "The Deadliest of Games: The Institution of Dueling" Dept. of Econ., Amherst College, Stern School of Business, NY Univ.
    • The Duel by Anton Chekhov
      Anton Chekhov
      Anton Pavlovich Chekhov was a Russian physician, dramatist and author who is considered to be among the greatest writers of short stories in history. His career as a dramatist produced four classics and his best short stories are held in high esteem by writers and critics...

    • “The great Winglebury duel” in Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens
      Charles Dickens
      Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

    • “The Duellists. Fable VI.” by Christopher Smart
      Christopher Smart
      Christopher Smart , also known as "Kit Smart", "Kitty Smart", and "Jack Smart", was an English poet. He was a major contributor to two popular magazines and a friend to influential cultural icons like Samuel Johnson and Henry Fielding. Smart, a high church Anglican, was widely known throughout...


}}