Was it really the “Last Duel”

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    Jean Chandler

    Lol nope. The movie in which for some incomprehensible reason they try to make Matt Damon pretend to be French definitely wasn’t the last duel. That 14th Century duel became a major case and was studied in France for centuries, so it was an important event in some respects, mainly due to the perceived significance in the 18th-20th Centuries.

    But it wasn’t even the last formal duel, or the last formal duel in France. Duels have continued to the present day, but duels with swords petered out around the mid 20th Century. The last formal duel recognized by the King as such in France was probably the famous duel between Guy de Chabot (future baron of Jarnac) and Francois de Vivonne, lord of La Chataigneraie (and friend of the king) in 1547.

    Duels were increasingly outlawed in France in the 16th Century though they still took place. We know about them thanks largely to legal records (prosecution of participants) and so called “letters of remission” from the lawyers of the accused duelists, in which they try to explain why they were forced to fight. Formal and informal duels in other countries had different timelines but they continued to take place regularly for centuries, particularly in regions like Central Europe where there was relatively little centralized control most of the time.

    This is a very nicely done account of one well-documented duel in Germany in 1478, between two knights who were allies in an ongoing private war against a regional prince-bishop. The blog, by Jens Peter Kleinau, is well researched and written and captures all the nuance and context of the vent (if you want to read that) and then gives you a direct translation of the account of the actual duel. For those of you who have played out battles in the Codex, you’ll notice things that should seem familiar.

    1478 A knightly duel

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 10 months ago by Jean Chandler.
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