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Settling Disputes by Duel: An Affair Of Honor

Settling disputes by duel peaked in Britain through the mid-1800s. The French continued the practice into the 19th century.

Settling Disputes by Duel: An Affair Of Honor

(Philip Schreier photo)

Dueling all but disappeared within the last hundred years. Until that time, among certain classes, it was a socially accepted activity. The last recorded duel took place in France with épées in 1967. The last notable duel fought with pistols occurred between a U.S. Senator and a former California Chief Justice in 1859.

As long as human beings have had the facility to take umbrage, there have been duels. The practice undoubtedly started in pre-history with the principal weaponry being stones, bones and clubs. Technology progressed through swords, axes, flails and lances, and finally reached its pinnacle with the development of exquisitely fashioned, purpose-built...

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