Judicial dueling and 15th century martial arts

Virginia City 3

Saturday July 22, 2023 - 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm

In the late 14th century, various strands of sporting and fighting tradition converged into a new kind of judicial duel. It was somewhat disconnected from the trials by combat of the Middle Ages, and also from the culture of honor dueling that arose in the 16th century. This judicial dueling culture developed and evolved over the course of the 15th century, and in 1476, Italian jurist Paride del Pozzo published his attempt to compile and organize all of the precedents and customs that he could find. This lecture will discuss the dueling codes and customs laid out by Pozzo and compare them to the teachings we find in fencing manuals of the early-mid 15th century, from Fiore to Kal, and argue that this sort of duel could be the primary context that these arts were intended for.



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