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The word duel comes from the Latin 'duellum', cognate with 'bellum', meaning 'war'.During the early Renaissance, dueling established the status of a respectable gentleman, and was an accepted manner to resolve disputes.By the late 18th century, Enlightenment era values began to influence society with new self-conscious ideas about politeness, civil behaviour and new attitudes towards violence.The cultivated art of politeness demanded that there should be no outward displays of anger or violence, and the concept of honour became more personalized.On occasion, duels with pistols or swords were fought between women.

However, the tradition had become deeply rooted in European culture as a prerogative of the aristocracy, and these attempts largely failed.If a traveling venans did not have weapons or horse to meet the challenge, one might be provided, and if the venans chose not to fight, he would leave his spurs behind as a sign of humiliation.If a lady passed unescorted, she would leave behind a glove or scarf, to be rescued and returned to her by a future knight who passed that way.The Roman Catholic Church was critical of dueling throughout medieval history, frowning both on the traditions of judicial combat and on the duel on points of honor among the nobility.Judicial duels were deprecated by the Lateran Council of 1215, but the judicial duel persisted in the Holy Roman Empire into the 15th century.For example, King Louis XIII of France outlawed dueling in 1626, a law which remained in force for ever afterwards, and his successor Louis XIV intensified efforts to wipe out the duel.

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