Following up on my previous post, it turns out that one of the earliest manuals on the practice of dueling–“Il Duello” by Girolamo Muzio, a.k.a. Mutio Iustinopolitano, b.1496—d.1576–was published in Venice in 1550. I am unable to locate an English translation of this 16th-century Venetian manual, nor am I able to find any reliable statistics about the number of duels in European history, so for now I have ordered Barbara Holland’s classic book on the history of dueling. Also, here are some bonus links for our loyal followers: (1) a vintage Marginal Revolution blog post about the economics of dueling; (2) this history of dueling in 16th-century Italy by David Quint; (3) this comparative study by Mehrdad Vahabi and Behrooz Hassani Mahmooei (review of dueling in England, France, and Germany); and (4) this formal paper by Douglas W. Allen and Clyde G. Reed (presenting a costly-signalling model of dueling).
Dueling for Dummies seems like an appropriate title. Only a real dummy would engage in such activity (no mater the culture or time period).
Agreed, yet the tradition of duels persisted for many centuries; that is why I find this archaic practice to be so fascinating!
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