Wanneer het die uitdaging om 'n tweegeveg op te hou om 'n praktyk in die Engelse kultuur te wees?

Wanneer het die uitdaging om 'n tweegeveg op te hou om 'n praktyk in die Engelse kultuur te wees?


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In die Aubrey Maturin -reeks romans is daar ten minste twee tonele waar die protagoniste uitgedaag word tot 'n tweestryd:

  1. Na -kaptein - Aubrey en Maturin oor Aubrey se reputasie by die Admiraliteit
  2. HMS Surprise - Stephen daag 'n ander minnaar van Diana Villers uit in 'n tweestryd

Hierdie romans speel nou af in die tydperk van die Engelse geskiedenis [1800-1815] en word algemeen beskou as 'n noukeurige ondersoek na historiese fiksie.

Dit lyk vir my asof die uitdaging van 'n ander man tot 'n tweestryd (behalwe dat dit onwettig is) nie meer deel uitmaak van die Engelse kultuur nie.

My vraag is: Wanneer het die uitdaging om 'n tweegeveg op te hou om 'n praktyk in die Engelse kultuur te wees?


Gedurende die 1830's en 1840's.

In die twintigerjare was tweestryd nog algemeen. Van 1815 tot 1830 was Castlereagh, Canning en Wellington op hul beurt verantwoordelik vir die regering van Engeland, en hulle het almal teen tweestryde geveg. In die dertigerjare sterf tweestryd onder die druk van die openbare mening, en in 1844 lui die gewysigde oorlogsartikels dat enige beampte wat 'n tweestryd voer, 'n kassier sal wees.

- Thomson, David en P.A. Williams. Engeland in die negentiende eeu, 1815-1914. Vol. 8. Pikkewynboeke, 1950.

Die praktyk het skerp agteruitgegaan en ná die middel van die 1840's of so feitlik uitgesterf. Dit lyk asof die laaste dodelike tweestryd in 1852 tussen twee plaasgevind het Fransmanne.


In 1964 het twee Magdalen -studente, Adam Poynter en Rory Donellan, in 'n tweestryd geveg nadat Donellan 'n meisie van Margaret Margaret beskryf het wat Poynter bewonder het as 'dik' en Poynter hom vir Donellan met 'n handskoen geslaan het. Eer is tevrede toe Poynter 'n snywond in sy pols opgedoen het en die here terug is na Donellan se kamer vir 'n whisky.


Wanneer het die uitdaging om 'n tweegeveg op te hou om 'n praktyk in die Engelse kultuur te wees? - Geskiedenis

Deur John Clements
ARMA Direkteur

As u aan die woord 'tweestryd' dink, dink u onmiddellik aan 'n swaardgeveg. Tweestryd en swaardspel hang nou saam. As rituele enkele gevegte is tweestryde met baie wapens behalwe swaarde geveg. Maar die tweestryd het sy grootste uitdrukking gevind, maar dit was in die uitdaging om met bypassende lemme te veg om oorwinnend te wees deur hul vaardigheid te omhein. Om tweegeveg te word, was meer as nie 'n ander swaardvegter as 'n swaardvegter nie.

Die essensie van 'n tweestryd gaan oor individuele burgerlike gevegte (altyd te voet) eerder as militêre groepsgevegte. Maar of u nou onder voorafbepaalde omstandighede teen 'n enkele teëstander veg of teen 'n alleenstaande vyand op die oorlogsveld, dit is uiteindelik beide persoonlike gevegte. Die tweestryd onderskei hom van die chaos om te veg te midde van 'n geveg of die plotselinge van 'n herontmoet of stedelike stryd deur sy wedersydse ooreenkoms om mekaar te bereik. Die tweestryd het oor die eeue heen baie vorme gesien, van geregtelike verhoor-tot-stryd tot private eresake wat 'n formele kode oproep. Die belangrikste idee daarvan was dat een party, as gevolg van 'n persoonlike aandeel in 'n maatskaplik onaanvaarbare aangeleentheid, nie die gedrag van 'n ander sal duld sonder om met 'n wapenuitdaging te reageer nie.

Omdat die swaard so nou verband hou met die Middeleeuse ridderskap en ridderlikheid en, in uitbreiding, tot die Renaissance -hofmeester en aristokratiese kavalier, was dit meer as enige ander wapen wat geregtigheid, eer en wraak verteenwoordig het. As die kantwapen van 'n offisier of die voorreg van die heer, verteenwoordig dit beide krygerstatus en persoonlike krygsvaardigheid. Miskien omdat die swaard nie net die grootste verskeidenheid van aanvallende en verdedigende nabygevegstegnieke toegelaat het nie, maar ook finesse en moed in staat gestel het, soveel as krag, het dit die gebruiker 'n sekere versekering gebied. Om hierdie redes, en omdat dit soveel verskillende vorme het, het dit in meer tweestryde as enige ander wapen gedien.





Eeue lank het die stryd om tweesnydende wapen-swaard met 'n klein gesp of groter skild in alle ridderlike en geregtelike tweestryde voorkeur geniet. Ridderlike uitdagings vir wapens in die chansons en verhale is dikwels beskryf in terme van swaardduels te voet. Mettertyd is hierdie kort swaarde grotendeels vervang vir tweestryd deur 'n verskeidenheid tweeslagtige oorlogswaardes. Die groter groot-swaard, die wapenrusting estok, verskillende rande met enkele rande, en later die sabel (in swaar militêre sowel as ligte burgerlike vorme), was almal op 'n tyd gewilde keuse. Die verskillende ontwerpe van skraal militêre sy-swaard was in die 16de eeu 'n algemene keuse, hetsy op hul eie of meer dikwels vergesel van dolk of emmer. Versies van hierdie swaarde het die volgende twee eeue voortdurend in tweestryde gebruik. Aangesien groter militêre swaarde buite gebruik geraak het, is dit maklik om te verstaan ​​hoe meer kompakte sny-en-druk-ontwerpe 'n algemene keuse vir tweestryd sou word.




Dit was in die Renaissance -Europa gedurende die 16de en 17de eeu dat die swaardduel waarskynlik sy hoogtepunt bereik het met allerhande punctillios en cartellos. Die einde van die feodale era, die opkoms van groter stede en die algemene verbod op regsgevegte teen die laat 1540's het 'n reaksie ontlok. Die laat vaar as 'n wettige manier om konflikte in die openbaar op te los, het die gewildheid van die alternatief direk verhoog. Stryery oor kwessies oor eer en reputasie sou die partye self op hul eie besleg het. In daardie omgewing het elke heer of wapenman met sulke pretensies 'n vorm van swaard besit. Gewoonlik sou 'n man 'n tweegeveg met sy eie persoonlike swaard beveg, dieselfde as wat hy in die oorlog gebruik het en sy persoon gedra het, maar op ander tye was bypassende swaarde vooraf gekies sodat dit nie langer of ligter was as die ander nie. Teen die 16de eeu is spesiale pare identiese swaarde, wat 'n saak of stut genoem word, om hierdie rede deur neutrale derde partye gehou.

'N Mens kan nie die swaard in tweestryd oorweeg sonder om die aard daarvan en veral die rol van die tweestrydskultuur in die Westerse beskawing te ondersoek nie. Geen twyfel is dat geen swaard in die geskiedenis so nou verband hou met die ere -tweegeveg soos die mees unieke van Renaissance -wapens nie, die skraal skelm verkragter. Geen ander swaard is so identifiseerbaar met die idee van die tweestryder nie. Alhoewel dit ontstaan ​​het vir stedelike straatgevegte onder die werkersklas (in 'n tyd waarin gewere toenemend formidabel geraak het), was dit binne enkele geslagte amper die uitsluitlike fokus van omheiningsmeesters wat steeds meer besig was met die oplossing van die verwikkeldheid van die metode in privaat tweegeveg . Die evolusie van die lem en die hak het direk gevolg uit hierdie kommer. Die uiteindelike voorkeur vir heren -tweestryders, wat gereeld met 'n bypassende dolk en selfs 'n eenvoudige mantel gebruik word, was om dit alleen te gebruik.

Die finesse van 'n lang, smal lem met 'n vinnige deurbraak is goed ontvang deur tweestryders en binne 'n generasie aangeneem as hul voorkeur "go-to" wapen. Die gevaar om ongewapen te veg met 'n skraal stekende swaard, met sy verblindende spoed, bedrieglike reikwydte en besondere hengelaanval, het veroorsaak dat mans - veral diegene wat nog nie vertroud was met sulke omheining nie - baie maklik gewond is. Dit was nie dat die verkragter intrinsiek dodeliker was as die vreesaanjaende, geklapte houe van breër snyblaaie nie, maar dit was omdat steke eenvoudig nie behandel kon word nie, en die sterftesyfer as gevolg van ontploffing van tweegevegte kon verminder. Daar is selfs noemenswaardige voorbeelde van mans wat 'n bekende omheiningsmeester soek vir 'n komende geregtelike geveg of voordat hulle 'n uitdaging uitreik in die hoop om 'n geheime tegniek of spesiale stap aan te leer wat hulle kan baat.



Die Barok-era het die neiging tot tweestryd voortgesit, aangesien Franse aristokratiese kringe die formaliteit en etiket rondom die swaardduel verhoog het tot 'n vlak wat nog nooit gesien is nie, selfs al was vuurwapens nou heeltemal oorheersend in oorlogvoering. Hier het die smal klein swaard, as hofswaard of loop-swaard, voorrang geniet onder tweestryders oor militêre kapklas en kavalerie-sabel. Geen ander swaardvorm wat so spesifiek ontwikkel is vir ongewapende burgerlike selfverdediging nie. Die belangrikste funksie daarvan was veral die tweestryd teen 'n ander klein swaard. Alhoewel dit skynbaar "deftig" was, kom hierdie korter dunner lem op die toneel as 'n minder opdringerige persoonlike wapen sonder dat dit nodig was om die uiteenlopende arms en wapens van sy ouer neef uit die Renaissance te ontmoet. Daar is baie berigte oor tweegevegte met klein swaard wat wrede en brutale uitruilings is sonder behoorlike gesindheid. Maar versoening en deportasie in 'n tweestryd was 'n produk van die eeu. Terwyl die gemiddelde barok -swaardvegter hoegenaamd geen verband hoef te hê om sy teenstanders se bors koud deur te steek met sy punt nie, 'n mede -man se gesig te slaan, sy klere te gryp of om ongewapende houe en "vulgêre" worstelaars te beskou, sal dit as onwelvoeglik en onbeskof beskou word.

In die lang geskiedenis van omheining, is die idee van twee swaardvegters wat bereid is om nie-dodelik wapens te kruis om mekaar se metaal te toets as 'n oefengeveg met oefenwapens, selfs met die risiko van ernstige besering, selde ongewoon. Inderdaad, dit was waarskynlik 'n redelike gereelde voorkoms. Maar dit val nie in die kategorie tweestryd nie. Selfs as twee mededingende swaardvegters 'n persoonlike vyandskap vir mekaar gehad het, is dit die bedoeling om iets meer te soek as om net 'n skyngeveg op 'n gegewe geleentheid te "wen", wat die kenmerk van die ware tweestryd is. Om ontmoetings as tweestryde beskou te word, moet daar iets persoonliks op die spel wees. Die betrokke partye moet iets waag wat net 'n toets van wedersydse vaardigheid is. Die doel moet wees om herstel te soek vir 'n aangetaste reputasie of persoonlike geringe daad deur daad van werklike geweld en die moontlikheid van werklike besering of dood. Daar moet 'n fout wees wat slegs met wapengeweld reggestel kan word, nie 'n skielike geveg in woede nie.

Hierdie definisie van tweestryd vervaag omdat jong manne in die geskiedenis deur die loop van die geskiedenis dikwels "gedreun" het net om die plesier te verdien om hul reputasie by hul eweknieë te verdien of om hulself bloot te stel aan gewapende aggressie teen skynbaar waardige vyande. In kulture waar swaardduels bestaan ​​het, was daar byna altyd twee vorme: 'n ongereguleerde informele soort, wat gewoonlik op kort kennisgewing voorkom, en 'n goedgekeurde weergawe met sekere reëls en gebruike. Laasgenoemde beperk gewoonlik dodelikheid deur die toegelate wapens voor te skryf, die tyd vooraf te kies en die toegelate ruimte te omskryf. Maar vir elke rekord van 'n gereguleerde tweestryd is daar byna altyd 'n uitsondering.

Alhoewel daar in die geskiedenis sporadiese gevalle is van enkele gevegsuitdagings op die slagveld of met wapens om dapperheid te soek, was dit eers in Wes -Europa dat 'n ware tweelingkultuur van swaardmanskap volle uiting gevind het. Beide die ou Grieke en die Noorse erken geleenthede vir individuele uitdagings om meningsverskille of beskuldigings van swaard tot swaard te besleg, en daar is 'n paar gevalle van samoerai-tweegevegte, soos dié van die beroemde Miyamoto Musashi, in die 17de eeu. Tog het dit plaasgevind as uitsonderings eerder as die reël. Romeinse gladiators, hoewel hulle gewoonlik in enkelgevegte betrokke was, het nie tweegeveg nie omdat hulle baie keer teen hul wil of teen ander geveg het wat nie vryelik die stryd aangegaan het nie. Belangriker nog, hulle het nie persoonlike grief as oorsaak gehad nie, maar het as 'n skouspel of vermaak geveg (om nie te praat dat sulke gevegte nie noodwendig tot die dood of selfs ernstige besering was nie). Om 'n teenstander op die slagveld uit te sonder of om in die arena beveel te word, is nie heeltemal dieselfde as om gewillig uit te stap of vooraf te reël om spesifiek een op een te veg sonder inmenging nie.

Daar is ook noemenswaardige berigte oor mededingende strydskooluitdagings op Europese feeste en kermisse vanaf die laat 15de tot in die vroeë 18de eeu. Alhoewel hulle allerhande swaarde gebruik het wat ernstige leed kon veroorsaak, en dit was moontlik om slae te sny wat gereeld hul ongewapende vegters laat bloei het, het hulle hul aanvalle egter as reklametentoonstellings en opleidingsgeleenthede laat reël. Soms was daar persoonlike wedywerings en soms het onbedoelde sterftes plaasgevind. Die openbare "prysgevegte", soos gehou deur die Londense verdedigingsmeesters, was openbare uitstallings om hul studente te toets in 'n reeks wedstryde met hul vriende met behulp van stomp wapens. Hierdie is later in die laat 17de eeu kommersieel herleef, soveel bloediger "gladiatoriale" gevegsport. Maar dit het nie oor tweestryd gegaan nie en dit was nie ware tweestryde nie.

Daar was tweestryde met messe, met spiese, selfs byle en baie met pistool. Baie het ook te perd plaasgevind. Maar dit was altyd die swaard te voet wat die eerste individuele arm van selfverdediging was wat by alle geleenthede geskik was. Die keuse van die swaard as die wapen van die keuse vir 'n tweestryd het doelbewus betekenis gehad. Die swaard was 'n bewapening waarvan die enigste funksie geveg was-nie jag of plaasarbeid nie soos 'n byl, paalarm of boog. Die gebruik van 'n swaard impliseer kennis van swaardmanskap, wat beteken dat jy in die wapenopleiding as 'n lid van die militêre klas of adel moet opgelei word (of pretensies moet hê). In 'n sosiale en kulturele konteks was die swaard verteenwoordigend sowel as simbolies van status, geloof en eer. Met die swaard moes jy van naby kom. U moes fisies kontak maak met u teëstander. U kan dit nie doen sonder inspanning en doelbewuste opset sowel as gevaar nie. Die swaard het die tweestryder tevredenheid gegee deurdat hy bloed getrek het as gevolg van moontlike dood. As dit by 'n swaard -tweestryd kom, is dit persoonlik.



'N Swaard -tweestryd word selde as 'n beskawingsdaad beskou, maar dit was presies wat dit was. Alle regs- en teologiese argumente daarteen, die tweestryd het 'n manier opgelos om konflikte te besleg terwyl direkte moord vermy word. Daar is geen reëls vir die stryd om u lewe nie, en tog is dit presies wat 'n tweegeveg geëis het: dat u in 'n geveg instem tot 'n sekere reeks verbod op hoe om te begin en hoe om te eindig. Die swaard -tweegeveg het so lank oorleef omdat dit 'n uitlaatklep bied. Dit het natuurlike gewelddadige impulse gekanaliseer en onafwendbare vyandigheid gerig deur 'n aanvaarbare manier van gevegte toe te laat wat 'n mate van regverdigheid en eerlikheid tussen die vegters verseker het. Net so belangrik, dit het dit erkenning onder die sosiale eweknieë moontlik gemaak. Eer onder tweestryders het meer gegaan as bloot reputasie of gesigbesparing, dit het oor gedrag, verwagting, etiket, manlike persoonlikhede en die nakoming van 'n stel krygsnorme gegaan. Die tweestrydkultuur was 'n swaardkultuur en daar was baie wat hulle daaroor verlustig het.

Dit is maklik om swaardduels te romantiseer, aangesien die manlike manier om u waarde en reputasie te bewys, terselfdertyd 'n private vete beëindig en vendetta vermy. Maar net so maklik kan dit misbruik, uitgebuit en niks anders as verkwistende, sinnelose dood veroorsaak nie. Uit die verslag blyk dit dat privaat ereduels selde eerbaar was en selde privaat was. Dit is nietemin maklik om die aantrekkingskrag daarvan te herken. As twee mans ingestem het om 'n saak tussen hulle te bereik deur konsensuele wapens, was daar geen beter manier as die eerlike botsing van staal nie. Om so 'n uitdaging te aanvaar, die hoof te bied en oorwinning te bewerkstellig deur u eie vaardigheid, of die teenstander gespaar of gedood is, was die sekerste manier om 'n smeer te verdedig, die waarde van u woord te verseker of om 'n reputasie te verdien buite die oorlog. In hierdie opsig word die vermoë om die swaard te swaai gepas met die bereidwilligheid om dit oor sulke aangeleenthede te gebruik, as 'n teken van karakter beskou. Die paradoks van die private tweegeveg was dat dit nie heeltemal privaat sou wees om reputasie te verdien of bekendheid te verwerf nie, anders sou die oorwinnaar uitgelê kon word dat hy opsetlik 'n moord deur 'n hinderlaag gereël het. Dus is ten minste 'n paar openbare getuies of neutrale toeskouers nodig. Om die aandag van die owerhede te vermy, was die vangs. Oor die algemeen was tweestryd 'n buite -regsaktiwiteit van die aristokrasie en die staat, alhoewel talle verbodsbepalings uitgevaardig is, as gevolg daarvan dat dit op 'n diskrete manier gedoen word.



Tog kan swaardduels 'n impromptu -aangeleentheid wees, met niks formeel verklaar nie en slegs die verstandhouding dat sodra lemme getrek is, niemand sou inmeng nie. Daar is moontlik nie eers 'n eksplisiete uitdrukking van die verwagte uitkoms nie, totdat die een of een van die twee partye gewond of vermoor is. In baie gevalle blyk dit dat die etiket van 'tweestryd' later op sulke spontane gevegte toegepas is. Die formele tweestryd was beslis baie minder algemeen as eenvoudige aanvalle in die agterstewe en bendegevegte in leë pleine en beboste paaie. Om mono-a-mono in die gesig te staar, om een ​​van 'n paar gelyke lemme te kies en deur u tweede gesteun te word, in afwagting van die bevel van 'n neutrale derde party voordat hulle vermoor of vermoor word, was 'n ervaring wat slegs 'n paar uitgesoekte was. Baie swaardkampe is slegs gevoer totdat die geringste bloed gestort is en die gegriefde party tevrede was met 'n resultaat wat veral deur swaarde haalbaar was. Maar baie meer is uitdruklik tot die dood toe geveg.

Vreemd genoeg, namate oorlogvoering in die Weste in die middel tot laat 19de eeu meer industriële, meer gemeganiseerde en dodeliker geword het, het Westelike omheinings sport geword. Dit het oorgegaan in 'n veilige atletiese tydverdryf en ontspanningswedstryd, terwyl die geweerkultuur heeltemal posgevat het. Maar die swaardkamp vir aangeleenthede van persoonlike eer het voortgeduur. 'N Langer en ligter tweelingweergawe van die' p e 'het streng na vore gekom vir die uitvoering van sake, net soos 'n dunner en ligter' beskaafde 'sabel. Toe klerke, prokureurs en joernaliste oor enige onbenullige besonderhede verskoning kon vind om 'n tweestryd in die park te maak met veergewigwapens wat slegs gebruik word om pienk wonde te veroorsaak, is dinge tot byna 'n klug. Toe die 20ste eeu nader, was swaardduels tot 'n hoogs gereguleerde aktiwiteit beperk, wat selde 'n ernstige gevaar vir die deelnemers inhou en sterftes deur swaardwonde was 'n rariteit. Intussen het die gekunstelde rituele van die 19de-eeuse Duitse universiteitsklubs met die nie-dodelike lemme van die 19de eeu hul geformaliseerde aanvalle verdun tot 'n kunsmatige littekenverwekkende fetisj wat nie veel meer beteken as 'uiterste broederlikheid'. Dit het die gruwels van die Groot Oorlog van 1914 geverg om nie net die erekultuur van die Westerse beskawing te beëindig nie, maar ook die gedagte dat manlikheid en reputasie die beste waardig gemaak is deur 'n voorsprong of punt in 'n geritualiseerde enkele geveg te ondergaan.



Die geskiedenis van die tweestryd is lank en ingewikkeld, maar die algemene idee dat twee mense kan kies om 'n privaat geskil te besleg of 'n konflik met wedersydse toestemming op te los, is 'n antieke. Daar is waarskynlik net soveel voorbeelde van skielike tweegevegte ter plaatse as wat dit nodig was om uitgebreide onderhandelinge te reël. En daar is voorbeelde van tweestryde tussen twee partye wat geen twis gehad het of hoegenaamd 'n twis tussen hulle gehad het nie, behalwe dat hulle iemand wou beveg of andersins gedink het dat hulle van hulle maats verwag het. Vir elke onwillige tweestryd was daar die sosiopatiese boelie wat doelbewus gesoek of aanstoot gegee het om 'n geveg te veroorsaak wat hy beslis sou wen. Vir elke swaard -tweestryd wat vriendskaplik geëindig het met die twee partye wat mekaar handdruk voordat hulle 'n drankie gaan drink, was daar miskien 'n dosyn wat in volslae vyandigheid geëindig het met een of albei partye dodelik gewond. Tog is daar lank reeds 'n erkenning dat hulle onder tweestryders (sowel as mededingers in gevegsport) 'n intimiteit deel wat baie keer in wedersydse respek eindig. Daar was 'n eerlikheid om twee bekwame individue toe te laat om net 'daarteen te veg' as hulle wou. Die probleem was dat hulle gewoonlik te dikwels 'n te dom rede wou hê.

Weereens is dit belangrik om te verstaan ​​dat sosiale kragte altyd 'n diepgaande invloed gehad het op hoe mans kies om hulself te verdedig of rituele stryd aan te pak. Ons moet vermy om dit vanuit ons perspektief te bekyk eerder as vanuit die konteks van die oorspronklike tyd en plek. 'N Man wat bereid was om sy lewe en die lewe op die punt van 'n swaard te waag, maar tog die reëls nakom van wat as ordentlik of onfatsoenlik beskou sou word tydens gevegte, met bewondering en respek deur sy eweknieë en teenstanders. As twee soortgelyke mans 'n ernstige tweestryd oorleef het, was dit maklik vir hulle om te vergewe en te vergeet om nie te praat van die bekendheid wat hulle onderling verdien het, ongeag die oorwinning, solank hulle albei behoorlik opgetree het.

Dit is vandag vanuit ons perspektief moeilik met ons onmiddellike kommunikasie en wêreldmedia om te begryp dat die voorrang van individuele waardigheid vroeër slegs 'n kwessie was van die plaaslike gemeenskappe waarbinne 'n heer persoonlik funksioneer. Dit dwing en eis dat hy laster en beskuldiging beantwoord deur die bereidheid om sy reputasie te ondersteun deur vaardigheid in die wapen. Diegene wat hom beledig het, moes 'n prys betaal. Deur protokolle en struktuur te verskaf vir interpersoonlike geweld wat in elk geval sou gebeur het, het tweestryd die impuls gelei tot die iets minder sosiaal skadelik as reguit oop geveg. Deur 'n tweestryd te bied, was 'n tweestryd 'n manier om die sosiale orde te behou en wraak te beperk in 'n gewelddadige samelewing wat gewoond is aan 'n konstante dood. Die probleem was dat dit in die algemeen diegene wat nie wou deelneem aan die oplossing van 'ledige rusies' nie, dwing om dit in elk geval te doen, waardeur 'n groot en onnodige lewensverlies veroorsaak word.

Op enkele uitsonderings na, is die meerderheid swaardduels waarvan ons weet die wat onder die adel voorkom, wat deur die adel aangeteken is vir 'n leserspubliek van adel. Hulle het natuurlik rekeninge gehou wat die aristokrasie se idees oor 'eerbare rusies' bevestig het. Enkele gevegte onder die gewone mense en tweestryde wat nie voldoen aan die voorkeurreëls vir dekor en etiket nie, het min belangstelling vir sulke historici gehad, selfs al is dit die meer ongewone tweestryde wat ons vandag opvallend vind. Boonop veg filmiese afbeeldings van swaardduels en fiktiewe beskrywings in die populêre kultuur altyd swaardgevegte in oordrewe uitruilings van dramatiese parry-riposte-aksie. Daar word gereeld tweegevegte gewys waar die ontwapen van die teenstander of bloot dreig om dit af te handel voldoende is om die saak te beëindig, aangesien die oorwinnaar sy meerderwaardigheid as swaardvegter bewys. Die werklikheid uit die regte verslae en omheiningsbronne is dat die werklike dinge baie korter en baie gewelddadiger was.

Aansienlike Europese literatuur is beslis vanaf die 16de eeu geproduseer oor óf ondersteunende as veroordelende tweegevegte. Argumente is aangebied oor die deugde van die rede oor woede sowel as oor die 'regverdige' of voldoende rede om 'n persoonlike aangeleentheid af te handel deur die ander party 'uit te roep'. Die waarheid lê iewers tussenin. Soos die Elizabethaanse meester van verdediging, George Silver, in 1599 raad gegee het, "Neem geen wapens by elke ligte geleentheid nie" en "Moenie op elke kleinigheid 'n wraak- of verdedigingsaksie doen nie."

Silver het miskien die mees gesaghebbende afkeuring van tweestryd oor die uitlokking van blote woorde gegee:

"Hy wat nie 'n besering sal verduur nie, maar wraak wil neem, dan moet hy dit doen deur burgerlike orde en bewys, deur goeie en heilsame wette, wat vir sulke redes bepaal is, wat baie meer geskik en noodsaaklik is 'n plek van so 'n burgerlike regering as waarin ons woon, dan is die ander een; en wat hierdie volg, sal my vermanings as 'n dapper man beskou word as hy wat veg en baie wyser is. Want ek sien geen rede waarom 'n man sy lewe en boedel op elke kleinigheid, maar moet eerder verskillende mishandelinge wat hom aangebied word, opdoen, omdat dit in ooreenstemming is met die wette van God en ons land. "

Terwyl Silver 'n regsvoorstel vir laster pleit, onderskryf Silver egter ten volle die noodsaaklikheid van gewapende selfverdediging:

'Waarom moet woorde nie weer met woorde beantwoord word nie, maar as 'n man deur sy vyand 'n slag aangekla word, kan hy dan wettiglik die beste manier soek om homself te verdedig; geweld deur sy dade. "

Die Engelse omheiningsmeester, Joseph Swetnam, het in sy gevegsverhandeling van 1617 kommentaar gelewer op die onderwerp van provokasie deur 'veg woorde', want sommige is tevrede met woorde. en sommige moet met wapens beantwoord word. " Swetnam het besef dat sommige mense soms net moes antwoord. Tog het hy die potensiële tweegeveglys verder gewaarsku om 'so met uself te mediteer voordat u u woord gee om iemand in die veld te ontmoet'. Swetnam het nog steeds meegedeel dat, as u in die gevare van die tweestrydveld kom, "onwillig is om dood te maak. Dan kan u vyand, deur hom te spaar, die doodmaak, en so kan u sterf."

Die tradisie van swaardduel het die koms van vuurwapens oorleef, selfs al het ballistiese wapens die voorrang van randwapens in oorlog en persoonlike verdediging vir altyd beëindig. Die persoonlike soeke na bekwaamheid en erkenning van vaardigheid in 'n 'redelik' omstrede uitnodiging tot bloedvergieting, kombineer in die romanse van die swaardduel. Ons moderne fassinasie daarmee wentel om jarelange idees oor manlikheid, die probleem van jeugdige aggressie en die slyp van 'n krygsgees. Selfs die woord "tweestryd" beteken nou 'n soort stryd tussen twee opponerende partye.

Alhoewel die tweestryd dalk sou lyk, sou dit net daartoe lei dat die grootste, moeilikste man vry is om uiting te gee en afwykings te maak omdat hy nie uitgedaag word nie, maar dit was nie regtig die geval nie. Die feit is dat die tweegeveg eintlik 'n sekere soort eerlikheid gebied het deurdat wapens die groot gelykmaker is. Alhoewel fisieke sterkte en grootte 'n bonus is in die stryd, is vaardigheid dit groter. Dit maak nie saak hoe groot en sterk jy is as 'n gewone swaardpunt net so maklik deur jou gesig of buik kan steek nie, en 'n skerp rand net so maklik jou hand kan verwyder of jou knieskyf kan sny. Dit is waarskynlik die rede waarom so min historiese tweestryde afgehandel is deur ongewapen te veg (en waarom tweegevegte met pistole ontstaan ​​het). Omdat omheiningsvaardigheid van nature oor dissipline en selfbeheersing gaan, het dit beteken dat u 'n mate van opleiding gehad het en dat u na verwagting minder onbeskof en onbeleefd sou sê. Alhoewel daar baie berugte uitsonderings is, kom mense met 'n waardering vir wapens en 'n vertroue in die gebruik daarvan gewoonlik nie aan die orde om die soort aanstootlike mondelinge uitruilings wat tot ware gevegte lei, uit te lok nie. (U hoef net na aanlyn kommentaardrade of Twitter -uitruilings te kyk - waar fisiese konfrontasie onmoontlik is - diskoers breek vinnig af. Dit gaan nie daaroor dat u nie beledigings kan ignoreer nie, maar eerder dat oneerlike karakters 'n prys moet betaal vir onbetwisbare dade teen u.

Daar is weliswaar 'n onteenseglike bevrediging om iemand wat jou 'n onreg aangedoen het, uit te roep en te kyk hoe hy teruggetree het uit lafhartigheid of oneerlikheid omdat hy of sy nie in staat is om hul harde praat met slae te pas nie. Die vrees vir fisieke straf het inderdaad harde woorde en slegte gedrag afgeskrik. Maar as 'n teenstander bereid was om te veg en jy sou verloor, dan is daar steeds bevrediging om te bewys dat jy bereid is om die gevaar van besering of selfs die dood te verduur weens belediging of oneer. Niemand kan die respek ontken deur op te staan ​​vir jouself nie, of paradoksaal genoeg word die oorspronklike oortreding daardeur versag. Weereens, dit is moeilik om in ons moderne tyd hiermee verband te hou, want dit is 'n toevlug na iets primitief en irrasioneel om van een tot een te veg.

Om die rol van die swaard in tweestryd beter te verstaan, moet u dink dat dit 'n persoonlike syarm was wat goed gedra is omdat dit op veiligheid en oorlewing vertrou is. Dit het 'n aangebore vermoë gebied om bedreigend met punt of rand te dreig, houe behendig af te weer, te sny en te slaan en om die doeltreffendheid hiervan te verhoog deur persoonlike dissipline en studie. Hoe kan so 'n waardevolle voorwerp nie hoog op prys gestel word en met liefde versier word nie? Eienaardig genoeg, in samelewings waar wapens openlik gedra word, kom voorvalle van skielike geweld sowel as geweldsmisdaad minder gereeld voor. Die feit dat oneerbiedigheid en belediging met letsel of die dood te kampe het, spoor mense inderdaad aan om hulself beter teenoor mekaar te gedra. Daar was 'n eenvoudige waarheid aan die werk in 'n gewapende samelewing: as u nie die risiko wil uitlok om 'n tweegeveg uit te lok nie, moet u nie die kwaad maak vir diegene wat die onwaardigheid van onbedagsaamheid of insinuasie sal verdra nie. Niks anders het onbeskoftheid meer ontmoedig of vinniger om verskoning gedwing nie ’as die moontlikheid dat dit met 'n uitdaging tot privaatgeweld beantwoord kan word. Soos die eruditiese avonturier van die swaardvegter, kaptein sir Richard Burton, in die middel van die 19de eeu beroemd verklaar het: "Sodra die swaard in Frankryk opgehou het om te dra, het die mees beleefde man die onbeskofste geword." Daar is 'n onmiskenbare waarheid in sy waarneming dat in ons digitale era van aanlyn ongeregtigheid 'n toenemende beroep op die moderne swaardstudent is.

Vir historiese omheiningspraktisyns vandag is die belangstelling in hoe swaardvegters hulle voorheen voorberei het op swaardduels wat hulle miskien nooit sou hê nie, eintlik nie so anders as ons eie verkenning nie. U kan nie antieke swaarde of outentieke leerstellings ondersoek vir die gebruik daarvan nie, sonder inagneming van hoe dit op die tweestrydtradisie van toepassing was. In hierdie verband gaan ons voort met hul nalatenskap deur ons eie opleiding. Dit is hierdie lang verbinding tussen die tweestryd en die swaard, tussen persoonlike enkelgevegte en persoonlike sywapen, wat so 'n deel is van die rede waarom dit die ongeëwenaarde wapen van keuse was om eer te verdedig en privaat geregtigheid te soek. Die swaard in tweestryd het miskien selfs 'n sterker geskiedenis as die swaard in oorlog.


Wapens: Samoerai -swaard

Van al die wapens wat die mens sedert grotbewonersdae ontwikkel het, wek min so 'n bekoring soos die samoerai -swaard van Japan. Vir baie van ons in die Weste is die filmbeeld van die samoerai in sy fantastiese wapenrusting wat op sy perd, sy kleurvolle persoonlike vlag of sashimono, wat op sy rug in die wind waai, het die einste simbool geword van Japan, die Ryk van die Opkomende Son. En werklik, vir die samoerai van die werklike lewe, het niks sy vegter se kode van Bushido meer as sy swaard, wat as onafskeidbaar van sy siel beskou word.

'N Swaard is inderdaad as 'n belangrike deel van 'n samoerai se lewe beskou, toe 'n jong samoerai op die punt was om gebore te word, 'n swaard tydens die aflewering in die bedkamer gebring is. Toe die tyd aanbreek dat 'n ou samoerai sterf en na die White Jade Pavilion of the Afterlife ’ — oorgaan, word sy geëerde swaard aan sy sy geplaas. Selfs na die dood, a daimyo, of edelman, het geglo dat hy kon reken op sy samoerai wat hom in die volgende wêreld gevolg het, om hul skerp lemme te gebruik om hom teen enige demone te beskerm, net soos hulle hul betroubare wapens gebruik het om hom teen vlees-en-bloed vyande hierin te verdedig lewe.

Sedert die vroegste aangetekende tye het die buitengewone kwaliteit van die Japannese swaarde hulle gewaardeer en bewonder. The care and technical skill that went into the creation of a samurai sword made the finished product not only a noteworthy weapon of war but also a cherished work of art. When Japanese daimyos met, they would admire each other’s collection of fine swords. In 1586, when the great Japanese warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi made peace with his archrival Ieyasu Tokugawa — making possible Toyotomi’s conquest of Japan — Toyotomi presented Tokugawa with a splendid sword to mark their newfound alliance. The sword was a work of rare beauty, accounts tell us, crafted by the inspired hands of the legendary Musumane, greatest of all Japanese swordsmiths. Masumane, ironically, rarely signed his work with his name, unlike his brother sword crafters. Ieyasu Tokugawa, meanwhile, became shogun, or military ruler, after Toyotomi’s death, founding a dynasty that would rule the country in peace for more than 250 years.

In a samurai family the swords were so revered that they were passed down from generation to generation, from father to son. If the hilt or scabbard wore out or broke, new ones would be fashioned for the all-important blade. The hilt, the tsuba (hand guard), and the scabbard themselves were often great art objects, with fittings sometimes of gold or silver. The hilt and scabbard were at times carved from ivory, just as Japanese statues often are today. Often, too, they ‘told’ a story from Japanese myths. Magnificent specimens of Japanese swords can be seen today in the Tokugawa Art Museum’s collection in Nagoya, Japan, many of which were exhibited during a tour of the United States in 1983 and 1984.

In creating the sword, a craftsman like Masumane had to surmount a virtual technological impossibility. The blade had to be forged so that it would hold a very sharp edge and yet not break in the ferocity of a duel. To achieve these twin objectives, the sword maker, or cutler, was faced with a considerable metallurgical challenge. Steel that is hard enough to take a sharp edge is brittle. Conversely, steel that will not break is considered soft steel and will not take a keen edge. Japanese sword artisans solved that dilemma in an ingenious way. Four metal bars — a soft iron bar to guard against the blade breaking, two hard iron bars to prevent bending and a steel bar to take a sharp cutting edge — were all heated at a high temperature, then hammered together into a long, rectangular bar that would become the sword blade. When the swordsmith ground the blade to sharpen it, the steel took the razor-sharp edge, while the softer metal ensured the blade would not break. This intricate forging process caused the wavy hamon, or ‘temper line,’ that is an important factor when sword connoisseurs judge a blade’s artistic merit.

So vital to the samurai spirit was the genesis of such a magnificent weapon that Shinto priests would be called in to bless the beginning of the process, and the swordsmith often underwent a spiritual purification before he began his work. In sy Bushido: The Warrior’s Code, the best study in English of the samurai, Inazo Nitobe stated: ‘The swordsmith was not a mere artisan but an inspired artist and his workshop a sanctuary. Daily, he commenced his craft with prayer and purification, or, as the phrase was, ‘he committed his soul and spirit into the forging and tempering of the steel.”

Celebrated sword masters in the golden age of the samurai, roughly from the 13th to the 17th centuries, were indeed valued as highly as European artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci. A sword creator who could almost match Masumane’s brilliance was fellow master craftsman Muramasa. The story is told of how a blade forged by Muramasa was held upright in a swiftly flowing stream and the edge effortlessly cut in two any dead leaf that the current brought against it. However, a blade made by Masumane was so sharp that, according to legend, when his blade was thrust into the water, the leaves actually avoided it!

By the time Ieyasu Tokugawa unified Japan under his rule at the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, only samurai were permitted to wear the sword. A samurai was recognized by his carrying the feared daisho, the ‘big sword, little sword’ of the warrior. These were the battle katana, the ‘big sword,’ and the wakizashi, the ‘little sword.’ The name katana derives from two old Japanese written characters or symbols: kata, meaning’side,’ and na, or ‘edge.’ Thus a katana is a single-edged sword that has had few rivals in the annals of war, either in the East or the West.

Die wakizashi, on the other hand, was even closer to a samurai’s soul than his katana. It was with the wakizashi dat die bushi, or warrior, would take the head of an honored opponent after killing him. It was also with the wakizashi that a samurai would ritually disembowel himself in the act of seppuku, of hara-kiri, before his second (kaishaku) took off the samurai’s head to end the pain. (Suicide was performed by hara-kiri, or ‘belly-slitting,’ because the Japanese felt that the hara [intestines] were the seat of the emotions and the soul itself.) In the popular American television miniseries Shogun, based on the novel by James Clavell, the daimyo Kasigi Yabu, played by Japanese actor Frankie Sakai, committed suicide by hara-kiri when his treachery to his lord, Toronago (patterned after Ieyasu Tokugawa), was discovered. Sometimes a dagger, the aikuchi, was used for ritual suicide. Die belangrikste verskil tussen die aikuchi and another dagger, the tanto, was that the tanto possessed a hand guard (tsuba) and the aikuchi did not.

There were other types of swords as well in the time of the samurai. There was the tachi, similar to the katana and an exquisite weapon reserved for court and ceremonial occasions. (It most likely was a tachi that Hideyoshi Toyotomi actually presented to Tokugawa.) The nodachi, a long, wicked-looking katana carried slung over the warrior’s back, was a massive killing weapon like the two-handed sword hefted by the German landsknecht.

Because the sword was the main battle weapon of Japan’s knightly man-at-arms (although spears and bows were also carried), an entire martial art grew up around learning how to use it. Dit was kenjutsu, the art of sword fighting, or kendo in its modern, non-warlike incarnation. The importance of studying kenjutsu and the other martial arts such as kyujutsu, the art of the bow, was so critical to the samurai — a very real matter of life or death — that Miyamoto Musashi, most renowned of all swordsmen, warned in his classic The Book of Five Rings: ‘The science of martial arts for warriors requires construction of various weapons and understanding the properties of the weapons. A member of a warrior family who does not learn to use weapons and understand the specific advantages of each weapon would seem to be somewhat uncultivated.’

Musashi, it should be noted, was famed for fighting with twee swords at once.

There were many different ryus, or schools, offering the instruction of kenjutsu. The art of sword fighting, as with all the martial arts, had both a physical and a spiritual dimension. The physical aspect of the training was to acquire the proper techniques that governed everything from how to stand to how to gaze at the enemy. Educated by a master, or adept, the young samurai would learn the correct way to draw his sword and how to use it. As Tsunetomo Yamamoto put it in his Hagakure, written in 1716, ‘If you cut by standing firm and not missing the chance, you will do well.’ There were five basic blows used in kenjutsu, perpetuated today in kendo: from top to bottom left to right right to left side to side and a straight-ahead thrust aimed at the throat. As Musashi wrote, ‘If we know the path of the sword well, we can wield it easily.’

The education of a samurai was deeply colored by the religion of Zen Buddhism, which like much of Japanese culture originally was an importation from neighboring China. The goal of Zen, applied to the mastery of the sword, was to make a samurai’s thought and action instantaneous, at one and the same time. In The Zen Way to The Martial Arts, Zen master Taisen Deshimaru told the story of a samurai who had just made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Hachiman, the Japanese god of war, in Kamakura at the midnight hour. Leaving the sacred precincts, he sensed a monster hiding behind a tree, waiting to pounce on him. ‘Intuitively he drew his sword and slew it in the instant the blood poured out and ran along the ground. He had killed it unconsciously….Intuition and action must spring forth at the same time.’

The goal, then, of striking without thinking was at the heart of instruction with the sword, because, as Deshimaru also related, in the deadly art of swordplay ‘there is no time for thinking, not even an instant.’ For a samurai to hesitate before striking, even for the time it takes to blink an eye, would give his opponent time to deal the mortal blow. The key to wielding a sword in a lightning stroke lay in emptying the mind of everything that did not have to do with studying the sword, a mental condition that can be called ‘no-mindedness,’ because the samurai is not holding anything in his mind except the task at hand. As the swordsman Yagyu Munemori, a contemporary of Musashi, commented, ‘The heart [of the samurai] is like a mirror, empty and clear.’

Once this state of mind was achieved, the warrior-to-be could become intent on learning the use of the sword with a single-minded concentration that was not possible in any other way. His mind cleared of any distractions, he could practice and practice until the wielding of the sword became second nature to him — intuition and action would indeed spring forth at the same instant, with deadly effect. The end result of such concentration and practice was a samurai’s ability to draw his sword and kill an enemy in one smooth movement called nukiuchi, just like a baseball player hitting the ball solidly every time he swings his bat.

The consequences of this education in kenjutsu were simply devastating — in a very real sense a revolution in warfare in the Far East. As early as the 12th century, the swordsmanship of the samurai was already the stuff of legends. In the Japanese epic, the Heiki Monogatari, written about the Gempei War that took place in the 1100s, a warrior-monk on the winning Minamoto side was heralded for using his sword, ‘wielding it in the zigzag style, the interlacing, cross, reversed dragonfly, waterwheel, and eight-sides-at-once styles of fencing…[to] cut down eight men.’

When two samurai faced off in a man-to-man duel, the climax was sharp and dramatic. In motion-picture director Akira Kurosawa’s The Seven Samurai, his best-known film in the United States, a master swordsman modeled on Musashi dispatches the other duelist with a single blow. Sometimes in real life, however, the finale would be catastrophic — the two contestants would draw and slash simultaneously, with both of them falling dead at the same moment.

Although there are no samurai duels fought in Japan today (except in samurai movies), the traditional sword fighting mentioned above is preserved in the martial arts sport of kendo, which also boasts enthusiasts outside Japan, including many living in the United States.

Kendo in Japanese literally means ‘the way of the sword.’ Although centuries have passed since the golden age of the samurai, much remains in today’s kendo of the sword-fighting art of Japan’s redoubtable warriors. Training is done in armor resembling that worn by the medieval samurai. Die shinai, the bamboo sword with which kendo devotees train, much resembles the dread katana, even to the protective tsuba. Wanneer die kendo student strikes home a blow with his shinai, he still roars from the depths of his hara, his soul, the ancient heart-stopping cry of ‘Kiai!‘ with which the samurai of old brought instant death with his sword.

This article was written by John F. Murphy, Jr. and originally appeared in the February 1994 issue of Militêre geskiedenis tydskrif. For more great articles be sure to subscribe to Militêre geskiedenis tydskrif vandag!


What really happened in the Wild West? The Gunslinger Myth

The Wild West of nineteenth century America was at times a chaotic and unruly place, not helped by the lack of law enforcement officials. Even so, many myths have arisen about the period. Here, Robert Walsh debunks the myths and shares what really happened.

The Wild West was the home of many colorful (often disreputable) characters. Native Americans, gold prospectors, gamblers, cattle ranchers, miners and immigrants scrambled to extend the new frontier. They spread further West in search of their fortunes. With law-abiding, hard-working citizens came criminals. The most notorious were gunslingers, hired guns who would rob a bank one month, protect a cattle baron the next and then be hired as a town marshal the month after that. Being a gunslinger didn’t automatically make a man a criminal some of the best known were both law enforcers and lawbreakers at different times.

A stylized version of a Wild West gunfight.

Gunslingers in popular culture

The popular image of gunslingers comes from cheap novels and films and it is far more fiction than fact. Hollywood would have us believe that hired guns were either all good (like Gary Cooper’s portrayal in the classic film ‘High Noon’) or all bad (like Michael Biehn’s portrayal of Johnny Ringo in ‘Tombstone’). This black-and-white idea doesn’t reflect reality. Pop culture’s image is often a slow-talking, fast-drawing lone gunman riding into town, taking on several men at once while wearing one or two pistols in low-slung hip holsters and, naturally, letting them draw first before instantly killing all of them. He’ll probably indulge in a drawn-out, climactic gunfight, standing opposite his opponent in the middle of a street for several minutes, each waiting for the other to make the first move. The ‘good guy’ lets the ‘bad guy’ draw first but still wins, naturally.

This portrayal is, frankly, grossly inaccurate. Gunslingers weren’t even called gunslingers during the ‘Wild West’ period. They didn’t wear the standard ‘gunfighter’s rig’ of a low-slung hip holster tied to their thigh for a faster draw. Many didn’t favor the pistol as their primary weapon. Drawn-out standoffs were almost non-existent, as were single gunslingers choosing to fight multiple opponents single-handed unless they absolutely had to. Few made public show of their skills with trick shooting or fancy pistol twirling in saloons or on street corners (notable exceptions were ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok and the infamous John Wesley Hardin). They were seldom always lawmen or outlaws and frequently both at different points in their careers (some even managed to hold public office as sheriffs or marshals while operating as vigilantes, assassins, extortioners and general criminals). Pop culture’s version of the gunslinger hasn’t made them more interesting it has dumbed down who these men were, what they did and how they did it while ignoring the more complex aspects.

‘Shootists’ – The reality

According to etymologist Barry Popik the word ‘gunslinger’ didn’t come into use until the 1920 movie ‘Drag Harlan’ and then in the novels of famed Western author Zane Grey who first used it in his 1928 novel ‘Nevada’. The word ‘gunfighter’ first appeared in the 1870s. Wild West gunmen were more commonly known as ‘shootists’, ‘badmen’, ‘pistoleers’ or ‘pistoleros’ (a Spanish word for ‘gunman’). Granted, the word ‘gunslinger’ sounds good, but it first appeared long after gunslingers themselves ceased to exist. Feared gunman Clay Allison is believed to have coined the most popular term of the period when asked about his occupation by replying “I’m a shootist.”

Pop culture would also have us believe that gunmen wore customized gunbelts and holsters, the standard ‘gunfighter’s rig’. Hulle het nie. The stereotypical ‘gunfighter’s rig’ beloved of movie directors the world over didn’t exist during the period. It came into being in the 1950s when ‘quick draw’ contests with blank-firing revolvers became a competitive sport. The low-slung holster tied down to a man’s thigh simply didn’t exist.

Also almost non-existent was the idea of two fighters walking out into a street, facing each other and then fighting a ‘quick draw’ duel. If a real gunfighter drew quickly it was usually because an opponent had tried to ambush him. Most one-on-one gunfights resulted from personal disputes such as over women or during card games where insults were exchanged and guns drawn immediately. The idea of Wild West gunfights having any resemblance to European dueling is best left in dime novels and movie theaters where it belongs. Only two such face-to-face duels are on record as having actually happened, between ‘Wild Bill’ and Davis Tutt in Deadwood, South Dakota (Hickok killed Tutt with a remarkable single pistol shot at a range of over fifty meters) and between Jim Courtright and Luke Short (Short killed Courtright with a volley of four bullets, not a surgically-delivered single shot). Gunfights like those in the ‘Spaghetti Westerns’ directed by Sergio Leone are wonderful viewing, but bear almost no relation to reality.

Gunfighters of the time were also far more sensible than to tackle multiple opponents single-handed unless they absolutely had to. One extremely rare example was the notorious ‘Four dead in five seconds’ gunfight in Austin, Texas. Gunfighter Dallas Stoudenmire (employed as town marshal at the time) used his two pistols to kill four men, three of whom had ambushed him. Unfortunately the fourth was an innocent bystander already running for cover when the shooting started.

Tools of the trade

Another myth is that gunfighters all preferred revolvers. In films they draw one or two pistols, empty them without seeming to aim and, naturally, kill every opponent without missing or accidentally shooting anybody else. Any pistol marksman will tell you that holding a revolver with one hand and fanning the hammer with the other is the worst way to shoot accurately. In reality, most gunmen favored the ‘coach gun’ (a short-barreled shotgun used by stagecoach guards, hence the phrase ‘riding shotgun’) or rifles like the 1873 Winchester. Legendary gunman Ben Thompson was a firm devotee of the shotgun, as was John ‘Doc’ Holliday’ of OK Corral fame. Billy the Kid always preferred a Winchester rifle. The reason was simple. Shotguns and rifles are more accurate than pistols so killing with the first shot was more likely. It was pointless drawing a pistol quickly if you couldn’t hit your target before they hit you. As Wyatt Earp once put it: “Fast is fine. Accurate is final.”

Some gunfighters bucked that trend. Clay Allison, Dallas Stoudenmire and Frank and Jesse James all preferred pistols, but they were exceptions. Small pistols like the Derringer were tiny, often firing only one or two shots instead of the six rounds in a typical revolver. They were easily concealed ‘hideout guns’ often hidden in waistcoat pocket or by gamblers for use at a poker table. Similar guns were made for women and nicknamed ‘muff pistols’ because they were often carried in the fur-lined hand-warmers fashionable among women of the time. Whether picking a fight over a poker game or trying to rob a female stagecoach passenger, these small guns often fired large-caliber bullets, much to the distress of many an outlaw.

As time went on single-shot, muzzle-loading weapons were replaced by ‘repeating’ guns like the revolver, shotgun and breech-loading rifles such as the 1873 Winchester. Gunfighters now had weapons enabling them to deliver greater firepower with less time spent reloading their weapons. Samuel Colt’s ‘Peacemaker’ revolver was accurate, powerful and instantly outdated other revolvers by being the first to use all-inclusive metal cartridges. The new cartridges rendered old-school ‘cap and ball’ revolvers obsolete almost overnight. These require the user to fill each individual chamber with gunpowder, add a lead pistol ball and some wadding, ram the ball, powder and wadding into each chamber using a lever under the barrel and then fit a percussion cap over each chamber. Only then is a ‘cap and ball’ revolver fully loaded. The ‘Peacemaker’ could be reloaded simply by shaking out the spent metal cartridges and replacing them. Improved weapons meant increased firepower. Increased firepower was essential in the evolution of the gunslinger.


But it was also a Punishment

Although torture was often employed to obtain confessions, this was not its only use. During the Middle Ages, torture was also employed as a form of punishment. Physical pain, however, may be regarded as secondary, as the physical suffering caused by devices employed for this form of torture was less severe than that caused by instruments aimed at extracting confessions. These instruments relied instead on public humiliation to punish .

A mask of shame. (Nathan Rupert/ CC BY NC ND 2.0 )

One example of this type of torture device was the pillory. This was a wooden or metal frame with holes for locking the head and hands mounted on a post. Pillories were commonly placed in public places, for instance, in the market square, or outside the church, and were used to punish petty criminals. A criminal would usually be pilloried for several hours, during which time the public was free to abuse him/her.

As the Middle Ages progressed, people began to consider torture a cruel and barbaric practice, and the legality of using torture came into question. In 1628, the legality of using the rack for torture in England was called into question when the Privy Council attempted to rack John Felton, the assassin of the Duke of Buckingham. The judges hearing the case unanimously declared that using the device contradicted the laws of England.

It was also during the 17th century (in 1612 to be exact), that the last recorded burning of a person (a Baptist by the name of Edward Wightman) at stake for heresy took place. The pillory, however, continued to be used until the 19th century, when it was abolished in England in 1837.

Top image: A hooded Inquisitor in a Medieval torture chamber. Source: diter /Adobe Stock


Politieke lewe

Regering. The political institutions of Antigua and Barbuda have gone through three basic stages: a period of colonial plantocratic democracy (1623–1868), a phase of colonial authoritarianism (1868–1939), and a period of liberal democracy (1940– present). Since the enactment of universal suffrage in 1951, elections have been contested every five years without major interruptions. But because of informal pressures and ways of accumulating power, the political system has oscillated between periods of one-party and two-party dominance, with the latter occurring from 1943 to 1967, and the former in two periods: 1968–1980 and 1992 to the present.


Vind meer uit

Agricultural Revolution in England: The Transformation of the Agrarian Economy 1500-1850 by Mark Overton (Cambridge University Press, 1996)

The Transformation of Rural England: Farming and the Landscape, 1700-1870 by Tom Williamson (Exeter University Press, 2002)

Farm Production in England 1700-1914 by ME Turner, JV Beckett and B Afton (Oxford University Press, 2001)

Two Hundred Years of British Farm Livestock by Stephen JG Hall and Juliet Clutton-Brock (British Museum [Natural History], 1989)

The Agrarian History of England and Wales edited by J Thirsk (Cambridge University Press: vol. IV, 1967 vol. V, 1985 vol. VI, 1989)


When did Russia become independent?

Despite suffering major defeats and losing wars, Russia has always retained its independence. Only the Mongol invasion was a bitter exception.

In 1922, the word &ldquoRussia&rdquo once again disappeared from the political map of the world. This time it was voluntary &ndash the country became the core of the newborn Soviet Union.

The Russia that the world knows today came into being on June 12, 1990. This date, known as Russia Day, is celebrated annually by millions of Russians.

Mongol yoke

In the mid-13th century, the Mongols marched with fire and sword through the territory of Rus, which at that time was in a state of feudal fragmentation. One by one, nearly all the Russian principalities were subjugated by the descendants of Genghis Khan.

For more than two centuries, Russia found itself politically and economically dependent on the Mongols. Although the conquerors did not maintain any permanent garrisons in Russia&rsquos cities, any disobedience to the will of the khans or refusal to pay tribute resulted in swift and brutal retribution. The Mongol rulers decided which of the Russian princes would rule and which would not, who would live and who would die.

During the period of the so-called Tatar-Mongol yoke, the strongest of the Russian principalities fought amongst themselves to gain the upper hand in the Russian lands. Expressing outward submission to the foreign invaders, they increased their influence and expanded their territories as much as they could. It was common practice back then for Russian princes to defeat a rival by calling upon Mongol troops for assistance.

Dmitry Donskoy in the Battle of Kulikovo.

By the end of the 14th century, the Grand Principality of Moscow, aka Muscovy, having become the de facto center of unification of the Russian lands, had grown strong enough to openly challenge the Mongols. In 1380, Prince Dmitry Ivanovich of Moscow defeated the troops of the temnik (military leader) Mamai in the Battle of Kulikovo Field. However, it took another century for the Russians to achieve complete liberation.

In 1472, in the Battle of Aleksin, Ivan III defeated the army of Khan Akhmat, whereupon Muscovy ceased paying tribute to him. Eight years later, Akhmat attempted to regain his influence. Both armies lined up on the banks of the river Ugra, but the khan did not dare to cross and led his soldiers away. The "Great Stand on the Ugra" marked the completion of the Russian state&rsquos political independence from the Mongols.

Collapse of the USSR

Georges DeKeerle/Sygma/Getty Images

The word "Russia" disappeared from the political map in 1922 with the creation of the USSR. The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) was the largest and most economically developed of the Soviet republics.
But by the early 1990s, the Soviet Union was no longer the state it had been just a decade previously. The far-reaching, and not always well-conceived, reforms initiated by General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev in the mid-1980s (so-called perestroika) led not only to the democratization of Soviet society, the emergence of parliamentarism and freedom of speech, but to the most profound crisis in both the political and economic spheres.

One of the most important consequences of perestroika was the explosive growth in separatist sentiment in the republics of the Soviet Union. Since the weakened central authorities were no longer able to resist the republics&rsquo striving for independence, one by one they adopted declarations of sovereignty. According to the 1977 Constitution of the Soviet Union, they were in fact already formally sovereign, but now it was about proclaiming the supremacy of local laws over all-Union ones for real.

This process (known as the &ldquoparade of sovereignties&rdquo) did not bypass the most important of the republics, the RSFSR itself. Although the local political elite did not set out to bring down the USSR, it was confident that it would handle the reforms inside the republic and the distribution of national resources better than the central government.

Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.

Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

The RSFSR was the sixth republic (after Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) to declare its sovereignty. The declaration, adopted on June 12, 1990, by the Congress of People's Deputies, proclaimed the creation of a &ldquodemocratic rule-of-law state within the renewed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics&rdquo.

The new sovereign Russia was intended to become one of the pillars of the reformed Soviet Union, but this never happened. The central government, led by Mikhail Gorbachev, and the leadership of the RSFSR, headed by Boris Yeltsin, immediately locked political horns. Moreover, following the example of the RSFSR, all the remaining Union republics proclaimed sovereignty, thereby severing or seriously weakening all political and economic ties with Moscow.

On Dec. 26, 1991, the Soviet Union officially ceased to exist the Russian Federation (as the RSFSR came to be called) was duly recognized by the international community as the successor state to the USSR.

Gee altyd 'n aktiewe hiperskakel na die oorspronklike materiaal as u enige van die inhoud van Russia Beyond gebruik, gedeeltelik of volledig.


The History of Black People in Britain

The September 1981 edition of History Today was a special issue about the history of black people in Britain.

In 1764 The Gentleman's Magazine reported that there was 'supposed to be near 20,000. Negroe servants' in London: the magazine went on to say that 'the main objections to their importation is, that they cease to consider themselves as slaves in this free country, nor will they put up with an inequality of treatment, nor more willingly perform the laborious offices of servitude than our own people'. The writer of this report touched on an important reason why black people in Britain were thought of and treated in a different way from those of the New World. In this issue of History Today we examine this and other aspects of the history of black people in Britain.

Whereas the vast majority of black people in Britain in the eighteenth century were employed as servants (and consequentially we know very little about their lives) there were notable individuals – people such as Francis Barber, Dr Johnson's servant and friend, Olaudah Equiano, and Ignatius Sancho – who rose from inauspicious beginnings to comparative fame, and about whom we know considerably more. The articles in this issue are, in the main, concerned with the reaction of British people to black settlers during the centuries before the onset of mass immigration, following the Second World War. On this page Paul Edwards traces our knowledge of black people in Britain before the eighteenth century. A general context for the subject is then set in the following discussion by Ian Duffield of recent studies of the history of black people in Britain.

The series of articles continues with a closer examination of the eighteenth century, both in general terms by James Walvin and from the point of view of certain individuals by Paul Edwards. This year is the centenary of the birth of Mary Seacole who was celebrated in her day as a nurse at the Crimea and who is the subject of an article here. (We have not dealt directly with the nineteenth-century abolition of slavery, but those interested in this subject should consult the article and notes for further reading by Stephen Usherwood in the March 1981 issue of History Today .) The next article by Barbara Bush looks at the attitudes of the 1930s, and David Dabydeen's article – taking a different approach to the subject – discusses Hogarth's depiction and use of black people in his paintings.

Black people have been living in Britain since at least Roman times. We know of one individual African legionary, 'famous among buffoons and always a great joker', who went down in history for making fun of the Emperor Septimius Severus outside Carlisle around the year 210 AD. Significantly, the Emperor was 'troubled by the man's colour' and ordered purifying sacrifices to be offered, which turned out also to be black. Africans continue to appear unexpectedly in British history. In 862 AD the Annals of Ireland record the landing of black slaves ('blue men' they are called in both Irish and Norse) by Vikings returning from raids on Spain and North Africa. A skull confidently identified as that of a young black girl has been found in a tenth-century Anglo-Saxon burial at North Elmham in Norfolk. Something like a black community appears in the account books of the Scottish court at Holyrood shortly after 1500. Reference is made to two women, Ellen or Helenor More and Margery Lindsay, and to a number of men – Peter, Nageir and Taubronar, the last being a married man with a child at Court. Some of them probably came from Portugal, where trading in Africans had been going on throughout the previous century. In 1505 a payment is recorded in the accounts to William Wood, one of the Scottish king's principal ship’s-captains, 'for the fraucht of the Portugall quhit hors, the must cat and the jennet and the Moris', and there are numerous items such as payment for the transport of 'the More lassis' from Dunfermline to Edinburgh in 1504, for a dance-entertainment organised by Taubronar 'be the Kingis command', and expensive gowns, slippers and gloves, not only for the black ladies but for their personal maidservants too: and the King's New Year gift is recorded in 1513, 'to the twa blak ladeis, X Franche crounis'. One of the poems of William Dunbar, 'Of ane blak moir', is about the part played by Helenor in a parody tournament of around 1506-7 called 'the turnament of the black knicht and the black lady'.

Africans also turn up during the period as the familiars of witches, for instance in the trial of Alice Kyteler of Kilkenny in 1423, in which she was accused of having intercourse with an 'Ethiop' who could also turn into a black cat or black shaggy dog. Thus there are hints even as early as this of a dual social role for Africans – people to be laughed at and people to be feared. In 1596 Queen Elizabeth wrote to the mayors of various cities that 'these kind of people should be sent forth from the land. The Queen issued licences to deport Africans mainly on two grounds: because of economic pressures 'in these hard times of dearth', and because 'most of them are infidels, having no understanding of Christ or his Gospel'.

Under the influence of European fashion and, later in the seventeenth century, the expansion of Oriental and African trade, more and more black servants began to appear in English households. But not until after the Restoration, however, is it noticeable that black servants are spoken of increasingly as chattels, arising from a legal ambiguity over the application of Haebeus Corpus on the one hand and the Navigation Act on the other.

Paul Edwards is a reader in English at the University of Edinburgh.


Stop and Think!

“So long as we are divided because of our particular identities we cannot join together in effective political action.”

Audre Lorde cautioned us about the ways that our various identities can prevent us from seeing our shared humanity. Why do you think she felt this was a danger to all people?

In American society, systems of oppression and their effects on people have a long, profound history. However, America and our society can change. As our country continues to evolve, we can acknowledge its problems and work to make changes for the better. We can join together to resist the status quo and the systemic barriers that exist to create new systems of justice, fairness, and compassion for us all.

To make this better America, each of us should look at our own privileges and power. Some people have more power or influence than others, and this can shift quickly according to circumstances. Do you enjoy power, privilege, or influence? If so, what do you do with it? Do you silently enjoy your moments of comfort? Or, do you take risks to stand in solidarity with others?


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