During the Age of Chivalry ...

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Posted by Karl S. on November 02, 2001 at 08:52:29:

In Reply to: Re: good list of rules! posted by Barry Lyndon on November 01, 2001 at 17:46:43:

During the Age of Chivalry, one knight would take his gauntlet (heavy glove) and slap the offending knight with it, then state his complaint, then throw down the gauntlet in front of the other knight. Only knights and freemen were allowed to bear arms, serfs and slaves were not. Common people did not get the right to bear arms until immigration to America during colonial times made self defense from Indian raids a reality.

Anyway, then it was the other knights turn to offer an apology or pick up the gauntlet. If he picks up the gauntlet, he has the right to choose any weapons and any form of combat. A mutual battle field is agreed on, and squires or "seconds" attend to assist with weapons. Lances and steeds is the most heavy form of dueling, in full battle array, or else swords and shields, or sabres only, or foile, or eppe, or dueling pistols. The point is that if you offer the challenge you dont get to choose the weapons, youre right.

In modern times, the way it really works is that in a bar one guy will throw a punch and the other guy will either take the hit or block it or duck. If he's not knocked out cold, he will usually push off to establish a safe interval, give his adrenaline a second or two to get pumping, then come flailing back at the guy who started it. Its usually over pretty fast, one way or the other. Then both guys have to scram out of the bar before The Police arrive, or else they will both get arrested and charged with whatever.

The idea behind "trial by ordeal" is that the one who is "in the right" will have the more elevated adrenaline rush, and therefore prevail. To a certain extent, it works out that way, because a guilty conscience by the original offender goes to suppress his own adrenaline rush.

In the theory of warfare, that same adrenaline rush is purported to give defenders of their own homeland an advantage over aggressors.

Thats probably more than you wanted to know about trial by ordeal.

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