As practiced from the 11th to 20th centuries in Western societies, a duel is an engagement in combat between two individuals, with matched weapons in accordance with their combat doctrines. In the modern application the term is applied to air combat between fighter pilots.
The Romanticism depiction of medieval duels was based on either a pretext of defence of honor, usually accompanied by a trusted representative (who might themselves fight), often in contravention of the duelling conventions, or as a matter of challenge of the champion which developed out of the desire of one party (the challenger) to redress a perceived insult to his or her sovereign's honor. The goal of the honourable duel was often not so much to kill the opponent as to gain "satisfaction", that is, to restore one's honor by demonstrating a willingness to risk one's life for it.
Duels may be distinguished from trials by combat, in that duels were not used to determine guilt or innocence, nor were they official procedures. Indeed, from early 19th century duels were often illegal in Europe, though in most societies where duelling was socially accepted, participants in a fair duel were not prosecuted, or if they were, were not convicted. Only gentlemen were considered to have honor, and therefore only they were qualified to duel. If a gentleman was insulted by a person of lower class, he would not duel him, but would beat him with a cane, riding crop, a whip or have his servants do so. Duelling is now illegal in all but a few countries around the world.
Duels could be fought with some sort of sword or, from the 18th century on, with pistols. For this end special sets of duelling pistols were crafted for the wealthiest of noblemen.
The traditional situation that led to a duel often went something like this. After the offense, whether real or imagined, one party would demand "satisfaction" from the offender, signaling this demand with an inescapably insulting gesture, such as throwing his glove before him, hence the phrase "throwing down the gauntlet". This originates from medieval times, when a knight was knighted. The knight-to-be would receive a ritual slap in the face, said to be the last one he ever had to accept without retaliating tenfold. Therefore anyone being slapped with a glove was considered like a knight, to accept the challenge or be dishonored. Contrary to popular belief, hitting one in the face with a glove was not a challenge, but could be done after the glove had been thrown down as a response to the one issuing the challenge. Each party would name a trusted representative (a second) who would, between them, determine a suitable "field of honor", the chief criterion being isolation from interruptions. Duels traditionally took place at dawn, for this very reason. It was also the duty of each party's second to check that the weapons were equal and that the duel was fair.
At the choice of the offended party, the duel could be
- to first blood, in which case the duel would be ended as soon as one man was wounded, even if the wound was minor:
- until one man was so severely wounded as to be physically unable to continue the duel;
- to the death, in which case there would be no satisfaction until the other party was mortally wounded;
- or, in the case of pistol duels, each party would fire one shot. If neither man was hit and if the challenger stated that he was satisfied, the duel would be declared over. A pistol duel could continue until one man was wounded or killed, but to have more than three exchanges of fire was considered barbaric and, if no hits were achieved, somewhat ridiculous.
Under the latter conditions, one or both parties could intentionally miss in order to fulfill the conditions of the duel, without loss of either life or honor. However, to do so, "to delope", could imply that your opponent was not worth shooting. This practice occurred despite being expressly banned by the Code Duello of 1777. Rule 13 stated: "No dumb shooting or firing in the air is admissible in any case... children's play must be dishonorable on one side or the other, and is accordingly prohibited." Practices varied, however, and many pistol duels were to first blood or death. The offended party could stop the duel at any time if he deemed his honor satisfied. In some duels there were seconds (stand-ins) who in the event of the primary dueler was not able to finish the duel would then take his place. This was usually done in duels with swords, where one's expertise was sometimes limited. The second would also act as a witness.
For a pistol duel, the parties would be placed back to back with loaded weapons in hand and walk a set number of paces, turn to face the opponent, and shoot. Typically, the graver the insult, the fewer the paces agreed upon. Alternatively, a pre-agreed length of ground would be measured out by the seconds and marked, often with swords stuck in the ground (referred to as "points"). At a given signal, often the dropping of a handkerchief, the principals could advance and fire at will. This latter system reduced the possibility of cheating, as neither principal had to trust the other not to turn too soon. Another system involved alternate shots being taken—the challenged firing first.
Many historical duels were prevented by the difficulty of arranging the "methodus pugnandi". In the instance of Dr. Richard Brocklesby, the number of paces could not be agreed upon; and in the affair between Mark Akenside and Ballow, one had determined never to fight in the morning, and the other that he would never fight in the afternoon. John Wilkes, who did not stand upon ceremony in these little affairs, when asked by Lord Talbot how many times they were to fire, replied, "just as often as your Lordship pleases; I have brought a bag of bullets and a flask of gunpowder."
Physical confrontations related to insults and social standing pre-date Homo sapiens
, but the formal concept of a duel, in Western
society, developed out of medieval judicial duel
and older pre-Christian practices such as the Viking Age Holmganga
Judicial duels were deprecated by the Lateran Council
of 1215, but in 1459 (MS Thott 290 2
), Hans Talhoffer
reports that in spite of this, there were still seven capital crimes that were still commonly accepted to be settled by a judicial duel.
Most societies did not condemn dueling, and the victor of a duel was regarded not as a murderer but as a hero, his social status often increased. During the early Renaissance
, dueling established the status of a respectable gentleman
, and was an accepted manner to resolve disputes. Dueling in such societies was seen as an alternative to less regulated conflict.
The first published code duello, or "code of dueling", appeared in Renaissance Italy; however, it had many antecedents, ranging back to old Germanic law. The first formalized national code was France's, during the Renaissance. In 1777, Ireland developed a code duello, which was indeed the most influential in American dueling culture.
To decline a challenge was often equated to defeat by forfeiture, and sometimes regarded as dishonorable. Prominent and famous individuals were especially at risk of being challenged.
The Russian poet Alexander Pushkin prophetically described a number of duels in his works, notably Onegin's duel with Lensky in Eugene Onegin. The poet was mortally wounded in a controversial duel with Georges d'Anthès, a French officer rumored to be his wife's lover. D'Anthès, who was accused of cheating in this duel, married Pushkin's sister-in-law and went on to become French minister and senator. The whole affair was instigated by anonymous letters, apparently written by two homosexual princes in order to avenge d'Anthès for his homosexual affair with the Ambassador of Holland.
In 1598 the English playwright Ben Jonson fought a duel, mortally wounding an actor by the name of Gabriel Spencer. In 1798 HRH The Duke of York, well known as "The Grand Old Duke of York", dueled with Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Lennox and was grazed by a bullet along his hairline. In 1840 the 7th Earl of Cardigan, officer in charge of the now infamous Charge of the Light Brigade, fought a duel with a British army officer by the name of Captain Tuckett. Tuckett was wounded in the engagement, though not fatally.
Four Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom have engaged in duels:
In 1864, American writer Mark Twain—then editor of the New York Sunday Mercury—narrowly avoided fighting a duel with a rival newspaper editor, apparently through the quick thinking of his second, who exaggerated Twain's prowess with a pistol.
The most notorious American duel was the Burr-Hamilton duel, in which notable Federalist Alexander Hamilton was fatally wounded by his political rival, the sitting Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr. Another American politician, Andrew Jackson, later to serve as a General Officer in the U.S. Army and to become the seventh U.S. president, fought 13 duels. On May 30, 1806, he killed prominent duelist Charles Dickson, suffering himself from a chest wound which caused him a lifetime of pain.
The last fatal duel in Canada, in 1833, saw Robert Lyon challenge John Wilson to a pistol duel after a quarrel over remarks made about a local schoolteacher - whom Wilson ended up marrying after Lyon was killed in the duel. The last fatal duel in England took place on Priest Hill near Windsor in 1852.
On 30 May 1832, French mathematician Évariste Galois was mortally wounded in a duel, while being only twenty years old, and the day after having written his seminal mathematical results.
In 1808, two Frenchmen are said to have fought in balloons over Paris, each attempting to shoot and puncture the other's balloon; one duelist is said to have been shot down and killed with his second.
Thirty-five years later (1843), two men are said to have fought a duel by means of throwing billiard balls at each other.
Some participants in a duel, given the choice of weapons, are said to have deliberately chosen ridiculous weapons such as howitzers, sledgehammers, or forkfuls of pig dung, in order to show their disdain for duelling.
It is said (though not confirmed) that Otto von Bismarck challenged Rudolf Virchow to a duel. Virchow, as the challenged party had the choice of weapons; he chose two sausages, one of which had been inoculated with cholera. Bismarck is said to have called off the duel at once.
Single combat is a duel between two single warriors which takes place in the context of a battle between two armies, with the two often considered the champions of their respective sides. Typically, it takes place in the no-man's-land between the opposing armies, with other warriors watching and themselves refraining from fighting until one of the two single combatants has won.
Single combats are attested at numerous periods and places, in both myth and the depiction of actual war. Earlier examples are the single combat between David and Goliath in the Bible and those between Menelaus and Paris and later between Achilles and Hector, in the Iliad. In Ancient Rome, Marcus Claudius Marcellus took the spolia opima from Viridomarus, king of the Gaesatae, at the Battle of Clastidium (222 BC) and Marcus Licinius Crassus Dives from Deldo, king of the Bastarnae (29 BC).
Depictions of single combat also appear in the Hindu epics of the
Mahābhārata and the Ramayana. Many battles depicted in the Medieval Chanson de Roland consist of a series of single combats, as are battles depicted in various tales of the Arabian Nights. Single combats are often preludes to battles in the Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms and are featured prominently throughout the epic.
The Battle of Badr, one of the most important in the early history of Islam, was opened by three champions of the Islamic side (Ali, Ubaydah, and Hamzah) stepping forward, engaging and defeating three of the then-Pagan Meccan, although Ubaydah was mortally wounded. This result of the three single combats was considered to have substantially contributed to the Muslim victory in the oveall battle which followed.
The 1380 Battle of Kulikovo, a key event in the wars between the Tartaro-Mongols and the Russians, was allegedly opened by a single combat of two champions - the Russian Alexander Peresvet, and the Golden Horde's Temir-murza (also Chelubey or Cheli-bey). The champions killed each other in the first run, though according to Russian legend, Peresvet did not fall from the saddle, while Temir-murza fell.
Single combats are especially common during battles fought between mounted aristocratic warriors (or earlier, driving chariots), a type of warfare allowing considerable freedom of manouvre and initiative to individual warriors. In personal combat fought on the backs of war elephants in a war between Burma and Siam, Siamese King Naresuan slew Burmese Crown Prince Minchit Sra in 1593.
Single combat is less feasible where battles are fought by bodies of infantry whose success depends upon keeping an exact formation, such as the ancient phalanx and maniple and in later times the various formations of pikemen.
Duelling in particular regions
In the Ionian Islands
in the 19th century, there was a practice of formalised fighting between men over points of honor. The tradition was unusual in that it was carried on by peasants rather than the aristocracy.
Knives were the weapons used in such fights. They would begin with an exchange of sexually-related insults in a public place such as a tavern, and the men would fight with the intention of slashing the other's face, rather than killing. As soon as blood was drawn onlookers would intervene to separate the men. The winner would often spit on his opponent and dip his neckerchief in the blood of the loser, or wipe the blood off his knife with it.
The winner would generally make no attempt to avoid arrest and would receive a light penalty, such as a short jail sentence and/or a small fine.
See also: Kalaripayattu, Chekavar, Mamankam
In the South Indian state of Kerala, duelling between warriors was used to settle conflicts between local rulers. The practice ended in the early 1800s following the outlaw of Kalaripayattu by British Colonialists. The prime martial caste of Kerala, Nairs, and some prominent Ezhava families made up the Chekavars (which literally means "those who are prepared to die" in the local Malayalam language). Some prominent warriors who took part in Ankam (duel) were Thacholi Othenan, Unniarcha, Aromal Chekavar, whose legends are described in the Vadukkan Pattukal (Northern Ballads). The Mamankam Festival held by the Zamorin ruler in the kingdom of modern day Calicut, was a ritual which glorified the martial traditions of warrior families in the Malabar. The ritual ended after the Zamorin was overthrown.
In Poland duels have been known since the Middle Ages. Polish duel rules were formed, based on Italian, French and German codes. The best known Polish code was written as late as in 1919 by Władysław Boziewicz. In those times duels were already forbidden in Poland, but the "Polish Honorary Code" was quite widely in use. Punishments for participation in duels were rather mild (up to a year imprisonment if the result was death or grievous bodily harm).
Duelling is widely known to have existed for centuries in the Philippine Islands. In the Visayan islands, the offended party would first "hagit" or challenge the offender. The offender would have the choice whether to accept or decline the challenge. In the past, choice of weapons was not limited. But most often,bolos
, rattan canes, and knives were the preferred weapons. Rules may be agreed upon. Duels were either first-blood, submission, or to the last man standing (last man still alive). Duels to death were known as "huego-todo" (without bounds).
Widely publicised duels are common in Filipino martial arts circles. One of those very controversial and publicised duels was between Ciriaco "Cacoy" Cañete and Venancio "Ansiong" Bacon. It was rumored that Cacoy won in this match by executing an illegal maneuver, but this rumor has not been proven to this day. Another match was between Cacoy and a man identified only by his name "Domingo" in the mountain barangay of Balamban in 1948, which was also very controversial. Some claimed that this event was just a hoax.
Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Historically a form of non-lethal duelling called Mensur
was a tradition among students in these countries, and still exists as Academic fencing
. It no longer has the aim of defending honour and is even non-competitive.
- "a traditional way of training and educating character and personality ... there is neither winner nor loser ... the goal being less to avoid injury than to endure it stoically"
Opposition to duelling
The Roman Catholic Church
and many political leaders, like King James I & VI
, usually denounced dueling throughout Europe
's history, though some authorities tacitly allowed it, believing it to relieve long-standing familial and social tensions.
Dueling began to fall out of favor in America in the 18th century. Benjamin Franklin
denounced the practice as uselessly violent, and George Washington
encouraged his officers to refuse challenges during the American Revolutionary War
because he believed that the death by dueling of officers would have threatened the success of the war effort.
By the end of the 19th century, legalized dueling was almost extinct in most of the world. Some American states have laws that establish procedures for legal dueling, but it is unlikely that they would be upheld in court. As shown below, however, some states do not have any statute or constitutional provision prohibiting dueling.
State constitutional provisions and military laws prohibiting dueling
Several states have very high-level bans laid against dueling, with stiff penalties for violation. Several United States state constitutions
ban the practice, the most common penalty being disenfranchisement and/or disqualification from all offices. As well, the Uniform Code of Military Justice
makes dueling by a member of the armed forces a military crime.
- Constitution of Alabama (Article IV, Section 86):
- "The Legislature shall pass such penal laws as it may deem expedient to suppress the evil practice of duelling."
- Constitution of Arkansas (Article XIX, Section 2)
- "No person who may hereafter fight a duel, assist in the same as second, or send, accept, or knowingly carry a challenge therefor, shall hold any office in the State, for a period of ten years; and may be otherwise punished as the law may prescribe."
- Constitution of Florida of 1838, Article 6, Section 5:
- "No person shall be capable of holding, or of being elected to any post of honor, profit, trust, or emolument, civil or military, legislative, executive, or judicial, under the government of this State, who shall hereafter fight a duel, or send, or accept a challenge to fight a duel, the probable issue of which may be the death of the challenger, or challenged, or who shall be a second to either party, or who shall in any manner aid, or assist in such duel, or shall be knowingly the bearer of such challenge, or acceptance, whether the same occur, or be committed in or out of the State."
- Constitution of Kentucky (Section 228 and 239):
- "Members of the General Assembly and all officers, before they enter upon the execution of the duties of their respective offices, and all members of the bar, before they enter upon the practice of their profession, shall take the following oath or affirmation: I do solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability, the office of .... according to law; and I do further solemnly swear (or affirm) that since the adoption of the present Constitution, I, being a citizen of this State, have not fought a duel with deadly weapons within this State nor out of it, nor have I sent or accepted a challenge to fight a duel with deadly weapons, nor have I acted as second in carrying a challenge, nor aided or assisted any person thus offending, so help me God."
- "Any person who shall, after the adoption of this Constitution, either directly or indirectly, give, accept or knowingly carry a challenge to any person or persons to fight in single combat, with a citizen of this State, with a deadly weapon, either in or out of the State, shall be deprived of the right to hold any office of honor or profit in this Commonwealth; and if said acts, or any of them, be committed within this State, the person or persons so committing them shall be further punished in such manner as the General Assembly may prescribe by law."
- Constitution of Mississippi (Article 3, Section 19):
- "Human life shall not be imperiled by the practice of dueling; and any citizen of this state who shall hereafter fight a duel, or assist in the same as second, or send, accept, or knowingly carry a challenge therefor, whether such an act be done in the state, or out of it, or who shall go out of the state to fight a duel, or to assist in the same as second, or to send, accept, or carry a challenge, shall be disqualified from holding any office under this Constitution, and shall be disenfranchised."
- Constitution of Oregon (Article II, Section 9)
- "Every person who shall give, or accept a challenge to fight a duel, or who shall knowingly carry to another person such challenge, or who shall agree to go out of the State to fight a duel, shall be ineligible to any office of trust, or profit."
- Constitution of South Carolina (Article XVII, Section 1B)
- "After the adoption of this Constitution any person who shall fight a duel or send or accept a challenge for that purpose, or be an aider or abettor in fighting a duel, shall be deprived of holding any office of honor or trust in this State, and shall be otherwise punished as the law shall prescribe."
- Constitution of Tennessee (Article IX, Section 3):
- "Any person who shall, after the adoption of this Constitution, fight a duel, or knowingly be the bearer of a challenge to fight a duel, or send or accept a challenge for that purpose, or be an aider or abettor in fighting a duel, shall be deprived of the right to hold any office of honor or profit in this state, and shall be punished otherwise, in such manner as the Legislature may prescribe."
- Constitution of West Virginia (Article IV, Section 10)
- "Any citizen of this state, who shall, after the adoption of this constitution, either in or out of the state, fight a duel with deadly weapons, or send or accept a challenge so to do, or who shall act as a second or knowingly aid or assist in such duel, shall, ever thereafter, be incapable of holding any office of honor, trust or profit in this state."
- Uniform Code of Military Justice (Article 114):
- "Any person subject to this chapter who fights or promotes, or is concerned in or connives at fighting a duel, or who, having knowledge of a challenge sent or about to be sent, fails to report the facts promptly to the proper authority, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."
State and territorial laws prohibiting dueling
20 states, along with the District of Columbia
and Puerto Rico
, have some statute(s) (including constitutional provisions) prohibiting dueling. The remaining 30 states either have no such statute or constitutional provision, or limit their dueling prohibition to members of their state national guard. This does not necessarily mean, however, that dueling is legal in any state. The following is a list of each state and/or territory's status with respect to laws prohibiting dueling:
- Alabama - See Constitution above
- Alaska - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Arizona - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Arkansas - See Constitution above; specifically prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- California - California Penal Code Sections 225 through 232
- Colorado - C.R.S. 18-13-104
- Connecticut - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Delaware - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Florida - See Constitution above
- District of Columbia - D.C. Code 22-1302
- Georgia - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Hawaii - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Idaho - Idaho Code 19-303
- Illinois - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Indiana - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Iowa - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Kansas - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Kentucky - K.R.S. 437.030
- Louisiana - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Maine - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Maryland - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Massachusetts - G.L.Mass. ch. 265, sections 3-4
- Michigan - M.C.L.S. 750.171-750.173a; M.C.L.S. 750.319 and 750.320
- Minnesota - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Mississippi - Miss. Code Ann. Title 97, Chapter 39
- Missouri - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Montana - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Nebraska - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Nevada - Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. 200.430 through 200.450
- New Hampshire - No statutory dueling prohibition
- New Jersey - No statutory dueling prohibition
- New Mexico - N.M. Stat. Ann. 30-20-11
- New York - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- North Carolina - No statutory dueling prohibition
- North Dakota - N.D. Cent. Code 29-03-02
- Ohio - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Oklahoma - 21 Okl. St., Chapter 22
- Oregon - See Constitution above; also specifically prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Pennsylvania - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- Puerto Rico - 33 L.P.R.A. 4035
- Rhode Island - R.I. Gen. Laws, Title 11, Chapter 12
- South Carolina - See Constitution above; 16 S.C. Code Ann., Chapter 3, Article 5
- South Dakota - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Tennessee - See Constitution above
- Texas - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Utah - Utah Code Ann. 76-5-104 (homicide includes dueling and other "consensual altercations")
- Vermont - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Virginia - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Washington - No statutory dueling prohibition for civilians; prohibited for personnel of the state national guard
- West Virginia - See Constitution above; W.Va. Code 61-2-18 through 61-2-25
- Wisconsin - No statutory dueling prohibition
- Wyoming - No statutory dueling prohibition
Dueling still continues to occur, albeit not with regularity.
In much of South America
duels were common during the 20th century
, although generally illegal.
- In Peru there were several high-profile duels by politicians in the early part of the twentieth century including one in 1957 involving Fernando Belaúnde Terry—who went on to become President.
- Uruguay decriminalized duelling in 1920, and in that year José Batlle y Ordóñez, a former President of Uruguay, killed Washington Beltran, editor of the newspaper El Paisin, in a formal duel fought with pistols. In 1990 another editor was challenged to a duel by an Assistant Police Chief Although approved by the government the duel did not take place—and in 1992 Uruguay repealed the 1920 law.
- In 2002 Peruvian independent congressman, Eittel Ramos, challenged Peruvian Vice President, David Waisman to a duel with pistols, saying the vice president had insulted him. Waisman declined.
- 1952: Chile. Senator Salvador Allende (later president of Chile) and his colleague Raúl Rettig (later head of a commission that investigated human rights violations committed during the 1973–1990 military rule in Chile), agreed to fire one shot on each other and both failed At that time duelling was already illegal in Chile.
- In May 2005, twelve youths aged between fifteen and seventeen were arrested in Japan and charged with violating a dueling law that came into effect in 1889. Six other youths were also arrested on the same charges in March.
In the world of cinema, dueling has provided themes for such motion pictures as Stanley Kubrick
's 1975 Barry Lyndon
(an adaptation of a novel by William Makepeace Thackeray
from 1844) and Ridley Scott
's 1977 The Duellists
, which adapted Joseph Conrad
's 1908 short story The Duel
, The 1943 film [[The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp
] shows the two main characters becoming friends after fighting a duel, the preparations for which are shown in great detail. Perhaps most notable of all however, is the career of Max Ophuls
, who employs duels to resolve passionate conflicts in a number of his films.
- Baldick, Robert. The Duel: A History of Duelling. London: Chapman & Hall, 1965.
- Cramer, Clayton. Concealed Weapon Laws of the Early Republic: Dueling, Southern Violence, and Moral Reform
- Freeman, Joanne B. Affairs of Honor: National Politics in the New Republic (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001; paperback ed., 2002)
- Freeman, Joanne B. “Dueling as Politics: Reinterpreting the Burr-Hamilton Duel.” The William and Mary Quarterly, 3d series, 53 (April 1996): 289-318.
- Frevert, Ute. "Men of Honour: A Social and Cultural History of the Duel." trans. Anthony Williams Cambridge: Polity Press, 1995.
- Greenberg, Kenneth S. “The Nose, the Lie, and the Duel in the Antebellum South.” American Historical Review 95 (February 1990): 57-73.
- James Kelly. ''That Damn'd Thing Called Honour: Duelling in Ireland 1570-1860" (1995)
- Kevin McAleer. Dueling: The Cult of Honor in Fin-de-Siecle Germany (1994)
- Morgan, Cecilia. "'In Search of the Phantom Misnamed Honour': Duelling in Upper Canada." Canadian Historical Review 1995 76(4): 529-562.
- Rorabaugh, W. J. “The Political Duel in the Early Republic: Burr v. Hamilton.” Journal of the Early Republic 15 (Spring 1995): 1-23.
- Schwartz, Warren F., Keith Baxter and David Ryan. “The Duel: Can these Gentlemen be Acting Efficiently?.” The Journal of Legal Studies 13 (June 1984): 321-355.
- Steward, Dick. Duels and the Roots of Violence in Missouri (2000),
- Williams, Jack K. Dueling in the Old South: Vignettes of Social History (1980) (1999),
- Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. Honor and Violence in the Old South (1986)
- Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South (1982),
- The Code of Honor; or, Rules for the Government of Principals and Seconds in Duelling, John Lyde Wilson 1838
- The Field of Honor Benjamin C. Truman. (1884); reissued as Duelling in America (1993).
- Savannah Duels & Duellists, Thomas Gamble (1923)
- Gentlemen, Swords and Pistols, Harnett C. Kane (1951)
- Pistols at Ten Paces: The Story of the Code of Honor in America, William Oliver Stevens (1940)
- The Duel: A History, Robert Baldick (1965, 1996)
- Dueling With the Sword and Pistol: 400 Years of One-on-One Combat, Paul Kirchner (2004)
- Duel, James Landale (2005). ISBN 1-84195-647-3. The story of the last fatal duel in Scotland
- Ritualized Violence Russian Style: The Duel in Russian Culture and Literature, Irina Reyfman (1999).
- Allen, Douglas, W., and Reed, Clyde, G., 2006, " The Duel of Honor: Screening for Unobservable Social Capital," American Law and Economics Review: 1-35.
- "Duels and Dueling on the Web", "...a comprehensive guide and web directory to pistol and sword dueling in history, literature and film..."