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Category:Man vs. Woman

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This category was formerly titled Marriage Counseling, a joke based on a statement in Hans Talhoffer's 1467 treatise in the manuscript Cod.icon. 394a:

[122v] Da Statt Wie Man vnd Frowen mit ainander kempffen sollen vnd stand hie In dem anfanng.

The German phrase Mann und Frau is slightly ambiguous, meaning either "man and woman" or "husband and wife". In his translation of 2000, Mark Rector chose the latter interpretation and rendered it "The beginning stance in which the man and wife shall fight each other".

Paulus Kal's 1470 treatise in manuscript Cgm 1507 similarly states:

[49v] Also schickt sich der man in der grúben gegen dem wybe

Like Frau, the German word Weib can mean either "woman" or "wife".

However, more recent scholarship has shown that the "wife" reading is wrong.[1] This dueling form, which exists in lawbooks but as far as we know was never used in real life,[2] was not specifically designed for marital disputes; instead, a number of legal charges that a woman might bring against a man (husband or not) could be resolved this way in the absence of evidence, including rape and assault.

In his 2016 translation of this Talhoffer treatise, Dierk Hagedorn renders this passage "Here it is stated how a man and woman shall fight each other. Here they stand, ready to begin." Based on our understanding of the history of dueling, this reading seems more correct, and the category name has been changed to reflect it.

  1. See Elema, Ariella. "Tradition, Innovation, Re-enactment: Hans Talhoffer’s Unusual Weapons". Acta Periodica Duellatorum. 7(1): 3-25, 2019. doi:10.2478/apd-2019-0001.
  2. There are certainly records of women dueling with men in the Medieval period, including a specific reference in the Bern Chronicle (page 112) to a duel that took place in 1288 in which the woman defeated the man, but there is no indication that this specific (and very strange) format was used in any of them. Which is not to say that such evidence will never appear as research on the history of dueling continues. There was no evidence of longshield dueling in the 15th century either, until a few years ago when Jens P. Kleinau found some.

Pages in category "Man vs. Woman"

The following 4 pages are in this category, out of 4 total.