Beat a woman with a hammer, or an illustrated guide on how to beat women

Today it is believed that beating women is unworthy of a real man. At the same time, they often talk about the chivalrous attitude to the fair sex and recall the old days, shrouded in a haze of romance. But was the attitude towards women in the Middle Ages chivalrous? An important document of the XV century leaves no stone unturned from this myth.

Beat a woman with a hammer, or an illustrated guide on how to beat women

A long time ago, when the institution of the bar did not yet exist, the courts were not particularly impartial and mistakes and abuses in passing verdicts by judges happened all the time. The only thing they firmly believed in was God's impartial and incorruptible judgment, which always hit the nail on the head. But how can divine providence be brought to trial? Of course, with the help of a duel, because the Lord will not let an innocent person suffer and will reward the scoundrel.

Beat a woman with a hammer, or an illustrated guide on how to beat women

Judicial duel was a common practice in the Middle Ages and a variety of issues were solved with its help. In order for everything to be orderly and legal, such a fight took place according to strict rules described in special books. 

The author of one of them, called "Fechtbuch", was the famous German fencer Hans Talhoffer. The book was published in 1467 and contained comprehensive information about the rules of judicial duels.

Beat a woman with a hammer, or an illustrated guide on how to beat women

But if men could solve their issues with swords without any problems, then what about when a man and a woman are suing? The expert devoted a separate chapter to such unequal duels, which describes how to properly injure or kill a lady with whom there were disagreements in the legal field. The illustrations of this medieval literary monument, made by the author himself, are very visual.

Beat a woman with a hammer, or an illustrated guide on how to beat women

If a man and a woman came out to fight, then measures were taken to somewhat equalize their chances. To do this, a man was placed waist-deep in a pit, and a woman could move completely freely. It was forbidden to use edged weapons made of metal – only wooden batons and brushes made of stone wrapped in cloth.

Beat a woman with a hammer, or an illustrated guide on how to beat women

Despite the fact that the weapon was primitive, they could not only cause injury, but also finish off the opponent. Depending on the importance of the issue being resolved by the duel, the one who was the first to touch the ground with a weapon three times, seriously wounded or simply killed, was recognized as defeated.

Beat a woman with a hammer, or an illustrated guide on how to beat women

Also, some sources claim that there was a variant of the fight when a man needed to drag a lady into his pit, and on the contrary, drag her out or lure her opponent out of the recess. The book described in detail the technique of striking, which the pictures helped to delve into. There is information, though not confirmed by direct sources, that in case of a man's victory, a woman's hand was cut off, and in case of a lady's victory, a man was beheaded.

As we can see, although women were considered the weaker sex, they were not given serious indulgences. It was believed that if the lady is right, then she will not need any combat experience or dexterity – a higher power guarantees her victory. What do you think - who most often won in such battles – men or women?

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