2004
Volume 124, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163

Abstract

Tracing the legislative debates surrounding the introduction of a law on duelling in the Belgian penal code in 1841, this article examines the changing discourses and practices of ‘honour’ in the Belgian parliamentary hemicycle. The unique position of the nineteenth century Belgian duellist, created by the new law, allows for a new perspective on the history of the ‘civilization’ of the concept of honour in Europe, as it calls existing chronologies and accounts of either slow decline or continuous persecution of the duel into question. Rather than understanding the duel as a medieval tradition that is gradually made more cultured, civil and democratic (in that order) until it fades away in the twentieth century, this article argues that the 1841 legislation created room for a new, ‘modern’ duel in which the interaction between the male body and honour were renegotiated and the duel remained available as a way to allow for a man’s personal rehabilitation.

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2011-05-01
2021-12-01
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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