The last sword duel in history, France, 1967


You would think that dueling was an old ritual taken for granted in the 19th century, something that no longer had a place in the modern world. However, official duels continued into the 20th century, one of the last in 1967 between French politicians Gaston Deferre and René Ribier.

Yes, at the same time the Vietnam War was raging, rock and roll was taking the world by storm, and the men were exploring space, two French men decided to settle their differences with a good old-fashioned duel.

After a truce in the National Assembly, Defar in Ribier chanted 'Taizez-vaus, abruti!' ('Shut up, idiot!') The bout followed. Defer refuses to apologise, so in return, Ribier challenges Defer to a duel, using an ep (the largest type of swords used in fencing).

The duel took place at a private estate in Neuilly-sur-Seine, west of Paris, and was overseen by Jean de Lipkowski, who was at the time France's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. Ribier's wedding was to take place the next day. Defre vows to injure her in such a way that her wedding night becomes very bad.

The first touch was against Ribier in hand, but he called for the duel to resume. After a second touch in the arm against Ribier, the duel was stopped by Lipkowski. How much Ribier's duel injuries affected their wedding night, however, is not recorded in history.

Deferre later served as Minister of the Interior under François Mitterrand from 1981 to 1984, and died of natural causes on May 7, 1986, at the age of 75. Ribier died on Christmas Day at the age of 76. The pair are forever united in history, as the last men to duel in France.

The duel was based on a code of honor. The duel was fought not so much to kill the opponent as to gain "gratification", that is, to restore one's honor by demonstrating a willingness to risk one's life for it, and thus duel The tradition of best practices was originally reserved for male members; However, in the modern era, it generally extended to the upper classes.

On this occasion, women used to fight with pistol or sword. From the beginning of the 17th century, duets became illegal in the countries where they were practiced. By the mid-19th century and by the end of the 20th century, dueling in Continental Europe had largely fallen out of favor in England.

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