"I would advise you when You do fight Not to act like Tygers and Bears as these Virginians do - Biting one anothers Lips and Noses off, and gowging one another - that is, thrusting out one anothers Eyes, and kicking one another on the Cods, to the Great damage of many a Poor Woman." Thus, Charles Woodmason, an itinerant Anglican minister born of English gentry stock, described the brutal form of combat he found in the Virginia backcountry shortly before the American Revolution. Although historians are more likely to study people thinking, governing, worshiping, or working, how men fight -- who participates, who observes, which rules are followed, what is at stake, what tactics are allowed - reveals much about past cultures and societies."Gouge and Bite, Pull Hair and Scratch" The Social Significance of Fighting in the Southern Backcountry [more inside]
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey
on Apr 1, 2013 -
"Three days after the September 11 attacks, reporters at The New York Times, armed with stacks of homemade missing-persons fliers, began interviewing friends and relatives of the missing and writing brief portraits of their lives to create “Portraits of Grief.
” Not meant to be obituaries in any traditional sense, they were informal and impressionistic, often centered on a single story or idiosyncratic detail." As we near the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the Times has revisited some of the people they interviewed back then, for Profiles Redrawn
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Aug 11, 2011 -
Few things in history are as compelling as the duel. Refined and barbaric at the same time, this practice has had a checkered history.
The rules of dueling were codified by the Irish in 1777 in the Code Duello (summarized here
), which was codified at Clonmel Summer Assizes in 1777. As evidenced by these documents
, dueling was in practice prior to the Irish rules being drafted. The procedure and philosophy behind duels is illustrated in this article
Dueling gained some traction in America in the 19th century
, culminating in the famous Burr-Hamilton affair. There are many more resources to find out more here
. For a list of famous duels, you can check out this list
Lest you think men were the only ones dueling, here are a few short anecdotes
of women dueling.
Reportedly, dueling is still legal in Paraguay
, as long as both parties are registered blood donors.
posted by reenum
on Sep 15, 2009 -
"There's something very shabby about a noble grave... Political power and the power of wealth result in splendid graves. Really impressive graves, you know. Such creatures never had any imagination while they lived, and quite naturally their graves don't leave any room for imagination either. But noble people live only on the imaginations of themselves and others, and so they leave graves like this one which inevitably stir one's imagination. And this I find even more wretched. Such people, you see, are obliged even after they are dead to continue begging people to use their power of imagination." - Yukio Mishima
via Kashiwagi in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
. On this, the anniversary of Mishima's transformation into a headless god, a collection of video links. [more inside]
posted by eccnineten
on Nov 25, 2008 -