Pamphlet: Contre les défiz et duelz

To carry a sword in a city like Antwerp required that the owner be prepared to use it: by the later sixteenth century dueling had become common practice in early modern Europe. Printed in Brussels in 1610, at the request of Archduke Albert, the edict Contre les défiz e duelz (the title is listed in the Ximenez inventory) declared that dueling was an evil, against Christianity, and anyone who participated in or aided dueling in the Spanish Netherlands would have his person and goods seized. Nobles were forbidden from declaring duels orally or passing formal notes or letters of challenge; instead the parties involved were advised to consult the Maistre de Camp General who would aid in their reconciliation. Ximenez's single broken rapier blade, recorded as being in the office, suggests a man engaged in practicing with such weapons and possibly a knight prepared to defend his honor in a duel.

Sean Nelson, Max Planck Institute, Florence