Monday, November 20, 2006

A text on judicial duels in 14th century France

A friend of a friend has used the wonderful Gallica service of the Bibliotheque National de France to rediscover a description of how duels were fought in the French region of Guyenne in the 14th and 15th century.

Gallica makes available, free of charge, much of the vast holdings of the French national library in the form of PDF files. I have used it myself to do work that would otherwise have been impossible from a base in North Bay.

The text in question is transcribed and translated into modern French in this article: L. Lacouture,

Formalités des duels et combats judiciares en Guyenne dans les xiii
e ou xive siècles

in Bulletin Trimestriel de la Société de Borda 38 (1914): 73-87.

If you follow the link above, the entire journal issue comes up in PDF format in an Adobe Acrobat window (if you have the program); the article actually starts on p. 107 of the PDF file.

It takes some patience to use Gallica, actually, but so much is available through it that I call it wonderful despite the various problems.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is off topic, but I'm trying to double- and triple-check myself on different details as I write a history of the world text intended for honors middle school/regular high school, and I stumbled across your lecture notes (which are extremely reassuring, BTW).

I notice that you state "The discovery in 2004 of a "hobbit-sized" human species called homo floresiensis from its home on the Indonesian island of Flores underlines this fact." Just as an FYI, this was later conclusively shown to be a microencephalic adult, which was missed because it was initially compared to a mislabeled microencephalic INFANT. THat discovery didn't make nearly the same splash as the original discovery because it's much more embarrassing than exciting. I hope this doesn't offend!

Anyhow, thank you again for your lecture notes. Even though I began raiding the university library for obscure history books when I was in middle school, writing the history of the world is extraordinarily daunting and has me second-guessing myself at every turn.

(I'm a professional author, and I chose the endeavor out of despair in ever finding a regular textbook that wasn't error-ridden and full of the worst kinds of misinformation. I don't know where the work will find its home, but if there isn't a place for it, then I'll start my own small press and MAKE one--the homeschooling community, at least, will be extremely receptive, and hopefully, so will private schools.)

8:13 AM  
Blogger Steve Muhlberger said...

Dear anonymous,

My reading makes me think that the Flores Island discovery is still being sorted out. Interesting how difficult it is to find the latest material on a current issue like this using Google. The National Geographic site from 2004 is easy to find -- follow-ups are difficult to locate.

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for being anon!

The last I heard, the discoverers were still being adamant about it being a "hobbit", but no one else was really taking it seriously anymore. Sort of like the "signs of life" from Mars rocks. Or the Chinese hoax with the "fossilized bird ancestor" that had been altered. (Though I'm not saying that there was any faking in the first two--just that there's been a whole lot of silence after the weight of the evidence swung the other way.) It'll be interesting to continue to follow the debate, but I doubt the mainstream view will sway back the other way!

Thanks again!

--Rey, not anon this time

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pfffth. I guess I have to eat my words. Look like some people have swung back the other way again. A second complete skull would be interesting to have.

*crosses eyes*

Definitely something to keep an eye on.


1:25 AM  

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