Tim Robinson's Reviews > The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France
The Last Duel: A True Story of Crime, Scandal, and Trial by Combat in Medieval France
Anyone who thinks that the Middle Ages were lawless should read this book. The laws were unequal and brutal, but people valued justice just as much then as they do today. There were courts, records, lawyers, judges, procedures, precedents and rituals. This particular book describes a trial by combat – not a very good quality of justice you might think. But it was the final court of appeal for a case that had already been tried. The duel could not take place until both the King and the Parlement of Paris had sanctioned it, and that after a great deal of paperwork. You might not approve, but it was unquestionably law, and it is the direct ancestor of the legal systems in most of Europe and Latin America.
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