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How Married Couples in Medieval Germany were legally allowed to fight

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Okechukwu Liberty
A vivid content writer for the Daily Family Blog and a firm believer of the Lord Jesus Christ.

How Married Couples in Medieval Germany were legally allowed to fight

As a woman, if you were displeased with your husband, you might have preferred to live in Medieval (Historic) Germany, where you might challenge him to a fight. Married couples were allowed to fight in a marital duel, which was totally lawful. It was a usual way of settling disagreements or quarrels when there was no witness to the fight, it was usually a lawful means to settle the disagreement.

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How Married Couples in Medieval Germany were legally allowed to fight
How Married Couples in Medieval Germany were legally allowed to fight

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In general, you may think of it as a legally sanctioned husband-and-wife duel. Though it originated in Germanic law, it swiftly spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. It largely faded from mainstream civilization about the 16th century. The entire adventure had to follow the necessary rules and procedures, and many documents were discovered that detailed everything step by step.

Trial by fight was a common concept at the time, but it was uncommon to see women participate. Normally, if a woman was accused of a crime and she desires to fight her case in court, she would be assigned a champion to represent her.

In every example where women have fought for their rights throughout history, the opponent has always been their husband. The actual divorce battle, as it came to be known, is rather amusing.

How Married Couples in Medieval Germany were legally allowed to fight
How Married Couples in Medieval Germany were legally allowed to fight

To even the odds, one arm of the husband’s would be bound behind his back and he would be placed in a hole. The wife would be given a stick with rocks tied to the end and would stand at the side of the hole. In addition, the husband would have the same kind of club.

There have actually been illustrations discovered that show how a woman or man might win. But it’s unclear how the winner was chosen; was its combat to the death? Was there a battle till one of them gave up? We’ll never know for sure, but it appears to have been an extremely risky approach to settle a marital disagreement.

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