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Category:Man vs. Woman
The German phrase Mann und Frau is slightly ambiguous, meaning either "man and woman" or "husband and wife". In his translation of 2000, Mark Rector chose the latter interpretation and rendered it "The beginning stance in which the man and wife shall fight each other".
Like Frau, the German word Weib can mean either "woman" or "wife".
However, more recent scholarship has shown that the "wife" reading is wrong. This dueling form, which exists in lawbooks but as far as we know was never used in real life, was not specifically designed for marital disputes; instead, a number of legal charges that a woman might bring against a man (husband or not) could be resolved this way in the absence of evidence, including rape and assault.
In his 2016 translation of this Talhoffer treatise, Dierk Hagedorn renders this passage "Here it is stated how a man and woman shall fight each other. Here they stand, ready to begin." Based on our understanding of the history of dueling, this reading seems more correct, and the category name has been changed to reflect it.
- See Elema, Ariella. "Tradition, Innovation, Re-enactment: Hans Talhoffer’s Unusual Weapons". Acta Periodica Duellatorum. 7(1): 3-25, 2019. doi:10.2478/apd-2019-0001.
- There are certainly records of women dueling with men in the Medieval period, including a specific reference in the Bern Chronicle (page 112) to a duel that took place in 1288 in which the woman defeated the man, but there is no indication that this specific (and very strange) format was used in any of them. Which is not to say that such evidence will never appear as research on the history of dueling continues. There was no evidence of longshield dueling in the 15th century either, until a few years ago when Jens P. Kleinau found some.