Test Your Honor: The Dueling Codes Quiz!

Which of these was NOT a traditional rule in a code duello?

Apologies could prevent duels

Seconds must also fight

Duels must occur at dawn

Witnesses were not allowed

Traditional dueling codes, such as the Irish Code Duello, typically allowed for witnesses and even required them to ensure fairness and adherence to the agreed terms of the duel; their presence was essential.

In what year did the famous “Dueling Oaks” duel occur in New Orleans?





The Dueling Oaks in New Orleans were famous for hosting hundreds of duels, reaching peak popularity around 1839. These duels were often fought over matters of personal honor under a strict code, which included formal challenges and accepted conduct.

What weapon was commonly used in European duels during the 16th century?





During the 16th century, the rapier was commonly used in duels throughout Europe, particularly prized for its suitability in thrusting attacks and its prominence in matters of personal honor among the nobility.

In which country did the last recorded duel occur?



United States


The last recorded duel in France occurred in 1967, involving politicians Gaston Defferre and René Ribière. This was seen as a remnant of the historic tradition of dueling over matters of personal honor.

What was a common reason for a duel in the 19th century?

Land disputes

Public insults


Stealing horses

Public insults were a common reason for duels in the 19th century, as personal reputation and honor were highly valued and defended through such practices.

Who is known for participating in the most duels?

Aaron Burr

Andrew Jackson

Abraham Lincoln

Theodore Roosevelt

Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the USA, is reputed to have participated in many duels, many of them in defense of his wife’s honor. He was known to be fiercely loyal and had a fiery temper.

What unusual dueling weapon was chosen by a Princess in Monaco in 1892?

Wax bullets


Wooden sticks


Princess Pauline Metternich and the Countess Kielmannsegg chose to duel with wax bullets in 1892. This was an unusual and less lethal choice, reflecting the eccentric nature of some duels among high society.

Which principle dictated that the challenged party chooses the weapons?

Honor’s Right

Challenger’s Privilege

Second’s Call

Challenged’s Choice

According to traditional dueling codes, the principle known as the ‘Challenged’s Choice’ allowed the person who was challenged to select the weapons, thereby giving them an opportunity to level the playing field or set terms they found just.

What did dueling codes typically specify about the fighting ground?

Must be public

Must be neutral

Must be enclosed

Must be owned by a participant

Dueling codes typically required the fighting ground to be neutral territory. This was to ensure fairness and to prevent any advantage that might come from familiarity with the terrain or partiality in its selection.

How were formal dueling challenges typically delivered in the 18th century?

Verbally in public

Through a printed newspaper

By a hand-delivered letter

Via a town crier

In the 18th century, formal challenges for duels were commonly issued through hand-delivered letters. This method ensured privacy and formality, adhering to the structured codes of personal honor and the social norms of the time.

What was traditionally used to signal the start of a duel?

A whistle

A gunshot

A handkerchief drop

A bell ring

The dropping of a handkerchief was a common signal to start a duel, especially in more formalized and ceremonious duels where clear visual cues were necessary for fairness.

Where was dueling explicitly illegal by the early 19th century?





By the early 19th century, England had explicitly outlawed dueling, reflecting a broader societal shift towards the rule of law over personal vendettas, although enforcement varied.

What kind of duel did Alexander Pushkin die in?

Sword duel


Pistol duel


Alexander Pushkin, the famous Russian poet, died as a result of wounds sustained in a pistol duel in 1837, which stemmed from defending his wife’s honor.

What role did the “second” have in a duel?

Observer only

Ensure fairness

Provide weapons

Signal start

The “second” in a duel had several responsibilities, primarily to ensure fairness and adherence to the agreed upon rules, and also to attempt to reconcile the parties before the duel proceeded.

Which era’s dueling code required medical assistance on site?





Victorian dueling codes often required the presence of a medical doctor at the site, reflecting the more formal and structured approach to dueling where participant safety had increased concern.

What was the usual outcome for duels in the 18th century?


Serious injury

Minor injuries

No injuries

In the 18th century, duels commonly resulted in minor injuries; fatal outcomes were not as frequent as popularly believed, owing to the aim of defending honor rather than killing.

What alternative to dueling was promoted in the late 18th century?


Public debates

Court trials

Fencing matches

Arbitration was promoted as a less violent alternative to dueling, providing a way to resolve disputes through mediated discussions rather than lethal confrontations.

Which U.S. president famously survived multiple duels?

George Washington

Andrew Jackson

Abraham Lincoln

Theodore Roosevelt

Andrew Jackson, known for his fiery personality and strong sense of personal honor, survived several duels, contributing to his tough and battle-ready image.

What was a typical location for duels in Paris?

Louvre courtyard

Bois de Boulogne


Notre Dame

The Bois de Boulogne, a large public park on the western edge of Paris, was a typical location for duels, providing a secluded yet accessible place for such affairs.

Which literary figure wrote extensively about dueling?

Mark Twain

Charles Dickens

Ernest Hemingway

Leo Tolstoy

Leo Tolstoy wrote extensively about dueling in his novels, often criticizing its role in society and the needless tragedies it caused, reflecting his views on morality and violence.

Barely Escaped a Duel

You might want to brush up on your dueling etiquette before you challenge anyone!

Duelist in Training

Not bad! You’ve got the basics down, but there’s room to grow into a fine duelist.

Master of the Duel

Impressive! Your honor remains intact, and your knowledge of dueling codes is unparalleled!

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