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Knights fighting in the Middle Ages. Formal rules governed such challenges to single combat. Four pages or seconds stand guard with wooden clubs, while spectators watch in the background. An angelic figure is at top centre. The heavy swords used here (either arming swords or long swords) were the standard weapons of medieval knights in Europe from the 11th to 16th centuries. Blows from these swords were often swiftly fatal, and a combination of chain mail, plate armour, helmets, and shields were used in defence. This woodcut dates from 1870.
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