|For centuries various European societies resolved some of their greatest legal disputes through a procedure where two people tried to slaughter each other. This class aims to address a single question. Why? Why in the name of all that is just and at least slightly sensible would people, cultures, and entire kingdoms agree to this? In the process of answering this question we will look at the various techniques and legal practices that marked these trials, specific cases which were resolved by combat, and the lasting legacy of this practice on our own system of justice.