Duel in the Russian Imperial Army. Part of 1

There are different versions of the appearance of a duel (duel) as a radical way of solving interpersonal problems during knightly duels and tournaments. Western Europe was especially successful in this, where there were many wandering knights with their own homegrown rules of fights in defense of their honor, life and personal dignity. Over time, they began to take on weapon not only to protect desecrated honor or good name. Often, at the base of death fights, they were already looking for personal material gain, or defended their rights in a judicial duel. However, in one form or another there was always a personal insult, offended dignity or unsubstantiated accusation. In any case, such an insult, as it was believed, could not be measured in monetary terms and there was only one way to go - to wash the insult off with the blood of the offender. The most common such fights were in France, which is considered by many to be the birthplace of the duel. In those years, even the monarchs used their right to fight, if their honor and dignity was affected. A striking example is story personal conflict between Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and French King Francis I.

In 1526, the emperor called the king a dishonest man. In response, Francis I summoned the offender to a duel. The fight did not take place, but the authority of the French duelists has grown significantly. It is believed that precisely in those years, the history of the duel began as a duel in defense of honor and personal dignity. The number of duels grew from year to year. In the second half of the 16th century, up to a thousand fatal duels took place in France each year. And the total number of duels in some years reached 20 thousands. Fights have become commonplace in French society, and then in other European countries.

How did the duel in Russia

The word duel of foreign origin is from the Latin duellum and the French duel, which translated into Russian means “duel” or “fight of two”. In Russia, the duel in the form of a Western European duel came in the second half of the 17th century, when the famous German settlement was formed in Moscow. Natives of many European countries lived here, remaining faithful to the traditions and habits of their homeland. In a certain sense, through the German settlement, the way for the penetration of foreign customs, traditions and customs into the patriarchal Russian life was opened. Among them were dueling traditions in defense of honor and dignity in the privileged environment of the upper class. In 1666, in this Moscow settlement, the first fight in Russia according to European rules took place, as is commonly believed. The reason for him was a drunken quarrel during a feast in honor of the birthday of Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich. And two foreigners started this whole mess. A quarrel happened between the commander of the Butyrsky regiment, colonel Scottish Gordon and the English major Montgomery. The duel did without serious consequences. However, the tens responsible for order and calm in the German Quarter were ordered not to allow fights, murder and scuffles to continue. By the way, these rigor and restrictions on the hot-tempered Gordon did not work. He then challenged Major General Trauernicht to a duel, who dared to teach the colonel how to command the regiment. After the intervention of the king the fight did not take place. Dueling stories did not affect the career of the future ally of Peter I. Gordon later received the rank of general and rear admiral.

However, outside the German Quarter duels were an extremely rare event. Usually for the offenses with the petition went to the governor, or even to the king himself. But in order to nip even the thoughts of duels themselves, princess Sofia, in her decree of 25 in October 1682, highlighted the ban on fights, at the same time allowing all servicemen of the Moscow State to carry personal weapons.

However, there is a slightly different version of the appearance of duels in Russia. According to A. Bogdanov, foreigners who came to our country at the beginning of the 17th century were surprised themselves by the large number of fights among the inhabitants of the German Settlement. True, at that time there were going to a variety of foreign adventurers from many European countries. The audience was the same. All of them were attracted by the favorable conditions of the Russian service and respectful attitude towards people from other countries. The Russians were not embarrassed that among them were a lot of Gentiles and bearers of another culture, sometimes alien to their traditions, customs and rules of behavior. For example, this also concerned the use of the most common method of challenge to a duel - a blow to the offender’s face with the subsequent snapping of blades. It happened that the Russians fought in duels among themselves and less often with foreigners. By the way, each case of such a duel was subject to investigation in the Foreign Order, which was responsible for foreign mercenaries accepted for the Russian service.

The severity of the punishment duelists did not stop

In an effort to adopt the best and most advanced in Europe, Tsar Peter I tried to prevent the negative order and rules that existed there from penetrating into Russian life. Such restrictions are fully applicable to duels. In the “Short Article” adopted in 1706, under the penalty of the death penalty, any fights were forbidden. The article identified that the duelists themselves, their seconds, and even casual witnesses, if they did not report the duel in time, were sentenced to death. In 1715, the “Charter of the Soldier” was published, which included the “Patent about fights and the beginning of quarrels” and “the Article of the Military”. These documents stipulated that the preparation for a duel and the very participation in it were punishable by death by hanging. Even the victim in a duel was punished - he was hung by the legs. The king-reformer stopped the duels even when they were not rooted in the customs of Russian society. There were no Russian surnames among the “combatants”, and laws were already passed prohibiting a duel on pain of the death penalty. However, as often happened in Russia, the severity of punishment was often compensated for by the non-execution of the law. As history confirms, neither under Peter the Great, nor after him was no one sentenced to death for killing an enemy in a duel, much less for any participation in a duel. Although the entire legal framework for this already existed.

So, looking through the “Patent about fights and starting quarrels,” we learn that even just for a challenge, a duel was supposed to be deprived of all ranks and partial confiscation of property. There was even stricter demand for going out and laying out weapons. For this, the death penalty was relied upon with full confiscation of property. The seconds were subject to the same severe punishment.

"Military Article" 1715 of the year even more tightened responsibility for the duel. Two articles were devoted to this (articles 139 and 140). Note that Peter's forbidden rules against fights acted until 1787, and have never (!) Been used over the years. Not required. Yes, and the very Russian patriarchal society rejected and condemned this deadly overseas fun. Only in the time of Catherine II, an interest in the foreign form of protecting honor and dignity in fights with arms in arms began to form among noble youth.

Noble youth, while remaining loyal to the throne and oath, more and more preferred to conduct the proceedings of the offenses and the protection of honor and personal dignity without judicial and administrative interference of the state. The officers, who have always been the backbone of the throne, lived and served according to centuries of established order, written and unwritten rules. Later, General L. Kornilov beautifully formulated all this in his life credo: “Soul to God, heart to woman, duty to Fatherland, honor to no one”.

Gradually, the duels began to cause more and more concern for the authorities. In 1787, Catherine II was forced to publish the "Manifesto about the fights." Duels were directly called "alien plantation" and ranked as war crimes. In the case of injuries or death duelists they were punished for premeditated murder or injury and injury. If the duel ended without blood, the offender was given a link “to the eternal settlement” to Siberia. Later, the link was replaced by a demotion in the rank and file and imprisonment in a fortress. A large monetary fine was imposed on all participants, including seconds.

However, the severity of punishment did not contribute to reducing the number of fights and those who took part in them. But in fact, they became even more after the foreign campaigns of the Russian army in 1813 - 1814. A duel as a class and effective means of protecting honor and dignity was in demand in the officer community. Therefore, under Nicholas I, the ban on a duel was confirmed in the 1832 year in the “Code of Criminal Law”, as well as in the 1839 year in the “Charter of the Military-Criminal”.

Courts of officer societies as a relationship regulator

Only prohibitive and punitive measures could not eradicate fights in the military environment. It was decided to create special courts for existing officer societies to handle conflicts between military ranks. In 1863, courts of officers' societies were created in the regiments and separate battalions. When they began to function councils from the number of intermediary officers. These councils from 3-5 elective staff officers were assigned the responsibility of clarifying the causes and circumstances of the quarrels, the offenses caused and the insults. If the honor and personal dignity of the officer and the attempts at reconciliation of the parties failed, then the duel was permitted. At the same time, for the insult or deliberate slander inflicted, the abuser was called to answer in a duel with a weapon in his hands. Such a duel was considered legitimate, since it was strictly regulated by certain rules, later presented in the form of dueling codes. Such codes in the Russian Empire existed in different versions with certain differences in the order and conditions of the duel. The generally accepted duel code in the empire did not exist.

The definition of a duel formulated by Russian military writer P. Shveikovsky was adopted as the most complete and appropriate to the realities. “A duel,” he wrote, “is an agreed battle between two persons with a deadly weapon to satisfy desecrated honor in keeping with the conditions established by custom regarding the place, time, weapon and the overall situation of the battle.”
According to V. Khandorin, from this definition can be identified the main features of the classic duel (duel):
1) the purpose of the duel is a response to the insult, the offense caused or the damaged honor of the officer;
2) the number of participants in the duel - only two (the offended and his offender);
3) duel means - deadly knives or firearms;
4) the existence of custom established rules (conditions) of a duel, mandatory for strict compliance by each participant of the fight, including the seconds.

At the same time everyone understood that the duel did not prove anything from the point of view of justice and rightness. This was reflected in one way or another in all dueling codes. "The basic principle and purpose of the duel, - explained the code, - to solve misunderstandings between individual members of a common noble family among themselves, without resorting to outside help." There was no duel and judicial sense, since it did not always serve as a punishment for the culprit of a quarrel or conflict. “A duel serves,” it was stated in the duel code, “a method of retaliation for insulting and cannot be replaced, but at the same time it cannot replace judicial authorities serving to restore or protect a violated right.”

In the Russian Empire there were different views and assessments of duels, as social phenomena that are more characteristic of the officer community. At the same time there were many supporters of the point of view that a duel is nothing more than a “self-imposed punishment”. This interpretation had some legal grounds. First, duels (duels) were officially banned by the laws of the empire. Secondly, they were unlawful in nature, since, as a rule, the very fact of the fight was hidden from official justice. Thirdly, all the dueling codes, applicable regulations, procedures and rules had an unofficial statute. It was only during the reign of Emperor Alexander III that the “Rules for the Proceeding of Arguments in Officers' Relations” were approved (introduced by order of the Military Department N18 of 20 in May of 1894) And only since then in the Russian Empire for the first time fights among officers were legalized.

Продолжение следует ...

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  1. +9
    27 August 2018 05: 46
    I knew many ... Who could not survive the insults ... Being too honest ... They could not write a denunciation and then drank and died .... So the duel not only took lives ... But it saved ...
    1. +5
      27 August 2018 06: 14
      A very sensible thought, maybe you are right.
  2. +3
    27 August 2018 07: 13
    As far as I know, in spite of all the "Military Articles" duels under Peter 1 happened and no one was convicted. It seems in Neduzhkin's book "Fiscals of Peter the Great" a duel between Pamburg and someone else is mentioned. Tsar Peter was angry at first, and then forgiven.
    1. Cat
      27 August 2018 07: 58
      Good morning, namesake!
      Peter the Great, was a very ambiguous personality. In some places, he could step on his throat and act according to the law (for example, the execution of Prince Gagarin), and in some cases he could get by with the first log or cane (a classic example of Menshikov), or just forgive (Tatishchev). Today we would say - a man of mood!
      The character of Peter is shown most vividly in the films "Peter the Great" based on the book of Tolstoy and about the marriage of Arap Peter the Great (he forgot the title of the film).
  3. +2
    27 August 2018 07: 26
    This is how the elite of society was knocked out in such an intricate way ...
    The Lord deigned to rave about fat.

    That's what the people. They filled each other's faces, then they drank together, had a bite and became the best friends.

    1. +7
      27 August 2018 07: 59
      "How delightful the evenings are in the desert!" good
    2. Cat
      27 August 2018 08: 20
      Excuse me dear Boris, although I appreciated your passage "+", and the caricature really smiled, but drawing "Easter Russia" is still a big delusion! About
      they stuffed their faces, drank, ate, became friends

      Like the quote from the author
      In a certain sense, through the German settlement, a path was opened for the penetration of foreign customs, traditions and customs into patriarchal Russian life. Among them were dueling traditions in defense of honor and dignity in a privileged environment of the upper class.

      The right to a judicial duel was still enshrined in Russian truth. In the Pskov list - this right was extended even to women who could put a fighter in their place.
      So, in the eyes of contemporaries, the duel was originally nothing more than lynching. Moreover, the pre-revolutionary historian of law Yudachev in his textbook "History of Law" noted that the last judicial fights with a weapon fell on the beginning of the reign of Peter I.
      I dare to suggest that the change in legal norms and the abolition of "judicial duels" was the result of the adoption of the customs of "dueling"!
      Otherwise, I agree with you, only the names of Pushkin and Lermontov make you think about the feasibility of a duel, as such!
    3. 0
      7 September 2018 15: 12
      In those ancient times, such categories as "DIGNITY" and "HONOR" still really existed. With whom they did not fight in vain. It was taken for the words to answer. They did not send them to X - for this society even strictly asked without duels - they stopped communicating with such people at all. Not that now in the comments - even the top officials of the state are falsely accused, and the moderators only grin at the same time, Honor, gentlemen, officers are not a pound of raisins.
  4. +3
    27 August 2018 09: 41
    It is difficult to unequivocally appreciate the duel.
    "It's good if you know where the arrow is from,
    Worse - if in a mean way, from around the corner. "

    There will always be someone and will take advantage of them as a trap, and the best will fall. On the other hand, sometimes all other exits are worse (eternal revenge, or losing face, breaking down and drinking, not everyone has the strength and faith, even the strongest and the best, especially to them).
    But rigor and prohibitions are needed, otherwise, really, lynching.
  5. +4
    27 August 2018 10: 04
    Romanticize a duel is not worth it. But ready to be necessary for what is accepted in the circle of communication.

    And literature is riddled with duels, not only because the event attracts attention. And there was a fair amount of them.

    All the ugliness of duels in the “Duel” Kuprin.
  6. +2
    27 August 2018 10: 38
    NYA, in pre-Petrine Russia, judicial fights were practiced quite often, but with a very important amendment - instead of yourself, you could put a hired fighter. In the 17th century, again, NYA, such fights stopped.
    Since the 18th century, already under Anna, duels have gradually become more and more frequent, but almost everything - only on swords and deaths were relatively rare
    1. +2
      27 August 2018 10: 49
      As in "Prince Serebryany" boyar Morozov put Mitka.
    2. +2
      27 August 2018 20: 19
      A sword, a pretty dangerous weapon, if wounded in the hull.
      1. 0
        29 August 2018 21: 53
        Quote: Conductor
        A sword, a pretty dangerous weapon, if wounded in the hull

        Epee, and if there is also a dagger, is a deadly combination, only a person with a sword and a dagger + the skill of their possession can "hold" such a pair.
  7. +10
    27 August 2018 11: 50
    Remembered smile
    It doesn't matter that you were inadvertently touched,
    It doesn’t matter that you aren’t a teaser
    And the important thing is that there are still duels in the world,
    On which the fragile world keeps! ..
    It doesn't matter that you are not killed in the end,
    It doesn't matter that your anger was gone in vain,
    And the important thing is that there are still offenses in the world,
    Forgive that the offender can not be! ..
    It does not matter that you are sick of stupid posture,
    It doesn't matter that you are not a whale to shoot,
    And the important thing is that in life there are more questions
    Deciding which is possible only this way! ..
    It doesn't matter that there is no reason for a duel
    It doesn't matter that the quarrel came out from behind the ladies,
    And the important thing is that there are more men in life
    Who are ashamed to hang around the courts! ..
    (c) Leonid Filatov

    As a child, I remember, we also had some kind of ritual in the event of "irreparable disagreements" - we called each other "to the grass" one on one. As soon as the "duel" turned into fuss in the stalls, the "duelists" usually parted. In the end, everyone dispersed, satisfied and with mutual respect. smile
    And then everything suddenly abruptly and for me somehow even unexpectedly changed: provoking a conflict, provoking the enemy, taking aside, where a company ready for entertainment waits, and "duping" the victim to the unconscious state of one with the whole code, was considered valor. It was the end of the 80s. I do not know how and why this scrapping occurred. sad Perestroika, however ...
    1. +6
      27 August 2018 12: 33
      Not for the same reason that Dumas were first read, and then they passed to Irving Show.

      Probably every decade has its own characteristics.

      But then again, everything from the circle of reading and the circle of communication.
      1. +5
        27 August 2018 14: 25
        Quote from Korsar4
        Not for the same reason that Dumas were first read, and then they passed to Irving Show.

        In the village of Dumas, everyone read. But Irving Shaw was not read for sure. smile
        What impressed me most was how dramatically and immediately my peers-friends changed, whom he knew from the cradle as peeling, with whom he was friends, dreamed, and fought ... And suddenly, all of this was abruptly - once! - and did not. Other people, different values, goals in life ... My father then told me that we had matured ... He must be right.
        1. +2
          27 August 2018 14: 41
          “It is hard to change the skin” (c).

          We are all changing.

          "Becoming a captain
          Keep the sailor in yourself ”(c).
    2. +2
      27 August 2018 12: 55
      There have always been many options, the crowd with the withdrawal to the side and hairy people in the 70s indulged.
    3. +3
      27 August 2018 12: 58
      Yes, we also decided to fight only one on one.
      Democracy began later, I did not find it.
    4. +3
      27 August 2018 14: 55
      Now, such clarifications of relationships among schoolchildren are being removed on phones to collect likes on social networks.
      But still, in every decade, century, there are concepts of honor, and there is a show, even if they have different expressions.
      Your keywords: "All satisfied and respectful," and "fun-ready company," motives were at variance.

      But is it only books that matter.
      1. Cat
        27 August 2018 21: 32
        On the anthologies of "love walls"!
        My father had a scar above his left eye from being struck by a chain!
        So in the Gamayun region, there was a more centuries-old tradition of youth converging in conditional places between the settlements and figuring out who the real Gamayun is and who is the goiter. Moreover, the first skirmish between the Verkhnyeserginsky and Nizhneserginsky hamayuns is officially documented and falls already in 1854, on Mount Kabatskaya. The last force to find out who is more gamayunayut in the world, occurred in 1978, on the icy key. Then it ended with murder, albeit by accident, but after this incident the police stopped such creeps in the bud.
        So my father told me that up to two hundred people on each side were cut into such walls on the wall, until the first blood lying was beaten. Although the rules were sometimes violated. What was his scar talking about. In principle, participation in such squabbles in recent years has acted as a kind of insenuation. Although sometimes they might not even accept the party, for suspicion of participating in such games!
        Sincerely, Kitty!
        1. +3
          27 August 2018 21: 52
          Insinuations or initiations?

          There has always been a territorial division: "We drove our city."

          And for young people it’s like practicing the instincts of protecting the territory.
    5. +2
      28 August 2018 05: 31
      Quote: Trilobite Master
      Perestroika, however ...

      Perestroika has nothing to do with it. This influence of the "masters", too many young people passed through the zone where such manners are in the order of things, plus there was a mixing of the population, the barracks were demolished and settled in new housing estates and the "blue" began to form new orders.
  8. +5
    27 August 2018 12: 54
    The prohibition of duels is part of the state monopoly on violence.
    On the one hand, it protects citizens, on the other hand, it deprives them of the ability to independently defend their interests and their honor. It is especially bad that this ban has already been brought to the point of absurdity - not only fighting with lethal weapons is forbidden, but also elementary scuffle. As a result, the only way for law-abiding citizens to respond to the insult is to pretend that he was not there. But little deforms a person more than a swallowed humiliation, and here we get a crowd of repressed individuals at the exit, and this is the personnel reserve of the new ones ...
    1. Cat
      27 August 2018 21: 46
      Why is the only way out? We determine fate ourselves - by our actions ...
      As the classic said, "You need to be creative with revenge, since revenge is a cold dish!"
      I won’t throw options, but there would be a reason, and there will always be slippers !!!
  9. BAI
    27 August 2018 13: 57
    Well, of course, holding red-hot iron in your hands (as in old times) is not for noble hands. The progress of jurisprudence, however.
    1. Cat
      27 August 2018 21: 36
      Oh well, I always liked the test of water more! Surfaced - guilty and counted, not surfaced - repose the innocent soul of the righteous!
      1. +2
        27 August 2018 21: 54
        Confidence in the truth is expensive.

        You can just chew rice.

        And for us:

        “Their oath - let us be ashamed” (c).
  10. +5
    27 August 2018 20: 42
    In our brigade, in one of the battalions, two old men looked after one girl, the head of the dining room. In the end, they decided to have a duel. One was on duty on a battalion, the other the chief of the guard. We went to the sports camp, measured the distance, the truth did not take seconds, and let's shoot at each other. Romantic fools. Fortunately, both shot poorly with a pistol, wounded but alive. When they reported to the brigade commander, he was in shock. It was at the beginning of the 2000's in the North Caucasus district. The case was hushed up at the level of the district commander. Probably, all the same, respect has remained for a long time to men who are not afraid of a duel, even from -for unrequited love.
    1. +4
      27 August 2018 20: 47
      Bullcrusts are unfortunate!
      True Stalinists would write denunciators at one another! bully
      1. +2
        27 August 2018 21: 56
        You can not "pour old wine into old furs."
    2. +3
      28 August 2018 05: 29
      It is a pity that they hushed up ... For such "romance" and "respect" there is only one remedy - a tribunal. The "sovereign men" are not kept for shooting each other. If a military man, especially an officer, does not have an understanding of his super task in his head - why does the army, the state, the Motherland need this, finally ...
      1. 0
        7 September 2018 15: 30
        And you are right too!
        In the family, the brother of his great-grandfather, Nikolai Gorbov, died in a duel in 1911. When I found out, I did not initially believe that at that time there were still dueling.
  11. 0
    21 October 2018 01: 07
    Well, if the offender, a scoundrel, a slanderer and just a scoundrel is better at fencing and worth it?
    Justice will not be restored.
    But the possibility of the right to be killed in a duel, where he tried to defend his honor, stimulated the practice of shooting and fencing, i.e. combat training officer.
  12. 0
    28 October 2018 13: 52
    Emperors forbade dueling, forbade ... And two GREAT POETS of Russia were killed in a duel just ...

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