Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXIII.: Of the Code of Laws on judicial Combats. - Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws
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CHAP. XXIII.: Of the Code of Laws on judicial Combats. - Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, Complete Works, vol. 2 The Spirit of Laws 
The Complete Works of M. de Montesquieu (London: T. Evans, 1777), 4 vols. Vol. 2.
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Of the Code of Laws on judicial Combats.
SOME perhaps will have a curiosity to see this abominable custom of judiciary combat reduced to principle, and to find a code of such extraordinary laws. Men, though reasonable in the main, reduce their very prejudices to rule. Nothing was more contrary to good sense, than those combats: and yet when once this point was laid down, a kind of prudential management was used in carrying it into execution.
In order to be thoroughly acquainted with the jurisprudence of those times, it is necessary to read with attention the regulations of St. Lewis, who made such great changes in the judiciary order. Défontaines was contemporary with that prince: Beaumanoir wrote after* him; and the rest lived since his time. We must therefore look for the ancient practice in the amendments that have been made of it.
[* ]In the year 1283.