The "code of honor" as most people know it is a set of assumptions and expectations about what a person is entitled–indeed, is obliged by social custom–to do when "insulted" in order to preserve his personal self-respect and public dignity. In a word, to defend his "honor"–leading in more serious instances (nowadays, mostly in novels and films) to challenging one’s offender to a duel. However, few in our time would know how to stage a duel if called upon to do so. The Polski kodeks honorowy [Polish code of honor], a slim volume (suitable, say, for tucking into one’s weapons case) by Władysław Boziewicz (1886-1946), is the last and by far the best-written formal codification of the system of dueling growing out of centuries of practice on the territory of Poland. Like almost no other, it is a work that needs to be examined in the context of the country and of the times in which the author lived, that is, interwar Poland.

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