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Mensur & Schmiss: German Dueling Societies

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Mensur & Schmiss: German Dueling Societies is the first photographic history of the student academic duel, the Mensur, practiced in Germany since the eighteenth century. The slashing swordplay of
this fascinating Western European ritual often resulted in a Schmiss, or facial
scarification. The Schmiss scar was a record of one’s courage, cherished as a badge
of honor that signified masculinity and high social position. This compilation of over
175 images documents all aspects of the tradition: combatants, seconds, referees,
spectators and attending surgeons before, during, and after the Mensur, as well as the
celebrations and social functions that were part of Germanic student life. The Mensur
is still practiced today although hidden from public view. The astute
observations of Mark Twain and Jerome K. Jerome, both travelers through
Germany during the nineteenth century, are included.This book emphasizes
the Corps and other elite fraternity groups that engaged in Mensur, vividly documenting the camaraderie, seriousness, reality and violence of the academic duels.

106 pages | Softcover | 7.5 x 8.5 inches | ISBN: 978-1-936002-09-2 | JULY 2017

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