European Integration - Realities and Perspectives. Proceedings 2017
Bread Crumbs Instead of Lead Bullets – The Duel
in the Journal Furnica/The Ant
Abstract: The Journal Furnica/The Ant was one of those magazines in Romania that mocked the duel in
their pages. The editors of this publication claimed that the honor business is the business where the
“witnesses have fun, drinking and eating at the expense of” those who are fighting a duel. The same editors
believed that the interest in the affairs of honor was shown especially by those individuals who lack honor.
Their assertions were reinforced by the fact that many of those who “went out on the site” to solve a “matter
of honor” did everything possible to avoid a real confrontation. The research of the present work
encompasses the analysis of 70 articles which were published between September 1904 and τctober 1930.
Keywords: the history of the press; the interwar period; the duel; the newspaper; the honor
The affair of honor is the business where “witnesses have fun, drinking and eating on the count” of
those who fight in the duel. Interest in honest businesses shows, in particular, those individuals who lack
the honor. The conviction of those who turn to the duel is that two shots changed without result can
bring the fame that formerly enjoyed only the Swordsman knights2. That is what the editors of the
Journal “Furnica/The Ant” wrote about duel and those involved in a duel.
As a news subject, the duel enjoyed the appreciation of Romanian newspaper and journal readers
between the end of the 19th century and the years that marked the beginning of the Second World War.
Honorary affairs articles involving more or less known people have led readers to think of “knights of
other times who defended their honor by holding the Gospel in one hand and the sword in the other.”
(Teodoraşcu, 2016, p. 269) The great number of duel news from newspapers and magazines has
eventually led readers to consider the fight of honor as trivial. (Teodoraşcu, 2016, p. 278) Despite this,
the duel continued to exist. Between σovember 1940 and January 1941, some church magazines in
Transylvania commented in negative terms on Bucharest officials' decision to reintroduce the duel into
military regulations and to set up a school for fencing in the capital of the country.
Furnica/The Ant was one of those magazines that laughed the duel on their pages. As is the case with
publications of this type, the audience was divided into supporters and contestants. In the history of the
Romanian press from the first beginnings until 1916, σ. Iorga, the author of the research that gave the
1 Senior Lecturer, PhD, Danubius University of Galati, Faculty of Communication and International Relations, Address: 3
Galati Boulevard, 800654 Galati, Romania, Tel.: +40.372.361.102, Fax: +40.372.361.290, Corresponding author:
2 Toate la un loc: zece minute de distracţie americană/All together: ten minutes of American amusement. Furnica/The Ant, year
XXV, no. 7, 12 August 1930, p. 7.