8. Trials By Combat Were Public Events
In a time without cheap or readily available books, little available artificial light by which to complete hobbies, and grueling daily life of war or farming it is perhaps no surprise that watching two men attempt to murder each other was a huge celebratory event that drew large crowds of spectators. Trials by combat were, in fact, considered community events and notices would be posted in the local newspaper announcing the time, date, location and the name of the combatants. People from all over the area would assemble to witness the fight, which could last as long as 24 hours and provide an entire day of free entertainment.
Watching trials by combat is part of what is called bloodsport, a type of entertainment that involves bloodshed. Other notable historical bloodsports include the Roman gladiator battles, bull and bear baiting, dog fighting, and cockfighting. In modern times, boxing and mixed martial arts fights are typically considered bloodsports. Animal fighting has mostly fallen out of favor throughout much of the world but is still practiced, usually through bull baiting and cockfighting, in some areas. While it isn’t generally a significant aspect of society today, bloodsport has been an incredibly common and a favorite part of various cultures throughout history.