Leader Succession by Dueling

Aug 2016
977
US&A
I recently read a manga where a bandit chief defends his title by dueling in one-on-one combat with a potential claimant. This seems to be a fairly common trope in stories of various mediums. Are there any historical examples of this happening?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,488
Dispargum
When Peppin III died in 768 he left his kingdom to his two sons, Charlemagne and Carloman. Within three years Carloman died under suspicious circumstances. There's no evidence Charlemagne was behind it, but many historians have commented on the mystery. People important enough to be written up in history are almost always too sophisticated to engage in open dueling. Poisoning, murder by hire, or civil war are more typical ways of dealing violently with rivals.

Valentinian III supposedly stabbed Aetius with his own hand, but some interpretations say that Valentinian had someone else do it in his presence. Either way, he was present when Aetius was murdered. It was an ambush, not a fair fight. Valentinian had too much to lose to risk a fair fight as would anyone else important enough to make it into the history books.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,395
Netherlands
I recently read a manga where a bandit chief defends his title by dueling in one-on-one combat with a potential claimant. This seems to be a fairly common trope in stories of various mediums. Are there any historical examples of this happening?
Charles V challenged Francois I to a duel to decide the war. I also thought that Marc Anthony challenged Augustus.