This paper is a product of the initial phase of a greater work. My aim is to confute the main statement of Pierre Bourdieu’s book entitled Masculine Domination according to which „the continuity of relationships is obscured by obvious changes in circumstances”, i.e. by the fact that during the last millennium the „structure of differences” between men and women has not been altered. My hypothesis is that during the last five hundred years the crystallised patterns of male dominance have significantly changed in the western world. I will argue that from the Middle Ages to the 20th century a well identifiable, successive relational system of hegemonic masculine disposition tightly related to social realignments had developed, which gave birth to more and more complex formations. First, I shall summarise the main elements of the theoretical references that are decisive from the point of view of my entire enterprise. Then, I will present the structurally determined main elements of the hegemonic form of attitude in the Middle Ages, i.e. knightly masculinity. Finally, I will try to present – by means of the example of pair fights – the dynamics of changes in masculine tendencies in the long run.

Keywords: hegemonic masculinity, longue durée, violence control, knightly habit, archaic libido dominandi, Elias, Connell, Bourdieu

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