In the 16th century, poets exchanged rap-battle like stylised insults in an act called "flyting"
The word "flyting" comes from the Old English word for "quarrel." Something like today's freestyle rap battles, the purposes of flyting was to craft poetic insults so devastating to your competitor that they'd be too insulted to muster a comeback. One recorded exchange is known as The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie, in which Kennedie tells Dunbar, "You look like the crows already ate your cheeks; Renounce, rebel, your rhymes and sorry shrieks." What a burn.
Nice to know origin of a *word*...
However , *bardic duels* were fought , especially
in circles with Druids and Bards , from at least the
1300's , and many of us from the pagan tradition ,
have heard the tales , passed down in our bardic
circles at Pagan Gatherings , of duels far older
than that , transmitted through *oral tradition*
I used to run a long term *Bardic Duel* on a Pagan
website about 18 years ago...good stout , and battle
with words...( what more could you ask for )...