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Truce of God

(Lat. pax, treuga Dei). A suspension of hostilities ordered by the Roman Catholic Church. The custom originated in France in the tenth century and was meant to lessen the impact on the lower orders of society of the incessant quarreling of the feudal nobles. Since the armistice was ordered by the church, it was traced back to the will of God and called “the truce of God.” At first the period was from Saturday evening to Monday morning, but later holy days or seasons (e.g., Easter) were included. After the eleventh century the practice died out.