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Feud, a private war in the Middle Ages between two parties, clans or families to settle legal claims. In the late Middle Ages the number of feuds rose dramatically; some 1,440 members of the Austrian nobility feuded with Archduke Friedrich III. King Maximilian I issued the Proclamation of Eternal Peace (Ewiger Landfrieden) in 1495, banning the practice of feuds and making them subject to punishment under the law. After the Austrian Penal Code was enacted, feuds became obsolete.