Drawing on earlier approaches to politeness and impoliteness, this chapter shows their applicability to historical contexts. Early work tends to analyse historical data on the basis of Brown and Levinson’s approach to politeness as a face-threat mitigation strategy. Later work extends the scope to discursive approaches focussing on explicit negotiations of politeness values and the analysis of metacommunicative expressions relating to politeness and impoliteness. The chapter illustrates the most recent approaches with two case studies. The first one traces lexical items in the semantic field of (im)politeness, such as civility, courtesy, rudeness, or impoliteness, in the history of the English language. The second shows how impoliteness can be constructed discursively in a verbal duel between two Scottish Renaissance writers, William Dunbar and Walter Kennedy.