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Transcript of Medieval Jousting
Different Types of Jousting
Joust a plaisance - A series of elimination jousting contest which were held over several days. An overall jousting winner would be determined.
Melee' or Tourney Proper
Popular in the twelfth and thirteenth century. This form was the most brutal and costly in lives. All participants, upon hearing the charge, promptly crashed onto the tournament field and proceeded to unhorse all others by any method at hand until a winner was determined.
An encounter with lances between two knights. The rules were simple. If a combatant struck either rider or horse he was disqualified. A clean hit to the center or "boss" of the shield shattering the lance, or unseating the opponent scored points. A low partition wall separating contestants was introduced in about 1420 strictly as a measure to reduce injury to horses.
Jousting contests took place at Medieval tournaments which
provided a venue for Knights to practice various forms of combat to delight, and for the
amusement of, crowds of onlookers.
A joust is defined as a fight between mounted knights wearing armor and using lances.
...a knight was expected to be gentle and faithful to his lady, fearless in battle and tournament, courteous and merciful to a defeated enemy and honorable in everything.
John Hampden, from "The Days of Chivalry"
Stories from Froissart's Chronicles
Pas d'armes - A Knight would send out a proclamation that he would take on all jousting challengers at a specific time and place.
"Jousting." Lords and Ladies. N.p.. Web. 11 Nov 2013. <http://www.lordsandladies.org/jousting.htm>.
"The Medieval Tourney." National Jousting Association. N.p., 20 04 2003. Web. 11 Nov 2013. <http://www.nationaljousting.com/history/medieval.htm>.
"More on the Henry VIII jousting incident." Tudor History Blog. N.p., 18 04 2009. Web. 11 Nov 2013. <http://tudorhistory.org/blog/2009/04/18/more-on-the-henry-viii-jousting-incident/>.
By: Alexy Retter
Involved very little ceremony and few rules. Practice targets were provided by either a quintain or rings. The quintain Tourney was a wooden target mounted on a horizontal pole at which the knight aimed his lance. If the target was struck accurately, it would swing harmlessly aside; if struck off center, the weighted arm swung around with enough velocity to unseat the knight. The other form of jousting in the practice tournament was "riding at the rings", the surviving form of jousting with which we are most concerned. A ring was suspended on a cord, which was to be carried off on the tip of the knight's lance. Both the quintain and the ring joust were exercises that developed accuracy skills. These skills became increasingly important as individual jousts gained popularity.
King Henry VII
Henry VII is known as the king who turned into a tyrant after a serious jousting accident. The accident occurred at a tournament at Greenwich Palace on January 24th,1536 when 44-year-old Henry, in full armour, was thrown from his horse, itself armoured, which then fell on top of him. He was unconscious for two hours and was thought at first to have been fatally injured.
Henry II - The Death of a King
In June 1559 a tournament lasting several days was held in Paris to celebrate a peace treaty between France and Spain. Henry had started suffering giddiness after physical exertion and Catherine tried to persuade him not to joust. Yet he acquitted himself well, until the young Count of Montgomery, of his Scottish Guard, almost unseated him. Henry, however, insisted on another contest with Montgomery, who did his best to refuse. Montgomery’s lance struck the king’s helmet and a long splinter pierced Henry’s eye and penetrated his brain. Henry II was fatally injured by the Count of Montgomery during the jousting tournament and died on July 10th, 1559.
The Decline of Jousting
The decline in jousting started with the invention of the musket in 1520. Tastes in entertainment changed. The period of the Renaissance with new ideas in art and literature was developing. Renaissance men such as William Shakespeare emerged and the Theater was born. The theater and the lavish costumes, surroundings and plays were the new form of entertainment and contributed to the decline of jousting. Although, still to this day, jousting still takes place and can even be seen in places like Dallas, TX at Medieval Times.