Jousting
Overview
 
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude
Hastilude
Hastilude is a generic term used in the Middle Ages to refer to many kinds of martial games. The word comes from the Latin hastiludium, literally "lance game"'...

between two knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

s mounted on horses and using lance
Lance
A Lance is a pole weapon or spear designed to be used by a mounted warrior. The lance is longer, stout and heavier than an infantry spear, and unsuited for throwing, or for rapid thrusting. Lances did not have tips designed to intentionally break off or bend, unlike many throwing weapons of the...

s, often as part of a tournament
Tournament (medieval)
A tournament, or tourney is the name popularly given to chivalrous competitions or mock fights of the Middle Ages and Renaissance . It is one of various types of hastiludes....

.

Jousting emerged in the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

 based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry
Heavy cavalry
Heavy cavalry is a class of cavalry whose primary role was to engage in direct combat with enemy forces . Although their equipment differed greatly depending on the region and historical period, they were generally mounted on large powerful horses, and were often equipped with some form of scale,...

. The first camels tournament was staged in 1066, but jousting itself did not gain in widespread popularity until the 12th century. It transformed into a specialized sport during the Late Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

, and remained popular with the nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

 both in England
Tudor period
The Tudor period usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, specifically in relation to the history of England. This coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII...

 and Germany throughout the 16th century (while in France, it was discontinued after the death of king Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

 in an accident in 1559).
Encyclopedia
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude
Hastilude
Hastilude is a generic term used in the Middle Ages to refer to many kinds of martial games. The word comes from the Latin hastiludium, literally "lance game"'...

between two knight
Knight
A knight was a member of a class of lower nobility in the High Middle Ages.By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior....

s mounted on horses and using lance
Lance
A Lance is a pole weapon or spear designed to be used by a mounted warrior. The lance is longer, stout and heavier than an infantry spear, and unsuited for throwing, or for rapid thrusting. Lances did not have tips designed to intentionally break off or bend, unlike many throwing weapons of the...

s, often as part of a tournament
Tournament (medieval)
A tournament, or tourney is the name popularly given to chivalrous competitions or mock fights of the Middle Ages and Renaissance . It is one of various types of hastiludes....

.

Jousting emerged in the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

 based on the military use of the lance by heavy cavalry
Heavy cavalry
Heavy cavalry is a class of cavalry whose primary role was to engage in direct combat with enemy forces . Although their equipment differed greatly depending on the region and historical period, they were generally mounted on large powerful horses, and were often equipped with some form of scale,...

. The first camels tournament was staged in 1066, but jousting itself did not gain in widespread popularity until the 12th century. It transformed into a specialized sport during the Late Middle Ages
Late Middle Ages
The Late Middle Ages was the period of European history generally comprising the 14th to the 16th century . The Late Middle Ages followed the High Middle Ages and preceded the onset of the early modern era ....

, and remained popular with the nobility
Nobility
Nobility is a social class which possesses more acknowledged privileges or eminence than members of most other classes in a society, membership therein typically being hereditary. The privileges associated with nobility may constitute substantial advantages over or relative to non-nobles, or may be...

 both in England
Tudor period
The Tudor period usually refers to the period between 1485 and 1603, specifically in relation to the history of England. This coincides with the rule of the Tudor dynasty in England whose first monarch was Henry VII...

 and Germany throughout the 16th century (while in France, it was discontinued after the death of king Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

 in an accident in 1559). In England, jousting was the highlight of the Accession Day tilt
Accession Day tilt
The Accession Day tilts were a series of elaborate festivities held annually at the court of Elizabeth I of England to celebrate her Accession Day, 17 November, also known as Queen's Day...

s of Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

 and James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

, and also was part of the festivities at the marriage of Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...


Medieval joust

The medieval joust has its origins in the military tactics of heavy cavalry
Heavy cavalry
Heavy cavalry is a class of cavalry whose primary role was to engage in direct combat with enemy forces . Although their equipment differed greatly depending on the region and historical period, they were generally mounted on large powerful horses, and were often equipped with some form of scale,...

 during the High Middle Ages
High Middle Ages
The High Middle Ages was the period of European history around the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries . The High Middle Ages were preceded by the Early Middle Ages and followed by the Late Middle Ages, which by convention end around 1500....

. These became obsolete during the 14th century, and since the 15th century, jousting had become a sport
Sport
A Sport is all forms of physical activity which, through casual or organised participation, aim to use, maintain or improve physical fitness and provide entertainment to participants. Sport may be competitive, where a winner or winners can be identified by objective means, and may require a degree...

 (hastilude
Hastilude
Hastilude is a generic term used in the Middle Ages to refer to many kinds of martial games. The word comes from the Latin hastiludium, literally "lance game"'...

) without direct relevance to warfare.
The primary purpose of the jousting lance
Lance
A Lance is a pole weapon or spear designed to be used by a mounted warrior. The lance is longer, stout and heavier than an infantry spear, and unsuited for throwing, or for rapid thrusting. Lances did not have tips designed to intentionally break off or bend, unlike many throwing weapons of the...

 is to unhorse the other by striking them with the end of the lance while riding towards them at high speed. This is known as "tilting". Other weapons were also used for jousting.

During the period of the 12th to 14th centuries when medieval jousting was still practiced in connection to the use of the lance in warfare, armour evolved from being chain mail
Chain Mail
"Chain Mail" is a single by Mancunian band James, released in March 1986 by Sire Records, the first after the band defected from Factory Records. The record was released in two different versions, as 7" single and 12" EP, with different artworks by John Carroll and, confusingly, under different...

 (called simply mail at the time), with a solid, heavy helmet, called a "great helm
Great helm
The great helm or heaume, also called pot helm, bucket helm and barrel helm, of the High Middle Ages arose in the late twelfth century in the context of the crusades and remained in use until the fourteenth century...

", and shield. By 1400 knights wore full suits of plate armour
Plate armour
Plate armour is a historical type of personal armour made from iron or steel plates.While there are early predecessors such the Roman-era lorica segmentata, full plate armour developed in Europe during the Late Middle Ages, especially in the context of the Hundred Years' War, from the coat of...

, called a "harness".

The lists, or list field, is the arena where a jousting event was held. More precisely, it is the roped-off enclosure where tournament fighting takes place. In the late medieval period, castles and palaces were augmented by purpose-built tiltyard
Tiltyard
A tiltyard was an enclosed courtyard for jousting . Tiltyards were a common feature of late medieval castles and palaces...

s
as a venue for "jousting tournaments".

Froissart's Chronicles

The Chronicles of Froissart
Froissart's Chronicles
Froissart's Chronicles was written in French by Jean Froissart. It covers the years 1322 until 1400 and describes the conditions that created the Hundred Years' War and the first fifty years of the conflict...

, written in the 1390s, contain many details concerning jousting in medieval times. For example, much can be gleaned from its account of a war put on hold for a joust as it illustrates and documents:
  • the connection between romance and jousting
  • the importance associated with jousting
  • the nonlethal expectations
  • the use of attendants
  • the rounds consisting of three encounters with various weapons
  • jousting being stopped when the risk of death seemed too great
  • the financial rewards of acquitting yourself well
  • tournaments contained jousts but jousts were also done outside of tournaments
  • jousts contained tilts but tilts were but one type of armed encounter during a joust
  • jousting as sport and not war was done between enemies during a war between warring sides, at least this once
  • the completion of a joust could be delayed days and finished later
  • standards of conduct considered honorable
  • knights on horseback galloping towards each other somewhat like gladiators


The Chronicles of Froissart
Froissart's Chronicles
Froissart's Chronicles was written in French by Jean Froissart. It covers the years 1322 until 1400 and describes the conditions that created the Hundred Years' War and the first fifty years of the conflict...

records that, during a campaign in the Gatinois and the Beauce in France during the Hundred Years War between the English and French, a squire from Beauce named Gauvain Micaille yelled out to the English, "Is there among you any gentleman who for the love of his lady is willing to try with me some feat of arms? If there should be any such, here I am, quite ready to sally forth completely armed and mounted, to tilt three courses with the lance, to give three blows with the battle axe, and three strokes with the dagger. Now look, you English, if there be none among you in love." This is what Froissart says happened next:

Renaissance-era joust

Specialized jousting armour was produced in the late 15th to 16th century. It was heavier than suits of plate armour
Plate armour
Plate armour is a historical type of personal armour made from iron or steel plates.While there are early predecessors such the Roman-era lorica segmentata, full plate armour developed in Europe during the Late Middle Ages, especially in the context of the Hundred Years' War, from the coat of...

 intended for combat, and could weigh as much as 50 kg (100 pounds); as it did not need to permit free movement of the wearer, the only limiting factor was the maximum weight that could be carried by a warhorse of the period.

During the 1490s, emperor Maximilian I
Maximilian I
Maximilian I may refer to:*Maximilian I of Mexico, reigned 1864–1867*Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, reigned 1508–1519*Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria, reigned 1597–1651...

 invested a lot of effort into perfecting the sport, for which he received his nickname of "The Last Knight".
Rennen and Stechen were two sportive forms of the joust developed during the 15th century and practiced throughout the 16th century. The armours used for these two respective styles of the joust was known as Rennzeug and Stechzeug, respectively.
The Stechzeug in particular developed into extremely heavy armour which completely inhibited the movement of the rider, in its latest forms resembling an armour-shaped cabin integrated into the horse armour more than a functional suit of armour.
Such forms of sportive equipment during the final phase of the joust in 16th-century Germany gave rise to modern misconceptions about the heaviness or clumsiness of "medieval armour", as notably popularized by Mark Twain
Mark Twain
Samuel Langhorne Clemens , better known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American author and humorist...

's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court is an 1889 novel by American humorist and writer Mark Twain. The book was originally titled A Yankee in King Arthur's Court...

.
The extremely heavy helmets of the Stechzeug are explained by the fact that the aim was to detach the crest
Crest (heraldry)
A crest is a component of an heraldic display, so called because it stands on top of a helmet, as the crest of a jay stands on the bird's head....

 of the opponent's helmet, resulting in frequent full impact of the lance to the helmet.

By contrast the Rennen was type of joust with lighter contact. Here, the aim was to hit the opponent's shield.
The specialized Rennzeug was developed on the request of Maximilian, who desired a return to a more agile form of joust compared to the heavily armoured "full contact" Stechen. In the Rennzeug, the shield was attached to the armour with a mechanism of springs and would detach itself upon contact.

In France, the 1559 death of King Henry II
Henry II of France
Henry II was King of France from 31 March 1547 until his death in 1559.-Early years:Henry was born in the royal Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, the son of Francis I and Claude, Duchess of Brittany .His father was captured at the Battle of Pavia in 1525 by his sworn enemy,...

 of wounds suffered in a tournament led to the end of jousting as a sport.

Horses

The two most common kinds of horse used for jousting were warmblood
Warmblood
Warmbloods are a group of middle-weight horse types and breeds, primarily originating in Europe, registered with organizations that are characterized by open studbook policy, studbook selection, and the aim of breeding for equestrian sport...

 chargers and coldblood destrier
Destrier
The destrier is the best-known war horse of the medieval era. It carried knights in battles, tournaments, and jousts. It was described by contemporary sources as the Great Horse, due to its size and reputation....

s
. Chargers were medium-weight horses bred and trained for agility and stamina, while destriers were heavy war horses. These were larger and slower, but helpful to give devastating force to the rider's lance through its weight being about twice as great as that of a traditional riding horse. The horses were trained for ambling
Ambling
The term amble or ambling is used to describe a number of four-beat intermediate gaits of horses. All are faster than a walk but usually slower than a canter or gallop...

, a kind of pace that provided the rider with stability in order to be able to focus and aim better with the lance.

During a jousting tournament, the horses were cared for by their groom
Groom (horses)
A groom is a person who is responsible for some or all aspects of the management of horses and/or the care of the stables themselves. The term most often refers to a person who is the employee of a stable owner, but even an owner of a horse may perform the duties of a groom, particularly if the...

s in their respective tents. They wore caparison
Caparison
A caparison is a covering, or cloth, laid over a horse or other animal, especially a pack animal, or horse of state. In modern times, it is used mainly for decoration in parades and for historical reenactments. A similar term is horse-trapper....

s, a type of ornamental cloth featuring the owner's heraldic signs
Heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

. Competing horses had their heads protected by a chanfron, an iron shield for protection from otherwise lethal lance hits.

Other forms of equipment on the horse included long-necked spur
Spur
A spur is a metal tool designed to be worn in pairs on the heels of riding boots for the purpose of directing a horse to move forward or laterally while riding. It is usually used to refine the riding aids and to back up the natural aids . The spur is used in every equestrian discipline...

s which enabled the rider to control the horse with extended legs, a saddle with a high back to provide leverage during the charge or when hit, as well as stirrup
Stirrup
A stirrup is a light frame or ring that holds the foot of a rider, attached to the saddle by a strap, often called a stirrup leather. Stirrups are usually paired and are used to aid in mounting and as a support while using a riding animal...

s for the necessary leverage to deliver blows with the lance.

Decline in the 17th century

In the early 17th century, the joust was replaced as the equine highlight of court festivities by large "horse-ballet" displays called carousel
Carousel
A carousel , or merry-go-round, is an amusement ride consisting of a rotating circular platform with seats for riders...

s, although non-combat competitions such as the ring-tilt lasted until the 18th century.

Modern revivals

Jousting reenactment has been practiced since the 1970s.
In 1962, "jousting" was named the official sport of the state of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

; this was the first official sport of any US state. Ring jousting tournaments are held annually.
An early jousting show is recorded for 1972, at the Principality of Gwrych in North Wales
North Wales
North Wales is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales. It is bordered to the south by the counties of Ceredigion and Powys in Mid Wales and to the east by the counties of Shropshire in the West Midlands and Cheshire in North West England...

 near Abergele
Abergele
Abergele is a community and old Roman trading town, situated on the north coast of Wales between the holiday resorts of Colwyn Bay and Rhyl, in Conwy County Borough. Its northern suburb of Pensarn lies on the Irish Sea coast and is known for its beach, where it is claimed by some that a ghost ship...

.
The Company of Knights Limited, founded in early 1974 undertook jousting shows ranging from as few as five or six participants to as many as fifty actors.
The Hanlon-Lees Action Theater
Hanlon-Lees Action Theater
Hanlon-Lees Action Theater is an American entertainment company credited with the development of theatrical jousting. The company was formed in 1979 by partners Kent Shelton, Robin Wood, Richard "Dikki" Ellis, R. Vincent Park, Taso N...

 is credited with developing the theatrical joust format in 1979.
Between 1980 and 1982 a major effort was made in the design of the Little England
Little England
Little England may refer to:*"Little England", a term for a non-imperial England or United Kingdom as advocated by the Little Englander movement*Little England beyond Wales, an area of southwest Wales where English language and culture prevail...

 theme Park in Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

 to construct a major and unique jousting stadium. Although the first phase of the project was constructed high interest rates cancelled the project. However the sport was taken up by a dinner dining company called Mediaeval Times, and flourishes today (2010).

Tent pegging
Tent pegging
Tent pegging is a cavalry sport of ancient origin, and is one of only ten equestrian disciplines officially recognised by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports. Used narrowly, the term refers to a specific mounted game with ground targets...

 is the only form of jousting officially recognized by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports
International Federation for Equestrian Sports
The Fédération Équestre Internationale or in English, the International Federation for Equestrian Sports, is the international governing body of equestrian sports. It recognizes ten international disciplines...

 today.
Several international organisations, such as the Society for Creative Anachronism
Society for Creative Anachronism
The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international living history group with the aim of studying and recreating mainly Medieval European cultures and their histories before the 17th century...

 and the International Jousting Association, promote rules to govern their jousting events.

In Port Republic, Maryland
Port Republic, Maryland
Port Republic is a small, rural community located inCalvert County, Maryland. It is approximately5 miles south of Prince Frederick, Maryland, the countyseat of Calvert County...

 the annual Calvert County Jousting Tournament is held every August on the grounds of historic Christ Episcopal Church. In 2005, the tournament was featured in an edition of ESPN
ESPN
Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, commonly known as ESPN, is an American global cable television network focusing on sports-related programming including live and pre-taped event telecasts, sports talk shows, and other original programming....

's SportsCenter
SportsCenter
SportsCenter is a daily sports news television show, and the flagship program of American cable network ESPN since the network launched on September 7, 1979. Originally broadcast only daily, SportsCenter is now shown up to twelve times a day, replaying the day's scores and highlights from major...

 and included an intermission performance by Bob Hemberger and The Door Shakers.

See also

  • Accession Day tilt
    Accession Day tilt
    The Accession Day tilts were a series of elaborate festivities held annually at the court of Elizabeth I of England to celebrate her Accession Day, 17 November, also known as Queen's Day...

  • Bem cavalgar
    Bem cavalgar
    Bem cavalgar, fully Livro da ensinança de bem cavalgar toda sela , is a book written by Edward of Portugal, left incomplete as Edward died of a plague in 1438. It is one of the oldest remaining manuals of medieval horsemanship and jousting...

  • Water jousting
  • Tent pegging
    Tent pegging
    Tent pegging is a cavalry sport of ancient origin, and is one of only ten equestrian disciplines officially recognised by the International Federation for Equestrian Sports. Used narrowly, the term refers to a specific mounted game with ground targets...

  • Tournament (medieval)
    Tournament (medieval)
    A tournament, or tourney is the name popularly given to chivalrous competitions or mock fights of the Middle Ages and Renaissance . It is one of various types of hastiludes....


Further reading

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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