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Marc Setzer





Joined: 20 Apr 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 02 Jul, 2004 4:28 pm    Post subject: Joust or Tourney between Hastings and Badon Hill         Reply with quote

I'm looking for information on the existence of Tourney jousting between the times of Badon Hill and the Battle of Hastings. I need armour types, helmes and swords. I'l assuming Norman style chainmaile a great helm of some sort but as for blades I haven't the faintest idea. Help?
It is a shameful thing to be weary of inquiry when what we search for is excellent.
--Marcus Tullius Cicero
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David McElrea




Location: Canada
Joined: 26 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 02 Jul, 2004 6:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Marc,

I thought it might help to get the timelines in perspective.

Badon Hill, assuming the veracity of the Arthurian stories, would have taken place in the fifth century A.D-- so in this case you would not be thinking Norman armour with great helms. A safer bet would be Late Roman style cavalry blended with Celtic (or even Germanic) fashion. Think spangen helm rather than great-helm. The swords were most likely of the late-Roman spatha type, with some Germanic migration-era swords thrown in. Armour might be maille or scale.

Hastings, in 1066, certainly saw Norman armour in abundance (as well as Anglo-Saxon). Even there, though, we are talking maille rather than plate, and a conical helm with nasal rather than great-helm (which came later). Swords would have been predominately Oakeshott's "Type X" or "Type Xa"-- single-handed, broad-bladed and effective.

I suspect that there were no tourneys in the sense that you might be thinking of (pagentry and whatnot) in either of these times-- the medieval jousting one sees today (reenactments) represents something quite different. I am certain you would have seen single combat over points of honour or justice, but the tourney of popular imagination developed later, I think...

Hope that helps.

David
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Robert Zamoida




Location: Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
Joined: 06 Oct 2003
Reading list: 3 books

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PostPosted: Fri 02 Jul, 2004 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only "jousting" event I can think of that would have been somewhat contemporary with the Battle of Badon Hill would have been the Roman hippica gymnasia, which was more of a combat exercise/game with pageantry.
Rob Zamoida
"When your life is on the line, you want to make use of all your tools. No warrior should be willing to die with his swords at his sides, without having made use of his tools."
-Miyamoto Mushashi, Gorin no Sho
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Kirk Lee Spencer




Location: Texas
Joined: 24 Oct 2003

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PostPosted: Fri 02 Jul, 2004 9:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oakeshott speaks of the origin of the tournament in the Roman Ludus Troiae (Troy game)... war games between two mounted teams.

He says that it is the blending of this Ludus Troiae and the formalized single combat duels of the Northmen that led to the elaborate tournaments of the High Middle Ages.

Oakeshott implies that these war games were training schools and thus probably used real armour and weapons until the late 13th century when they began to decline into showy pageants with special armour (leather?), whalebone swords and crown tipped lances to lessen the chance of injury.

ks

Two swords
Lit in Edenís flame
One of iron and one of ink
To place within a bloody hand
One of God or one of man
Our souls to one of
Two eternities
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David McElrea




Location: Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 03 Jul, 2004 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Marc (and everyone),

Coincidentally, yesterday I bought "By the Sword" by Richard Cohen. He gives a brief overview of the history of tourneys which is quite helpful.

As Kirk has mentioned there is a possible connection between the tourney and the Roman Ludus Troiae (as well as "honour" fights between individuals. However the tourney as we know it seems to have been invented by a Breton baron called Godefroi de Preuilly (although he may have simply formalized the regulations for such games) in 1054.

Tourneys only really "took off" in the beginning of the twelfth century-- Cohen writes: "Their heyday was 1150 to 1300, although they were still popular in Henry VIII's reign." They were introduced to England during the reign of King Stephen in 1135.

As an aside, the aforementioned book is a worthy read, (although many of us will instinctively react to a few statements regarding the medieval sword and early fencing it is still informative and exceptionally well written).

Cheers,

David
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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Posts: 612

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jul, 2004 5:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David McElrea wrote:
Hi Marc (and everyone),

Coincidentally, yesterday I bought "By the Sword" by Richard Cohen. He gives a brief overview of the history of tourneys which is quite helpful.

As an aside, the aforementioned book is a worthy read, (although many of us will instinctively react to a few statements regarding the medieval sword and early fencing it is still informative and exceptionally well written).

Cheers,

David


I browsed the book last winter and after five minutes, replaced it on the shelf in disgust. Cohen didn't take the time to do any research beyond Victorian resources for much of the first two chapters. Regurgitating outdated information and biased, ill informed supposition is counterproductive to the study of historical fencing. He should have stuck to the material he obviously knows well; modern Olympic style fencing. The book is a waste of money for a student of historical fencing.

As to the original question, I would recommend Juliet Barker's work, "The Tournament in England, 1100-1400". I suspect it was her doctoral thesis mentored by Richard Barker. They later co-authored "Tournaments", a standard reference widely available. I'd have to check but IIRC, the tournament as the "warlike sport" we recognize, evolved in Normandy in the mid eleventh century. There is a quote from a Byzantine source mentioning tournaments as a novelty at the time. If you can't find either of these texts, there might be some information at the Chronique website. http://www.chronique.com/

Gotta dash, house full of visiting family.... Blush

Kel Rekuta
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David McElrea




Location: Canada
Joined: 26 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Sun 04 Jul, 2004 11:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel Rekuta wrote:
Quote:
I browsed the book last winter and after five minutes, replaced it on the shelf in disgust. Cohen didn't take the time to do any research beyond Victorian resources for much of the first two chapters. Regurgitating outdated information and biased, ill informed supposition is counterproductive to the study of historical fencing. He should have stuck to the material he obviously knows well; modern Olympic style fencing. The book is a waste of money for a student of historical fencing.


Hi Kel,

As I said in my previous post:

Quote:
...although many of us will instinctively react to a few statements regarding the medieval sword and early fencing...


He does come with the bias that one would expect from a lover of modern fencing-- thus a few erroneous remarks about the quality of medieval swords and medieval fencing techniques. Nonetheless, again, I think it is a worthwhile read. A quick browse in a bookstore doesn't allow one to get a real sense of what the author has to say about a very broad subject.

Inspite of the errors we would both agree upon, Cohen makes much use of Oakeshott (at least) in the first chapters and, biases aside, provides some interesting insights to the "culture of the sword" througout history.

I appreciate why you may have been put off the book, but I think there is still value in it for the discerning reader. Just my perspective... Happy

Cheers,

David
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