The tournament was a mock battle, at its height between 1100 and 1300, conducted by two arbitrary battalions over many square miles of open country. It was a one-day event, but when joined to ancillary festivals it could extend it to several days. The centre of the enthusiasm was across north and north-eastern France, where -- in the twelfth century -- thousands of knightsThe tournament was a mock battle, at its height between 1100 and 1300, conducted by two arbitrary battalions over many square miles of open country. It was a one-day event, but when joined to ancillary festivals it could extend it to several days. The centre of the enthusiasm was across north and north-eastern France, where -- in the twelfth century -- thousands of knights assembled from across northern Europe to seek reputation and profit. But the passion for the tournament extended much further. Tournament holding had penetrated England, Germany and Austria by 1200. The tournament resembled in many senses a modern spectator sport, with spectators, chants, national teams, team colours, inflated salaries, transfer fees, celebrity cults and a lifestyle notable for its excesses. The tournament had a wider significance too. It underpinned the idea of aristocracy; a knight and aristocrat could be defined as a man who frequented the tournament....
|Number of Pages||:||240 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
TournamentDavid CrouchRead it in paperback at 235 pages including notes+index.The Tournament started in obscurity. Often held between duchies/counties away from regulations and oppressive monarchy, it eventually rose to be the premier sporting event of the high middle ages. Ranging from a few hundred combatants to thousands, this was mock battle at its finest and an outlet for growing chivalric class known as the knight. Crouch adequately details out all aspects of the Tournament from attendance, infrastructure, the chaos and commerce that accompanied tournaments, rewards, penalties, and unfortunate accidents. He draws extensively from the contemporary biography of William Marshal, the premier knight of his time as well as source material. While detailing out extensively that this volume isn't about jousting, Crouch does show the formulation of the joust and then it's rise to popularity in the 'round table'. So while this isn't specifically about the joust there is a large section devoted to this later style of tournament. Crouch is great at detailing it all out but I noticed that in Tournament he had an inclination to expound on something before actually telling me what the specific term was. This often required me to go back and re-read the previous paragraph to put it all back together. A minor complaint really but it did slow me down. This was most prevalent in detailing out the gear of a tournament attender because the source material isn't as clear as desired (specifically pieces of armor, a brimmed metal hat is called something different than a metal hat without a brim and chain mail has different names depending on length, cut, included coif, etc.) Two additional tid-bits. The accompanying section 'The Documents of the Tournament' is amazing and makes this worth reading on its own. Finally, this doesn't have an appendix for further reading or source material. It's theoretically buried in the included notes section but shame on Hambledon Continuum for not including it in this non-fiction work.
Reading for reseach/writing and it is well writtten, scholarly in content but still very easy to read and understand. Great resource book.
An odd experience - obviously a lot of research has gone into the book and subject-matter is attractively presented, but the discursive style and structure means that key issues remain unaddressed. E.g., if, as is stated up-front, the tournament was a sport of sorts, what then were the rules? How did they change over time? How were they communicated - did one just know, or were specific rules set for specific tournaments? Were the rules used to keep man and beast safe(r), and if so, how, and when? There is a brief mention of blunted weapons in the section about weapons, but those were not introduced until over a century after tournaments became popular, so organisers and participants must have relied on rules to differentiate the tournament from actual war. What were the punishments for breaking the rules?My other bugbear - and here at least Crouch is in excellent company - is that the book promises information on the horse, but the short section "Horses and their Armour" deals exclusively with horse-armour. What kinds of horses were used, where they came from, how they were trained - not a mention. And this after all a book about an equine activity.
I found this examination of the medieval tournament, with a great emphasis on written sources, to be quite stirring! It certainly enhanced my understanding of the development of the knight and of the changing social milieu in the 10th - 13th centuries. However, the 2005 hardback suffers from poor proofing.
David Crouch offers a well researched book about tournaments in the middle ages. Instead of the one on one jousts we see depicted in film, Crouch shows how the tournament changed over time and how impacted many areas of life during this period.
Questionable methodology and awareness of scholarship.