In my class, Medieval England, I was able to take the time to prepare for my upcoming venture to England, Scotland, and Wales. It was pertinent to understand more about a forgotten time in the world’s history, Medieval England, before going and studying the castles and cathedrals of that day and age. Through a couple texts I was able to understand more about Medieval England but none more than Ian Mortimer’s The Time Traveler’s Guide to Medieval England. In his book I was able to learn about the people, health and hygiene, where to stay, and many others. In this post I hope to shed light on one of the most impactful chapters in the book to me which was “What to Do”.
Coming from a background of not only science but of music, I was highly interested in the chapter that introduced the ideas of some common pass times were with one of these pass times being music. I quickly learned in this chapter that aside from the occasional ringing of bells, the crackling of fire, thunder and the hooves of horses there were very few sounds in England at that time. Because of this the people became very good at distinguishing sounds and gained an insightful ear. From all of the silence that he people were accustom to, it makes perfect sense why people were drawn to music as soon as instruments were created to play. Another important thing to do in Medieval England was to go to the local forms of entertainment and the form of entertainment that I thought was the most interesting was jousting.
For those of you who don’t already know what jousting is, then you’re missing out. Jousting was a form of sport in which men would charge at each other with large tilts atop horses with the goal to knock each other off of the horse. One of the most interesting parts of jousting that I learned was that joisting in tournaments was not always sport, sometimes it was used to settle conflicts just like the Marches of Scotland, the English and the Scots did when they created joust of war.
The joust of war had the main purpose to kill the opponent compared to receiving a reward for winning a tournament. These conflicting entities would challenge one another without wearing any armor in hopes of weakening the others military forces, given that knights were vital parts of any military at the time. Even though there were jousts of war, there were also jousts of peace.
Jousts of peace resemble more of what we may have seen from the movie A Knight’s Tale from 2001. The movie encompasses most of what I was able to read in the sense of the atmosphere and the actual actions that the knights performed. Because of the lack of mortality to the knights, the tournaments were often a very joyous atmosphere. The joust also were a cause for great nationalism were a country could boast about having the best knights around.
More posts to come,