Jousting and tournaments

Essay by navypupHigh School, 10th gradeA-, April 2006

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The Middle Ages were a time of heroic deeds and daring battles fought by chivalric knights, but what was a knight to do in a time of peace? The creation of tournaments helped end boredom and also allowed knights to train for the next war. Tournaments, with their varying events, grew very popular not only with the participants, but with spectators as well. How, like any new trend, certain tournaments caused much controversy. This did not cause the end of tournaments though; they continued to be practiced for many years and over a wide area.

"Churches were against tournaments."(Morris, 118). Probably due to the fact that many people were killed in combat of these tournaments. Also because nobles that entered had their valuables taken if they lost, therefore the church might have recognized that as gambling or stealing, in turn at least two commandments of God were broken due to the tournaments.

"Knights wore at least 50 or more lbs. of armor for protection during tournaments"(Morris, 118) This was a necessity due to the wooden 12-foot, brass-tipped pole ramming against their chest. In addition to the rider wearing armor, the jousting rider's horse was also protected by a faceplate. The knights' armor included: a front chest plate, a back plate, a pliable torso protector of aluminum, two full leg protectors, two feet shield, two arm plates, and one helmet.

This armor was also needed for the protection against the opponent swords, if the duel ended in a draw then they would normally fight to the death, tournaments rarely forced knights to use blunt lances.

"The prospective combatants hung their armorial shields on the trees, tents, and pavilions around the arena for inspection to show that they were candidates worthy, by their noble birth, military prowess, and unspotted character, of the...