What Is Jousting and Who Created It?
Jousting is a martial game or hastilude between two horsemen wielding lances with blunted tips, often as part of a tournament. The primary aim was to replicate a clash of heavy cavalry, with each participant trying hard to strike the opponent while riding towards him at high speed, if possible breaking the lance on the opponent’s shield or jousting armour, or unhorsing him.
The joust became an iconic characteristic of the knight in Romantic medievalism. The participants experience close to three and a quarter times their body weight in G-forces when the lances collide with their armor. The term is derived from Old French joster, ultimately from Latin iuxtare “to approach, to meet”. The word was loaned into Middle English around 1300, when jousting was a very popular sport among the Anglo-Normanknighthood. The synonym tilt dates ca. 1510.
Jousting transformed into a specialised sport during the Late Middle Ages, and remained popular with the nobility in England and Wales and Germany throughout the whole of the 16th century (while in France, it was discontinued after the death of King Henry II in an accident in 1559). In England, jousting was the highlight of the Accession Day tilts of Elizabeth I and James I, and also was part of the festivities at the marriage of Charles I.
Jousting was discontinued in favour of other equestrian sports in the 17th century, although non-contact forms of “equestrian skill-at-arms” disciplines survived. There has been a limited revival of theatrical jousting re-enactment since the 1970s.
The History of jousting started with the emergence of Knights as a fighting force in Europe of the Middle Ages in the 10th century. The history of the tournament and jousting started as a means for knights to practise his horsemanship skills and his prowess with the use of a lance – a weapon used by knights during the Middle Ages. The creation of jousting has been credited to a French man named Godfrey de Preuilly.
The first recorded reference of a tournament was dated in 1066 and refers to Godfrey de Preuilly, who is described as having invented the medieval tournament. In the same year the Normans conquered the English at the Battle of Hastings. The division of English lands amongst the Normans saw the emergence of the medieval feudal system.
The feudal system demanded that everyone owed allegiance to the King and their immediate superior. Every noble was expected to pay for his land by providing the trained knights to fight for the King. The tournaments were entertainments devised by rich nobles to enable knights to practice their combat skills in mock battles or as in jousting in single combat.