Facts: All the King's Men

Video highlights from Knights Of Mayhem

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  • Hastilude is another term for medieval joust, or spear play, a type of game that was no less dangerous than actual war in the Middle Ages.
  • A melee is a type of tournament that medieval knights participated in.
  • The “Dark Ages” refers to a period in European history when there was no Roman or Holy Roman emperor in the West and a time when urban life all but disappeared and there was frequent warfare.
  • According to most experts, the peak of medieval civilization of Western Europe was in the 13th century.
  • The origin of the Renaissance has been traced by many historians to the 12th century, a time in which an economic and cultural revival took place as towns began to prosper and merchant classes grew.
  • Medieval jousting tournaments were condemned by church and state from the earliest days of their existence.
  • By the time the fourteenth century came along, the Church decided to lift it’s ban on jousting as knights would exercise themselves and become better soldiers for the crusades.
  • Secular authorities viewed tournaments, which featured a gathering of men in arms, as a threat to public order and therefore sought to exercise strict control over tournaments in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries.
  • At times medieval tournaments were used to carry out assassinations and/or hatch conspiracies.
  • A jousting knight needs a horse first and foremost, and 15th century records show that suitable horses were often hard to find.
  • Medieval tournaments fall into three categories: the melee, fought between two teams of knights, the field tournament which was short lived and did not extend beyond the thirteenth century, and finally the German Feldturnier which was a variation of tournament held outside of town and not in a city square.
  • Obtaining an opponent's horse when a knight won a tournament was very important as typically prizes were of less value than the price of a horse. Most knights fought for the honor of winning which was more important than financial gain.
  • Historically, knights could be disqualified from a tournament for striking a horse, striking a man with his back turned or striking a man without a weapon.
  • Historically, knights would score the highest in a tournament by unhorsing an opponent or bringing down both a man and his horse.
  • Historically, scoring for tournaments was based largely on if a knight could break his spear on his opponent.

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