America's Top Jousters
Renaissance Magazine sits down with a panel of some of today's most successful and recognized competitive jousters to discuss the state of the sport and its future among historical reenactors, renfaire enthusiasts, and traditional sports fans.
Origins of the Joust
We reveal how this singular test of valor emerged after being a secondary feature of the tournaments that first appeared in the late eleventh century in the area of Flanders and, over the course of the twelfth century, spread through much of France, the Empire, and Britain.
La Joute Nautique: The Ancient Tradition of Water Jousting
Amazingly, you don't need a horse to joust: a boat might do very well too! Water jousting can be traced as far back as 2700 BCE, as shown in tomb paintings discovered in ancient Egypt. We visit the Mediterranean village of Sete, in southern France, which plays host to the Festival of St. Louis. Competitors use feats of arms to attempt to knock each other off man-powered, wooden boats.
Jousting in Art
The color, the pageantry, the valiant knights! We'll explore how jousting has been depicted in art, from the very first images of knights charging with couched lances in the Baeux Tapestry to the masters of the Renaissance.
Sumptuary laws decreed the clothes, jewelry, food, and even furniture appropriate for each social class, while the Church hemmed in its flock by setting tight moral boundaries. The masses accepted their destiny except during Carnival, a ritual of rebellion in which the world was turned completely upside down.
Wearing a Goat Hair Rug
We visit the ancient town of Milas to learn how a traditional goat hair rug is made.
The Ghost Trail of York
With its web of ancient timbered houses and narrow streets, the city of York, founded by the Romans in 71 CE, may be home to some notorious ghosts!