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Charny's Men-at-Arms
Questions Concerning the Joust, Tournament and War

By Steven Muhlberger

Charny's Men-at-Arms
Paperback, 122 pages £20.00
Published: 2014
ISBN: 9781937439057
Format: 254mm x 178mm
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Subjects: Freelance Academy Press, History, Medieval Studies, Military History

The Questions Concerning the Joust, Tournaments, and War is a lost classic work of European chivalry; the only record we have of a dramatic occasion when crucial questions on the nature of war and the proper conduct of the warrior's life were posed to an audience of experts, professional men-at-arms of rank and influence. Written in the mid-14th century by the famed knight, Geoffrey de Charny, most modern scholars, perhaps sensibly, have shied away from even offering much in the way of analysis of the Questions as a whole, leading to a situation where the Questions are hardly known, even to scholars.

But if Charny does not provide definitive answers about the practice of chivalry and the content of the law of arms, the Questions nevertheless do provide us something else of value - a picture of how knights, squires and other professional warriors of standing, conceived of their way of life. Completing the work he began in 2003 Jousts and Tournaments, Steven Muhlberger turns his pen to the final section of Charny's work to reveal what it tells us about how medieval 'men-at-arms' conceived of themselves as a class, at precisely the moment that their world was undergoing a series of sweeping changes that would forever change the profession of arms.



1. Introduction

    Charny's Life and Career

    Reform and the Order of the Star


2. Charny's Questions on Jousts, Tournaments, and War

    Charny: Writer on Chivalry

    Charny and Chivalry

    The Law of Arms, the Laws of War, and Charny's Questions

    Disciplinary Ordinances

    Administrative Ordinances

    Theoretical Treatises on War

    Charny's Questions

    What was the Purpose of Charny's Questions?


3. Charny's Jousters and Tourneyers




4. Charny's Men-at-Arms

    Men-at-Arms and Companions


    The Near-Invisible Mass


5. What Men-at-Arms Worried About


6. Honor and the Lore of Chivalry


7. Omissions and Conclusions

    What Charny Left Out

    Conclusion: The Law of Arms for Men-at-Arms


Introduction to the Translations

Questions Concerning the Joust, Tournaments, and War

    I: Questions on the Joust

    II: Questions on Tournaments

    III: Questions on War

Ordinances of Richard II



    Primary Sources

    Secondary Sources

'...Charny's Men-at-Arms makes an important contribution to the historical study of medieval chivalry, chivalric sports, and warfare. Muhlberger's analysis is succinct and approachable, making it accessible to students, while still providing scholarly rigor and insight to earn the approbation of seasoned historians. Charny's Men-at-Arms will undoubtedly facilitate considerable discussion and future research.' (Peter W. Sposato, The Medieval Review)

Steven Muhlberger is professor of history at Nipissing University in North Bay, Ontario. His research has focused on chivalric culture, specifically the investigation of formal combats (duels, tournaments and jousts) in the later Middle Ages, particularly those of the Hundred Years War.

Publication Details:

 Paperback , 122 pages
 254mm x 178mm

BIC Code:
  HIS010000, HIS037010
 Freelance Academy Press


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