Questions Concerning the Joust, Tournament and War
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.
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
Theoretical Treatises on War
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
'...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.