Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia

Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia

Noel Fallows


Boydell Press



Copiously illustrated edition with translation of seminal texts on the joust in medieval Iberia.
Winner of the University of Georgia's Creative Research Medal 2012
Winner of the 2012 La corónica International Book Award
Jousting was for some 500 years the major spectator sport in western Europe. And yet, despite its enormous popularity in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, very little is known about its practicalities. How was the score determined and kept? How and why did jousting armour evolve, how effective was it, and how did it differ from the field armour worn by knights in battle? What constituted technical virtuosity in the lists? And why did jousting die out?
This book uses previously untapped Iberian source material to provide answers to such questions. It focuses on three jousting manuals, written by practising champions at the time: Ponç de Menaguerra's Lo Cavaller (`The Knight', 1493); Juan Quijada de Reayo's Doctrina del arte de la cavalleria (`Doctrine of the Art of Chivalry', 1548); and Luis Zapata's Del Justador (`On the Jouster', c.1589-93). As well as editions, with the first English translation, of these important texts, it includes introductions and an analytical study; there are also chapters on the arms and armour of the joust. Nearly 200 colour and black-and-white illustrations, many never previously published, illuminate the sometimes complex technical terminology of these authors, and provide further evidence of how weapons and armour were actually used.

Noel Fallows is Professor of Spanish and Associate Dean, University of Georgia.


January 2011
102 colour, 71 black and white, 4 line illustrations
574 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
Armour and Weapons
ISBN: 9781843835943
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
BISAC HIS037010, HIS045000
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Table of Contents

The Three Jousters
Arms and Armour of the Joust I: The Fifteenth Century
Arms and Armour of the Joust II: The Sixteenth Century
The Quest for 'The Good Thrust'
Keeping the Score
War: A Brief Excursus
From Sport to Spectacle: Jousts, Cane Games, Tauromachy
Texts and Translations: Introduction
Lo Cavaller
Doctrina del arte de la cavallería
Del Justador
El Passo Honroso de Suero de Quiñones
Tractado de la cavallería de la gineta
Glossaries of Technical Terms


Truly a pièce de résistance [and] truly a pleasure to read. SIXTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL

This book gives you a detailed analysis of its subject rather than a narrative history. It offers a wealth of detail, clearly and logically presented and amply illustrated. The illustrations are of the standard of a text on history of art subjects. [...] If you have any interest in the development and motivation of the medieval knight or any appreciation of the craftsmanship and artistry of the armourer you will find much here to fascinate and admire. HOBILAR

Professor Fallows' thorough investigation of his chosen subject has succeeded in producing what may be the single best book on jousting. [...] It is obvious that academic historians of chivalry and chivalric sport will find this a work of unique value, and obvious, too, how modern-day jousters, especially the more serious re-enactors among them, will enjoy and use it. DE RE MILITARI

This book is a huge addition to the study of jousting and tourneying and has opened a wealth of information [...] for modern research. [...] One of the most detailed works on jousting ever written. MEDIEVAL WARFARE

[This] groundbreaking new book is an essential addition to the library of anyone in the study of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century armor [...] and the relationship of tournaments to the practice of chivalry. [...] An authoritative, accessible and immensely useful book. MAN AT ARMS

In this handsomely-produced and beautifully-illustrated book, Noel Fallows offers, for the benefit of scholars and general readers alike, four engaging, valuable, and interrelated contributions to our understanding of jousting in late medieval and early modern Spain. [...] Technical at times, highly engaging at most other times, this is a book that does many different things, and it does all of them well. [...] A super book. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

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