Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Sports & Games - Archery & Women - Hunting in Game Preserves & Fighting Enemies

Diana and maidens hunting - The Book of the Queen by Christine de Pizan from France 1410

Archery - Female Hunters and Warriors

Medieval European sources mention a surprising number of womem warriors and depict female hunting archers during the 10C-14C, more than sources from earlier or later eras do. The weapons used for hunting would mostly be the same as those used for war: bow, crossbow, lance or spear, knife and sword. Bows were the most commonly used weapon. Although the crossbow was introduced around the time of the First Crusade (1100), it was not generally used for hunting until the 2nd half of the 15th century. 


 Hunting The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York Woman using Crossbow

During Medieval times, local lords strove to maintain and monopolize the reserves and the taking of big game in forest reserves, and small game in warrens. They were most successful in England after the Norman Conquest, and in Gascony from the 12th century. These were large sanctuaries of woodland — the royal forest—where populations of game animals were kept and watched over by gamekeepers. The peasantry could not hunt in these gameparks, poaching being subject to severe punishment: the injustice of such "emparked" preserves was a common cause of complaint in vernacular literature. The lower classes mostly had to content themselves with snaring birds and smaller game outside of forest reserves and gameparks.


Hunting Women in the middle is shooting with a bow and arrow, the lady on the left is using a rod to drive game toward the huntress.

By the 16th century, areas of land reserved for breeding and hunting of game were of three kinds, according to their degree of enclosure and being subject to Forest Laws: Forests, large unenclosed areas of wilderness; Chases, which normally belonged to nobles, rather than the crown; and Game Parks, which were enclosed, and not subject to Forest Laws.


Hunting Taymouth Hours, British Library, 1325-40.

Art and literature from the period tell of female warriors. The margins of manuscripts were decorated with images of armed women, sometimes jousting. A group of narratives from 13C France called Li Tournoiement as dames (“The Ladies’ Tournament”) describes an imagined tournament among highly skilled female combatants. In the 13C, two Italian scholars named Ptolemy of Luca and Giles of Rome both considered the question, and in accordance with the scholastic method they both considered the case for and against warrior women. It was believed women’s physical and psychological health would improve if they practiced the military arts, and there were literary precedents such as the Amazons of Greek myth.


Hunting Diana and her maidens hunt a stag, The Epistle of Othea (KB 74 G 27, fol. 59r), 1450-1475

Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great, in the early 10C commanded troops against Scandinavian forces that had conquered part of England. Matilda of Tuscany defended the papacy nearly 200 years later. Matilda, the daughter and legitimate heir of Henry I of England, led troops against the usurping King Stephen during the 12C. Dame Nicola de la Haye was Sheriff of Lincoln, and led during the siege of that city in 1217. Countess Blanche of Champagne fought a long campaign to defend her son’s interests around the same time. The widow of Arnoul II of Guînes fought against her son to defend her widow’s portion. The women noted belong to royal or noble families, since medieval writers rarely concerned themselves with common people. There are a few examples, however, of what seem to be female, non-noble soldiers. Countess Richilde of Hainaut’s brother-in-law captured her in the battle of Cassel in 1071. 
 Hunting Yates Thompson 13 f. 79; The Hague, MMW, 10 B 23. Petrus Comestor, Bible historial (translation from the Latin by Guyars des Moulins)

The Crusades brought a few women into battle. The church presented the war in the East as a kind of pilgrimage, traditionally open to women. When the First Crusade began in the late 11C, women could come along to the Holy Land, if they had a male's permission and a male escort. They weren’t supposed to do any fighting, but the possibility was there. About a hundred years later, when Pope Innocent III wanted to optimize the chances of victory in the East, he increased this possibility — if wealthy women wanted to equip knights, they could. They didn’t have to lead the knights to Jerusalem, of course, but in his letter Quod super his from the year 1200, the Pope gave women that option. Imad ad-Din’s report also tells of a female archer in a green mantle who wounded many of his Muslims at Acre. Archaeological excavations at Caesarea, once an important crusader city, have uncovered a female skeleton in armor. When Charles VI of France marched into Flanders in 1382, the Flemings had a woman carrying their banner. She died in the following battle.
Hunting near Hartenfels Castle, Lucas Cranach the Elder - detail

Few written sources exist on the Vikings and their world, but excavations have revealed women buried with weapons. Also, a few sources claim there were female Viking warriors. Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus names one called Lathgertha and one called Rusila, who may or may not be identical to the Inghen the Red whom Irish sources identify as a female Viking leader.
 Hunting Yates Thompson 13 f. 79; Taymouth Hours, England 1325 -40;  also The Hague, MMW, 10 B 23. Petrus Comestor, Bible historial (translation from the Latin by Guyars des Moulins)

Female Warriors with and without bows


 Giovanni Boccaccio, Zenobia hunting, De mulieribus claris (BNF Fr. 598, fol. 148), beginning of the 15C

5C
451: Saint Genevieve is credited with averting Attila from Paris by rallying the people in prayer.
Hunting Arthur and Guinevere hunt a boar, Lancelot du Lac (BNF Fr. 122, fol. 65v), 1344

6C
6C: A Saxon woman is buried with a knife and a shield in Lincolnshire, England.
6C: Lady Xian personally leads her army in China.
589: The royal nun Basina, daughter of Chilperic I, and Clotilda rebel and take power in the city of Poitiers by the use of an army of criminals.
De Mulieribus Claris Manuscript miniatures bnf français 598 de mulieribus claris

7C
7C: Life of Mo Chua of Balla. The account of his life describe him as converting two violent "Amazons" named Bee and Lithben.
617-18: Princess Pingyang of China helps overthrow the Sui Dynasty by organizing an "Army of the Lady".
624: Battle of Badr. Qurayshi Arab priestess Hind al-Hunnud leads her people against Muhammad in the fight. Her father, uncle, and brother are killed. Rufaida Al-Aslamia, the first Muslim nurse, attends to the wounded.
625: Hind al-Hunnud is among fifteen women accompanying troops in a battle near Medina, singing songs to inspire warriors. She exults over the body of the man who killed her father, chews his liver, and makes jewelry from his skin and nails.
625: Nusaybah bint Ka'ab fights in the Battle of Uhud on behalf of Muhammad after converting to Islam. Hammanah bint Jahsh also participated in the Battle of Uhud and provided water to the needy, and treated the wounded and injured. Rumaysa bint Milhan entered the battle carrying a dagger in the folds of her dress, and tended to the wounded. She also made attempts to defend Muhammad when the tide of the battle turned against him.
627: Rumaysa bint Milhan participates in the Battle of the Trench carrying a dagger in her robes. When Muhammad asked her what she was doing with it, she informed him that she planned to use it to fight deserters.
630s Ghazala al-Haruriyya lead troops in battle.
630s: Khawlah bint al-Azwar participate actively in combat during the Battle of Adnajin dressed as a man.along with several other women, takes command of the Rashidun army at the Battle of Yarmouk against the Roman Byzantine Empire. She was nearly beaten by a Byzantine Greek when one of her female companions, Wafayra, beheaded her opponent with one blow. This act rallied the Arabs and they defeated the Greeks.
632: Prophetess Sajah, a contemporary of Muhammad, led an army of 4,000 against Medina after his death, but called off the attack when she learned of the defeat of Tulayha.
634: Umm Hakim single-handedly disposed of seven Byzantine soldiers with a tent pole during the Battle of Marj al-Saffar.
653: Chen Shuozhen leads a peasant rebellion in China, declaring herself empress regnant of China.
656: Aisha, widow of Muhammad, leads troops at the Battle of the Camel. She is defeated.
690s: Dihya or Kahina, leads Berber resistance against the Muslim conquest of the Maghreb.
 BL Royal 16 G V f.117v - Zenobia hunting, and with her army, and a warrior kneeling before her. [De claris mulieribus in an anonymous French translation (Le livre de femmes nobles et renomées) - G. Boccaccio - 1440]

8C
8C to 11C (Viking Age): Sagas and historical records tell of Viking shieldmaidens like Lagertha participating in battles and raids, such as Veborg in the Battle of Brávellir in 750.
722: Queen Æthelburg of Wessex destroys the town of Taunton.
730: A Khazar noblewoman named Parsbit commands an army against Armenia.
769: Gülnar Hatun, a traditional Turkish heroine, is killed fighting the Abbasids.
Boccaccio's Famous Women, 15th Century. Penthesilea, Amazon Queen, shown in armour. Furious Penthesilea leads a battleline of Amazons with crescent shields.

9C
811: After suffering great losses, Khan Krum mobilizes the women of the Bulgars, who then take part in the Battle of Pliska.
880: Ermengard of Italy conducts the defense of Vienne until forced to surrender in September 882.
Hunting Taymouth Hours, British Library, 1325-40;  Yates Thompson 13 f. 79;  and The Hague, MMW, 10 B 23. Petrus Comestor, Bible historial (translation from the Latin by Guyars des Moulins)

10C
10C: According to tradition, Saint Theodora of Vasta, in Arcadia of Peloponnesus, joined the army of Byzantine Empire in her father's stead dressed as a man, to spare her father from conscription, and had no brother who could take his place: when refusing to marry a woman who claimed to have been made pregnant by her, she is executed, resulting in the discovery of the biological gender of her corpse, and her status as a saint for the sacrifice she made for her father.
912–22: Reign of Æthelflæd, queen of Mercia. She commanded armies, fortified towns, and defeated the Danes. She also defeated the Welsh and forced them to pay tribute to her.
971: Sviatoslav I of Kiev attacked the Byzantine Empire in Bulgaria in 971. When the Varangians were defeated in the siege of Dorostolon, the victors were stunned to discover shieldmaidens among the fallen warriors.
975: Adelaide-Blanche of Anjou, acting for her sons Guy and Bertrand, led an army to aid Guy (a.k.a. Guido II), Count-Bishop of le Puy, in establishing the "Peace of God" in le Puy.
975: Elvira Ramírez and her nephew leads the Leonese army in the Siege of Moorish Gormaz.
986: The Khitan Dowager Regent Empress Xiao Yanyan of the Khitan Liao state, regnal title Chengtian, assumes power at age 30 in 982. In 986, personally led her own army against the Song dynasty and defeated them in battle, fighting the retreating Chinese army. She then ordered the castration of around 100 ethnic Han Chinese boys she had captured in China, supplementing the Khitan's supply of eunuchs to serve at her court, among them was the eunuch Wang Ji'en. The boys were all under ten years old and were selected for their good looks. The History of Liao described and praised Empress Chengtian's capture and mass castration of Chinese boys in a biography on the Chinese eunuch Wang Ji'en.
Late 10C: Gudit rebels against the Kingdom of Aksum in Ethiopia.
Illustration from a manuscript of Des Cleres et Nobles Femmes (Boccaccio) made in central France in the first quarter of the 15th century (British Library Royal 20 C V)

11C
Early 11C: Freydís Eiríksdóttir, a Viking woman, sails to Vinland with Þorfinnr "Karlsefni" Þórðarson. When she faced hostile natives while pregnant, she exposed her breasts and beat her chest with a sword. This caused the natives to run away.
1016: Adela of Hamaland defend the fortress Uplade in the Netherlands in the absence of her spouse, and fills out the ranks of her defense force with women dressed as soldiers.
1047: Akkadevi, an Indian princess, besieges the fort of Gokage.
1050: Norwegian noblewoman Bergljot Håkonsdatter raise an army to kill the king for murdering her spouse and son: she takes the king's estate, but by then the king had manage to escape her.
1058–86: Sikelgaita of Salerno, second wife of Robert Guiscard, Duke of Apulia, accompanies her husband on military campaigns, and regularly puts on full armor and rides into battle at his side.
1071: Richilde, Countess of Hainaut is captured fighting in the Battle of Cassel.
1072: Urraca of Zamora, Infanta of the Kingdom of Castile, defends the city of Zamora against her brother, Sancho.
1075: Emma de Guader, Countess of Norfolk defends Norwich castle while it is under siege.
1087: Matilda of Tuscany personally leads a military expedition to Rome in an attempt to install Pope Victor, but the strength of the imperial counterattack soon convinced the pope to retire from the city.
1090: Norman woman Isabel of Conches rides armed as a knight.
1097: Florine of Burgundy participates in the first crusade with her spouse, and fell participating in actual combat by his side while their army was attacked and destroyed in Anatolia.
Mithridates VI and Hypiscratea (fol. 91v), from Le livre de femmes nobles et renomées (British Library 16 G V), produced in Rouen c. 1440

12C
1101: Ida of Formbach-Ratelnberg leads her own army in the Crusade of 1101.
1116: Theresa, Countess of Portugal successfully defends Coimbra against the Moors and is given the title Queen in recognition by the pope.
1121: Urraca of León fights her half-sister, Theresa, Countess of Portugal when she refuses to surrender the city of Tui, Pontevedra.
1130: Female Chinese general Liang Hongyu, wife of general Han Shizhong of the Song Dynasty, blocks the advance of the Jin army with her husband. Her drumming invigorated the Song army and rallied them to defeat the Jin.
1136: Welsh princess Gwenllian ferch Gruffydd leads an army against the Normans. She is defeated and killed.
1141: Matilda of Boulogne raises an army to continue the fight for the crown of England, after her husband, King Stephen is captured by the Empress Matilda.
1145: Eleanor of Aquitaine accompanies her husband on the Second Crusade.
1148: Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem actively participates in military strategy planning as the head of her troops in the Council in Acre during the Second Crusade.
1150: The Swedish nobleman Jon Jarl are killed by Baltic pirates who attacks his estate Askenös after his return from the First Swedish Crusade, after which his widow, the Lady of Askanäs (her name is not preserved), flee to Hundhammar, gather an army and return to kill the murderers of her spouse.
1170-76: Aoife MacMurrough conducts battles in Ireland on behalf of her consort Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke and is sometimes known as "Red Eva". 
1172: Alrude Countess of Bertinoro ends a siege of Ancona by leading an army into battle and crushing imperial troops.
1179: Elizabeth of Hungary, Duchess of Bohemia successfully defends Prague toward her brother-in-law Sobeslav II as regent during the absence of her spouse. She appeared herself on the battle field with clerical signs on her banner.
1180–85: Female Japanese warrior Tomoe Gozen fights in the Genpei War alongside men.
1182-99: Hōjō Masako rides with her spouse Minamoto no Yoritomo on his campaigns and was never defeated in battle.
1184: Elizabeth of Hungary, Duchess of Bohemia, for the second time, successfully defends Prague toward her brother-in-law Sobeslav II as regent during the absence of her spouse.
September 1187: Sibylla, Queen of Jerusalem, personally leads the defense of the city of Jerusalem during the siege of Saladin.
1189: Elizabeth of Hungary, Duchess of Bohemia defends Prague toward Conrad II of Bohemia but is forced to surrender and turn over the city.
1191-1217: Nicola de la Haye defended loyalist interests against rebel barons in Lincoln, England.
1198: Maud de Braose defends Plainscastle against Welsh attack.
1199: Countess Joan of Toulouse sieges Les Cassés.
Late 12C: Umadevi, consort of King Veera Ballala II, commanded Mysore armies against the rival Chalukyas on at least two occasions, allowing Bellala to concentrate on administrative matters and thus significantly contributing to the Hoysalas’ conquest of the Chalkyua at Kalyani (near present-day Bidar).
MAthildedeTosdcane

13C
1201: Japanese woman Hangaku Gozen defends a fort as an archer until she is killed by an arrow.
1221: A daughter of Genghis Khan, Khagan of the Mongol Empire, massacred the residents of Nishapur to avenge the death of her husband who was killed in action.
1230: The regent of France, Blanche of Castile, organized and personally lead the French army to subdue a rebel in Brittany.
1236-39: Reign of Razia Sultana, She led her troops in battle.
1236-94: Female warriors attended the campaigns of the Mongols.
1258: Doquz Khatun accompanies her husband Hulagu on campaigns. At the Sack of Baghdad in 1258, the Mongols massacred tens of thousands of inhabitants, but by the order of Doquz, the Christians were spared.
1261–89: Reign of Indian queen Rudrama Devi. She leads her troops in battle, and may have been killed in battle in 1289.
1264: Eleanor of Provence raises troops in France for her husband during the Baron's War.
1270: Eleanor of Castile accompanies her husband on his crusade. According to tradition, she saved his life by sucking poison from his wound when he was injured.
1271: Isabella of Aragon, Queen of France dies at Cosenza on the way back from the Crusades.
1290: Royal Armouries Ms. I.33 is written. It depicts fighters. An illustration of a woman named Walpurgis training in sword and buckler techniques is in the manuscript among others.
1296: Bertha van Heukelom defends Castle IJsselstein against Hubrecht van Vianen of Culemborg 
1297: Joan I of Navarre, Countess of Champagne, leads an army against the Count of Bar when he invaded her domain Champagne.
Late 13C: Khutulun, a relative of Kublai Khan, is described as a superb warrior and accompanies her father Khaidu on military campaigns.
Venus Draws Her Bow to aim at a potential Lover,4- Le Roman de la Rose - 1490 [MS. Douce 195, f. 148v]

14C
14C: Urduja, a Filipino princess, according to tradition, takes part in several battles.
1326: Isabella of France invades England with Roger de Mortimer, and overthrows Edward II of England, replacing him with her son Edward III of England, with her and de Mortimer acting as regents.
1331: Queen Tribhuwana Wijayatunggadewi leads her army to crush a rebellion in the areas of Sadeng and Keta.
1335: During the Second War of Scottish Independence Christina Bruce commanded the garrison of Kildrummy Castle and successfully held the castle against pro-Baliol forces led by David III Strathbogie.
1335: The Scots defeat a company led by the Count of Namur. Amongst the Count's casualties was a female lancer who had killed her opponent, Richard Shaw, at the same moment that he had killed her. Her gender was only discovered when the bodies were being stripped of their armor at the end of the engagement. "The chronicler Bower seems to have been at least as impressed by the rarity of two mounted soldiers simultaneously transfixing one another with their lances as with the fact that one of them was a woman."
1338: Agnes Randolph successfully defends her castle against a siege by England's earl of Salisbury.
1341: Anna of Trebizond marches to take the throne of Trebizond at the head of an army.
1342-43: Joanna of Flanders conquers the city of Redon and defends the city of Hennebont during the Breton war.
1354: Ibn Battuta reports seeing female warriors in Southeast Asia.[98]
1351–63: Han E serves as a soldier in the Chinese army as a man under the name Han Guanbao, and is promoted to lieutenant.
1351–57: Cia Ordelaffi née Marzia degli Ubaldini an Italian noblewoman from Forlì came in help of Lodovico Ordelaffi during the battle of Dovadola (part of the Guelphs and Ghibellines war). In 1357 she took part in the defense of Cesena during the Forlivesi crusade induced by Pope Innocent VI.
1358: Richardis of Schwerin defends Sönderborg Castle on Als against Valdemar IV of Denmark.
1364–1405: Timur uses female archers to defend baggage trains.[98]
1387: Queen Jadwiga of Poland leads two military campaigns.[102]
1389: Frisian regent Foelke Kampana leads armies to assist her spouse Ocko Kenisna tom Brok, chief of Auricherland: after finding him dead on the battlefield, she returns to Aurich, and upon finding it taken by an enemy during her absence, she retakes it by military force.
1392: Maria, Queen of Sicily, conquers Sicily and defeats the rebelling barons as the leader of an army alongside her consort.
Witch shooting a man in the foot with an enchanted arrow made from a hazel wand to induce lumbago. Woodcut to Con Hexen und boesen Weibern and From Ulrich Molitor De Laniis et phitonicis mulieribus, Constance, 1489. Woodcut.

15C
15C: Maire o Ciaragain leads Irish clans in rebellion.
1419: Margaret of Bavaria defend French Burgundy against John IV, Count of Armagnac.
1420: Joan of France, Duchess of Brittany, launches war against the Penthievre clan in Brittany and their strongholds one by one until she conquers the last, to free her consort, the duke, who was taken prisoner by the Penthievre.
1428: Cecília Rozgonyi commanded her own ship in battle toward the Ottoman Empire under Sigismund of Hungary at Golubac fortress.
1428: Philippa of England, Queen of Denmark, successfully organized the defence of Copenhagen against the Hanseatic League, a heroic feat later recounted by Hans Christian Andersen in Godfather's Picture Book (1868).
1429: Joan of Arc asserts that God has sent her to drive the English out of France, and is given a position in the French Royal army. She is supported by Yolande of Aragon, mother of Queen Marie d'Anjou (wife of King Charles VII).
1430s: Jeanne des Armoises was a soldier in Italy.
1431: Joan of Arc, perhaps the most famous of medieval warrior women, was burned as a witch
1432: Isabella, Duchess of Lorraine, leads an army to rescue her husband from the Duke of Burgundy.
1433: Ida Königsmarck traditionally honored defense her fief Kastelholm Castle on Åland in Swedish Finland during the Engelbrekt rebellion.
1450s: Zaydi Yemeni chieftain Sharifa Fatima conquers San‘a.’
1451–52 : Brita Tott serves as a spy in the war between Sweden and Denmark
1455: Elise Eskilsdotter leads a war against the German merchant class of Bergen in Norway as revenge for the murder of her spouse, by means of her pirate fleet.
1461: Queen Margaret of Anjou defeats the Earl of Warwick in the Wars of the Roses.
1461: Alice Knyvet defends Buckingham Castle at Norfolk against Sir Gilbert of Debenhem.
1467: Ólöf Loftsdóttir personally leads the war against the English on Iceland.
1470: Joanna of Rožmitál leads the Czech army in war.
1471: Queen Margaret of Anjou is defeated in Battle of Tewkesbury. She and her son escaped to Flanders. The Yorkists eventually captured her and ransomed her to Louis XI, after she had sworn an oath not to go to war anymore.
1472: Onorata Rodiana from Cremona, Italy is mortally wounded in battle. She had disguised herself as a man to become a soldier.
1472: Jeanne Hachette rips down the flag of the invading Burgundians at Beauvais, inspiring the garrison to win the fight.
1480s: Mandukhai Khatun takes command of the Mongol army and defeats the Oirats.
1481: Dutch noblewoman Swob Sjaarda defends her castle during a siege in the Netherlands.
1482-92: Queen Isabella I of Castile actively participates in the warfare and conquer of Granada.
1487: Katarina Nipertz defends Raseborg Castle in Finland, the fief of her late spouse, against the troops of the new vassal appointed by the regent, for several weeks.
1494: Ats Bonninga defends her fort in Friesland.
1496: Bauck Poppema defends her fort in Friesland.
1499: Caterina Sforza successfully defends Forli against a Venetian attack and become famous and nicknamed "The Tiger."

Bibliography - Period Literature

De arte venandi cum avibus, Frederick II

Les livres du roi Modus et de la reine Ratio (1354–1376), attributed to Henri de Ferrières[1]

Le Roman des Deduis (before 1377), Gace de la Buigne.

Livre de Chasse (1387–1389), Gaston III (Phėbus) Phoebus, Count of Foix. Various copies with excellent illustrations. Also known as Book of The Hunt.

The Master of Game, Edward, Duke of York (partial English translation of Phoebus & Twiti)

La chasse royale, Charles IX of France

Libro de la montería, Alfonso XI of Castile
Hunting Yates Thompson 13 f. 79;  The Hague, MMW, 10 B 23. Petrus Comestor, Bible historial (translation from the Latin by Guyars des Moulins)

Bibliography - Historical Reseaech

Blythe, James M., “Women in the Military: Scholastic Arguments and Medieval Images of Female Warriors,” History of Political Thought 22 (2001), 242-269.

Clover, Carol J., “Maiden Warriors and Other Sons,” Journal of English and Germanic Philology 85 (1986), 35-49.

Contamine, Philippe, La Guerre au moyen âge, English trans., War in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1998).

Edgington, Susan B. and Sarah Lambert (eds.), Gendering the Crusades (Cardiff, 2001).

Holum, Kenneth G. and Robert L. Hohlfelder (eds.), King Herod’s Dream: Caesarea on the Sea (New York, 1988).

McLaughlin, Megan, “The Woman Warrior: Gender, Warfare and Society in Medieval Europe,” Women’s Studies 17 (1990), 193-209.

Nicholson, Helen, “Women on the Third Crusade,” Journal of Medieval History 23 (1997), 335-349.

Solterer, Helen, “Figures of Female Militancy in Medieval France,” Signs 16 (1991), 522-549.

Verdier, Philippe, “Woman in the Marginalia of Gothic Manuscripts,” in Rosemarie T. Morewedge (ed.), The Role of Woman in the Middle Ages (London, 1975), 121-160.

Young, Antonia, Women Who Become Men: Albanian Sworn Virgins (Oxford, 2000).

See
Female Warriors during The Middle Ages by Stefan Ingstrand in Strange Horizons Issue 6 April 2009 

Medieval Hunting in Wikipedia

Women in Post Classical Warfare in Wikipedia

Monday, January 30, 2017

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 17C Elites Celebrating in a Private Garden

Exclusive gardens & garden terraces were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation for the upper classes & royalty in the centuries before more egalitarian commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites also enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others. Later, Public Pleasure Gardens & Grounds became acceptable places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.
1621 Dirck Hals (Dutch Baroque Era painter, 1591-1656) Amusing Party in the Garden

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sports & Games - 17-20C Trucco - A cousin of Golf, Croquet, & Lawn Billiards

1600s Gentlemen playing trucco or lawn billiards, while ladies and gentleman dine in an ivy-covered pergola near formal garden beds. Trucco was also played at local taverns with large garden & park areas.

Trucco (alternately called trucks, troco, or lawn billiards) is an Italian and English lawn game played with heavy balls; large-headed cues called tacks; rings (the argolis or port); and sometimes an upright pin (the sprigg or king). The game was popular from at least the early 17C into the 20C. It was a forerunner of croquet, and probably evolved from ground billiards, which uses very similar equipment. The oldest name for the game in English seems to be "trucks" or "truck" from the Italian trucco and Spanish troco, meaning "billiard". Trucco was popular as a country house pastime. Under the name "lawn billiards," it appears as an alternative to croquet in books of games.

The editor's preface of the 1856 book Enquire Within Upon Everything, a "vast congregation of useful hints and receipts" describes the game. Enquire Within Upon Everything was a how-to book for domestic life, edited by Robert Kemp Philp & 1st published in 1856, by Houlston & Sons of Paternoster Square in London. "This is a game that may be played by any number of persons in a field or open space. The implements are wooden balls and long-handled cues at the ends of which are spoonlike ovals of iron. In the centre of the trucco court is fixed a ring of iron, which moves freely on a pivot, the spike of the ring being driven into a piece of wood let into the ground. The wooden ball is lifted from the ground by means of the spoon-ended cue, and thrown towards the ring — the object of the player being to pass the ball through the ring; and he who succeeds in making any given number of points by fairly ringing his ball, or canoning against the other balls, wins the game. Canons are made by the player striking two balls successively with his own ball fairly delivered from his spoon. Thus...a clever player may make a large number of points — 5, 7, or more at a stroke: 2 the first canon, 2 for a second canon, and 3 for the ring. This, however, is very seldom accomplished. Considerable skill is required in throwing the ball, as the ring, turning freely on its pivot, twists round on being struck. To 'make the ring,' it is necessary, therefore, that the ball be thrown fairly through its centre. But in order to get nearer to it a judicious player will endeavour to make two or three canons, if the balls lie within a convenient distance and at a proper angle to each other. If the ball be thrown with sufficient force, it will glance off from the ball struck in a line corresponding to its first or original line of projection."

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 17C Locals Celebrating at a Local Tavern or Inn Garden

Outdoor spaces were the scene of amusements & recreation at everyday taverns in the centuries before more gentrified commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. Public pleasure gardens & grounds became places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen. 
Adriaen Jansz Van Ostade (1610-1685) Peasants Carousing and Dancing outside an Inn

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sports and Games - Golf - 17C Children

1595 Adriaen van der Linde


1603 Attributed to Adriaen van der Linde (Dutch artist, 1560-1609) Three-Year-Old Boy with Golf Stick


1626 Jan Anthonisz van Ravesteyn (Dutch painter, 1572-1657) Young Boy with a Golf Club and Ball


Bartholomeus van der Helst, ca. 1658-1659


1600s Unknown artist


1615 Unknown Artist


1640 Unknown artist


1612 Unknown Dutch artist, Master Slijper' holding a brass-headed golf club


 1613 Marinus Molenaar Kanters Boy aged four and a half


 1620-30s Paulus Moreelse (Dutch artist, 1571-1638) Portrait Of A Four-Year Old Boy With Club And Ball


1624 Nicolaes Eliaszoon Pickenoy (Dutch painter, 1588-1656)  'Boys Playing Kolf on a Road.' Detail


 1631 Wybrand de Geest (Dutch artist, 1592-1661-65) Portrait of a Boy with a 'Colf' Stick


 1635 Wybrand de Geest (Dutch artist, 1592-1661-65) Portrait of two brothers


1650 Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680)  The Children of the Markgraaf de Trazegnies


1660 Pieter de Hooch (Dutch genre painter, 1629-1684) The Little Golf Players

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 16C & 17C Elites eating, drinking, making love in a Private Garden

Exclusive gardens & garden terraces were the scene of outdoor amusements & recreation for the upper classes & royalty in the centuries before more egalitarian commercial public pleasure gardens blossomed on both sides of the Atlantic. For recreation, elites also enjoyed promenading, especially in a public place, to meet or to be seen & admired by others. Later, Public Pleasure Gardens & Grounds became acceptable places to meet neighbors & travelers passing through; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to promenade for recreation; to conduct business; to see & be seen.
Attributed to Attributed to Louis de Caullery (Dutch-Flemish artist, 1555-1622) Music & Dining in a Garden

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sports & Games - Golf Clubs & balls in 17C Dutch genre paintings

 Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679) 1665 Boy holds a club

Dutch artist Jan Steen (1626-1569) is known for his upbeat genre paintings, which depict scenes from everyday life. Genre painting in the Netherlands began with the depiction of proverbs, allegories, & folklore by 16C artists, notably Pieter Breugel the Elder (1528-1569).  By the early 1600s, the Netherlands had come to prosper through trade & commerce. Soon a new middle-class emerged which could accumulate enough money to buy decorative items for their homes. Artists began to create images for this new type of buyer, usually subjects that they would see around them in their daily lives. Unlike the high art paintings, that the very wealthy would specially commission from artists, genre works were sold on the free market to anyone who could afford to buy them. 


Richard Brakenburgh (Dutch artist, 1650-1702)  Club and balls on floor 1700


Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679)  The Feast of St Nicholas where boy holds a club


Richard Brakenburgh (Dutch artist, 1650-1702) Club and ball on floor


 Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679) Boy holds club aloft


Richard Brakenburgh (Dutch artist, 1650-1702) Club and ball on floor 1685


Richard Brakenburgh (Dutch artist, 1650-1702) The Feast of Saint Nicholas 1680-89 Club and ball on floor by dog

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Before Public Gardens & Parks - 1400s Making Merry at London's Public Taverns & Inns

Medieval Inn & Tavern Names
From Medievalists.net – January 31, 2014


British Library Medieval, Additional 27695, c. 1330-40

Inns in 15C London offered food & drink & games both indoors & outdoords. This blog traces the evolution of Public Pleasure Gardens & Public Parks & Grounds which often began as local taverns & inns, which became gathering places to mingle with neighbors & strangers; to exchange news; to meet lovers; to play & watch sports & games; to eat & drink; to watch entertainments; to conduct business; & to see & be seen. It is not possible to know if the following inns offered both inside & open air services & spaces to their patrons.

From 1423 to 1426 the names of over 50 taverns & inns were recorded by William Porland, who was the clerk for London’s fraternity of Brewers. In an article in the Journal of the English Place Name Society, Barrie Cox takes a look at these names & some of the reasons how they got them. Here are few:

1. The Swan – this was the most popular name, with 6 taverns in London using it. Other taverns were named for birds as well, including The Crane & The Cock. There were even taverns called The White Cock & The Red Cock.

2. The Dolphin (Dolphyn) was the name of a tavern near St. Magnus’ Church. Other animal names for taverns include The Horse, The Lamb & The Old Bull.

3. The Seven Stars (vij Sterres) – according to medieval knowledge, the 7 stars represented the sun, the moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus & Mercury. Another tavern had the name The Three Moons.

4. The King’s Head (kyngeshed) – a few other taverns had a similar name, including The Horse’s Head, The Ram’s Head & The Saracen’s Head

5. Two taverns were named after saints: The Christopher, after the patron saint of travellers, & The St. Julian, who was the patron saint of hospitality.

6. The Pewter Pot (peauterpotte) could be found in Ironmonger Lane in Cheapside. It probably got its name for a type of drinking vessel.

7. The Pannier (panyer) on Paternoster Rowe would have been based on the French word panier, which means bread basket. Barrie Cox writes “this seems appropriate as a name for a lowly eating- & drinking-house.”

8. The Cony (Cony yn Conyhooplane) was a Middle English word for a rabbit, leading Cox to believe “the name suggests a small tavern where a rabbit stew could be enjoyed.”

Other names of medieval taverns include The Ball, The Basket, The Bell, The Cross, The Cup, The Garland, The Green Gate, The Hammer, The Lattice, The Rose & 2 that were called The Ship.

Barrie Cox’ article ‘Some London Inn & Tavern Names 1423-1426′ appears the Journal of the English Place Name Society, Vol.30(1997-8). He also wrote the book English Inn & Tavern Names, which was published in 1994 & is available from the Institute for Name Studies, University of Nottingham.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Sports & Games - General History of Skittles, Nine Pins 5,000 BC - 19C

The game of skittles & its variations are also known as Nine Pins, Kegelen, Dutch Pins, 4 Corners, Rolly Polly, Closh, Loggats, Kayles, Quilles, Kubb, Aunt Sally, & 10 Pin Bowling. Most forms of Skittles feature projectiles being propelled from one end of an alley in an effort to knock down nine pins stood in a square at the other end. That is about all that many of the games do have in common. Over the years, Skittles developed regional variations in skittle size and shape, skittle alley length, use of a kingpin, size and shape of the balls/cheeses and the rules began to vary quite radically through time & place.
Jacob Duck (1600–1667) and Adam Willaerts (1577–1664) The Game of Skittles

Artifacts found in tombs dating circa 5,000 B.C. show that one of their pastimes was to play a type of skittles with round stones. Sculptured vases & ancient plaques show the game being played some 4,000 years ago, & archaeologists have uncovered biased stone bowls from 5,000 B.C. which indicate our ancestors enjoyed the game of bowling more than 7,000 years ago.
Dirck van Delen (Dutch painter, 1604-1671) Skittles in a Garden

Skittles or Nine Pins has long been played in British and European Taverns & Inns. In general, players take turns to throw wooden balls down a formal or imaginary lane at the end of which are several wooden skittles in an attempt to knock them all over.
Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679) Peasants Playing Skittles on a Town's Open Public Space

The game may have come to Britain from Germany where, in the 3rd or 4th century, monks played a game with a kegel which was a club carried for self defense.  In the game, the kegel represented a sin or temptation and the monks would throw stones at it until they knocked it over.  The modern German term for skittles is Kegelen.
Pieter Angellis British , 1685-1734 A Game of Skittles 1727 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Skittles has been one of the most popular sports in England since at least medieval times. Skittles refers to a variety of games in England.  In the 1700s, the game of Closh or Cloish frequently appears in records and later the term Loggats turns up.
zskittles Pieter de Hooch 1629-a 1684 A Game of Skittles

There are two 14th century manuscripts which show a game called club Kayles (from the French "quilles" or skittles) and which depict a skittles game in which one skittle is bigger, differently shaped, and in most cases positioned so as to be the most difficult to knock over.  The throwers, in the illustrations, are about to launch a long club-like object at the skittles underarm.  The large skittle is presumably a king pin.
Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679)  A Game of Skittles, c. 1650

Some Skittles cousins do not use a ball at all.  "Aunt Sally" and various games played on a court in Northern Europe, still use a baton shaped stick to chuck at the doll and many modern skittles games throw a object called a "cheese" instead of a ball.  A cheese is any "lump" which is used to throw at the skittles and shapes can vary from barrel shaped to, well, cheese shaped, really.
 Jan Steen (Dutch artist, 1626-1679) Skittles Outside the Local Tavern

Aunt Sally is played by throwing timber batons at a wooden skittle (known as a doll or dolly) on top of a post. Some have suggested that Aunt Sally goes back at least as far as the 17C. However, the earliest references to the term "Aunt Sally" only go back to the mid 1800s.
The Play of Skittles by Francis Hayman c. 1735 - 1745

The 2 14th century manuscripts show a game called club kayles (from the French "quilles" or skittles) which depict a skittles game in which one skittle is bigger, differently shaped, and in most cases positioned so as to be the most difficult to knock over.  The throwers, in the pictures, are about to launch a long club-like object at the skittles underarm.  Many skittles varieties of today still feature this extra large kingpin". Aunt Sally may be a development of skittles whereby this "Kingpin" became the sole interest of the game and the other skittles were dispensed with.
Edmund Bristow (1787–1876) A Game of Skittles

Irish Skittles is a unique traditional 5 pin game. The pins are stood on a circle with one in the middle and are aimed at with 4 batons. To score, you must not only knock the pin over but must knock it out of the circle. Similar to Aunt Sally and court skittles games from Northern Europe such as Kubb, short sticks - batons are used as throwing implements.

Ten Pin bowling is the North American version of Skittles and is believed to be based upon the Skittles game from Holland.  It was probably the Dutch who took their version of skittles to the British North American colonies in the 17C, although another theory believes it is of English origin. Either way, the game fell into disrepute, as it tended to attract crowds of undesirables and to be played by gamblers, not welcomed by the Puritans. Consequently, a law was introduced to ban the game but since the law only mentioned "nine pin bowling", Americans simply added another skittle and called the game ten-pin bowling to avoid penalty.