Category Archives: equestrian history

Do you have the right to command your horse?

What is the point of connection between medieval horse-riding practices and modern equestrian sports? Some say it is the sixteenth-century rise of the manege exercises, which developed into modern dressage, that is the starting point for equestrian sports in Europe. … Continue reading

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Did medieval knights love their horses?

At present, there are two opposite opinion on the nature of relations between knights and their warhorses. Many people believe that relations between knights and their warhorses were strictly utilitarian: a knight would have as much affection for his horse … Continue reading

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Sir Perceval and the Devil: Une Séduction échouée

To every success story, there is at least one, usually more than one, story of failure. If Lanval’s fairy did all the right things (see my previous post), the Devil, who adopted the guise of a beautiful forlorn female in … Continue reading

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How to seduce a knight

This blog provides a rough guide to seducing a paragon of chivalry, bringing him to your feet – and to your bed – resulting in displays of chivalry by day and nights of exhausting pleasure. Caution: only a truly mighty night can endure this routine for long. But then, nothing prevents a damsel from abandoning the exhausted hero in favour of the next prey.

The formula is time-proven and recorded in at least two medieval romances, that of Sir Lanval (variously known as Sir Launfal and Sir Landevale), which contains a formula of successful seduction, and of Sir Perceval (the Lancelot-Graal cycle version entitled La Queste del saint graal), which offers a cautionary tale of failed seduction. Continue reading

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Saints and Horses

There is something going on between saints and horses: a surprising number of saints, from the early years of Christianity, throughout the Middle Ages, and well into the early modern period, from all geographic regions, from Byzantium to Rus (for … Continue reading

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Centaurs Like Us

the Centaur … is a man combined with a horse. Some say that they were horsemen of Thessaly, but because, as they rushed into battle, the horses and men seemed to have one body, they maintained the fiction of the Centaurs. In his Etymologies (Book 11, … Continue reading

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Where Bishop Aidan Got his Royal Horse

If you have read my previous post on how Bishop Aidan gave a royally turned-out horse to a beggar, you are probably wondering where did Aidan get the beast in the first place. Without further ado, I reproduce here the … Continue reading

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A horse and a kingly bridle, or a story of Christian generosity

What would you do if, going along on your business, you met with a beggar, and you were short of cash? Christian duty notwithstanding, you probably wouldn’t give the beggar your good new Jaguar with keys and all-cover insurance into … Continue reading

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Session: Arthurian Horses

Organiser: Dr Anastasija Ropa Participants: Dr Joseph M. Sullivan Dr Eleana Creazzo Dr Sandy Feinstein   Horses in the Middle Ages were a means of transport, but, in the world of chivalry, they were also powerful symbolic vehicles. An Arthurian … Continue reading

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CFP: The THE MEDIEVAL HORSE Sessions at the International Medieval Congress 2018 at Leeds, 2-5 July 2018

Palfreys and rounceys, hackneys and packhorses, warhorses and coursers, not to mention the mysterious ‘dung mare’ – they were all part of everyday life in the Middle Ages. Every cleric and monk, no matter how immersed in his devotional routine … Continue reading

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