Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Medieval Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Otto Gründler

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Seiler

Third Advisor

Dr. Larry Syndergaard

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


An introductory exploration of the evolution of the medieval tournament up to the reign of Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519) is the subject of this study. This exploration begins with the eleventh-century origins of the tournament in northern France as a military training exercise and continues with a discussion of the evolution of the tournament, by the sixteenth century, into a sporting event and public spectacle with a number of variations including the melee, behourd, round table, and passage of arms.

Some of the influences of the Church and of chivalric literature upon the tournament and upon the knightly class are explored as part of this discussion, together with information on outstanding medieval tourneyers, including Emperor Maximilian I, and on prominent armorers employed by the Emperor. Also included is a brief discussion of the evolution of armor and weaponry specifically for the tournament and the differences between these and their battlefield counterparts.