geoffroi de purelli

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Peter Lyon
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geoffroi de purelli

Post by Peter Lyon »

I have run across several references to a Frenchman named Geoffroi de purelli as being the first to write rules for a medieval tournament, in 1066. All I have found on a web search is that he is creditted with writing the rules for a tournament in 1066, at which he was killed. I don't recall seeing this before in any of my books, and I'm wondering if anyone can illuminate me on the truth of this, and whether his rules survived in some form?

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John Waller
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Post by John Waller »

There is a snippet about him in Tournaments - Jousts, Chivalry & Pageants in the Middle Ages by Barber and Barker. They conclude that the suggestion that he invented tournaments is without foundation. The accounts about de Preuilly were written 150 years after his death, at Angers in a treacherous plot, not in a joust.
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

Stuart Quayle
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Geoffrey de Preuilly

Post by Stuart Quayle »

Hi Peter

Had a quick look in my book on 'Tournaments Jousts, Chivalry and Pageants in the Middle Ages by Richard Barber and Juliet Barker and it says this about the earliest references to tournaments:

"Because the couched lance was introduced in the latter half of the eleventh century, and because the tournament seems to have arisen in response to the training the new technique required, it is possible to regard more seriously the smattering of references to tournaments which fall in the late eleventh century.

The earliest of these occurs in Geoffrey of Malaterra's account of the wars of the Norman adventurers. Robert Guiscard, Duke of Calabria and Roger, Count of Sicily. At a siege in 1062 the young men from both armies who were 'ambitious for praise' tourneyed together under the city walls and one Arnold, the Count's brother-in-law was killed. Geoffrey was writing in 1110, so that even if his account may be anachronistic for the year 1062, jousting of this kind must have been familiar by the turn of the twelfth century.

The second, more famous reference occurs in two local chronicles of the town of Tours in northern France. Under the year 1066 the Chronicle of St Martin of Tours records:

In the seventh year of the emperor Henry and the third year of king Philip, there was a treacherous plot at Angers, where Geoffrey de Preuilly and other barons were killed. This Geoffrey de Preuilly invented tournaments.

An abbreviated version of this account appears in the derivative short chronicle of Tours, under the year 1062:

Geoffrey de Preuilly, who invented tournaments, was killed at Angers.

Both chronicles were compiled by Pean Gatineau, a canon of St Martin at Tours. Unfortunately for the early history of tournaments, Pean Gatineau was writing in the first two decades of the thirteenth century (a hundred and fifty years after the events he was describing and a hundred years after Geoffrey of Malaterra) when the sport was already popular. The contemporary sources on which he was relying, while relating Geoffrey de Preuilly's treachery and subsequent murder, make no mention of tournaments in any form. The suggestion, therefore, that Geoffrey invented tournaments, unless it relies on some oral tradition collected by Gatineau, is without foundation.

Apologies if this just 'muddys the waters' for you, but it was I could find on the subject.

Stuart Quayle
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Crossed posts.

Post by Stuart Quayle »

Sorry John, that's really spooky. Both writing at the same time quoting from the same book :lol:

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John Waller
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Post by John Waller »

Stuart, I just couldn't be bothered to type the whole thing otherwise it would have been even spookier!

Cheers

John
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