Introduced to England as *Conflictus Gallicus, a tournament was a somewhat chaotic affair, known as a *'melee' - from which our use of the word. At first, the melee took place in open countryside, with a large number of knights and their attendants. The purpose was to take as many prisoners as possible, in conditions very similar to real conflict, so that they could be ransomed, for substantial sums of money, as well as to capture horse and weapons, expensive items. It was a dangerous business. In time, rules changed, as did the climate of ideas. With the emergence of *chivalry as an ideal, the conduct of tournaments was constrained somewhat. Single combat emerged, in which knights broke lances and scored points, in a joust, before fighting on foot with sword and mace. The Church banned them, seeing them as a waste of energy and lives which could be better used in defence of the Church. In England they were banned by Henry II. However, in Richard I's reign they were permitted under licence. The tournament became fashionable, with lords competing against each other in organising the most elaborate and extravagant shows, both in England and in France. "Prowess in a tournament was good for a man's reputation at court, while also being excellent practice for war. Henry IV was a great hero in England before he took the crown because of his prowess as a jouster. Much of the conduct of tournaments owed a great deal to literature, in particular to Froissart and the Arthurian Cycle. Turneamentum was the Latin form; 'tourney' was also used. [< OldFr. tournei < Lat. tornus = turn] -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tourney — Tour ney, n. [OF. tornei, tornoi, F. tournoi, fr. OF. torneier, tornoier, tournoier, to tit, to tourney, F. tournoyer to turn round and round. See {Turn}, v. t.] A tournament. Bacon. [1913 Webster] At tilt or tourney or like warlike game. Spenser …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Tourney — Tour ney, v. i. [Cf.OF. torneier. See {Tourney}, n. ] To perform in tournaments; to tilt. [1913 Webster] Well could he tourney, and in lists debate. Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • tourney — ► NOUN (pl. tourneys) ▪ a medieval joust. ► VERB (tourneys, tourneyed) ▪ take part in a tourney. ORIGIN Old French tornei, from Latin tornus a turn …   English terms dictionary

  • tourney — index contest (competition), fight (battle), oppose Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • tourney — (v.) c.1300, from O.Fr. tornei (mid 12c.), from torneier to joust, tilt, lit. turn around, from V.L. *tornizare, from L. tornare to turn (see TURN (Cf. turn)). The noun also is attested from c.1300 …   Etymology dictionary

  • tourney — [toor′nē, tʉr′nē] n. pl. tourneys [ME turnai < OFr tornei < torneier < base of tourner: see TURN] TOURNAMENT vi. [ME tourneien < OFr torneier] to take part in a tournament; joust …   English World dictionary

  • tourney — I. intransitive verb (tourneyed; tourneying) Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo French torneier, to twist, whirl around, fight, tourney, from tur, tourn turning, circuit Date: 14th century to perform in a tournament II. noun (plural tourneys)… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • tourney — tour|ney [ˈtuəni, ˈto: US ˈtə:r , ˈto:r ] n AmE informal [Date: 1200 1300; Origin: tourney to take part in a tournament (13 20 centuries), from Old French torneier, from tourn; TOUR1] a ↑tournament …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • tourney — [ tʊəni, tə:ni] noun (plural tourneys) a medieval joust. verb (tourneys, tourneying, tourneyed) take part in a tourney. Origin ME: from OFr. tornei (n.), torneier (v.), based on L. tornus a turn …   English new terms dictionary

  • tourney — /ˈtʊəni/ (say toouhnee), /ˈtɔ / (say taw ) Obsolete –noun (plural tourneys) 1. → tournament (def. 3). –verb (i) (tourneyed, tourneying) 2. to contend or engage in a tournament. {def. 1 (noun) Middle English, from Old French tornei, tournay, from… …   Australian English dictionary

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